Unlike the first witch we spoke to, this lady admits to having carried out witchcraft and confesses to having killed several people using her supernatural powers. She was doing it purely to protect her family, but was banished to Gnani when she was found out. Since coming to the witches’ camp at Gnani, her paranormal powers have been extinguished...more
We talked to a couple of the witches (through the interpreter). This lady has been in the village for four years. One of the other ladies in her native village was taken ill, and the husband accused her of being the perpetrator and causing the illness by witchcraft. She denies any involvement, and was found ‘not guilty’ at the trial, but was...more
As with all villages we visited, one of the best memories from Gnani was the interaction with the people – especially the children. You don’t need to know the language, or at least not many words. We learn how to say hello in the local language, and this small gesture went a long way. I have no idea how it is spelt, but it sounded something like...more
As usual, we carried all our supplies with us, and the staff set up the table and chairs and by the time we’d put up our tents and had our cold bucket showers, there were bowls of olives, peanuts and pickles on the table, as well as bottles of local whisky and gin. Very civilised. Diner consisted of Carrot Soup followed by couscous with tomato sauce and mutton. Prepared beautifully, as always, by our own chef Daniel.
Ghanaians are great story tellers and that evening, around the beautiful camp fire, Noah was telling us some stories that his aunt had told the children when he was young. Stories full of morals and feel-good factors, about how good triumphs over evil. The expression “do good and you will see good; do evil and you will see evil” kept coming up again and again. It was a different sort of evening, and one I will remember for a very long time.
If you are interested in knowing more about witchcraft in Ghana, or the plight of women in general or witches in particular, check out these links. Women in GhanaGhana's Witches, scratching where it itchesThe Modern Day Witch HuntWitches appeal for government intervensionA video was made about Ghani village by National geographic – follow this link...more
Witches can be men or women (and even children), and although I have been led to believe that there are about 200 men at the village, the vast majority of the witches we saw in Gnani were in fact older women. Not forgetting the most powerful of all the witches in the village – the chief! He has the power to purify the newcomers and destroy the...more
Unfortunately, the age old tradition of witchcraft is being much abused as a way of ‘disposing of’ elderly relative that the family no longer can afford, or wish to, look after. This is especially true of older women who find themselves widowed. Younger members of the family, who find themselves unable or unwilling to look after her, will seek out...more
On the outskirts of Gnani village, on our walk back to the Mission, we saw some villagers making adobe bricks. Mud and cow dung is mixed with a little water at the time and worked together thoroughly by treading on it until the right consistency is achieved. Most of the houses in this area are made from adobe and daub and wattle with straw roofs.