Investigating the courses and effects of the satanic scare in Kabwe District of Zambia
Joseph Kayuni Hachintu
This article examines the causes and effects of the satanic scare in Zambia, with a particular reference to the Kabwe Urban, during the period 2013-2016. The main focus of the study was to analyse the effects of the satanic scare on people’s lives. The claims about the alleged prevalence of Satanism and the satanic scare were found by this study to be a reality in Kabwe, with eighty-eight per cent (88%) of the respondents acknowledging the alleged effects of the phenomenon. People’s knowledge of Satanism was mainly through rumours, messages from Churches, radio, the electronic and the print media. Studies on rumours (by Stephen Ellis, Gerrie Ter Haar and Jeffrey Victor) have shown that rumours can be investigated in the search for facts, especially rumours that offer plausible explanations for people’s shared anxieties. The above mentioned scholars argue that with efforts at corroboration, such as by interviewing key informants, the researcher can seek credibility on prevailing rumours by verifying or dismissing mere rumours from true stories.1 This article, therefore, utilised the analysis of rumours that obtained from Kabwe at the time, and applied interviews on those identified as ‘key informants’ in the verification of such rumours. Some of these informants were self-proclaimed ex-Satanists, religious authorities and law enforcers. The study also relied on secondary data to some extents. From sources of information the study relied on, such as personal testimonies from the so-called satanic cult “survivors”, the causes and effects of Satanic scare in Kabwe were investigated. The findings demonstrate considerable effects of the so-called satanic scare on people’s socio-economic and political lives, which might have officially gone ignored and repudiated. Other than simply brushing off stories and incidents pertaining to the satanic scare as mere fabrications of people seeking public attention, this article argues that such stories, incidents and their potential effects remain a genuine curiosity.