Skip to comments.Belief in sex-mad demon tests nerves
Posted on 05/16/2005 9:08:23 AM PDT by new cruelty
CHAKE CHAKE, Tanzania (Reuters) - Mohammed Juma starts to sweat and fidget as he recalls his rape by Popo Bawa, the most feared spirit-monster of the Zanzibar spice islands.
"We believe reading the Koran is our only defense, nothing else," says the 41-year-old driver and father of four. "But Popo Bawa is real, and well prepared."
Vacationers on the Indian Ocean islands tend to smile dismissively at accounts in guidebooks of the bat-like ogre said to prey on men, women and children. But for superstitious Zanzibaris a visit from the sodomizing gremlin is no joke.
Although no one ever has seen it, belief in the monster and his unnatural lust is so strong that entire villages will sleep out of doors for protection: Popo Bawa (Swahili for Bat's Wing) prefers to attack behind closed doors at night.
In huts set amid rustling groves of jackfruit and mangoes on Zanzibar's Pemba island, victims told Reuters in interviews that they detected a bad smell, became cold and went into a trance in the moments before they felt the creature's inhuman strength.
Some attacks were heralded by the sound of giant wings and claws rattling and scraping on huts' tin roofs. Others cringed in terror at what sounded like a car engine ticking over.
"We heard a rustling on the roof," recalls Asha Saleh, in her late 50s, in Machomanne village near Pemba's main town of Chake Chake. "I felt someone fondling me. I felt very cold. I felt weak," she said, recalling the attack some 35 years ago.
"I couldn't call out for help to my husband who was lying asleep beside me. Popo Bawa is strong: He really presses down on you. And it took such a long time: One hour! Eventually I lost consciousness. And I was one of many who were attacked."
Successive waves of colonizers and traders -- Arabs, Portuguese, Hindus, Chinese, Britons, Persians and Africans -- left behind a multinational array of legends on Zanzibar.
Accordingly, many dismiss Popo Bawa as another of the satanic stories swapped over the centuries by migratory Indian Ocean peoples as they moved back and forth on the tides from Indonesia to the Comoros, from Madagascar to the Maldives.
Zanzibar's distinctive past as an Arab-run slave market prompted some academics to speculate that the story of Popo Bawa emerged from a collective race memory of the horrors of slavery. But Popo Bawa is unlike the many goblins believed by the islanders to populate the tall grasses that ring their huts.
Many on the islands are adept at exorcisms, placing charms at the base of fig trees or sacrificing goats to avert evil or draw favor from the spirit world.
So experienced are the isles' traditional healers that they draw visitors from the Gulf and east Africa, with the successful amassing riches and prestige.
But no placatory offering or witch doctor can deflect Popo Bawa when he has made his mind up to strike, islanders say.
The monster favors Pemba, the poorer and more backward of the archipelago's twin islands despite being home to the clove plantations that provide the mainstay of Zanzibar's economy.
He also becomes active at election time: a habit that is testing nerves ahead of polls due in October.
His last major visitation was during elections in 1995, when Juma says he endured his terrifying ordeal, although some reported his presence again in 2000 and in 2001.
Pemba's population are staunch opposition supporters. Many accuse the ruling party of Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa of neglecting the island since 1964, when Zanzibar merged with mainland Tanganyika to form the United Republic of Tanzania.
But Juma says Popo Bawa is apolitical even though electoral emotions seem to summon him from the beyond. "He can strike even if the opposition wins the elections," he said.
The driver vows to do his utmost to avoid what happened to him back in 1995 as he sat alone late one evening.
"Many were afraid and were sleeping outside. But I was confident and was alone in my room. I was reading the Koran for protection. After about 20 minutes I started feeling sleepy. I heard something falling on the roof. I continued reciting. I started feeling something in the room. "I felt my mouth becoming bigger and bigger. I started losing my ability to form words. My feeling was that my lower lip had stretched to my lap. I felt weak in my body. I became very sweaty. My experience was like that of a neighbor of mine who said his head seemed to grow to an enormous size."
Popo Bawa gets annoyed if villagers deny his existence -- a fact to which Khamis Juma Hamad says he can testify.
Hamad, a retired village chief now aged 75, said that in 1971 Popo Bawa spoke to terrified villagers on Pemba through a girl possessed by the monster.
