Wisdom vs. Superstition

I learned about a true story today that shocked and disturbed me greatly. This story really showed me that the lack of proper education in South Africa is a problem that needs to be quickly rectified.

A lady living in a poor community of Durban, South Africa, was on her way to attend a family memorial service, when she was apprehended by three men. While two of them held her prisoner, the third pulled out a knife and began sawing off this lady’s ear. She screamed and screamed in terror and pain. Luckily, she was close enough to the memorial service that the people there heard her screams and came out to help her. When the people approached, the three men stopped what they were doing, shrugged their shoulders, and let her go. Then they just walked off slowly as if they were not doing anything wrong.

What was the men’s purpose? According to the uneducated South Africans, witch doctors can make men stronger if the men can bring back the right ingredients. The ingredients are not the ones found in children books, however. They are not the spider legs, the frog eyes, or the snake venom. This particular potion requires ears, noses, and tongues. The human kind. So, this lady was actually very fortunate. She only got one ear cut off. If the other people had not been alerted by her screams, she would have lost her other ear, her nose, and lastly, her tongue before the men finished with her.

This is not the only example of the people’s ignorance. Witch doctors have also been telling HIV/AIDS positive men that sleeping with virgins can cure them of that disease. Therefore, South Africa has a lot of young girls that are raped by these men and, in turn, also develop HIV/AIDS. Why do they not use condoms either? That is because the men believe that the promotion of condoms is just a way for the white men to weaken the black men. However, this is all they know. If they are able to be educated, then incidences like these would hopefully stop.

- Victoria Chu

Posted by The Power of 5 - South Africa · Aug 17, 2011