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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 three men arrive at Ted and Susan's house. Nigel is on the verge of giving up, 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 snag pole to Abdullah and he lures Duma with a container. Unaware that this was a trap, Duma comes over and Abdullah snares her, while triumphantly claiming her to be theirs.

Plan Revealed

The next morning, the family stops at Patel's store to get gasoline. Patel sees Susan crying and mentions Duma's disappearance, prompting Ted to confront him. Patel attempts to dissuade Ted, but he notices that the pattern on Abdullah's shoe resembles the tracks found during Duma's discovery, making him realize 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 the compound, but Duma fails and Nigel insults her. The next day, when Morogo joins Ted and Susan on their quest, Abdullah taunts Duma with a bowl of raw meat, while arguing with Patel. The next test involves her hunting strategy by pedaling a stationary bike, but she once again fails and they force her back into a cage made of wood and chicken wire.

Catching Ted and Susan

The next day, the children finally arrive at the camp. Ted tries to come up with a plan to take them out, 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 manage to find Duma. As Susan tries to find something to break the lock, Abdullah jumps Susan and reaches for his knife, but Ted enters the hut and Abdullah catches him. 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. While Morogo enters the hut, Abdullah and Nigel enter to get their tools, but Morogo manages to hide from them by climbing up onto a rafter. As the trio drive away with Duma, Morogo frees the kids and they head after the gamblers to Nairobi Downs.

The Race

At Nairobi Downs, the gamblers begins betting with the other spectators, despite gambling being prohibited, while Abdullah is in charge of Duma. While the children are being pursued by their parents and the authorities, they finally arrive at Nairobi Downs 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, frustrating the two gamblers as the spectators demand compensation for their bets.

Defeat and Arrest

While the children are reunited with their parents, Duma rebels against Abdullah and chases him down a treeline road. The families head after them and Duma eventually manages to catch up to Abdullah and pin him down. Duma begins to attack Abdullah as he uses his gloved hand to protect himself until the parents arrive and lead her away from the poacher. A defeated Abdullah is then arrested by a security officer and dragged away for his illegal actions.

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. However, 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 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 treeline road.
  • If one pays attention closely before Duma attacks Abdullah, he trips before Duma pushes him to the ground.

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