Lesotho: I am called a witch

Date: September 11, 2014
  • SHARE:

My born name is Anna and I was born in 1921. I was born here at Ha-Mapooane and married here to my dear husband, but unfortunately he passed on and we did not live together for that long. We loved each very much and he was a very supportive husband.
We had two children and lost one. My boy did not want anything to happen to me. He took very good care of me; he was a really good boy who knew I was his only parent. In our culture it is normal that when a man marries he changes and does not look after his parents like he used to when he was still single, but that did not happen to me. He was still the same boy I raised, he carried on doing everything that I needed and wanted.
After his burial, things changed. My life was very difficult because he was the only child who was talking care of me. His wife stopped buying food for me. I would sometimes go to bed without eating, and I was very dirty because I did not have soap to wash my clothes. She accused me of witchcraft and said I was the one who killed her husband (my son). I cried so much when I thought how my son respected me and took good care of me, how could I kill my own son? I asked myself this, crying so much.
She would just come to my place and insult me, making a lot of noise and telling people that I was a witch who even killed her own son. She influenced the whole community and everybody looked at me as though I was a witch. My life was so difficult and I did not have neighbours because I was a witch. She took all the things her husband bought for me including my bed; I had to sleep on the floor. My younger girl was not married but had children and my daughter-in-law kicked her out together with the whole community because they said she was a witch like me and I was teaching her. She had to find a place to stay with her children.
It was difficult at my place because I am old and I was staying with orphans and they are now saying that I also killed their parents. When I saw that is was really difficult and they might kill me at night, I decided to move in with my daughter. My son’s wife would still come to my daughter’s place and ask me how I was feeling after killing her husband (my son) I would always cry because I loved my son, he was my only son and he took very good care of me. One day I decided to go to my house just to check and sweep and when we were still far off but could see the house, my grandchild told me that they had dismantled my house; she said “all the stones are down, there is no house”. I just could not believe it. We finally got there and there was no house, everything was broken and I cried so much. My son’s wife came and told me that she was the one who did it, I could not believe her. I reported the matter to the police, but they did not help me. I am now homeless because I am called a witch.

*Not her real name


This story is part of the “I” Stories series produced by the Gender Links News Service encouraging the view that speaking out can set you free.

Comment on Lesotho: I am called a witch

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *