Sunday, October 18, 2009

Way to portray Africa as a backwards & animalistic continent... yet again!

I really don't appreciate the Associated Press' title for this subsequent article: Churches denounce African children as "witches". The article talks of African children ridded as witches by their fellow church & family members and as a consequence, forced to swallow acid (for example) as an exorcism. Firstly, I don't believe in witchcraft/witches/exorcism bull-ish, so this article came as a surprise to me. Secondly, why would the title of the article state "African children" when the article specifically talks about Nigerian children, with the exception of one sentence: "Nigeria is one of the heartlands of abuse, but hardly the only one: the United Nations Children's Fund says tens of thousands of children have been targeted throughout Africa."

Yes, it mentions "throughout Africa", meaning the title of the article serves its purpose by stating the continent. However, when 99% of the article is targeting one country, the title should incorporate the country's name. To me, it's just the media's way to once again associate Africa the continent with buffoonary and in a way, extreme nativism. "African children" is such a broad term and gives foreigners the idea that maybe the entire African continent may act in this similar way. The fact that Africa is too often thought of as a COUNTRY does not alleviate the problem. Flipping the script... FINE, let the title say what it says. Write an article then, on AFRICA's problem with child witches... NOT just Nigeria's. Stop making Nigeria the only target.
It's stupid, minor ish like this that makes me mad. -_- Ugh.


Churches denounce African children as "witches"
EKET, Nigeria – The nine-year-old boy lay on a bloodstained hospital sheet crawling with ants, staring blindly at the wall. His family pastor had accused him of being a witch, and his father then tried to force acid down his throat as an exorcism. It spilled as he struggled, burning away his face and eyes. The emaciated boy barely had strength left to whisper the name of the church that had denounced him — Mount Zion Lighthouse. A month later, he died.

Nwanaokwo Edet was one of an increasing number of children in Africa accused of witchcraft by pastors and then tortured or killed, often by family members. Pastors were involved in half of 200 cases of "witch children" reviewed by the AP, and 13 churches were named in the case files.
Some of the churches involved are renegade local branches of international franchises. Their parishioners take literally the Biblical exhortation, "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live."

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