When I first published this post, and shared it on Twitter, I faced a lot of negative feedback from people challenging my figures. First and foremost, Strong Medicine is a work of fiction, and therefore not required to be scientifically accurate. That said, here are sources for the figure (300) I quote:
We’ve all heard of traditional medicine being made from animal parts (rhino horn, anybody?) and plant material. But did you know that Southern Africa is beset by a terrible practice of using human body parts in traditional medicine?
Many local people believe that using muthi, traditional medicine, made from the body parts of people can bring them success, financial and sexual, heal diseases, or do many other unlikely things.
This was the seed at the very beginning of Strong Medicine, when I learned that as many as 300 people are abducted and killed in southern Africa, every year, so that their body parts can be used in traditional medicine.
If you’re interested in learning more, here is an interesting documentary that I discovered two years ago while doing my initial research for Strong Medicine.