I've written several times in the past about witchcraft and superstition in Africa. A recent article in the Zimbabwe Herald illustrates this reality better than I could ever describe it. Here are a few excerpts.
A 62-YEAR-OLD Gokwe man has come out in the open and claimed ownership of a goblin which has been terrorising women in his village by taking off their panties at night while they were asleep.
The man, Mr Lameck Ncube of Village Charisekera, under Chief Njelele, made the startling revelations at a cleansing ceremony in the village on Wednesday.
The cleansing ceremony, conducted by a n’anga from Hwange District in Matabeleland North and a prophet from an apostolic sect, was attended by Chief Njelele, hundreds of villagers and journalists from different media organisations.
. . .
Mr Ncube ... confessed that he owned the “menacing” goblin, which he claimed to have acquired long ago to enhance his luck.
Mr Ncube told the puzzled crowd that the goblin had, however, turned “hostile and weird” to a point of going around sleeping with women. A police officer who had been invited to the occasion to maintain order at one time moved in to restore order after some villagers whose wives fell victim to the goblin’s “sex” escapades threatened to beat up Mr Ncube.
The n’anga, who was accompanied by six aides, was forced with his team to temporarily stop the witch hunting ceremony as they accompanied Mr Ncube to his homestead to “capture” the goblin which shared a bedroom with one of Mr Ncube’s sons.
There was more drama as the villagers jostled to have a glimpse of the decorated goblin after the tsikamutanda brought it before the crowd. The goblin, which looked like a living creature, was wearing a pair of blue female panties, which village head Charisekera’s wife, Ms Silvia Marumbe, claimed to be hers.
Ms Marume claimed during the event that she lost her panties in mysterious circumstances in 2004.
The goblin was later burnt before the crowd.
In an interview after the burning of the goblin, Mr Ncube said he was happy that he was now a free man, saying the creature had been giving him sleepless nights for a long time.
Mr Ncube said he bought the goblin in Chakari near Kadoma in 1983 when he was still working in Kwekwe.
“When I bought this goblin, my purpose was to try and have luck in my life. I also wanted to get promoted at my work as well as acquiring wealth but when I later retired, I then learnt that the goblin had not performed to my expectations,” he said.
There's more at the link. Go read it for yourself . . . and ask yourself: how can any society where this sort of crap is taken seriously ever hope to integrate itself into the modern world?