Reuters reports that Popo Bawa (Swahili for Bat’s Wing) has been terrorizing the people of Pemba, one of the the Zanzibar spice islands. This ‘bat-like ogre’ has been known to sexually assault men, women and children, and victims report that reading the Koran is the only defense against his attacks.
In huts set amid rustling groves of jackfruit and mangoes on Zanzibar’s Pemba island, victims told Reuters in interviews that they detected a bad smell, became cold and went into a trance in the moments before they felt the creature’s inhuman strength.
Some attacks were heralded by the sound of giant wings and claws rattling and scraping on huts’ tin roofs. Others cringed in terror at what sounded like a car engine ticking over.
“We heard a rustling on the roof,” recalls Asha Saleh, in her late 50s, in Machomanne village near Pemba’s main town of Chake Chake. “I felt someone fondling me. I felt very cold. I felt weak,” she said, recalling the attack some 35 years ago.
The article mentions Popo Bawa becomes more active around election times.