Malawians have questioned the credibility of former Malawi Big Brother Africa representative Natasha Tonthola’s comments regarding Malawi’s “hyena” culture.
This follows Natasha’s interview with BBC radio few days ago where she spoke about the abuses she suffered due to Malawi’s traditional beliefs.
She said at her early tender age she was taken to initiation ceremony where women teach girls how to have sex with their future husbands. She added that she and other initiates were blindfolded and the ‘hyena’ (older man) came and sexually abused them.
She said it was very uncomfortable for her during sex time but when the men were done, women came and congratulated the girls saying they had passed the test to womanhood.
Natasha also told the radio that she was married to an abusive husband.
But Malawians who listened to her comments were not amused and labeled her a bad person for “selling lies” and trying “to gain cheap fame.”
Some Malawians took to social media saying there is no truth in Natasha’s story and they asked her to go back home and do another research since “she has little knowledge on Malawi’s cultural practices as she spend most of her time in South Africa.”
Others accused her of twisting her story so that she could get funding for an organisation she founded called Mama Africa foundation.
But there were also Malawians who agreed with her saying the issues she talked about really happen.
“What part is she lying about? That these practices never happened? I remember reading about these practices in one of the Form 3 Chichewa literature books and Madonna’s documentary “I am because we are” also mentioned this hyena culture. I was not surprised listening to the BBC expose. While these incidents are isolated and not representative of Malawi culture it is an injustice to the victims when we deny that these practices still exist,” said one the Malawians.
Malawi’s hyena culture got headlines on the international scene after the BBC interviewed a Malawian man who admitted to have slept with over 100 girls and young women.