Call of the Cryptid: Agogwe, or the Kakundakari of East Africa


An African mystery beast, the bipedal Agogwe is said to resemble little, furry men with yellowish-red skin under their coats. They sound just fabulous, don’t they?

In the complicated cryptid mosaic, it’s hard to say where the Agogwe lies. Like many cryptids, there is a bit of plausibility here. There are undoubtedly undiscovered animals out there, and the Agogwe — or something similar to one — could be stalking about.

Quite simply, though, there are too many unknowns. This cryptid is too cryptic. For example, we don’t know the alleged migration patterns of Agogwe — that is, if they are genuinely only in East Africa. In any case, it apparently retreats to higher ground when humans are around, or something.

Historical Article

As evidence of its possible existence, some point to the December 1937, issue of the London magazine Discovery. There, Capt. William Hichens offered the following Agogwe account: “…two small, brown, furry creatures come from the dense forest on one side of the glade and disappear into the thickets on the other. They were like little men, about four feet high, walking upright, but clad in russet hair. The native hunter with me gazed in mingled fear and amazement. They were, he said, agogwe, the little furry men whom one does not see once in a lifetime. I made desperate efforts to find them, but without avail in that wellnigh impenetratable forest.”

In Modern Pop Culture

Agogwe as seen in The Secret Saturdays, image courtesy of Cartoon Network

Yes, the Agogwe has appeared in pop culture in recent years. The Agogwe made an appearance on Cartoon Network’s The Secret Saturdays, about a family of cryptozoologists that try to keep cryptids secret, to protect humans and the creatures. Specifcally, it appears in the episode “Cryptid vs. Cryptid,” about underground gambling over cryptid fights.

Agogwe Behavior

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If you look for other accounts, you’ll typically find a skittish creature. Still, for some reason, it’s also been described as meaner than most primates (Though, can you blame it? It’s need of avoiding human contact probably has its stress levels through the roof!). At the same time, the Agogwe looks confident — maybe even proud — in at least some artist depictions I’ve seen. To me, this suggests no single personality trait for a hypothetical Agogwe.

Like humans, there is probably a changing progression of emotions and behaviors. This would make sense, as the Agogwe is often described as a “missing link” type of creature — man-like in some respects. In any case, if the Agogwe’s feeling good, excited or downright hostile, no account is detailed enough to fully convey its behaviors.

The Agogwe’s Look

For whatever reason, cryptid descriptions often make a creature sound unhealthy. For the Agogwe, the “yellowish-red skin” description made me think of something reptilian, or maybe some bleeding creature with jaundice. Another skin description I’ve seen is “copper,” which sounds more realistic. Of course, it’s possible that the Agogwe would have different appearances, just as other animals do.  If anyone lived in proximity to an Agogwe, it seems they would know it.

Related Story: Call of the Cryptid: Adjule, or the 'bush dog' of North Africa

The Perks to Discovering Agogwe

Many people read stuff like this and think, “I don’t really care,” or, “That’s just silly.” That’s understandable.  Still, something like this could be out there. Also, there are reasons we may not see such a cryptid. The most obvious one is that, yes, it may not exist. This describes many — if not most — cryptids. However, dormancy may be another factor, and/or skittishness (as mentioned earlier). It’s even possible that some previously described cryptids did exist at one point, but have gone extinct.  Discovering and identifying a new primate species would definitely be an achievement.

There is hope for new discoveries.  In 2012, Earth Magazine published an article titled, “Tree-climbing hominin with opposable toes co-existed with Lucy” (with “Lucy” being “the world’s most famous early human ancestor”).  Although only parts of the creature’s skeleton was found, it had scientists speculating. Bruce Latimer asked, “Now, of course, what we want to know is what does the skull look like? What do the teeth look like?” While not necessarily being part of a legend, speculation and imagination is key to learning about animal species. Stories like this legend are just one piece of the human puzzle.

Is The Creature Dangerous?

Usually when a cryptid gets “discovered,” it’s part of a pattern of “name and shame.” People will come up with a name, and typically attribute some violent behavior to it. It’s not enough that the creature is “hairy” and “man-like.” They’ll say it’s “mean” or otherwise scary. However, it’s apparently difficult to find accounts of Agogwe threatening or harming humans.  Chances are it would be more afraid of you than you if it.

Also telling is that the Agogwe isn’t entirely outlandish. For example, no one’s said anything about it having eyes on the inside of its mouth, or anything that freaky. The indication is that — if it’s anything — it’s perhaps one of the “lesser apes,” so elusive that we just need to find it with luck (even more than perseverance). (Either that or we will never find it, or there’s nothing to find at all.)’

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What are your thoughts? Is the Agogwe plausible? Let us know your thoughts on this creature in the comments!