Breast Ironing, Bush Meat, and Witchcraft: Some of London’s Cultural Enrichment


Assimilation to British culture hasn’t been easy, in some respects. As a result, some cultural hangovers can be witnessed–sometimes in the form of what would be deemed weird to the Anglocentric worldview.

Female genital mutilation is possibly the most known culturally incompatible practices rampant in minority-majority neighborhoods.

But, given the morally indefensible nature of FGM and the UK police’s woeful conviction rate–Burkina Faso having a far higher FGM conviction rate–and the shocking prevalence of FGM, the politically correct veil had been somewhat lifted from addressing the scale of abuse committed against young girls.

However, other lesser known predominantly African cultural throwbacks are being reported in London and other UK cities.

Breast Ironing

This practice, originating in West African countries, is used to divert male attention away from pubescent girls.

It is carried out by placing hot stones or iron on a young girl’s developing breasts to flatten the breast tissue or delay its natural development.

The practice can cause long-lasting physical and emotional damage, with some victims left unable to breastfeed their children in motherhood.

Speaking to The Guardian, an anonymous activist said:

“It’s usually done in the UK, not abroad like female genital mutilation (FGM),” she said, describing a practice whereby mothers, aunties or grandmothers use a hot stone to massage across the breast repeatedly in order to “break the tissue” and slow its growth.

“Sometimes they do it once a week, or once every two weeks, depending on how it comes back,” she added.

Another, recalling her experience to The Guardian:

“I took the stone, I warmed it, and then I started massaging [my daughter’s chest],” she said. “And the stone was a little bit hot. When I started massaging, she said: ‘Mummy, it’s hot!’” The child developed bruising and the mother was eventually questioned by police, before being released with a caution.

There was a case where a girl who was breast ironed during puberty died from breast cancer at the age of 24.

Bush Meat

The sale of chimpanzee meat is a recent phenomenon to take United Kingdom streets with large West African populations.

Chimpanzee meat is often sold at food stalls or even served as a delicacy at special events such as weddings.

The meat commands a price up to 5 times greater than beef by weight.

In one case, a ton of chimpanzee meat was confiscated by US customs officials in a flight to the US.

According to a 2010 report, over 270 tons of bush meat went through Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport alone.

Food critic, Charles Campion, said the following about bush meat: “Bush meat is nostalgia for Africans.”

“You dry and smoke the meat and smuggle it into Britain, where it becomes dinner,” said Campion.

“People I spoke to said you can eat other meats instead, just like you can make spaghetti bolognese using meat other than beef, but it’s just not quite right. When you make a bush meat dish, it tastes proper, they said.”

The main issues surrounding bush meat–aside from its illegality and animal welfare concerns–is the spread of disease, given the genetic similarities between chimpanzees and humans coupled with poor hygiene or improper culinary preparation.

Consumption of bush meat can potentially lead to epidemics.


Crimes where witchcraft–yes, witchcraft–is a central component are currently experiencing more public exposure.

Recently, an NHS nurse was convicted for running a human trafficking prostitution ring by threatening her African victims with witchcraft-inspired debts.

In London, there was a spike in child abuse cases where witchcraft and demonic possession played a significant role.

A 15-year-old boy was tortured for 3 days before being drowned in a bathtub by relatives who believed he was practicing sorcery.

A mother and her girlfriend mentally and physically tortured her 8-year-old daughter for years before killing her, because they believed her to be a witch possessed by demons.

Many other torture cases have been linked to witchcraft.