The name of an evil spirit of East African mythology and popular belief.
Allegedly, the Popobawa is a shape-shifter, able to assume many different forms, human or animal, and to quickly metamorphose from one into the other, sometimes combining into man-animal beasts of the most exotic types.
The creature was first reported in Pemba, Zanzibar, in 1965. In 1971 it allegedly spoke to a group of villagers through a possessed girl. Since then, numerous eyewitness accounts and even reports of injuries have been attributed to the devilish entity. Locals maintain that Popobawa becomes enraged if his existence is denied. They also say that the Popobawa is mostly nocturnal, sometimes associated with the presence of a pungent odor, attacking men, women and children indiscriminately. Attacks can be physical and/or poltergeist-like.
One of the most disturbing behaviors associated with the Popobawa is the alleged rape and sodomy of victims, which has been a constant in more recent reports of this entity. Curiously, these Popobawa reports and attacks rise and fall with the election cycle in Zanzibar, hinting at a political angle on these reports and hysteria.
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