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BBI partner in Cameroon combats superstition with knowledge gained via Critical Thinking workshop

Posted: Sun, February 18, 2018 | By: Cameroon

​by Samuel

ESARDEF is community based not-for-profit organization in Buea, Cameroon in Sub Saharan Africa. We all hail from vulnerable forest communities where living conditions remains deplorable, but we all hope for better improvement in living conditions thru developmental initiatives that will lead to vibrant and sustainable livelihoods for all in the area.

As to our local superstitions, there exist many but after the workshop which was term ‘‘The Generation of Critical Thinkers’’ some were discarded as well as doubted, and we believe more will still be discarded as times passes.

Beginning with our forest community and traditional myth about rainbow, before the workshop, participants believed rainbow is a medium of communication between gods and goddess of two or more rivers. And when it is seen on the sky, every person who finds his/herself in a river runs out immediately for the fear of an unknown spiritual attack or ailment, but after the workshop they were able to find out the scientific truth about rainbow which is; Rainbows happen when sunlight and rain combine in a very specific way. The beams of sunlight separate into the colors we see in the rainbow as they enter a raindrop. Sunlight is actually made up of different colors that we don’t usually see. When a beam of sunlight comes down to Earth, the light is white.

Using internet to find truth against local superstitions on rainbow and albinos
Using internet to find truth against local superstitions on rainbow and albinos

Secondly, the participants had beliefs that the renounce Mount Cameroon has a deity that controls the mountain and protects the immediate local inhabitants around the slopes. To them this god is the strongest force so far and needs to be worshipped and fed with an albino yearly, and it was an honor for a family to be selected to feed the god with an albino.

They also attribute the eruption of Mount Cameroon in 2000 and the others years that precedes to be an omission of the people not feeding the god, or better still on time. After the work shop, they reasoned out that; an eruption is as a result of Magma rising through cracks or weaknesses in the Earth’s crust, and when this pressure is released, as a result of plate movement, magma explodes to the surface causing a volcanic eruption. The lava from the eruption cools to form new crust. Over time, after several eruptions, the rock builds up and a volcano is formed.

Thirdly, before now, they belief an albino is an abomination to any family, as such, should be sacrifice to the god. But today, they all realized is a defect in one of several genes that produce or distribute melanin causes albinism. The defect may result in the absence of melanin production, or a reduced amount of melanin production. The defective gene passes down from both parents to the child and causes albinism.

Again, some expressed their doubts that giving money to church for future riches is deceitful, rather it should be used for investments that will yield more turnover to help mankind directly or indirectly.

It was concluded that, the study of science promotes critical thinking and should be promoted more than other disciplines as it explains and contradicts many myth and superstitions especially in Africa where so much superstition has killed critical thinking and reasoning making the active population very lazy and unproductive. They finally expressed the sincere gratitude to BBI and ESARDEF.

[BBI note: It seems incredible, implausible that albinos are sacrificed in 2018 to appease a volcano god. Doubting this, I sought evidence online… and found it. Here’s an article: https://www.voanews.com/a/cameroons-albinos-fight-prejudice-106312068/156587.html)


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