If you are bald, stay away from Mozambique!

Mozambicans do not hate bald men but there are some people in Mozambique who believe you may have some gold in your head. Police have warned that bald men in the East African nation could be targets of ritual attacks, after five men were recently killed in central Mozambique, two in May in Milange district, close to the border with Malawi, where albinos have also been targets of ritual killing for years.

Superstition is rife in Africa. This has led to the rise in ritual killing and trafficking in human organs and body parts. In Tanzania and Malawi, albinos are killed for their body parts which are sold for use in witchcraft. According to a Red Cross report, witchdoctors pay as much as $75,000 for a full set of albino body parts to make spells and charms they claim bring luck, love and wealth.

In Mozambique, a superstitious belief that bald men have gold in their head has put them in harm’s way as they are now being killed and their heads taken to a witchdoctor who is expected to use magical powers to extract gold from the heads. Superstition in Mozambique had in the past made some people in the Portuguese-speaking country to to abandon their own elderly parents, accusing them of witchcraft.

Mozambique Police have started investigating the deaths and have arrested two suspects already. Spokesman Inacio Dina said: “Our preliminary conclusion indicates that the phenomenon is due to cultural beliefs. We are currently investigating the case to find out more and to understand the dimension of the problem.

“The phenomenon can lead bald people to be pursued and killed. This is a serious homicide crime. Our current interest is to catch and hold responsible all those involved,” Dina added.

Male pattern baldness is caused by hormones and genetic predisposition. It usually follows a pattern of receding hairline and hair thinning on the crown. Treatment may simply involve accepting the condition, although there are also medications that can be tried. Surgery is also an option.