Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Saving Africa's Witch Children

The programme will be aired next Wednesday (12th) on Channel 4's Dispatches:

From the Guardian (UK) here:

Oscar-nominated actor Sophie Okonedo is to narrate a hard-hitting Dispatches programme for Channel 4 about children in Nigeria who are tortured for being witches.

Channel 4 hopes the film, Saving Africa's Witch Children, will have as much impact as last year's Dispatches documentary, China's Stolen Children.

The programme, which is due to air on Wednesday November 12, will look at the phenomenon of children who are blamed for catastrophes, death and famine and branded witches in some of the poorest parts of Nigeria.

Saving Africa's Witch Children follows Briton Gary Foxcroft, who has devoted his life to raising money to help the children and who works with Nigerian Sam Itauma, who runs a shelter for children accused of witchcraft.

The documentary will feature shocking stories of torture inflicted on children, including a 13-year-old who was tied up with chicken wire and starved and beaten for two weeks, and a 14-year-old girl who was burned with acid before her mother attempted to bury her alive.

One 17-year-old was left brain-damaged after having a three-inch nail driven into her skull.

The film will feature interviews with preachers from the churches that brand children witches or wizards and charge their parents to "exorcise" the spirits.

One preacher, who calls himself "The Bishop", told the programme that he had killed 110 people.

Cameras filmed him as he administered a mixture of pure alcohol, a substance known as "African mercury" and his own blood to one child accused of witchcraft.

The film, a Red Rebel Films and Southern Star Factual co-production, was produced and directed by Mags Gavan and Joost Van der Valk and executive produced by Alice Keens-Soper. It was ordered by the Channel 4 commissioning editor for religion, Aaqil Ahmed.

Okonedo, who was nominated for an Oscar for the movie Hotel Rwanda, has a Nigerian father.


Anonymous,  11:45 am  

What are Nigerian living in Nigeria doing about this thing?

Uzo,  11:48 am  

This is just pure MADNESS!

Giving a child a mixture of alcohol and his own blood? What is this? Killing a CHILD ... a CHILD for witchcraft? In this day and age? WTF??

I am filled with so much disgust and anger at "my" people. I know it might be lack of education or whatever but seriously ... we can't be this daft!

Fred 1:42 pm  

Don't you mean winch?

Standtall 4:01 pm  

Who will save these people from their ignorant? Mind is a terrible thing when it believes things like this

babyblues 8:20 pm  

Omg is this for real? I thought all that killing of witches and ogbanje children ended at least a century ago. That's just crazy. Nigeria still has a long way to go. And to the outraged people, I know it is very very outrageous and disgusting, but it is no different from the Salem witch trials( I am not condoning it) I am just saying cut them some slack, it's just lack of proper education.

ababoypart2 1:18 pm  

I missed the program. This is the mindset that will forever leave Africa a dark continent. The irony is that the so-called men of God seem to perpetuate these crude ideas.

Jeremy 1:11 pm  

Pastor Helen Ukpabio has been sent by God to deliver Nigerian children from demonic possession. Here: http://www.modernghana.com/moviep/3227/3/pageNum1/im-anointed-to-cast-out-witchesevangelist-mrs-hele.html

Anonymous,  3:28 pm  

Pastor Helen Ukpabio has a very interesting interpretation of the Bible. Judge not, yet ye shall be judged - she seems to have forgotten that bit.

Anonymous,  11:08 pm  

I was horrified when watching this programme. The terror in the childrens eyes was heartbreaking.I cried the whole way through.
This cannot go on its madness.
We must stop this!!!!!!

Anonymous,  11:27 pm  

This is disgusting,all the adults and who believe in this witch craft should be hung.
poor chirldren they are inocent,they need to be conforted and looked after and loved

Anonymous,  1:36 am  

Fund raiser set up straight after filmed showed on ch4. Almost £10k in a matter of hours! amazing help hit their target


Pray for this to stop

Anonymous,  2:08 pm  

This was one of the most horrific and sadistic events i have ever known to happen.

The show really makes you put your life into prospective.

The poor children. Being killed by such stupid people. In some ways i don't blame the evil that the African people are doing but i blame the so called preachers. The will all be judged one day and i hope i am there to see it happen.

And as for that awful women who made the movies of the children being witches she should be SHOT!!! Never have i seen such evil.. I can't understand how this can go on in 2008. Fair enough they are stupid people but they know the difference between right and wrong..

This is so WRONG!!!!

Something needs to be done fast!!

lioness 11:23 pm  

A comment somewhere on the net dismissed the channel 4 documentary as unreal and just another attempt to smear Nigerians.

I so desperately wish that was the case but being Nigerian and having been branded Ogbanje or changeling in my childhood, i am afraid it is all real. I was going to be punished and a confession was going to be forced out of me because one day, out of the blue, one of my grand father's numerous wives decided I was a changeling. In Iboland, it was usually pretty, fair complexioned people, mostly girls that were suspected of having a bond with the spirit world. Where else could they have got their good looks?

So what saved me from the impending ordeal? My own parents! Because they were educated and were not going to let ignorant, illiterate village people mess with their daughter. However, whatever they were going to do to me, was never going to be anything as brutal and inhuman as what the channel 4 documentary revealed.

In the channel 4 film, precisely the parents and relatives are perpetrating these horrors on their own children. I was crying all through the documentary. I was always boastful about how Nigeria is a paradise for children. How could I ever say that again now?
Well, one thing is sure: where evil is, there will also be good to throw in a challenge. Anyone who has seen the documentary and is concerned should take some positive action and make some donation to help.
The channel 4 website on the documentary (http://www.channel4.com/news/articles/dispatches/saving+africas+witch+children/2780062) has numerous links to the website of charities fighting for these children. Personally I would prefer donating directly to Sam Itauma, (http://www.crarn.org) the Nigerian hero whose courage triggered the current awareness on the issue.

However, the site is in a bad state and the links are broken. So the next best place to donate would be to stepping stone, the charity of Gary Foxtrot (http://www.justgiving.com/steppingstonesnigeria).

Credit crunch or not, I am making my donation now.

Spida,  9:32 am  

This is so sad for the innocent children's lives which are destroyed by false prophets who's greed for money and control is using God's name for thier benifits, and brain washing God's children by torture and starvation, Read Matthew 18:1-6 The True God we serve who created the earth is a God of Love..Read Mattew 19:13-14 Jesus even says the kingdom of God belongs to his children... This is plain child abuse not from God, but from Man who's greed of money has exceeded their belief in Christ...

Anonymous,  9:55 pm  

Witches are real; the Bible says so. Witches are to be put to death; the Bible says so.

About This Blog

  © Blogger templates Psi by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP