Father accused of SORCERY in documentary about pygmy life
Father accused of SORCERY and infidelity by his mother-in-law is banned from seeing his children in Channel 4 documentary about a pygmy tribe in the Congo
- Livia Simoka, from London, spent five months living with pygmy tribe in Congo
- Documentary maker is shocked to be stuck between two warring families
- Stayed with family who blamed son-in-law’s sorcery for their daughters death
- But young ‘star crossed lovers’ still sneak off to find one another in the jungle
A documentary maker has expressed her shock at how a family she was living with, while staying with a pygmy tribe in the Congo for five months, were embroiled in a family feud.
Livia Simoka, from London, was astonished to discover that despite being desperately in love, one couple had been driven apart by their families, after the mother blamed her son-in-law for ‘sorcery’ and causing her second daughter’s death.
With escalating tensions between two young ‘star crossed lovers’, their parents desperately meet to try to calm the situation – only for the confrontation to turn physical as one mother begins to beat the other.
The British documentary maker stayed in a tiny jungle village called Bonguinda in the Congo while filming The Extreme Tribe: The Last Pygmies for Channel 4, which aired tonight at 9pm.
Livia Simoka, from London, was astonished to uncover the complex family dynamic between Akaya (pictured above) and her husband, Kengule, who were driven apart by their mothers
During her first night stay with one of the families in the town, she was woken by the wailing mother ‘Mama’ crying over her daughter, who recently died in child birth.
And Livia was quick to bond with Akaya, one of the daughters in the family, who is married to Kengule.
But unlike the other families in the village, the married couple do not live together and instead stay at their respective parents house.
She noticed that Kengule barely contributed to the home, despite fathering two children with Akaya, who all live with her family.
Kengule said he was devastated to have been forced out of his marital home with his wife Akaya and his two children after he was accused of having sex with his sister-in-law, and killing her with his ‘sorcery’
Livia noticed that Kengule (pictured) barely contributed to the home, despite fathering two children with Akaya, who all live with her family
Akaya’s parents Papa and Mama (pictured here with Livia) appeared to have an ongoing fued with Kengule’s family
One evening, when Kengule arrived late back from hunting, Livia couldn’t help but notice that he ‘gobbled down the food’ without contributing anything in return.
She noticed the atmosphere turn tense, as Akaya’s parents Mama and Papa, began to argue about Kengule.
As the weeks go by, Livia attempted to meet with Kengule, and travelled to the other side of the village where he lives with his parents.
Having heard from Akaya’s parents how lazy he can be, she admitted: ‘He doesn’t contribute at all, I haven’t seen him bring food once and he’s been staying somewhere else across town.’
Despite the accusations of infidelity and witchcraft, Akaya continued to sneak off to see her husband Kengule
Akaya (pictured) begged Livia not to tell their families of their rendezvous after becoming emotional in front of her mother
British documentary maker Livia stayed with the tribe for five months, and spent the first five weeks living with Akaya and her family
But she was stunned when she found Kengule felt just as upset about it as Akaya, and is shocked by his explanation.
He said:’Look for a while my wife and I had a good marriage and then her family upset me. My wife’s family accused me of sorcery.
‘They say I killed my wife’s sister. But when did they ever see me use sorcery? I barely see my children now.
He added: ‘Akalya won’t let me be with them.’
After the documentary maker heard Mama crying on the first night of her stay, the family opened up to Livia about their eldest daughters death
The two families are called together to allow everyone to air their differences (pictured Mama and her husband)
Liv admitted she can’t believe it, despite saying it being quite common in Mbendjele culture, revealing: ‘It seems like I’ve come into the middle of a huge family feud.’
And the next day, the two families are called together to allow everyone to air their differences, but it quickly becomes apparent that too many rumours have been spread by both sides.
A clearly emotional Kengule admitted:’I don’t know why everyone hates me so much. What have I done wrong?’
But his parents-in-law revealed they’re frustrated he is not providing for the family, saying: ‘Why do you keep having children with Akaya if you can’t provide them?’
Liv (pictured) admitted she can’t believe the claims she heard while there, despite saying it being quite common in Mbendjele culture
Later, she is stunned when she is witness to an escalating argument between the two warring families
Things only start to escalate when Kengule revealed the rumours had started when he was accused of sleeping with his sister-in-law before she died.
The emotional young father said: ‘I heard your family were spreading rumours, saying I had sex with your sister and that’s why she died.’
Mama, clearly unable to hold in her emotion, refuted this claim and began to beat at the legs of Kengule’s mother in frustration.
Mama (pictured), clearly unable to hold in her emotion, refuted this claim and began to beat at the legs of Kengule’s mother in frustration
With accusations of lying, infidelity and witchcraft, the two warring families find it impossible to find a truce.
Akaya admitted: ‘I can’t live with Kengule now because it feels like our mothers don’t want us to be together.’
Despite the trouble between the two families, and the shocking confrontation, Kengule and Akaya continue to sneak off to see each other, and beg Livia not to tell their families of their rendezvous.
The Extreme Tribe: The Last Pygmies series continues next Monday at 9pm on Channel 4
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