4 posts

Zimbabwe’s Hyper-Inflation Four Years Later

Roughly four years ago, Zimbabwe experienced one of the worst cases of hyper-inflation in the history of the world. The country was experiencing 165,000% inflation in April of 2008. That’s an insane number. Typically, hyperinflation is said to occur when the monthly inflation rate exceeds 50%. We’re talking about 3300 times that amount. Say the USA was experiencing that rate of inflation. If you went to buy a pack of Marlboros for $7 today, tomorrow it would be worth $39, then next week it would be $221 dollars. A year later, that same pack of cigarettes would cost $11,557. Continue reading

Bad Juju: Sex, Blood, and Witchcraft from Africa to the UK

Gawker has an article today about three women who were arrested in Zimbabwe for alleged sexual assault and were found to have 31 condoms – “some with semen” – stashed in a boyfriend’s car. The author appears entirely baffled as to the nature of the crime, but her description of the press coverage as “slightly witch-hunty” is more accurate than she may realize.

Ritualistic sexual assault is actually just one particularly disturbing aspect of the larger phenomenon of witchraft and ostensibly magical practices that are commonly referred to as “juju” and remain widespread even in relatively developed and educated nations such as Zimbabwe. According to a recent study, sperm (in addition to blood, hair, and worse things) is collected for ritual purposes, often by force: Continue reading