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Man-like cassava tuber causes panic in Arua, Uganda

Joru displaying the man-like cassava tuber she got from her garden on Sunday

AMELIA Joru, 52, resident of Andifeku village in Vurra county, Arua district (Uganda) has no peace after she uprooted a cassava tuber on Sunday evening with features resembling those of a man.

She said the harvest had gone on peacefully until she reached the last plant, where she found what she called a misfortune.

“The tuber had a head, chest, umbilical code, penis, knees and feet without toes. My heart missed a leap and I became restless,” she narrated.

Joru said she hurriedly packed the cassava tubers and went home. But fearing that the strange tuber might change into something at night to disturb her and her only surviving son, she decided to bring it in public.

The tuber was tied on a tree with a piece of cloth at Andifeku trading centre.
“I don’t know whether this is a sign that I’m going to die with my child soon,” the elderly mother said in horror.

Two days after the incident, residents were still in panic, while more people from as far as Arua town continued to flock the village to catch a glimpse of the rare tuber.

Massimo Okuti, 74, an elder in the area, said nothing of this kind had been seen in the area before.

He said the perturbing cassava tuber could be a bad omen since Joru went to work on Sunday instead of resting.
He appealed to religious leaders to counsel the people and pray to God to avert any tragedy from befalling the village.

Joseph Abibatua, the LCI chairman, said the tuber had caused anxiety among farmers in the area.

But Jimmy Bamuru Ayoma, the Arua district production coordinator, asked the farmers to be calm, saying the tuber was an abnormal growth.



Grace Nakajje's picture


Achieng my dear what a stunning incidence! However, we must learn that a number of cassava species are being introduced in Uganda especially in this particular region since they suffered the civil war that has lasted for the last twenty years. I believe an griculturalists must intervene to re leave the fears. In my region we have such types and we just laugh it off.

But thanks for this good aricle and it also reminds us that "wonders will never end".

Stay blessed
First lady-Grace

warona's picture

cassava tuber - ( man like)

Hello there!

Uuh! my God what on earth is that?!I think Amelia Juro has done well to go public with the thing,otherwise she will live in fear of which she would be tortured silently.I know in african setting that means a lot according to our believes,because now that has resemblences of a human being its all a disaster you can even run awy or desert your field because of unfamiliar look on the cassava.That indicates war,( and usually its spiritually) and the outcome is just manifestations whuich needs to be attended to and indicates the presence of evil act.And now the advice to you Nas since you are there to approach Amelia to go to church and get delivered before any calamity befall here.However since people sometimes their faith is so little, Joru must pray and seek advises to overcome her encounters,this one is a spiritual matter, it needs God, Nas Amelia is in great panic bring her before the servants of God .Well we can say this is just a growth on the cassava oh no taking all those shapes oh no its bad,its demonic.So those who can pray lets arise and pray for her to drop down this in JESUS MIGHTY NAME.Distance is not a barrier!

IT looks this thing has been there underground to be the size we see today, taking all its shapes to destroy this lady s life by traumatising her like that, she is so scared cant you see,and its not that Amelia was at work on sunday,remember sunday was not created to rule over man but sunday was created for is there any one who can tell me if his lamb falls in a pit, and he has been looking for it only to discover it on a sunday so will you live it for the next day,definitely not.

Thank dear


"success will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time " And when confronted conquer with love

Bilkis Olagoke-Adediran's picture

I don't think there is any

I don't think there is any cause for alarm. The deformed yam tuber might be as a result of the chemicals used and this might have caused abnormal growth. You might ask why it doesn't affect other yams and think it is spiritual just like Warona said but I am saying that we are too attached to some stereotyped cultural beliefs and we do not want anything to change it even if it derrogatory to women


ifeoma's picture

To me this just remphazies

To me this just remphazies the need for education and the need for her to know the power of the God she serves and that He is almighty and has not given us the spirit of fear but of storng and sound mind.What she actually believes is what is most probably going to harm her and not the thing(tuber) itself.


AchiengNas's picture

God shows his power in all ways

This is God friends!
Many people in villages consider this as witchcraft or misfortune, this is just amazing fun no strings attached!
Thanks for your comments. To share more tomorrow!

