An infant who was born at a local Malawian hospital on Wednesday last week with a rare disease called Harlequin ichthyosis, has died.
The infant died on Saturday in the capital Lilongwe after doctors failed to save it’s life, Hospital director Dr Nordeen Alide confirmed.
He could not,however, say the cause of death when asked.
The infant was born covered with plates of thick skin that looked cracked and split apart distorting its facial features. This shocked most locals because the face looked like a mask worn by members of a secret cult known as Gule Wamukulu, a masked ritual dance practiced in central Malawi.
In a society redolent with the heresy and superstition, this story has caused a stir and making rounds big time!
Many who have been flocking to the hospital to catch a glimpse of the infant in the lake shore town, believe the mother to the child insulted Gule Wamukulu members and they bewitched her unborn child.
“Every person is scared of Gule Wamukulu and there are a lot of mysticism around this secret society and therefore many believe the story that the poor woman must have been rude to a senior member of the cult,” said Wongani Banda, a teacher at of the government schools in the district.
Gule Wamukulu is some sort of title for secret societies of traditional Chewa religious practices in Malawi, parts of Zambia and Mozambique.
Unverified reports say that the infant’s mother has vowed to keep it.