My African Advent Calendar: Day 22, A PROPHET

Alice Lakwena at her home in Dadaab camp, shortly before her death in Jan 2007

And lo, a prophet appeared in a faraway land.

“Follow me,” she declared, “but only those that have two testicles – no more, no less.

“And I will protect you with my magic potions and butter and together we will deliver the Promised Land to our people. You must kill snakes.”

Alice Lakwena’s Holy Spirit Movement very nearly toppled Uganda’s government in the 1980s – helped by the magic butter which appeared to repel bullets (although it may have been that corruption at the bullet factory was making too many duds).  She ended up in Dadaab refugee camp in northern Kenya, and her followers regrouped around Joseph Kony, possibly her nephew, possibly her cousin, although certainly equally bonkers.

She was easy to trace: “Oh yes,” said the International NGO worker in Dadaab, “one of our drivers is a disciple of hers.”

She died in January 2007.


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