“Witches” go wild: We are not prostitutes

The Ghanaian Chronicle, Sat, 12 Jun 2010

Perceived witches at the six witches’ camps in the Northern Region have poured their venom on journalists, for causing with impunity, what they termed dehumanized, degrading, and false publications that sought to portray them as prostitutes.

The aggrieved witches, who are between the ages of 45 and 80 years, lamented that one of the Ghana’s finest newspapers, a fortnight ago, carried a front page story indicating that the survival or livelihoods of the witches, largely depended on prostitution, where they sleep with men for Gp50 and GH¢1.00 or sometimes in exchange for food.

The ‘witches’ expressed these concerns at the Nabuli Witches Camp in Gushegu, when the District Chief Executive (DCE) for the area, Alhassan Fuseini, visited, and made some donations to them.

The witches, who felt embarrassed about the publication, and had apparently vowed not to allow any journalist to visit their camps, asked the DCE to send back the team of journalists who had followed him before they would accept the donation.

It took Mr. Fuseini almost an hour to calm them, and assure them of a damage-repair story to redeem their image, or correct the bad impression created.

The Majazia of the Nabuli Witches Camp, Nandjoo Sakpam, 62 years, complained that the publication had caused them great misfortune, as some religious organisations and their relatives, who used to take care of their needs periodically, had all withdrawn their charitable gestures.

She indicated that even though their communities had rejected them, and most Ghanaians now see them as outcasts, they still try to maintain their God-given integrity and respect, since the majority of them used to hold enviable positions in their communi-ties before they were proclaimed witches.

“Some of us have children who are doctors, teachers, nurses, bankers, and even in the universities. We also have husbands who are in good standing in the society, who still have faith in us, and cherish us the way we are.

“People should not forget that we have found ourselves in these camps, simply because of our bad and dehumanised cultural practices, because when you are to talk about witchcraft, I can tell you that it is found in every home in Ghana, and even some of you journalists are also witches and wizards,” Majazia Sakpam remarked.

However, Alhassan Fuseini and the District Gender Desk Officer, Madam Raby Osman, apologised on behalf of the Ghanaian media, and equally appealed to them, to always be circumspect in their reportage.

They also entreated the media to learn how to conceal certain information, especially when they know the repercussions of their publication could cause unpleasant situations for others.

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