Twin boys Itohowo and Kufre stand surrounded by angry villagers who believe they are bringing evil to their lives.
Here are some of the captions of the photographs:
- Twelve-year-old William was abandoned after being labelled a witch.
- Siblings Samuel, 11, Esther, 14, and Sarah, 10, were all abandoned by their parents to a life on the streets after a ‘prophetess’ - female preacher - said they were witches.
- Twin brothers Utomobong and Mbotidem are 11. They were blamed for their parents' separation, beaten and thrown out of their home.
- Angry villagers set upon Udo, 12, with a machete, accusing him of being a witch. His arm was nearly severed.
- Gerry is eight. His father spat petrol over him and set him alight - he blamed Gerry’s sorcery for the loss of his job.
- Twelve-year-old Mary had acid thrown in her face after being accused of being a witch.
- Mary Sudnad is 10. She was seven when her mother poured scalding water and caustic soda over her in a bid to cleanse her of witchcraft.
- Eleven-year-old Mbet was abandoned by her mother when she was six after being accused of being a witch.
Evangelical Christian pastors are preaching that the children are witches. However, they can be cured by paying money to the pastor. I seem to recognize this scheme, even though in America no one already believes in witches, so that business can't be hijacked by the churches, as is the case in Nigeria.
That part doesn't surprise me, though. What really does surprise a great deal is that parents readily give up on their children because of these beliefs. This has been an eye-opener for me. I was not previously aware that parents could act on their beliefs in this way. I thought only Abraham was crazy enough to do that.
But just watch this video:
Related post: Witch hunt in The Gambia.