By Justine Geoffrey Mkweu..
Eric Aniva who lives in Malawi’s Nsanje district was arrested this week after the president of Malawi Peter Mutharika ordered the police to arrest him. The president’s reaction came after a video that was shot by British Broadcasting Cooperation (BBC) went viral.
In the video, Eric who is HIV positive claims to have slept with 104 women and uncountable girls in a traditional ritual known as ‘hyena’ in English.
According to the people of Nsanje, it is their culture that when a girl child has reached puberty stage, she should sleep with a man, it is also their culture that when a woman’s husband has died, the woman should sleep with the ‘hyena’ to make the spirits of the dead husband rest.
In order to preserve and respect cultures like these and many others, Eric was sleeping with young girls and woman who their husband has just died despite the fact that Eric is HIV positive. After the video that revealed this, Eric Aniva is behind bars.
This comes in the same week in which a man is wanted by the police because the boy he traditionally circumsized died a week after the circumcision.
According to Kasungu Police Public Relations Officer Edna Mzingwitsa the deceased and 4 other young boys were taken for a coming of age cultural circumcision ceremony on 17th July and soon after being circumcised, the deceased was reportedly feeling cold and his parents sent extra beddings on Sunday 24th July 2016.
Mzingwitsa said on Monday the boy was reported dead and the caretaker then took the dead body to his home. The hospital’s postmortem results revealed that the boy died due to severe loss of blood.
After the matter was reported to police, the police have vowed to search and arrest the person who circumsized the boy.
How ever, all these police involvement in the culture have been criticised by some people. According to interviews that news watch reviews has conducted, Malawi does not need to arrest culture as it is the main source of tourism, rather, Malawi should just advance the culture.
“For Eric Aniva, it can be better that the person who plays the ‘hyena’ should be tested for HIV and other STIs and the girls too should be tested rather than killing this culture.
For the boy who died, it can be better if the circumcision should be done in hospitals then the circumsized should be sent back to the place where they are taught culture”, suggested on interviewee concurring with others during the interview.
Culture is the most fundamental aspect for tourism attraction and identity therefore it needs to be kept and advanced than murdering it.