A hyena is a traditional position held by a man who initiates young women into adulthood through sex. It is commonly done in parts of southern Malawi.

Hyena is the name given to a man paid to have sex with children between the ages of 12-17, as part of a rite of passage called ‘kusasa fumbi’ (blushing off the dust-sexual cleansing).

Watch a video here about Eric the Hyena who is HIV Positive

Eric, the HIV hyena
Here is a Malawian man named Eric who has been initiating young girls since 1985. From this mentioned year up to date, Eric has slept with 104 young women.

Eric revealed that having sex with a hyena is a traditional practice in parts of rural Malawi where families pay him to sexually cleanse girls some as young as 12 years old.

‘It is a final part of a teenage girl’s initiation before they can pass into adolescence, the girls never get scared. In fact they enjoy me more whenever we are together,’ Eric emphasized.

He even said that even the government of Malawi is trying everything possible to end this custom, he cannot stop initiating the girls because the custom demands so.

The impact of Hyena ritual
Since this custom encourages sex between elder men and young girls, most of them enjoy the sex without any protection. With that, the spread of HIV/AIDS is high. In this case, Eric is HIV positive of which he still sleep with these little girls without condoms which is contributing a lot in the high rate of people with HIV/AIDS.

This ritual is commonly practised in the southern part of Malawi and despite the governments efforts to end this tradition it sadly continues.

France24 Short Documentary – Malawi: Girls victims of ‘sexual cleansing’ ritual

Watch the CGTN Africa report on: Sexual cleansing custom in Malawi on spotlight following ‘Hyena’s’ arrest
A man charged with sex crimes in Malawi, following his performance of traditional cleansing rites, has pleaded guilty before a court in Lilongwe. Eric Aniva, who claims to have slept with 104 young girls and widows since 1985, is facing trial, following a crackdown ordered by President Peter Mutharika against the controversial practise. Here’s Leslie Mirungu with more.

Regina Maere

I was born in Mangochi and educated in Dedza at Umbwi Secondary School, Following Secondary School I attended The Institute of Journalism, Lilongwe. Inspired by great writers, with a passion for writing it is my ambition to inspire others too through writing.