Documenting the journey of a Cameroonian filmmaker

Is witchcraft the curse of African underdevelopment?


Recently I came across an interesting debate on the internet among some Cameroonian intellectuals. A Catholic priest blamed the believe in witchcraft on ignorance and a cultural belief which even the coming of Christianity has been unable to dispel. Quoting from ‘The Genuine Intellectual’ , the epic work of late Prof. Bernard Fonlon of Cameroon, he writes

” What Africa needs to fight imperialism and neocolonialism is capital and knowledge. As regards the former, she has a wealth of natural resources which she can convert. But concerning the latter, the many events now taking place on the continent betray a penury of genuine intellectuals.”

Another person quoted the Holy Bible which states (not in these exact words) in the Acts of the Apostles that:

after healing persons afflicted by diseases, in different circumstances, Peter and then Paul were approached by witch doctors who  made  fortune for themselves and some influential persons in the community to acquire more power to shore up their trade but were both rebuffed and cursed. Now in each of the instances, the witch doctors, thrived on manipulating the fears, ignorance and lack of faith of their victims.  Nevertheless, they indeed possessed the power they professed and used from the devil the liar and trickster.

A few other arguments were put forward, which for the sake of time, I will not write but suffice to say they completely ignored the question above but encouraged the reader to accept that witchcraft exists and to tread with caution. 

My take is, with the influx and growth of Pentecostal churches across the African continent, what ever happened to Bible passages like this:

According to Psalms 34:7 God’s angel guards those who honor the Lord and rescues them from danger. Proverbs 18:10 (NKJV) 10 The name of the Lord is a strong tower; The righteous run to it and are safe. Ephesians 6:16 (NKJV) 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one… and countless more?

Is our belief in the power of the Most High God not enough to bring an end to people patronizing these witchcraft practices? Or do we think that witchcraft is an integral part of our culture that can not be ignored. If yes, what’s your take on the fact that it is stifling the African Continent’s economic growth?




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This entry was posted on September 9, 2013 by in Controversy and tagged , , .
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