I believe everybody has the potential to live a better life. Given the Opportunity, Education and Motivation ANYONE can become someone admirable. Nobody is a NOBODY, everybody is SOMEBODY.

fonirenezih's picture


Hi all,

Here we come with a real example of an issue that still raises controversy in especially today's African society.

Two interpretations abound: is it a normal trend in cassava production? Then some agriculturalists in the forum can throw more light on that. Or, is there cause for superstition? This is a typical belief in such societies. Those farmers need to be convinced as to why, if it's normal for tubers to take varied forms depending on the specie, that form should take after human features,including private parts!

Whatever the case, i think what's more important is the attitude they chose to take up faced with the situation. Empowering themselves with latest information on cassava production to dispel any fears, and holding on to a God who can be trusted for protection even in times of confusion, are both necessary.

Beatrice, please keep us updated with a follow-up of the story...quite interesting!


olumide's picture


You really try. And this good.

Plan your Work and Work your Plan

everlyrose's picture

respect for peoples belief

i come from a country wherein parts of the nation are still guided and led by nature, culture, signs , omens and belief,
but this one is true alarming for the people of Arua
i hope the panic would just die down soon and people will move on with their lives

Solvitur ambulando
(it is solved by walking)

aderonke adeyemo's picture

man like cassava

This is beyond me.but i will like to know the outcome of whatever investigation is carried out.

Rose Candy's picture


Dear AchiengNas,
What an amazing spectacle.
This is one of the agricultural wonders of the world. Only God, the creator of all things knows why it is so.
Thanks for sharing this story. It's good to know.
I don't think there is any cause for alarm, anyway.
Rose Candy @ GrandmaRose Foundation

Mothering, Molding and Nurturing children

Ann Gloria's picture

African we are notoriously religious

an author by name john Mbiti said African are notoriously religion ,this was toward understanding African Tradition Religion ,as an African either because of one culture ,norms and believe we seek to attach a meaning /reason toward everything that happens around us ,both good /bad .this really became clear when my mother passed away and it took along time for everyone to accept that cancer is a normal disease and not a curse,

sometimes its this that has fueled the state of underdevelopment in our countries

AchiengNas's picture

God made

If you believe in God, this is God's art! He wanted to show people that he can do anything! For example he can make man out of Cassava hahaha!
I think this is the right time for the Gospel to be preached to people of Arua!

Thanks everyone.

Great weekend!

Beatrice - Uganda

I believe everybody has the potential to live a better life. Given the Opportunity, Education and Motivation ANYONE can become someone admirable. Nobody is a NOBODY, everybody is SOMEBODY.

jacqui's picture


Hi dear ones,

I love such stories because they make my day. That's one of the deep-rooted cultural beliefs by some african communities. But we cannot blame them. I belief their fore fathers who developed these beliefs had intentions of instilling discipline in their communities. In the early days before the white man delivered gospel to africa. there had to be some way of making sure people are disciplined and united. Maybe the Arua people are still living their ancient times, some day they will be narating stories of when the gospel arrived in Arua. And that shall be done by we who understand the word of God.

Thanks everyone, and for achieng, keep-up.



yacsed's picture

This is Africa.


In Malawi, a woman was believed to have given birth to a stone and scientists had all tests and proved to be just a stone, as am writing this now, in the same districs( rural area) four houses have been burnt, it is also believed to be something to do with witch craft.

Let the woman be helped by the religious leaders, the world is rotten, every group is developing new styles, it could be anything and not just a tuber as we may all believe it to be.


NI NI AYE's picture

If it was in our country


Although I have no idea to interpret it it was so interesting to read sharing views and knowledge. I expect it is the good fortune for that community. If it was in my country people would be happy to keep it as a charm.

Best Regards


Congratulations on Very Happy Teachers Day through ten years journey!

busayo's picture

Never seen anything like this

This is amazing, I have never seen anything like this. Thanks for sharing this with us.


Busayo Obisakin
Women inspiration Development center
Ile-Ife, Nigeria

linet bitutu's picture

wonders of the world are increasing.


