THE OBENSON REPORT

Covering Cinema From All Across The African Diaspora

Africa’s Witch Children

AFRICA
*Sigh*

I almost didn't post this.

I loathe, LOATHE watching and sharing stories like this, because of the extremely narrow portrayals of Africa and its people that the rest of the world receives.

The vast majority of reports on the continent airing on most major and even alternative media outlets (TV, Print, Internet, Radio) often paint a picture of a violent, ignorant, corrupt people - that is, when we're not being asked to feel pity or sorrow for the starving children, or the little girls forced to undergo genital mutilation as part of some uninformed tradition.


Not that all those atrocities don't exist in Africa - they most certainly do, and I'm in no way dismissing them.

However, there are other sides of Africa that the rest of the world rarely sees - and I'm not referring to the tourist attractions in the east, or the thoroughly industrialized areas in the south. There are families who live, work, and play in ways that aren't so dissimilar to those of us in the west, for example. There are men and women working towards some greater societal good, whether they be doctors, lawyers, engineers, and even filmmakers. There are human beings, not much different than you and I. And those people need to be acknowledged as well. But we rarely see or hear of them, even though they do exist in large enough numbers.

Instead, we are bombarded with what feels like a decisively negative campaign, and we carry around with us an incomplete view of the continent, much to everyone's detriment.

However, when I do witness a presentation that I deem necessary to share, so as to inform those who read this blog, or listen to my podcast, I will share it, regardless of the content. But I'm also always on the hunt for some much more inspiring news out of Africa, and will document those here, whenever I do, as I've done in the past - although, I could probably do a better job of finding those other kinds of stories, and I certainly will from henceforth.

The below video is part 1 of a 5-part documentary called African Witch Children, in which we learn about the stories of children being tortured and killed in their native villages, in the name of Christ, because some "high priest" has labeled them witches. One might simply laugh at these people and dismiss them as "backward" or "ignorant" or "savage," but, lest we forget, we're all the same! Those of us in the west, as "evolved" as we might think we are, certainly aren't immune to acts of ignorance and savagery, also all in the name of Christ. We're just as corrupt, and just as illogical. So, before you rush to judge, first hold up a mirror...

You can see all 5 parts of the doc on YouTube - just search for the title. Warning! You may find some parts of this documentary extremely upsetting. There are some graphic scenes as well
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7 comments:

  1. MUST LOVE MOVIES said...
     

    1) how did you find this on youtube?
    2) how do these non-africans find out about these atrocities in africa?
    3) what is up with africans and their complex with children? What got them believing that children were either the healers or the problem?
    I just saw "God Grew Tired of Us" and heard how they were killing male children. I also watched the tv show "Taboo" and discovered there is a society in which they believe twins are a sign of the devil so they kill one.
    this whole imposed Christianity thing is not cool. it's almost as bad as forcing democracy on a country. or i really can't say which is worst.
    i agree africa is seen in a very negative light these days.

  2. UK Black Chick aka Wendy said...
     

    Usually I'd have said something about a "white saviour" but, as this isn't fiction, thank God that this guy actually decided to do something!

    @ MLM: This guy was doing his research on the oil industry (Nigeria being a major oil producer and member of OPEC) for his masters degree and found out about these kids and decided to go back and build a school for them.

    I'm guessing the girlfriend he mentions meeting is Nigerian, which is probably how he got to find out what most western expats would probably never encounter.

    What people won't do in the name of religion.

  3. The Obenson Report said...
     

    MLM -

    1) People email things often, and I'm a newshound, so I'm always coming across worthwhile info.
    2) That calls for a longer response. Bottomline is that we all can and should know about these things. The info exists. You just have to be looking for it. Reading online news sites like AllAfrica.com would be a good start. Also, I posted an entry on this blog some days ago about a site called Voices of Africa, which you can also subscribe to.
    3) Africans aren't the only people with these attitudes towards children. And keep in mind that we're only talking about a sub-section of the continent, and not all of Africa, which needs to be acknowledged. Many Asian sects practice somewhat similar traditions. And even here in the USA, you'll likely find groups of Americans who carry ideas that aren't so dissimilar, as well as all around the world. This kind of occultism and superstition aren't uniquely African. It's just easier to shine the spotlight on a mostly defenseless, marginalized people.

  4. The Obenson Report said...
     

    WENDY - I had the same immediate thought RE: the "white savior;" white American and European peace corp workers or USAID fellows, riding into Africa on their shiny white horses to save the poor, defenseless people and show them the light and the way. That image aggravates me whenever I think about it. But, it's real life, and very few of us seem to be in a hurry to bring about much needed change, so, if these people can help, then they most certainly should!

    I REALLY would like to see African countries become entirely self-reliant, willing and capable of solving all their individual problems, internally; that'll probably happen some day, just not today.

  5. The Obenson Report said...
     

    Also, I don't want to forget to acknowledge those Africans in Africa who are fighting against this kind of ignorance, as we saw in the video.

  6. MUST LOVE MOVIES said...
     

    yea i watched that he found out about it during his research. a similar thing happened with the boys of Sudan. many of us more conscious folks know about what's going on or we hear about it through different sources. these weren't serious questions i was posing. it seems that while visiting Africa these non-africans find out about Africa. the same way you feel africa is often shown in a negative light is how i see it that blacks or africans arent shown helping out africa. (i'm sorry i'm being a lazy typer)i'm happy to see anybody helping too.

    i want to know how killing children relates to religion. i want to know how theories on children and religion came about. i'm not thinking africans are crazy i'm thinking religion has caused confusion everywhere. not just religion horrendous conditions have caused societal chaos leaving people to search for a solution in ways that don't attack the root of the problem. that's my thoughts.

  7. The Obenson Report said...
     

    I agree - religion is partly at fault for many societal ills - or maybe it's not religion, but rather what we allow religion to do to us. I don't want to relieve us of any responsibility, because I'd like to believe that we're all much more intelligent than we frequently show ourselves to be. I guess it's like the case of the gun and the shooter - do guns kill, or is it the people who shoot them? Does religion "kill," or is it the people who choose to blindly believe?

    It suppresses logical thought, in my humble opinion. But don't tell the fundamentalist evangelicals that.

    This is what happens when we relinquish control of ourselves, putting our lives in the hands of some, frankly, man-made, supposedly prescient being.

    But as you insinuated, we live in an oppressive world that essentially forces us to seek solace in something outside ourselves, and that's one purpose religion serves.

    I think it's difficult for us to believe that we're the best that the universe has to offer, because of just how flawed we are. So, it makes it easier to believe that there is someone of something better and greater than us.

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