Back to Africa Check

Marshmallow eggs satanic demon embryos that ‘hatch inside your child’? Relax – it’s satire

In late March 2019, as shops were filling up with chocolate eggs ahead of the Easter holidays, a satirical South African Facebook page posted a joke that got some people worried.


The post was by South Africans Against Dagga and Satan. The page makes fun of conservative attitudes that might, for example, associate drug use with “satanism”. (Dagga is a South African word for marijuana.)

The page has been online since 2014 and has more than 30,000 followers.

The post continued: “Recent Christian studies prove beyond any doubt that marshmallow Easter eggs are a satanistic plot to infest South African children with the demons of paganry and witchcraft.”

True, false – or a joke?

A Facebook user flagged the post, which sent an alert to Africa Check for us to determine whether it is true or false.

We can’t.

Satire is neither true nor false. Satirists makes absurd claims to highlight the things they think are absurd about opinions and attitudes they disagree with.

It’s clearly absurd to claim that marshmallow eggs – a huge seller over the Easter holidays – are really “demon embryos”.

Is the claim true? Of course not. Is it false? No, because it’s a joke that doesn’t pretend to be true.

South African shopping malls – ‘Masonic’?

South Africans Against Dagga and Satan have posted a number of similar pranks.

On 7 September 2017 they joked that plastic toys given away at Pick n Pay stores were satanic. The joke was so popular it prompted articles in the media and unleashed a flurry of memes on Facebook.

The page has also warned that Pokémon is a plot to show children that they can become a "powerful evil force, and they don't have to listen to their parents”.

Then there’s its warning that the five biggest malls in Gauteng province are “Masonic Malls” built on ancient ley lines in the shape of a pentagram to “inflict uncontrollable desire and lust” on residents and visitors to the area.

Africa Check contacted South Africans Against Dagga and Satan, asking if they could email us an explanation of their satire to help Facebook users tell the difference between satire and false news.

But they stayed in character.

“You can email Jesus because, Jesus does not think it’s false! #prayforafricacheck.” - Africa Check (20/05/19)

Republish our content for free

We believe that everyone needs the facts.

You can republish the text of this article free of charge, both online and in print. However, we ask that you pay attention to these simple guidelines. In a nutshell:

1. Do not include images, as in most cases we do not own the copyright.

2. Please do not edit the article.

3. Make sure you credit "Africa Check" in the byline and don't forget to mention that the article was originally published on

For publishers: what to do if your post is rated false

A fact-checker has rated your Facebook or Instagram post as “false”, “altered”, “partly false” or “missing context”. This could have serious consequences. What do you do?

Click on our guide for the steps you should follow.

Publishers guide

Africa Check teams up with Facebook

Africa Check is a partner in Meta's third-party fact-checking programme to help stop the spread of false information on social media.

The content we rate as “false” will be downgraded on Facebook and Instagram. This means fewer people will see it.

You can also help identify false information on Facebook. This guide explains how.

Add new comment

Restricted HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a href hreflang> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote cite> <code> <ul type> <ol start type> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <h2 id> <h3 id> <h4 id> <h5 id> <h6 id>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.
limit: 600 characters

Want to keep reading our fact-checks?

We will never charge you for verified, reliable information. Help us keep it that way by supporting our work.

Become a newsletter subscriber

Support independent fact-checking in Africa.