Sunday, 8 June 2014

Magu, where elderly women are labelled witches

From The Citizen Daily, Dar es Salaam
By Esther Mngodo

In Mwanza Region’s Magu district, you cannot avoid being called a witch if you are a woman. When your husband dies, you are the one who killed him. And if his wife dies, then it is his mistress that killed her.

Blandina Lucas, 42, a traditional healer in Kahangala village says it scares her that she is a woman; it scares her that she is getting old; it scares her even more that her husband might die before she does. The thought of this terrifies her.

“I am afraid of what might happen to me when I get old, or if my husband dies before I do – God forbid. They will call me a witch of course. And then my life will be over. Even now, when my children go to draw water nearby, people call them names saying that ‘your mother is a witch’. It will worsen when I get older and that scares me,” she says.

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