September 3, 2014 — The Italian politician who caused widespread outrage after comparing the country’s first black minister, Cécile Kyenge, to an orang-utan, now claims he is under the curse of African spirits following a string of misfortunes he believes are linked to a video showing a ceremony performed by people believed to be Kyenge’s relatives
Italy’s Deputy Senate Speaker, Roberto Calderoli. Photo: Tony Gentile/Reuters
Deputy Senate Speaker Roberto Calderoli caused national and international fury when he said the then Integration Minister, Cécile Kyenge, looked like an orangutan. Following the outrage, he gave a lukewarm apology but refused to resign.
Last week, The Independent reported that he was also seeking ‘spiritual’ advice following the release of video “evidence” from the Democratic Republic of Congo where Kyenge’s father – who is said to be a “tribal leader” – is depicted performing a ritual that put a ‘macumba‘ on Calderoli as punishment for the insult.
Here is the video of the supposed ritual where Ms Kyenge’s father, Clement Kikoko Kyenge, leads a ceremony in the village of Katanga, in the DRC. In the video, he prayed to God for the “racist politician” to repent. A less orthodox part of the service saw Mr Kyenge place a photo of the Deputy Senate Speaker on an enclosed termite mound, while seeking to communicate with the spirits of the elders (Narrated in Italian):
The Speaker claims to have suffered the following misfortunes in the wake of the curse:
Six surgeries – two of them saved his life
The death of his mother
The discovery of a six-foot snake in the kitchen of his house in northern Italy
These events prompted Calderoli to seek the services of an unnamed mystic.
Calderoli told Oggi magazine, who filmed the event: “The photos and the video were unsettling. They put a picture of me in the middle of a termite mound. That is not a friendly message.”
Mr Kyenge commented about the snake in the kitchen saying it’s a bad omen. “A snake in the house is not a good sign and I’m not sure Calderoli did well to kill it,” he said. “If when he apologised to Cécile he was sincere, he can feel comfortable. If, however, those excuses were insincere, the ancestors might become angry.”
Following Mr Calderoli’s comments against Ms Kyenge last year, racist protesters threw bananas at her during a public appearance.