Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Manifestation of Evil?

I have been incredibly disturbed by the story of Ramadhani Mussa, the youth who killed and ate parts of 3-year-old Salome Mbatia. It is one thing to try and regard instances of sociopathy in Europe or some place far from me, but the thought of coming across someone like Ramadhani creeps me out completely. Is this what evil actually looks like? Slithering amidst us in a schoolboy uniform?

I normally shy away from using the word evil but in this instance I can't really think of a more appropriate term. Is Ramadhani a sociopath, a psychopath, cracked-nut-crazy? Maybe not. After all, he and his mother have apparently been practicing cannibalism as part of their, um, witchcraft (another term I don't like) for a number of years now. Just a part of their religious observation. A bit reminiscent of the body and blood of Christ, come think of it...

What makes this uncomfortable is that it is a cultural practice that we sanction. Maybe not all of us, and maybe not in the glaring light of day, but this is the same guy who entertained us a few months ago with stories of falling out of an ungo during a night-time flight to who-knows-where on some dark mission. Haha, what a funny/strange human interest story. Nevermind that we feed his bloodthirst everytime we resort to consorting with witches and warlocks in search of money, power, love. Who fuels the trade in albino body parts? We do.

And we are ill-equipped to deal with this head on. I wonder if the mental health experts, the police, the courts have what it takes to cope with such cases. With the reports of witch-hunts and the trade in human skins, I have a feeling Ramadhani is not going to be the last of his kind to make the papers.

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