FROGS spend the dry season lying deep under the soil waiting for the rainy season when they would re-emerge to feed and to mate.
When male frogs enter the water pans and start making those distinctive high-pitched croaks to attract females, however, they inadvertently attract frog catchers too, who, likewise, have been waiting for the rainy season for their delicious and nutritious food.
Up north, frogs are considered traditional food whose deliciousness surpasses or is comparable only to chicken.
But how does one catch a frog?
“Sometimes we wait until we hear them croaking, then we go for them, moving stealthily. Otherwise we simply walk in the oshanas hoping to stumble upon frogs by chance,” said Oshakati resident Benhard Kandjara.
When they sense danger, the frogs scatter and try to hide where the water is much deeper, but an odd female frog might try to stand its ground and fight, mostly when the frog catcher blocks any possibility of escaping.
Frog catchers know that they have to handle the frogs with care, avoiding placing a hand anywhere within reach of the amphibious creature’s dangerous teeth.
When caught, the frogs are kept in a bag or in any empty container or they are simply tied together until the catcher decides that he or she has caught enough either for own consumption or to sell.
Kandjara, who is currently unemployed, said that he made N$220 in a single day selling frogs.
A bunch of three frogs went for N$20.
“The price was so good and the demand very high so much so that at the end of the day nothing was left for my own consumption. I had to wait until the next day to catch some more for my own consumption,” he said.
Preparing and cooking frogs is simply a matter of removing the intestines and putting the frogs in a pot before adding water and salt.
Adding spices, where available, is merely an added advantage.
Even though frogs are considered traditional food by the overwhelming majority, there is a significant number of people who refuse to even touch, let alone taste a frog, mostly due to its “dreadful appearance”.