Nigeria’s contortionists go out on a limb for recognition

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LAGOS – (Reuters) – Her wanted her be a or a lawyer, but on discovering as a teenager she could contort her body unusual ways, Nigerian Ifeoma Amazobi decided that would be how she made a living.

Contortionists are rare her country, where a suspicious public sometimes brand them as witches or sorcerers, or “dead bodies”.

But even though also led irreconcilable differences her and forced her leave , Amazobi was determined pursue her dream.

She met up another contortionist, and then joined a community of around 20 more, who put on a show entitled “Limberness” bring recognition their work and respect for the strength and long hours of training requires.

“There was a lot of discrimination parents, people around me… everyone was just after me. They were like ‘no’, this is not what they want me to be,” she told Reuters.

Oyindamola Kolawole, 26, leads the troupe. He is scheduled to work at the travelling Circus Zyair for 10 months.

“They still find hard to believe its real. That’s why we are putting this together for people to see that is an extreme act and we are also beings, we are not aliens,” he said of his Nigerian audiences.

Many who saw the show at a studio Lagos said they were overwhelmed by the contortionists’ feats.

Kolawole and Amazobi have also had to reassure friends that they are not damaging their their performances and running the risk of huge bills.