Before science discovered germs, every disease was attributed to the supernatural: a curse from the gods or the action of some magical being, often a witch. Between the 15th and 18th century, Europe was hit by the plague of hanging, burning and drowning people who were alleged to be witches. A cruel act of cause. Fast forwarding to 21st century Ghana, we still have villages, mainly in northern Ghana set aside for people suspected to be witches. The accused, often women, are sent to witch camps and will have to undergo some rituals to prove your innocence or otherwise. One of the rituals is that she will have to drink a concoction of chicken blood, monkey skulls and soil. If she doesn’t fall ill within 7 days then she is innocent. Sometimes it is repeated for effectiveness. Most of the accusers end up there usually when they become too old or when their husbands die. Some of the reasons surrounding how some of the accused end up there are very incredible. For example, a lady who was always topping her class and not understood by some members of her class was suspected to be witch. They couldn’t understand why a human being could too intelligent. Instead of helping her seek scholarship to travel and become a better person to help the community, she has been accused of being a witch. If you are a trader and always people are buying your goods then know that you are also going to be a potential suspect. Instead of people supporting or investing in your business for the economic development of the town you are rather going to be banished. Another woman ended up there, when she gave birth to twins and she has no idea who is taking care of her children. It is easy for anyone to blame these communities for doing such practices but it is all because of lack of education. Intensive education is needed to reorient the minds of the people so as not to continue with such practices. Most of the women there have being vindicated by the rituals but they can’t go back because they fear what might happen to them, should they return to their homes.
My name is Kotey and I know that to believe is a good thing but mind what you believe in.