Nsanje chief, residents demand BBC apology over ‘hyena’ report

Stakeholders in Nsanje district have responded angrily to British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) recent report entitled ‘the man hired to have sex with children’ which portrayed that some men are hired to sleep with underage girls through a sexual cleansing ritual called ‘kusasa fumbi’.

From left to right: Aniva, Fanny with their youngest child, Fanny's sister and a former client

From left to right: Aniva, Fanny with their youngest child, Fanny’s sister and a former client

A report published on BBC on July 21, 2016, which quoted Eric Aniva 45 also exposed an alleged practice in which women who lose their husbands are taken for death cleansing before burial of their husbands which Senior Chief Malemia and other stakeholders claim is not in the district’s cultural system.

During the meeting held in the district Tuesday, stakeholders said they are very angry with the story as it is not representing the truth of Sena culture.

“What is in the report is a mix up of different cultural practices that were being practiced in other district and not in Nsanje. For instance, here in Nsanje, we do not have this culture of girls having sex with a paid sex worker known as ‘Hyena’ once they reach puberty as rituals.

“It is even false to claim that when a man dies, his wife is required by tradition to sleep with a hired man before being buried. It is a total misrepresentation of facts that aimed at tainting the image of the district but also the country as a whole.

“I have no kind words for the BBC reporter as his news item does not paint a true picture of the Sena culture. We are questioning the intention of Ed Butler who wrote the story as his story is not representing the truth of their culture,” said Senior Chief Malemia.

Senior Chief Malemia said the culture of sexual cleansing after the death of a man has been modified as when a man dies, they use another family or relations to do it on their behalf and not hiring man to do it with the widow.

One of the many stakeholders attended the gathering Sustainable Rural Community Development (SURCOD) are demanding an apology from the BBC.

SURCOD Executive Director January Mvula says the story has destroyed their image hence the need for an apology.

“We the Sena are not the fools. If you read that vague story, you will find that it has a mixed up of cultural practices which are not practiced in Nsanje district. In real sense, Aniva would have been arrested for cheating on issues that are not happening in the district. As a district, we are demanding an apology from the BBC.

Meanwhile Eric Aniva 45, of Mbenje village in the area of Chief Ngabu in the lower shire district is currently on remand at Nsanje prison awaiting trial scheduled for August 5, 2016.

He is currently answering a holding charge of prohibition of harmful practices under section 5 sub sections 1-2 of Gender Equality Act of 2013 which he is admitting.

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Changalikandu Pwagu
Guest
Changalikandu Pwagu
1 month 25 days ago
Chief Malemia and the useless SURCOD executive are saying nothing to disprove the existence of the primitive and savage practice of sexual cleansing among the Sena. What you’re saying is that instead of hiring someone like Aniva, families now engage a relative to perform the barbaric act. It’s the same thing you idiots! Such practices have no place anywhere in the 21st century and should have been banned a long time ago. Why cling to such a harmful and primitive cultural practice, you empty-headed Sena tribal dunderheads? The onset of HIV/AIDS and modernity should be enough to discredit the role… Read more »
John Dimingu
Guest
1 month 25 days ago
Those who understand different cultural practices in Malawi should know which practice is done in which tribe or district and how it is done. The same name of cultural practice is done differently in different parts of Malawi. One such common one is “Fisi/Hyena”. For example in many districts in central region fisi is someone who come in a family where they are finding it difficult to bear children and the husband is believed to be the culprit. In the lake shower districts of Machinga, Mangochi, Balaka and the lomwe districts Fisi is more to do with initiation ceremonies. It… Read more »
Tikondane
Guest
Tikondane
1 month 26 days ago

Kunama amfumu. Kusimba kumapita kumene the underaged.

be humane
Guest
be humane
1 month 26 days ago

Chief Malemia you are saying you dont hire but get a relation. To do What????????

brexit
Guest
brexit
1 month 26 days ago

Chief Malemia, are you sure your people are not practising that culture? Then what is it that have been modified? When was it modified? Foolish Nsena. You do everything, even a man marrying his sister in-law while he is still with her elder sister.This is very sensitive issue. watch out my dear.Aniva is gone, ten years for just his own soft mouth.That story will make that journalist rich while Aniva is languishing in prison. Jack up all senas.

Drakest
Guest
Drakest
1 month 26 days ago
I agree with TA Malemia and the Nsanje grouping, some of the cultural practices being alleged in newspapers and the reporter are a mixture of cultures practiced in all Districts in Malawi. The fact is the Sena practice the Kulowakufa culture not the cleansing one, that one is done in the Yao belt when they force their children to go for initiations and genital mutilations and its not found in the Sena Culture. People are trying to justify the BBC recordings, please go and listen carefully what Aniva Said and the accompanying comments by the BBC reporter. Since Malawians fear… Read more »
Tikondane
Guest
Tikondane
1 month 26 days ago

Nanunso bodza mudzaleka liti kodi? Zoona mukufuna nkhalambazi zidziwagonabe anawa? Mulibe ana atsikana, eti!!!!!

Jigidi Jaba
Guest
Jigidi Jaba
1 month 26 days ago

Point of correction my friend. Yaos initiate their girls indeed, but such initiations do not involve the genital mutilations you have mentioned. I know there are very many men from your culture who have had carnal knowledge of yao women; ask them and they will confirm to you that yao women have their genital accessories intact. Please let notemotions push you into saying things based on ignorance.

Gee
Guest
1 month 26 days ago

Following

The Patriot
Guest
The Patriot
1 month 26 days ago

Amazing rebuttal!
Here is a group trying to deny that a man had sex, even if there were not there! This will not benefit anyone,,,,,,thus guy has even pleaded guilty to the charges and yet someone somewhere wants us to believe that the sexual encounters never happened.
It seems these people did not listen to the full documentary…..there were even girls who testified to have been forced by their sena families to sleep with this hyena!
Simple advice: dont waste time defending your tribe…..route out this hyena rotten cultural practice otherwise all of us now know…..atsikana a Chisena……nkhabe!!!

Drakest
Guest
Drakest
1 month 26 days ago

So you seem to be more knowledge of the Sena Culture than the guardians? My friend if you went to school go and listen to the interviews carefully rather than believe in everything the whiteman says, thats why people of Malawi are failing to develop they believe a lot that what a white man says in true and final and the whole Malawi is shaken by a report that is laced with lies

Tikondane
Guest
Tikondane
1 month 26 days ago

Go and sleep!!! Osanama pano!!!

Vains
Guest
Vains
1 month 26 days ago

Palibe chamber chomwe mukunena. In all what you saying I can’t see the development attached. No any country has ever developed because of serial related culture

MISUKU BOY
Guest
MISUKU BOY
1 month 26 days ago

But I understand some hyenas are on the run and police is after them, can you tell me why they are running? Call a spade by its name this culture is there finish.

Tikondane
Guest
Tikondane
1 month 26 days ago

Well asked!!!

Aliko
Guest
Aliko
1 month 26 days ago

A chief whether you hire or relation does that, that we are trying to say the culture is infringing the peoples rights. this must stop. Pokawauza mumati chiani if he was not his husband ndiye ndi hireyotu. Nanga munthu mwamuna wake wafa ndiye mumutengere mwamuna woti siwake a Aids amuna akewo. Si utsiru umenewo. its very unfornatute that you do not see anything wrong in this culture

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