Hypospadias and Nigeria witch hunt

There are lots of similar stories such as Hope’s – children abandoned because of birth defect and ‘minister of God’ proclaiming them to be witch, afterall, all that God created was good and if anything didn’t fit the definition of ‘good’ it must be devil at work.

As we say in Yoruba that ‘Kii buru, buru, ko ma ku eni kan mo ni, eni yi yoo ku ni a ko mo” – no matter how difficult our situation is, there is always someone out there that will understand and help us out but often times, we would not know that person until they show up (or something like that).

Hope of Akwa Ibom found his own God sent help in Ms Anja Ringgren. What an incredible transformation it has been for the little boy, and only within two months – from near death out of starvation to fully recovered and unimaginable help from around the world.

The silence of our friends

Hope when he first met Ms Ringgren in January

Now we learn more about Hope’s birth defect to be hypospadias – “a birth defect of the urethra in the male where the urinary opening is not at the usual location on the head of the penis.”

A bit more explanation on the condition here from Great Ormond Hospital.

Is this why he was thrown out to the street to die slowly? Hope, according to Anja is going to have corrective surgery and hope to recover well.

If there’s one thing that I have learnt with my people, Nigerians, is that ignorance of many things is one thing but what is killing us the most is the inability to be curious about what we do not know. In this day and age, how can one rely on a self-professed religious leaders to be all-knowing when it comes to all subjects under the sun?


Photo credit: Dailymail UK – Hope Now

I am elated that Hope met Ms Ringgren Lovén and I am glad that his medical condition is one that doctors can help with.

Witch hunt is ongoing problem in Nigeria, some are well hidden especially when adults are concerned, here is another one I read the other day that prompts me to check on Hope’s condition:

I wish Mrs Sonaiya left a reference to the rest of this story, but I believed her anyway. In this case too, it was the pastor’s order to keep beating a pregnant woman who is having difficult time progressing through labour. Who should we blame here? The mind-boggling cruel mother who has been through childbirth herself to know how difficult labour can be and that it is never the same for everyone, not even the same experience with children of the same mother. Or the pastor whose only goal was to keep instilling fear into the people and present him or herself as all-knowing?

Sad, sad case we have on our hands with witch-hunt in Nigeria. How do we go about this in a country that claims to be deeply religious but are very primitive in the way they deal with human conditions?

Categories: Africa, Nigeria, Religion, Women

Tags: , ,

15 replies

  1. A hard hitting article, though Nigeria is like a sponge, the more you throw at it, it just soaks it all up and continues along it’s unsuccessful path.
    I have a question, no doubt Akwa Ibom is one of the most “developed” states in Nigeria, that has high numeracy and literacy rates in both males and females, yet accounts such as Hope’s exist. Education doesn’t appear to be making any difference. If not for the intervention of the Dane, Hope may have died at the hands of ‘his people’. What does this say about Nigeria today? One can only dread to think of what is happening in the ‘less developed states’ – it must be a real nightmare come true.
    Thank you for not only revealing such accounts but to keep asking ‘useful’ questions. A lot of which remain unanswered.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you jco.

      What it says about Nigeria? Most of what I know that changed my perspective on things was the way information is readily available in the west. Often I make comparisons and just relieve myself from the burden of searching for answer where non existed.

      Hope’s problem is heightened by a preacher that his family trusted to be mouthpiece of Baba God, as long as people like the preacher move freely without consequences to their actions, no end in sight. Also, the more I think about this the more I appreciate a system whereby parents, once a child is born are held accountable if anything goes wrong.

      Well, it says to take a critical look at some of our issues, is to realise …. (sorry jco, what comes to my mind is terrible)


      • Many thanks FK, it is not an easy question to answer.
        My overall conclusion is that the state cares nothing for the lives and well-being of it’s citizens. Hope, the Chibok girls, the wider victims of Boko Haram are a few of the many instances of abandonment by the state and society in general of the vulnerable and defenceless. The descent is really terrible, one can only have nightmares as to what ‘rock bottom’ will be, and maybe, just maybe people will realise that a change must occur, otherwise it really is ‘countdown to lights out for Nigeria’. The clock is ticking….

        Liked by 1 person

        • Well, I think people for the most part wanted change from the same retrogressive path but majority are still very shamelessly selfish. I don’t think Nigeria is ever going to change for better if we continue to leave rural folks behind, repairing schools, roads so talents from there can shed lights.


  2. Such an up-lifting sight to see Hope so better off now…. Ironic that the best words that come to mind are; “There is a God”…. Not the same one that ‘HAD’ him abandoned Ha Ha HA.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hahaha, you are not the only one with that thought, it’s we, we now! Your second point is why I believe Nigeria witch hunt obsessed preachers have a different God and heaven from the one most people of the world pray to.

      Thank God (the merciful one) for the life of Hope.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The Nigerian story is one that defies a reasonable explanation most of the time. Thinking about it leaves me emotionally drained. Perhaps if there were some way in which the government will invest in programmes that educate the people especially the marginalised in the society in order to bring about a cultural revolution, because most of the problems we have start at the grassroots, lack of information in local communities, translates to birth defects in children being considered as witchcraft, these kids grow up and some of them will become politicians but with the mindset of the communities they came from, how do you expect them to be any better than how they have been taught. In essence, we are producing leaders that reflect our cultural tendencies. Not to say that everything in our culture is undesirable. Please check out my post on the same story. Your comments will be appreciated. Thanks.


    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you for stopping by. I totally agree with you, our leaders are reflective of the society. I agree that we do need programs that enlighten citizens, it needs not be difficult at all but there will be government backing especially for security and safety purposes. Reason people believe in all of these witchcraft is because someone is making money off citizens fear. Undercover to go into establishments and reveal the truths in media will do everyone a lot of benefit.

      Thank you for the link, I’ll check your work out.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Sad stories. But good to see Hope smiling and looking so healthy.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Thank you Leslie. Actually Hope has not done the surgery yet, Ms Ringgren only discovered his his condition during treatment after severe starvation. She wrote it will be done soon – it’s all good news for the boy 🙂

    As for the lady in labour, I agree with you. I wish I could say this is the first of it that I have heard. My people needs a replay back to see how absurd things are with this witch hunt obsession.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I saw this picture, didn’t know the background.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. It was heart wrenching to see little Hope before surgery and so wonderful to see the little child after.
    The thought of being whipped because your labour wasn’t progressing as expected is so cruel. That has to be one of the worst types of torture that I can think of.
    Fola the more you write about these things the better things will become.

    Liked by 2 people

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