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Villain Overview
Good. That skin will bring me much money.
~ Abdullah

Abdullah is the main antagonist of Disney's 1989 live action film Cheetah, which is based on the 1970 novel The Cheetahs by the late Alan Caillou. He is a ruthless and murderous poacher who wants to exploit Duma in a race against greyhounds.

He was portrayed by Paul Onsongo.

Personality

Abdullah is portrayed as ruthless, aggressive, sneaky, cunning, greedy, arrogant, abusive, treacherous, violent, callous, argumentative, and opprobrious. He is also very savage, murderous, bloodthirsty and sanguinary, so he loves to hunt and poach animals for sport. He is also not above killing people whenever they get in his way, as shown when he tried to kill Susan when she tried to rescue Duma. Before realizing Patel's scheme, Ted noticed his shoe marks that look similar to the tread around the time they found Duma. It was heavily implied that he was the poacher who killed Duma's mother. He was also behind a gambling plot to make Duma race against greyhounds with the help of Patel and Nigel for her fur.

History

Killing Duma's mother

An abandoned baby Duma is found by two American teenagers, Ted and Susan and their native friend, Morogo. Morogo informs Ted that her mother was killed by a poacher. Ted finds weird markings next to the cheetah, which Morogo identifies as footprints. When Susan learns of this, she immediately wants to adopt her. The others think that it is crazy, but she thinks that it is the only way for her to survive.

Kidnapping Duma

6 months later, while Ted and Susan are training Duma to release her into the wild, Abdullah is hired by Patel and Nigel to help them exploit Duma for a personal fortune. The following night, the gamblers arrive at Ted and Susan's house. Nigel can't find Duma, but Patel realizes that Ted calls Duma with a whistle and plans to get it. Abdullah and Nigel crack open the window and Patel breaks in. He eventually finds the whistle and manages to sneak past Ted. He comes out and calls Duma with the whistle. Nigel hands the rope to Abdullah and he lures Duma with a food bowl. With Duma distracted, Abdullah manages to get the rope around Duma's neck and snag her while claiming her to be theirs.

Plan Revealed

The next morning, the family stops at Patel's store to get gasoline. Patel sees the tears in Susan's eyes and asks if she is crying over losing her pet. Ted overhears this and confronts Patel, but he lies to him, assuring that he was commenting on Duma's release in Cheetah Valley. However, Ted notices the marks on Abdullah's shoes and realizes that he was the poacher who killed Duma's mother. Ted tries to convince his parents about Patel's scheme, but they refuse to believe him. After sending their grandmother a telegram saying they will be delayed, the siblings take a bus back to Patel's store and discover he is gone, but learn his whereabouts from his cousin.

Training Duma

When Ted and Susan set out in the Great Rift to search for Duma and the poachers, Abdullah decides to train Duma for the race after giving Patel and Nigel instructions. Their first test involves Duma's endurance outside his camp, but Duma fails and Nigel insults her. The next day, when Morogo joins Ted and Susan on their quest, Abdullah starves Duma before testing her hunting skills. Duma once again fails and Nigel forces her into her cage.

Catching Ted and Susan

The next day, the children finally arrive at Abdullah's camp. Ted tries to come up with a plan to confront them, but Susan and Morogo insist on sneaking in at nightfall. They enter Abdullah's bedroom and discover his poacher equipment and his illegal stuff, along with a stack of fliers advertising Duma's race. Ted realizes Patel's plan to make money and they find Duma. As Susan tries to find something to break the lock, Abdullah jumps Susan and tries to stab her, but Ted comes in and Abdullah catches him in the act. Patel and Nigel arrive in the scene and they argue over what to do with them. Abdullah wants to kill them, but Nigel suggests they lock them in the cage until after the race. Morogo enters the shed, but is almost caught when Abdullah and Nigel enter the shed to get their tools. As the trio drive away with Duma, Morogo unlocks the cage and the three kids head after them.

The Race

At the race, Patel and Nigel are in charge of doing the bets, while Abdullah is in charge of Duma. While the children are being pursued by their parents and the authorities, they finally arrive at the race as Duma's race starts. Duma takes an early lead in the race, but as the race progresses, the greyhounds catch up and take the lead. Ted notices his whistle being held by a security guard, snatches it from him and blows. Duma hears the whistle and manages to gain back her steam and win by five lengths. Abdullah is surprised and Patel and Nigel lose the bet as the other gamblers surround them, demanding compensation for the bets.

Defeat and Arrest

While the children are reunited with their parents, Abdullah tries to outrun Duma as she rebels against him and a chase is ensued. The families head after them and Duma eventually manages to catch up to Abdullah and pin him to the ground. As Duma begins to attack Abdullah, the children arrive and Earl pulls the cheetah off the poacher, while the security guard arrives and arrests Abdullah.

Quotes

She's ours!
~ Abdullah capturing Duma.
Well, cheetah, you got some more work to do today. Are you going to be a naughty girl?
~ Abdullah to Duma.
The first lesson she must learn is that there is no escape. Then we will train her to race. (Mr. Patel: But we need to know exactly how far she can run before tiring.) Yes, yes. We have an odometer. (Mr. Patel: She may resist.) She must learn that she's powerless and we are powerful. Let's begin now.
~ Abdullah before training Duma.
That's the point! If she's angry and she's hungry, then she chases the rabbit better. Like some food, cat? Too bad. You gotta earn it.
~ Abdullah arguing with Mr. Patel and sadistically taunting Duma.
I must get my tools!
~ Abdullah getting his tools before they go to Nairobi.

Trivia

  • Abdullah is loosely based on a Galla hunter from Alan Caillou's original novel. In the book, the Galla hunted civets for his family and for a living, rather than for sport.
  • "Abdullah" is an Arabic name meaning "Servant of God".
  • Even though Patel came up with the idea of exploiting Duma for a personal fortune, Abdullah is the true main antagonist, because his act of killing Duma's mother drove the plot of the film and was far more dangerous than Patel.
  • He is nicknamed "The Shoe Guy" by Ted, because of the fact that he was the poacher who killed Duma's mother as Ted recognized his shoe marks.
  • The cheetah skin near Abdullah's bedroom window could possibly be Duma's mother.
  • When Abdullah tries to escape from Duma, he has the rope in his hands, but a few shots later, he does not have it with him.
  • For some strange unknown reason, he did not get in his truck when he is being chased by Duma before he got arrested.
  • Before Duma's race, Abdullah's truck was parked in a neighborhood near Nairobi Downs, but when Duma rebelled against him, the truck is in the same location where he was being chased.
  • If one pays attention closely before Duma attacks Abdullah, he trips before Duma pushes him to the ground.

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