Interview of Fr. Martin Trieb O.S.B. with Fr. Gérard T. Lagleder O.S.B.

How does a Zulu perceive sickness, e.g. AIDS?

The traditional Zulu who worships the ancestors and believes in evil spirits, knows only three possible causes for evil. The first one is “somebody has bewitched me and therefore I am in trouble.” The second is that the ancestral spirits are angry with we because I have not sacrificed enough to them and the third is that some other evil spirits haunt me in my life. It is more than understandable that somebody, who lives with these beliefs and has nothing to do with “human immunodeficiency viruses” cannot understand what it is all about, that he does not know what germs are and that he is supposed to protect himself from them. Therefore it is sometimes very difficult for us to attend to people, because there are patients admitted who say “I have been poisoned, witchcraft medicine was mixed into my food and therefore I contracted HIV / AIDS.” One does not want to hurt the patient, but one must also protect the family. It is the normal consequence for people who live with these beliefs, to take revenge for the actions of the person who they believe poisoned them. Sometimes it means eliminating the people who they are convinced did this harm to them.


This page is part of "An everlasting brotherhood" - Preparations for a video film about the Brotherhood of Blessed Gérard



Traditional Healers in Zululand
World Day of the Sick
World AIDS Day
Blessed Gérard's AIDS Education Programme



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This page was last updated on Tuesday, 20 April 2010 21:01:57