Evil Rites of Passage

Judging from the title you’re probably wondering ‘what on earth is going on?’.

So did I when I watched a segment on BBC News about Hyena men from rural Malawi having unprotected sex – sex for that matter with girls as young as 12 as a “cleansing ritual.” The term Hyena has been adopted to describe the predatory nature of this practice.

It is believed that young pubescent girls need shake off their childhood, hence the sex initiation ceremony with Hyena men.It is also believed that hyenas need to have sex with widows on behalf of the deceased partner – just doing their buddy a favour!

One man has been put on trial his name is Eric Aniva, who is believed to have slept with 104 girls. He is also HIV positive. But the question Malawians are asking is why haven’t other hyenas been put on trial.

Malawian pastor, Paul Mzimu said: “…Greedy and selfish. If I could judge him, I would give him a murder sentence and life imprisonment…”

When you’re educated you can speak up for yourself. Slave masters and White America  in the 18th and 17th century  feared that slaves could be educated. In 1740, the first laws banning slave education came to being in Carolina. The fact is, knowledge is power. These young girls are powerless.

To be educated is not to be cultured like the West but it’s about having morals,understanding and empathy towards others.

It’s a step in the right direction that Aniva has been put on trial, but it’s not so great that the girls did not come forward to give evidence.

I’m really trying to draw a positive conclusion here. But I can’t, I guess we’re at the first stage which is doing our part to raise awareness. We can then contribute to those who are out in the field researching and educating those who are vulnerable to these practices.