South African Country Believes Being Born Intersex is Witchcraft

Babalwa Mtshawu. Image via YouTube

Babalwa Mtshawu, a woman from the South African town Mthatha, didn’t know she was intersex until she was 25 years old because of her conservative family.

The now 32-year-old told CNN that intersex babies are often killed because they’re perceived as bad luck, and a manifestation of sorcery and witchcraft. South Africa’s Mail and Guardian reported that midwifes and healers admitted to killing babies with indefinite genitalia. Mtshawu, who now lectures at a university in Capetown, says teaching students about intersex people will reduce the misconceptions and discrimination. 

"The curriculum is slowly changing in South Africa, and I think it will be easy for them to teach intersex because it is just plain biology. This is a natural phenomenon, like someone being born without an arm or having an extra finger," she told CNN.