The award-winning documentary “OMO Child” is the story of Lale Labuko’s journey to end the ancient practice of Mingi in Omo Valley, Ethiopia.

By Angelia Davis (Greenville Online) |

A documentary of an Ethiopian’s effort to end the tribal practice of killing certain infants and children did something to Greenville Pastor Toni Pate.

Pate is hoping the award-winning film, “OMO Child: The River and The Bush,” will have a similar impact on others in Greenville.

Her congregation, Trinity Church of Greenville, located at 100 Pete Hollis Blvd., is hosting a viewing of the documentary at 10:30 a.m. on July 15.

At 1 p.m., Lale Labuko, the “hero” in the OMO Child documentary, will speak.

Labuko, a pastor in Jinka, Ethiopia, will also preach at Trinity Church on July 16, starting at 10:30 a.m.

The OMO Child documentary, Pate said, is “one of the most remarkable pieces I’ve seen in quite a while.”

“It just did something to me as far as the reassurance that one person can actually make a difference in the world,” she said.

That’s the takeaway that Labuko hopes others will have as well when they see the documentary.

OMO Child is the story of Labuko’s journey to end the ancient practice of Mingi in Omo Valley, Ethiopia.

Mingi is a term used to describe an infant or child thought to be cursed. Children can be declared Mingi if they are born out of wedlock, their top teeth grow before their bottom teeth, and if they are born a twin.

The long-held belief is that Mingi brings the village bad luck. Children deemed Mingi are left in a bush to be eaten by wild animals or thrown in a river to drown.

Labuko was 15 when he learned his two older sisters were killed by virtue of the Mingi tradition.

A native of the Kara tribe in Southwest Ethiopia, Labuko believed that the curse did not exist and set out to change the tradition.

OMO Child highlights his struggle and eventual success in ending the tradition after he and his wife began rescuing babies sentenced to death.

Continue reading this story at Greenville Online
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