Witch Doctors Africa

How Witch Doctors in Africa Have a Community under Their Spell

No matter where you go in the world you'll find some form of witchcraft being practised; either as a religious ritual, a medical practise, or a form of New Age divination. But for witch doctors in Africa, their practises are a combination of all three. That makes them very powerful and influential within the communities in which they live.

African witchcraft is very different from most of the other forms found around the world. Perhaps its unique history has a lot to do with it. Witchcraft in Africa far supersedes what was found in Europe in the 14th and 15th centuries and, in fact, anthropological studies trace its history back to a combination of Egyptian witchcraft and Arabic Sihr.

Unlike European witchcraft, which tends to focus on the idea of demons and evil spirits, African witchcraft is more focused on the concept of magic and spells. Witch doctors in Africa believe they can, through various potions and practises, influence the future of a person's life -- either for good or evil. That gives them great influence among those in their community.

Add the Superstition to Witchcraft

The other problem facing African nations is a cultural superstition that pervades just about everything in society. For example, when crops fail superstition causes people to believe they have been cursed. Likewise when farm animals die, children get sick, houses burn down, or anything else goes wrong.

Furthermore, if these things are curses then they must be the result of unacceptable behaviour by someone in the community. Unfortunately, traditional African cultures always look for the weakest members of society to blame. That includes the albino population who, according to witch doctors, are not even real people; they are ghosts or spirits sent to curse a community.

Albino Body Parts Are Magic

The last piece of this puzzle can be found in the belief among witch doctors in Africa that albino body parts have mystical, magical properties. They use these body parts to make potions and cast spells that allegedly make people wealthy and prosperous. You can imagine how willing a person might be to kill an albino in order to create a bright future for himself.

Unfortunately, that's exactly what happens. In the eastern African nation of Tanzania, the problem is more severe than anywhere else. It is a nation with some 270,000 albinos all living in fear of their lives. When a single limb can fetch a price as high as 2,500 murder becomes a very lucrative business.

Although Tanzania's albinos are suffering greatly, there are very few organisations like Southern Africa's Children (SAC) working on their behalf. SAC sponsors albino children to provide them with clothing, food, medicine, and tuition at eithre local village schools or if the albino child is orphaned at a safe and secure boarding school. The organization has opened up a community and education centre on Ukerewe Island; on that same property they are planning a medical centre in the future. SAC aims to on a local specific scale improve the understanding of the causes and symptoms of Albinism and over time through empowerment and integration of albino people in local society challenge the influence of African witchdoctors.

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