This is another wonder of the world. This one surely, i've never seen. but still it is a plant so no worries Achieng.


liberia unitewd youth for community safety and development's picture


Personal Life story of Ellen M. Kennedy
Once upon a time; there live a girl called Ellen M. Kennedy who was staying with her Aunty named Miss Wuo. Before then, her Aunt told her parents that she was going to send this Ellen to school. After she took this girl alone with her in the next town; she decided that Ellen will be able to sell market while her children go to school. Every rime Ellen goes to the market to sell, if the goods did not finish she will not be allowed to go home. If she carried along with her some of the unfinished goods, her Aunty Miss Wuo would beat on her and even make her to under corporal punishments. After some years of selling for Miss Wuo, Ellen decided to ask her Aunty about when she will ever start going to school. The answer from her aunt was she must see all along the week and take two days to sell for herself to enable her pay her own school feels. While in this process of agreement, Ellen Bear it and was able to enroll herself in school and managed to be promoted in the 5th class in the same year the civil war started that cause to migrate to neighboring country Guinea as refugee along with her aunt and children. While in Guinea at the age of seventeen (17) years her aunt put her out of their their hut and asked her to go and live on her own Because her desire was to learn, she decided attending the refugee school in Guinea. While in school, this girl met one man who decided to help her to further her education. When this girl was been helped by this man in school and also helping her with every necessary needs. The aunt went to where Ellen was staying and told those who were there that she did not carry Ellen Guinea to get marry so therefore she decided to take her where she took her from which said was to her parents. While they were going she decided to take Ellen to jail without letting any body to know. While Ellen was in jail, some Guinean Police officer assigned at the Depot intended rapping this little girl at the time. Upon her refusal the officer put her back in the cell saying to her that she will not see daylight again. After three days without eating food and only to cry, the Depot Police Commander got concern and ordered that this girl (Ellen) be put out of the jail to explain what had happened to her that caused not to eat. In this process, the Police commander called upon Ellen aunty Miss Wuo to take Little Ellen to where she brought her from. Upon her aunt agreement, with the police she sent for a car to take Ellen to her parents. After Miss Wuo left with Ellen, she took her to another new place4 where she forces her to join the Sande society instead of her carrying her to her parents. Elle Said “I went through lots of difficulties and with God Almighty , I survived from this bad time” After her graduation from the Sande Society, she decided to escape to go back to Guinea, there she remained and joined another family members and went to Lofa County to find her family people instead of being around her aunty. Fortunate for her the family she joined at that time was so good to her; they helped her till she went to school and later she left and traveled to Monrovia where she stayed and graduated from high school. After her high school study she left and went in search of her parents in Lofa County where she met her biological parents and was able to explain every problem she went through while she was with her aunty. From there she left and decided to attend a nursing school. But because of financial problem break she was unable to complete her study and at this present time she is now working with an organization named Liberia United Youth for Community Safety and Development (LUYCD) based in Ganta, Nimba County, Liberia
I am now thirty (30) years of age

The Liberian United Youth for Community Safety and Development, INC.
Chief Executive Officer Mr. Fred C Johnson LUYCD representative of LUYCD to LDCs Conference in Istanbul from 7-13 may 2O11.
Ban ki –moon Call to work together for a better world

Fungai Machirori's picture


I would be freaked out by that - no doubt about it! It is justa bit too much to be considered a mere coincidence...

from today i live out of my imagination
i am more than my yesterday
tomorrow i plant a new seed
nothing that lies behind easy
nothing that is ahead real
my within is all i have today
*Napo Masheane*

Terri Miller's picture

Education is so important

When the unknown or humanly unexplainable is given a supernatural explanation, it seems that it is so often a negative explanation with very scary consequences. A warning of evil or misfortune to come to those involved. I feel for this woman as she must have felt such fear and panic over a malformed cassava.

side note: I grew potatoes in my garden one year and two of them were in odd shapes. One was shaped just like a side view of a rabbit sitting, and another was a perfectly proportioned heart shape. I kept them on display in my kitchen as long as I could. It was fun to show others nature's handiwork.

**Funny how slowly summer vacation went as a child. Now it seems like I blink and a month has gone by.

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