A woman is said to have slaughtered her own baby in a village known as Badjenda in the North Region of Cameroon. Report says the Woman whose name we are still to get, had already chopped the child to prepare a local dish, pepper soap. The Cameroon Humanitarian news also got report from reliable sources that the said woman was about slaughtering her other two kids before the timely intervention of neighbours. The woman was later arrested by the police for questioning.
What could have pushed this Woman to slaughter her own child?
Cameroon’s Northern part, otherwise the grand North is ranked lowest when it comes to literacy. Women faced a lot of discrimination ranging from social, economic and political aspects of life. Poverty rate is high and mal nutrition is common in this part of Cameroon. The region has been hit by the Boko Haram crisis and it is increasingly being swallowed by desertification. While the above analysis may not give us the reason why a woman could take the life of her child in such a beastly manner, we can start imagining the possible cause of this bestial act. What therefore could have caused this woman to take the life of her child in such a cruel manner? While many are of the opinion that we should rather judge the action of the woman not the woman herself, it is difficult to separate the two. Could it have been hunger? This woman cooking the child suggests that but considering the connection between a mother and her child, this may be far from the reason.
If it is actually hunger, the woman in question would have rather sacrificed, or better still, slaughtered herself for her children not the contrary given the mother’s love for her child. Some think that the act goes beyond the physical. “I believe this woman may have indulged herself into some sort of spiritual activity…this is not normal at all” writes one facebook user.
Enter Madame Slyvie Jacqueline Ndongmo
Madame Slyvie Jacqueline Ndongmo, is the president of the Women Peace Initiative Cameroon. She like any other person was shocked by the action of this woman. Though shocked, she has a different narrative from that of many other people as concerns the case of this woman. “I have never seen such a horror from a mother on her children… there is no justification for this type of act…but I want to say that when we conducted a gender conflict last year. The aim was to understand the root causes of conflicts. When we spoke with women we were able to understand women go through a lot. So there is a lot of trauma going on. My point is that even mad women take care of their children. In this specific case I feel that it is a very very serious case of trauma. There is something profound that pushed her”. Madame Slyvie Jacqueline Ndongmo told Equinox TV’s Babila Jonathan. “I feel that for so many years” Madame Slyvie Jacqueline Ndongmo continued. “she has been going through very bad situation… I know of women who have killed their children in the past to punish their husbands …. but never seen the case of a woman killing and chopping her own children”.
She recommended that psychosocial support units should be set up in different communities to address this type of situations. This will help not only traumatized women but any other person going through any type of trauma. She equally suggested that dialogue should be encouraged at all levels in the family likewise the community. She equally think that more cohesion spaces should be created for women so that women can share ideas amongst themselves.