Tanzania: Uchawi Upo: Embodied Experience and Anti-Witchcraft Practice in Mwanza, Tanzania

In Mwanza, Tanzania’s second largest city, it is commonly said that witchcraft exists (uchawi upo). However, witchcraft in Mwanza is more than just a discourse, but is an embodied everyday reality for Mwanzans regardless of ethnicity or socioeconomic background.

People afflicted by witchcraft describe diverse experiences including physical and mental symptoms, involuntary spirit possession, relationship problems, economic issues, and fantastic encounters with otherworldly entities. As they seek restoration of wellness, afflicted individuals employ treatments located in seemingly oppositional “disciplines” such as traditional healing and revivalist Christianity. 

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