Having ritual sex in some remote places in Malawi seems to be no serious issue. According to residents in these areas, it’s a tradition for girls to engage in a sexual relationship with a certain man who has been hired to do so. The ritual sex between this man, known by the villagers as the ‘hyena’, and the young girls takes place when the girls reach puberty and this isn’t seen to mean rape at all.
The ritual sex exercise is considered as a “cleansing” activity.
According to a BBC report, Eric Aniva who has been lame in one leg since birth is the prominent “hyena” in his community. “Hyena” is a traditional title that is given to any man who is contracted in remote communities in Southern Malawi to offer the services of a ‘cleansing’ sex.
As an example, it goes that if a man dies his wife is traditionally obliged to go to bed with Aniva before any burial can take place. Also, if a woman indulges in abortion she is required to meet the ‘hyena’ for the ritual cleansing.
In Nsanje, one of the remote villages where the sexual ritual cleansing takes place girls are forced to have sex for three days after their first menstruation. This is done to complete a transition from childhood to womanhood.
You know what? It is believed that if the teenage girls refuse to partake in the sexual ritual cleansing, some ill luck or fatal disease could rain on them, their families or the entire village.
Hear Aniva explaining: “Most of those I have slept with are girls, school-going girls,”
“Some girls are just 12 or 13 years old, but I prefer them older. All these girls find pleasure in having me as their hyena. They actually are proud and tell other people that this man is a real man, he knows how to please a woman.”
And he has preferences? Where is the tradition in it?
Is it true that the girls hail him for his sexual prowess? That doesn’t seem to be the case.
“There was nothing else I could have done. I had to do it for the sake of my parents,” said Maria, one of his victims. “If I’d refused, my family members could be attacked with diseases – even death – so I was scared.”
Aniva who is thought to be about 40 years old, though, is married to two wives. They are all aware of what he does. He makes claims of having slept with 104 girls and women, which is a similar number he told the media outlets in 2012. It’s obvious that he no longer has records of his encounters with his sex partners.
Aniva explains that he is one of the 10 hyenas in his community, with every village in Nsanje having their own hyena. They receive payments ranging from $4 to $7 each time.
What we see here is a complete network of spreading diseases like HIV/AIDS and infringement on the sexual rights of the teenage girls.
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