Just watched the part 2 of Welcome to Lagos on BBC2 this evening and found one section the most interesting.
Without going into much detail about the documentary, there was a section where one of the main characters the narrator is following as part of the show calls in a herbalist to perform charms to protect his son.
The herbalist cuts the young man with a razor blade and does charms to the small razor cuts. Then the herbalist does other practices and gives charms that guarantee safety. The father believes that by performing these rituals, his son will be protected if he is shot, stabbed or attacked in anyway.
These practices are prevalent around the world, not only in Lagos. Even in England, people have charms they use that they believe will protect them or bring them good luck.
Fear leads us to do various things. The father’s fear that something bad could happen to his son, in this case death; prompts him to subject his son to what we in the western world would call crazy practices and even a form of child abuse.
I know if a patient came in saying their father subjected them to what this man did for his son, we would be raising it as a child protection issue.
Don’t get me wrong, the father had a right to be fearful for his son especially if they are in a dangerous area and the son is not acting responsibly.
But is there a point when our fears become irrational?
Is there a cultural aspect to fear and how it is dealt with in different communities?
Is it possible for fear to control people to the point that they subject themselves to unlawful and morally questionable things?
What do you think? Please share below.
May God bless and keep you in His presence forever, Amen
Dr Elizabeth F Babatunde