The finalists of the milk fattening competition in Kuajok on May 7, 2016.

A 50-year-old woman won a traditional milk fattening competition in Kuajok, the capital of Gogrial State – a competition that is usually only for male contestants.

South Sudanese men and women competed to be the fattest in Kuajok by drinking milk while living in isolation for months.
On May 7, 2016 the contestants emerged to show off their newly engorged physiques and for a winner to be chosen during a show organised by Gogrial State’s council of elders.

The show brought together local communities who presented their cultural dances, before the fattest person was crowned – an annual ritual among Gogrial State Dinkas, people for whom bigger is always better.

For the very first time, this year’s winner is a woman.

“It is a very big surprise to the entire community to see a woman beating men in the milk fattening competition in Kuajok,” Gogrial State Paramount Chief, Nyal Chan Nyal, told The Niles.

He added that it “is the first time for women to participate in such an event”.

Contestants go extreme lengths to be crowned the fattest person. “Last year a man has died because of to much fatness, we considered him as a winner among those who were competing with him,” Nyal said.