Lifestyle: Things We Misconstrue For Witchcraft In Africa!

2 min

So the other day I was out with some friends and we were reminiscing about our primary school days in Ghana and one friend expressed concern about something that was surprisingly ‘funny’ and quite sad at the same time. The issue of dyslexia in Africa.
According my 23 year old friend, she had problems with reading and memorizing words both in school and in Sunday school, which landed her into a lot of trouble back in the days. In school, she was excessively caned for being a lazy student, though she genuinely tried her best to study, she just couldn’t get anything to stick in her brain.
At church, she was called a witch for not being able to read Bible verses, let alone memorized them. All of Which led to a lot of bullying from her pals, and eventually  causing her to hate school, church and anything that had to do with books and consequently lost the motivation to even try.
At age 13, she relocated to Europe with her family and within a period of 2 months of starting school, her class teacher figured out that she could be dyslexic, so she got tested for it and her teacher was right.
With a little help with organizing her notes and much practice, she just graduated from nursing school at the top of her class. Though my friend’s story had a happy ending, I can’t help by wondering, what if she didn’t relocate?
How many more kids could be suffering with dyslexia in Africa? How many kids have been called witches, wizards, dumb and other discriminative words because they could be dyslexic? What should our governments do about the situation?? Let’s help bring awareness to this issue…
What other things do you think we misconstrue for witchcraft in Africa?

GC Staff Sw


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  1. dis is de best article i ve ever read on dis page…..i know alot of people wid dis condition here in ghana yet i didnt know it was called dyslexia.hmmmm

  2. Yes this is a very good article. We need awareness on these issues. Its not just dyslexia, when I went to Ghana last year and saw my small cousin for the second time since he was a baby, he was very boisterous and loud and generally misbehaved. I’m a medical student, and from his behaviour and other things that his parents said, such as his not sleeping well, I realised that he has ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder). If he were abroad, it would be noticed and diagnosed straight-away, but I don’t know of any medical professional in Accra, or Ghana, who is specialised in child psychiatric disorders, who can diagnose and prescribe the right treatment. I could try and obtain the common prescribed medicine myself and send it to them, but I may do more harm than good, he needs a proper assessment, and I am not qualified for that…
    There are also a woman I know, who was diagnosed with autism when she came to the UK, but when she was growing up as a child in Ghana, her own family denounced her behaviour as witchcraft, and she was forced out of her house to beg on the streets, very very sad and completely preventable. 

    1. @Chantal K, I find it hard to believe that people still hold on to such backwards beliefs, yet I see it’s true. Why aren’t the people being taught that this is complete nonsense? Also, why in the world do they cut the girls hair like a little boy?

  3. Well written article it’s really interesting I read somewhere that  certain African cultures children whose births are considered “abnormal” are labelled as witches then killed or abandoned by their parents “Can some fill me in on that”

  4. @Miyagi, u r so right it happening in the northern region of our country. Govnt n other NGO must really do something to help

  5. Wow… I can also agree that this is one of the best articles I’ve read on here… My former English teacher who taught at an alternative school I attended told us that one of his biggest challenges in his life is being dyslexic….. I didn’t know that anything like that existed until I heard my teachers story. It is very interesting and encouraging to know that he stayed focus and made it through the university even though some of his teachers said discouraging words to him instead of encouraging ones…. Now that I now about this ”disorder” I’m beginning to wonder that how many of those classmates who always came out last in the class ranking were or still are dyslexic…

  6. Glad you all like the article, please share with friends and family, so we can help create awareness and prevent innocent children from being victims of these kinds of maltreatment..Knowledge is power..