The “Hyena Man Of Malawi” Will Not Go To Jail For Having Sex With Girls, But For His Relations With Widows

Before being led by police to his cell, Aniva claimed that he was not worried about his imprisonment.


“I think I’ll get a suspended sentence,” he said.

After a one-day trial, the 45-year-old man was found guilty of that crime, listed in section 5 of the Malawi Gender Equality Act, for violating the dignity of widows by participating in a ” sexual”.

On Tuesday, Aniva was sentenced to 24 months behind bars with forced labor for his unprotected sexual activities with women who had recently become widowed.

This practice was prescribed a few years ago.

Known as the “hyena male of Malawi,” Aniva was arrested in July on an order by the president of that country, Peter Mutharika, following the international scandal that arose from his interview with the BBC.

President Mutharika had asked that Aniva be prosecuted for having sex with girls.

“Hyenas”, the men they pay to have sex with girls in Malawi

As no girl testified against him, Aniva faced only one accusation of having sex with women who had recently become widowed.

Since the practice dictates that “hyenas” should not use condoms, the risk of HIV transmission in communities where the tradition persists is evident.

Of the two women who offered evidence, one said they had sex when the custom was not prohibited and the other stated that she was able to escape before the “sexual cleansing” ritual began.

According to the BBC correspondent in South Africa Karen Allen, this case generated conflicting opinions because initiation and sexual cleansing rituals are relatively widespread in some areas of the south of the country.



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