Village Kitchen

It Takes a Village….?

It takes a village. That village, raising children, is this how they do it? Do they allow a child be taken from his home, interrogated, molested, resulting in permanent physical damage, by someone who says they are “called by god?”
A recent report in the ‘Bush Chicken’ records the treatment of a fourteen year old accused of wizardry in relation to his father’s prolonged illness. When he would not confess, cloth was placed around his neck and lit on fire to encourage him to speak the truth. “I’ve been called by god over seven years now,’ the self-proclaimed prophet explained, in justifying his actions.
The child’s father has multiple wives, and his own mother is dead. Forced to live with a step-mother he became the target of half-siblings, who blame him for their father’s ill health.
There are several beliefs that have allowed this to happen. The first is to believe the father’s illness is the result of some curse or action against him.
The second is to believe that a self-declared prophet has divine power to prove their assumption.
The other belief is that as people we do not believe or trust one another but prove things by spiritual means.
The case shows the conflicted values of the children who want to prove the cause of their father’s illness yet are not willing to take the medical diagnosis as being true, choosing to believe it to be a ‘spiritual’ problem. It seems they also believe that our lives should not have problems or sickness, and if we do it is caused by someone acting against us in the spiritual realm.
Someone who calls themselves a ‘man of god,’ is expected to do what? Does he speak for god, act on god’s behalf, represent god’s will? Who can certify him? How do we know he is genuine and what evidence is there of the god he works for? The blindness of the children to reason and evidence is shown by their unwillingness to trust in medical knowledge, an unwillingness to trust the testimony of their half-brother and yet a willingness to subject him to the violence and abuse of a man, who at least is cruel, and works for a cruel god.
But my primary question is, what type of village allows this? It is a sick village.
There are perhaps many ways to acquire this sickness within a village (community, society). The one thing is a failure to take responsibly for ourselves or those we should care for.
Another way we acquire this sicknesses is to act as if we are powerless yet others have power and we must fear them and give them authority in situations.
A third problem here is a refusal to accept truth and choose rather the path of violence and fear.
Finally, the boy was discovered by a caring reporter, and taken for treatment. The police arrested the prophet. But still, the perpetrators of this crime are not being called to account. This is a failure again, for taking responsibility or holding others responsible for their choices and beliefs. Would you let this village raise your child?

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