"I am Popo Bawa," said the girl, called Fatuma, speaking in the unnaturally deep voice of a man. "You have challenged my existence so I have come to prove I am here."
Seconds later, he says, the villagers heard the sound of a car revving and a rustle on a nearby roof -- signs of Popo Bawa. "The people felt cold, almost paralyzed. They were terrified."
One would think muslimes would consider it an honor to be buggered by Allah??
I remember the bit you described. However, he also talked about getting a filling and how his lower lip was falling into his lap after he got the Novocaine. Remember, "mybe fabace... mybe fabace..."? [Best transliteration I can manage.]
Quite right, quite right. Thanks for reminding me!
Just read M. Scott Peck's new book. You both might find it interesting. We know there are demons because Jesus cast them out. In these pagan cultures, I imagine these things are more rampant than in our culture. I imagine there are also fake and hysterical copies of this stuff too but still think this one rings true.
"Demon full o' sissy power,
known to all as POPO BAWA"
They should ring their huts with roast beef sandwiches.
That will only attract it...
All that sodomizing takes energy you know!
sodomizing gremlin BUMP
And for some reason, the Speed Racer theme popped into my head.
how did THAT happen?
Seems to work for my wife...
I do stuff like that, but I have NEVER let a man see me while I'm doing it!
Some things, a man should not know about!
"Here he comes, here comes Speed Racer
He's a demon on wheels
He's a demon and he's gonna be chasing after someone
He's gaining on you so you better look alive
He's busy revving up the powerful Mach Five
And when the odds are against him and there's
daaangerous work to do
You bet your life Speed Racer's gonna see it
Go Speed Racer
Go Speed Racer
Go Speed Racer go
He's off and flying as he guns the car around the
He's jamming down the pedal like he's never
Adventure's waiting just aheeeeeeeeaaaaad
Go Speed Racer
Go Speed Racer
Go Speed Racer Go! "
Sounds like you have an Ear Worm.
And, it's the version of the theme as sung by the band 'Sponge'.
Some funny stuff here.
Don't know them...maybe i will look.
You just can't let this Speed Racer thing go, can you ;0)
It's stuck in my head.
Mayeb it's Freudian, maybe not, I dunno!
I gotta get it outta my head!
So the demon wears Speedos?
So the demon wears Speedos?
NOBODY should be wearing speedos....unless it's the Olympics.
"I felt my mouth becoming bigger and bigger. I started losing my ability to form words. My feeling was that my lower lip had stretched to my lap."
Better put some ice on that!
Reminds me of "The Greasman" doing the bit "Fudgeman & Throbbin".
Ooooh, Mrs. jjmcgo gave me the willies with a story yesterday. She was talking about incidents of knowing (KNOWING) the future when she was pregnant the first time. Forget the winning 50-1 shots, that was small stuff compared to this:
She went by our elderly neighbor's apartment en route to the laundry and a minute later she thought, "Gee, I haven't seen a black funeral wreath like the one on so-and-so's door since I was a kid."
When she walked past again, no wreath on the door and she met the lady who greeted her with a big smile and they talked. The next day the lady died.
Lol, no doubt !!
Is it any wonder that Mumbo Jumbo and Michael Jackson have the same initials?
I mean, replace 'woman' with 'child' and 'beat her' with 'dangle her from a high balcony' and well, it's rather obvious, isn't it?
I knew you'd enjoy this.
This man's story is particularly frightening after you realize that EVEN READING THE KORAN did not keep the demon at bay. Thus, we are helpless helpless I say.
Just keep him out of the Zanzibar YMCA swimming pool ...
And "whatever" it is we should "not" know about, we can rest assured that none of you will tell us exactly what "that" is until we have erred in committing whatever it was, we should NOT have done, but did NOT know we should NOT have done it, because, NONE of you, thought we should know about!
Does that make any sense? About as much as you Venusians do to us Martians--most of the time. LOL
I actually don't play those games...
Most guys find me very easy to talk to, and i don't get along with most women.
(and no, i am NOT gay!)
,,, gentlemen, I have Popo Bawa costumes in your size.
I thought this was your thread for sure....
I usually don't post articles 'bout myself! ;o)
Well, a visit from a sodomizing gremlin is NEVER a joke.... no sirreee.. nay. I just HATE it when that happens.
leather I hope
leather I hope