Uganda’s first case of a witch doctor being put on trial was not too long ago. A shaman from northern Uganda had allegedly kidnapped a young boy, chopped off his privates, and left him for dead. But the boy (let’s call him Charlie) survived the ordeal. This was the first incident in Uganda’s history of a witch doctor suspected of a violent crime and a surviving victim. The case could be brought to trial, and it was the author had been called in to lead the prosecution.
Witch doctors are revered, or at least feared, in Uganda. There was a concern that the courts would not be able to find a judge bold enough to preside over the case. One finally did, however, and he stood his ground even in the face of intimidation. Shamans conducted eerie, animistic rituals outside the door to his home throughout the trial. His house had to be guarded around the clock. Love is sometimes a risky business.
When Charlie took the stand some months after the incident, he identified his would-be killer without hesitation or fear. He stood up, pointed at Kabi, and boldly declared him the man who had tried to murder him. The trial lasted a week longer, and the judge returned a guilty verdict.
Both the judge and young Charlie demonstrated remarkable courage. People are often tempted toward cynicism. How could one person make a demonstrable impact? Young Charlie was barely four feet tall, but he stood a mighty mountain that day: his act of courage made history for his country.
What is that work of kindness and mercy that fear keeps you from pursuing?