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General News of Wednesday, 14 August 2019

Source: Graphic.com.gh

Okomfo Anokye was albino, stop using albinos for juju – Kwaw Ansah to ritualists

Okomfo Anokye Statue of Okomfo Anokye

An award-winning Ghanaian filmmaker, writer, director /producer, Mr Kwaw Paintsil Ansah, has called on the government to help stop the use of albinos for juju in some parts of the country and to abolish the witch camps.

Speaking at the launch of Bisa Aberwa Museum at Nkontompo in the Sekondi/Takoradi Metropolis, Mr Ansah said there was no need for some women to be kept in camps because of some cultural beliefs and practices in this modern era.

“Besides branding old women as witches and dragging them to witches camps, others are waylaying albinos to hack them to pieces and use their body parts for juju money,” he bemoaned.

According to him, history has it that the great Okomfo Anokye, the traditional priest who was the architect of Ashanti unity was an albino. “This should tell us that albinos should not be stigmatised nor maltreated in any way,” he added.

Mr Ansah said it was important to note that those are not people carrying a curse. “If anyone is cursed, it is those who have made money their god and will do anything and everything to amass tonnes of it.”

Mr Ansah, who had created a statue of an African woman holding her albino child in his museum, said: “I had this sculpted to make a statement and I stand here today to pay tribute to some albinos. We are familiar with great names such as Salif Keita, who is one of Africa’s greatest musicians.”

The award-winning filmmaker, therefore, appealed to the First Lady, Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo, who was present at the launch of the museum, to push the campaign to abolish witch camps in the North to save the aged women and their relatives from being maltreated and neglected.

“I doubt if there is any justification for keeping these women who could do something useful to help the economy to be left at such camps all in the name of alleged witchcraft while some greedy people also use albinos for rituals.”

Why not men

Mr Ansah, who loves to project positive cultural values in his movies, asked why men were not subjected to such atrocities and it was mainly women who were always at the receiving end.

“Most men don’t know that their wives go through certain challenges during their menopause and are, therefore, quick to relate some of their conditions to mental disorder, among others.

“Why don’t we have wizards camp and how come mothers and grandmothers of the well to do people are not found at such witches camp?” he queried.

The answer

Mr Ansah explained that “the answer is simple. These are the actions of men looking for someone or something to blame for their own failures in life. They always have to blame someone for their inactions.

For her part, the First Lady commended Mr Ansah for the establishment of the museum which will serve as a reference point for people to conduct research on their African heritage.