All over the world, in different cultures, there are strange beliefs. For instance, in Mexico, facing mirrors open a doorway for the devil so people do not place two mirrors opposite each other.
According to a Filipino tradition called “pagpag”, people never go straight back to the house after a wake, otherwise, a bad spirit might tag along and come inside. Mourners make a stop at a restaurant or store first just in case.
In Turkey, an itchy right hand means you’ll come into some money but an itch on your left means you’ll lose money. In France, stepping in dog poop is actually considered good luck in France if you do it with your left foot. It’s only bad luck if you step on it with your right foot.
As seen from the examples above, superstitions can make people do some very silly things. Extremists use such beliefs as tools to perpetuate evil for personal gains. An example that readily comes to the mind is the crusades of the medieval period.
Today, in Mozambique, at least five men have died in the last two months due to one such superstitious belief. All these five men have one thing in common – being bald. It is unfortunate that what has become a fad in many countries across the world have rendered male counterparts who want to engage in it in Mozambique endangered.
Since the beginning of June, Mozambican Police have been sending warnings to men who have decided to scrap the hair off their heads for one reason or the other to stay safe. Maybe now, they will think again about their resolve to go bald and grow their hair back, which is unfortunate because everyone deserves to look the way they believe makes them feel good and comfortable.
I suppose in this case, caution and safety trumps comfort and looking good. Nobody wants his head cut off and body parts removed to advance a superstitious belief.
Two suspects have been arrested thus far by the police. Hopefully, this should serve as a deterrent to other people who are engaged in this barbaric practice.
Sometime back, it was albinos who were being persecuted and killed because of how they look. At least, the former has the opportunity to change their looks growing their hair back but albinos, they stood not a single chance in the war that was brought against them.
The statistics of these killings are highest in Tanzania, Malawi and South Africa. It is believed that certain body parts of albinistic people can transmit magical powers. It has been spread and exploited by witch doctors and others who use such body parts as ingredients in rituals, concoctions and potions with the claim that their magic will bring prosperity to the user.
Witch doctors are at the center of the attacks on the bald men of Mozambique. They have made their clients believe that the head of bald men contain gold. Others think that assertion is false and that it is merely a ruse by witchdoctors to get clients to take a person’s head to them. The head and other body parts they believe could be used to conjure wealth for their clients.
Yes, all these are ridiculous and sad at the same time. Bald men in Mozambique are living in fear. They are afraid of exposing their scalps. Some stay indoors. Others hide their baldness with caps. Hopefully, the police bring perpetrators to book and end this wicked practice.
Until then, all bald men in Mozambique are advised to stay safe.