Tag Archives | Africa

Swaziland Outlaws ‘Rape-Provoking’ Clothing

Picture: Julia70(CC)

The African nation of Swaziland has just made “If she didn’t want it then she shouldn’t have dressed that way” its national policy:

Via Raw Story:

Police in Africa’s last absolute monarchy Swaziland have banned women from wearing miniskirts and midriff-revealing tops saying they provoke rape, local media reported on Monday.

Offenders face a six-month jail term under the ban, which invokes a colonial criminal act dating back to 1889.

“The act of the rapist is made easy, because it would be easy to remove the half-cloth worn by the women,” police spokeswoman Wendy Hleta was quoted as saying in the Independent Online news.

The ban also applies to low-rise jeans. “They will be arrested,” she said.

Hleta said women wearing revealing clothing were responsible for assaults or rapes committed against them.

Fight back the bile and keep reading.

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More Than 100 Graves In Benin Robbed For Organs For Voodoo Rituals

Even after death, you may still be of use to the living. Via Reuters:

Tomb raiders have dug up more than 100 graves at a cemetery in Benin since Saturday for what authorities suspect is a black-market trade in human organs and skulls for voodoo ritual fetishes. The incident is the most serious case of grave-robbing in the West African state, the world capital of voodoo where most of the country’s 9 million residents practice a benign form of the official religion.

Authorities in Dangbo began an investigation after a mason working at the cemetery said he spotted several masked men digging up the graves, from which organs and skulls were removed. “The desecration of graves is about money in this region,” said Joseph Afaton, director of the cemetery. “It is for sacrifices, or for bewitching.”

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When Predator Drones Acquire Minds Of Their Own

A preview of the uprising of the machines, from the Washington Post‘s glimpse into a secretive U.S. military base in the Horn of Africa:

Camp Lemonnier is the centerpiece of an expanding constellation of half a dozen U.S. drone and surveillance bases in Africa, created to combat a new generation of terrorist groups across the continent.

As the pace of drone operations has intensified in Djibouti, Air Force mechanics have reported mysterious incidents in which the airborne robots went haywire.

In March 2011, a Predator parked at the camp started its engine without any human direction, even though the ignition had been turned off and the fuel lines closed. Technicians concluded that a software bug had infected the “brains” of the drone, but never pinpointed the problem.

“After that whole starting-itself incident, we were fairly wary of the aircraft and watched it pretty closely,” an unnamed Air Force squadron commander testified to an investigative board, according to a transcript.

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Legendary Monsters Of Africa

Mental Floss has a nice rundown of supernatural monstrosities of traditional African folklore, including ghost apes, flying reptiles, and, at right, the one-eyed Popobawa bat and airborne vampiric pest the Adze:

The Popobawa is a fairly recent manifestation reported in Zanzibar and Tanzania. The creature is a demon who appears as a normal human by day, and a one-eyed, bat-winged monster at night. The Popobawa attacks and sodomizes both men and women in the dark of night. Reports of attacks come every few years, with a large number in 1995 attributed to mass hysteria.

The Adze is a vampire in the legends of the Ewe people of Ghana and Togo. It takes the form of a firefly, but if you capture one, it will revert to human appearance. In the insect form, the adze will suck your blood while you sleep and spread disease, which is a possible explanation for malarial outbreaks.

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Chimps Attacking Humans In Revenge For Habitat Destruction?

Does this portend a future war between apes and humanity? Local media in the Democratic Republic of the Congo are interpreting a spate of chimp violence perpetrated against people as motivated by revenge. Via New Scientist:

Habitat loss may be to blame for an apparent spate of violent attacks by chimpanzees on humans in the war-torn eastern region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Mistrust of chimpanzees has been heightened by local media reports, which suggest that as many as 10 people have been killed and 17 injured by chimps, in acts that were reported as “revenge attacks” for people encroaching on their territory.

Klaus Zuberbuhler, a psychologist at the University of St Andrews in Fife, UK, and scientific director of the Budongo Conservation Field Station in Uganda, says restricting the chimps’ habitat can certainly affect their behaviour, though it is debatable whether the chimps’ aggression towards humans is a form of revenge.

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Nigerian Woman Gives Birth to “Funny Creature”

Picture: Liza Phoenix (CC)

AllAfrica.com reports that a Nigerian woman gave birth to a horse-like creature this past Tuesday at the World Liberation Ministry in Benin City:

The woman, we were told, had been in her matrimonial home for 11 years without a baby and the pastor said there was ‘a woman here for 11 years, no child,’ that the person always got pregnant but whenever she went for test, it will show and at another time it will not show again”.

Ogbovoh continued: “So the woman came out and the pastor said ‘let us put you in an all night on Friday, but the woman pleaded with the congregation to go on with the prayers since she may not be able to wait. So the pastor now agreed. The pastor called her and asked the men to give little space and the pastor insisted that something inside the woman was not a human being, he said it was a funny creature.

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Rock, Rock, Rock Python!

According to the UK’s Mirror News, a couple on safari picked up an unwanted hitchhiker: a 16 foot-long rock python. The car’s owner flipped the hood and waited for it to exit the vehicle, thereby crossing what I call the “Oh, hell no!” barrier.

Rock pythons are a relatively common form of constrictor found in Africa’s tropical jungles, where they commonly reach lengths of 20 feet. While the rock python, like most snakes, normally avoids contact with human beings, when cornered they can quickly become aggressive. There are several documented incidences of the species killing and even consuming people, mostly children. Despite this, they’re readily available in the American pet trade, a fact that came under national scrutiny following the 2009 death of a two year-old child that was strangled in her bed by her mother’s boyfriend’s escaped python.

Rock pythons, like several other breeds of exotic constrictors, have established breeding populations in the Florida everglades.… Read the rest

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Inside Ghana’s Witch Camps

Imagine life in a remote town comprised entirely of “witches.” The BBC explains:

When misfortune hits a village, there is a tendency in some countries to suspect a “witch” of casting a spell. In Ghana, outspoken or eccentric women may also be accused of witchcraft – and forced to live out their days together in witch camps.

The camps are said to have come into existence more than 100 years ago, when village chiefs decided to establish isolated safe areas for the women. They survive by collecting firewood, selling little bags of peanuts or working in nearby farms.

“The camps are a dramatic manifestation of the status of women in Ghana,” says Professor Dzodzi Tsikata of the University of Ghana. “Older women become a target because they are no longer useful to society.”

Women who do not conform to society’s expectations also fall victim to the accusations of witchcraft, according to Lamnatu Adam of the women’s rights group Songtaba.

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The Fantastical Burials Of Ghana Coffin

In our new age, how does one leave the realm of Earth with style and flair? In contrast to the traditional staid wooden box, the Accra-based Ghana Coffin carpentry collective carves custom coffins in every shape imaginable, including lizards, cruise ships, cigarettes, pianos, cell phones, popsicles, and (for infants) computer mice:

We are at the very beginning the fifties. Perhaps a fisherman, or then a cultivator, inquired to Kane Kwei about the possibility of having a coffin in the form of boat. Or of an onion. To bury a parent fisherman or cultivator. Kane Kwei honored the order.

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