Author Topic: ANGOLA: "Witchcraft" an excuse for child abuse  (Read 2767 times)


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ANGOLA: "Witchcraft" an excuse for child abuse
« on: December 13, 2006, 07:36:12 AM »
Makiesse means "happiness" in Kikongo, a language spoken in northern Angola. But the early childhood of 10-year-old Makiesse Jonas was far from joyous.

When he was aged just six, his stepmother accused him of conjuring up the sickness that killed his father. He was beaten everyday, and forced to undergo a purification ritual which included fasting, being whipped and secluded.

"I said that I wasn't a wizard, that maybe the wizard used my face at night. But no one believed me," Jonas told IRIN.

Jonas was almost burnt alive one day by family members. He was saved by an uncle, who took him from his home in the northern city of Uige, to Luanda, Angola's capital, 345km away. He left him at a shelter for street children run by the Roman Catholic Church.

Jonas is a survivor of a disturbing trend that has emerged in Angola in recent years: Children being accused of witchcraft, resulting in their abuse, abandonment, and, in some cases, death. It appears more frequently among the Bakongo people, concentrated in the Uige, Zaire and Cabinda provinces in northern Angola.

“Damaged people are dangerous. They know they can survive.” —  Josephine Hart


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ANGOLA: "Witchcraft" an excuse for child abuse
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2006, 02:49:40 AM »
Anthropological discussion of witchcraft and sorcery (is this a theme for me these days?)
What Witchcraft, Oracles and Magic actually describes is not so much the rationality of belief in witchcraft, as a political system in which the powerless are liable to be accused of involuntary murder and then forced to pay compensation for the deaths of alleged victims.
Give me a fast ship, for I intend to go in harm\'s way.


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