Custom in some parts of southern Malawi dictates that a man, known as a "hyena", is paid to have sex with bereaved widows to exorcise evil spirits and to prevent other deaths from happening. But my arrest, prosecution and even imprisonment will not stop others from practising a custom which has been in existence for over 100 years," Aniva said outside court.Such men are hired by families to have sex with recently widowed women in order to put to rest the spirit of the deceased, or with girls, after their first menstruation, to mark their passage into adulthood.During school holidays, children spend some weeks at initiation camps where they are taught household chores and how to conduct themselves once married.
Harriet Chanza of the World Health Organization said that in many agrarian communities, 'There's nothing like adolescence.
You are either a child or an adult' Joyce Mkandawire, the communications advisor for the Girls Empowerment Network said many girls are often not given the choice and sometimes adult men (known as hyenas) are hired by the girl’s own parents. Along with an education and childhood cut short, girls suffer a traumatic initiation into sexual relationships, are put at risk of domestic violence and STI's, and have the chance of a career or better life taken away.
It is not known how widespread such practices are in Malawi, where they are believed to take place especially in the south.
Some people fear that if they are not performed, illness or other misfortunes can befall the family or community, locals said.
A Malawi court has convicted an HIV-positive man who had confessed to having sex with 104 girls and widows in traditional "sexual cleansing" rituals.
Eric Aniva, 45, was found guilty on Friday on two counts after a one-day trial in a packed courtroom in the district of Nsanje. that the state has proved beyond reasonable doubt that the accused was engaging in harmful practices," the magistrate, Innocent Nebi, said.We are not against the cultural practice of chinamwali (initiation) but the government wants children to go to school," he said.According to Sulumba, many traditional chiefs have supported the torching of the shacks being used as initiation camps because the new school year is now in session."There is realisation amongst most chiefs that initiation ceremonies are linked to teenage pregnancies and child marriages.Women in the country continue to make headlines on the social media with nude video, the latest being a woman from area 18 in Lilongwe.The development comes barely a week after another video of a Malawian women based in Ireland filming himself in front of Camera as Fanny Katoleza of Blantyre Bangwe did.In the minutes long video clip seen by Faceof Malawi, the woman starts by using her finger to pleasure herself while she is licking a green banana.