Sunday, June 12, 2011

Witchcraft, Juju and all that Jazz

I don’t believe in jazz/juju/melecine/remote control/voodoo.

I am not saying that there are no bad spirits, no possessions, no devil and his works.  
I am just saying that I have never spared more than ten seconds thinking, ‘Things are going so wrong in my life, and it shouldn’t be. It must be that (insert anyname you deem fit – Aunty, Uncle, Cousin, Mother in law, Brother in law, colleague at work, neighbor etc), who hates me, who is jealous of me, who doesn’t want my progress, causing it.
I don’t go looking for someone to blame cause I had an accident,  I missed out on a job, my fiancé jilted me, I lost a pregnancy, etc etc.
I don’t stop myself from giving to those less privileged cause I am thinking…If I give alms, clothes, food, the receiver will use some essence of me in the article I gave to perform rituals, impede my progress, make me ill. Come on people! In fact writing it makes me feel downright silly.

You wonder, what makes me bold to make these claims? 3Fs

Family values – I am a Christian, born of Christian parents. Baptised and confirmed in the Catholic Church. Not one day during my years of growing up did my Mom, Dad or any Priest I know, ever make such a claim. What I do remember her saying is ‘When God gives you a cross, lift it up and follow Him’. And boy have we had crosses! We still do.

Faith - Building on that foundation, is the simple Biblical truth that  – If I am for God who can be against me? Who? (looking around and beating my hand on my chest?) If He watches over the sparrow on the field, why won’t He watch over me? If I showed love to my neighbor because s/he bears the image of God and is my brother in Christ why would God let me suffer for that? If I miss out on a job, marriage, lottery – hey, it is not God’s time for me to have them. Or I need to work harder. Or there is a lesson to be learnt that would make me a better person, in readiness for the next opportunity.

It pains me to see this fetish culture being embodied among young people, who profess to be religious - Christians, Muslims. I see it as one of the reasons why Nigeria isn't moving forward. If you keep thinking that there are enemies out for you, someone wants to use your luck , then we stop loving our neighbour. We stop being good Samaritans. We stop being Christ-like. Do you think God exists in a society that does not show each other love? NO.

SMOKESCREENS and FACTS
Alms giving especially, has been elevated to some negative spiritual realm that irks the heck out of me.
Fact - There are some fraudulent people out there posing as beggars true. A lot in fact (see my post here). There are also times when people genuinely in need, seek your help. If you must refuse cos you don’t have, that’s ok. But don’t stop yourself because of some fear of "my kindness being used against me" etc etc that's just bull. In fact that selfish thought is of the devil!!!

Money making rituals/ogwu-ego – I can’t believe, people still talk of money falling from severed heads, from a pot, a tree etc etc. lol. Come on! Show me one man who has made his money this way (I want pictures not hearsay) and I will swallow my words. The bad man makes his money by cheating, stealing, fraud, bribery and corruption. If it was through jazz, politicians won't endanger their lives by running for public office. Just behead one or two kindred, make some sacrifices in my bedroom and voila money rain.
Fact 1 - People have been kidnapped, killed and dismembered. There’s also a THRIVING multibillion dollar organ selling business going on globally. Harvested organs are being sold for transplants, for experiments and because of the lax laws in developing countries, we are the favoured harvesting site. Who remembers Clifford Orji? As far back as in the 1990s I think, he confessed to selling organs internationally.
Fact 2 – Even if they were being used by ritualists, my philosophy is that the murder of another human is not so much for monetary gain but a symbolic act of rebellion against God. The devil wants you to do ‘that’ which is so heinous that you will find it hard to turn back to God. It’s not that God won’t take you back but, ‘can you forgive yourself enough to ever go back’? I don’t think so. And does the money come? Of course not. Isn’t it the father of lies that made the promise. Hahaha you’ve been 419ed!
Fact 3 – So people have escaped these ritualists/killers and lived to tell the tale. True. Why ever not? If your time is not up, you ain’t going nowhere.
Fact 4  - The escapees usually tell of caves, forests, of men dressed in red/white etc. I don’t deny that they may have seen such, but I will bet on it that those were no ritualists. The smoke screen of rituals is what has kept that enterprise thriving cause it keeps the public in fear. The police are too chicken to investigate them, the kidnapped people too scared to fight, thinking they have super-human powers (my opinion….. feel free to disagree).

The legendary Jujuman -The juju man’s business has always been herbs. Ogwu. He may worship some deity, wear talismans, he may do some razzmatazz with stones and mirrors, but it has always been about herbs. He knows their potency and keeps this knowledge close to his chest. Why do you think they keep jaunting into the forest for? To visit with the devil? Don’t make me laugh.
He can prepare herbs that induce vomiting, diarrhea, bleeding from every human orifice. The subsequent death is caused by fatal chemical reactions not wizardry!
Herbs that are toxic to the liver and kidney. Given little by little over time, the victim develops oedema (swelling) classic liver/kidney problems!
Herbs that make you break out in rashes, cause itching, etc
Psychotropic herbs that can induce nightmares, even make one mad. No wizardry just chemicals!
Even psychoactive herbs that can make one 'fall in love' with someone (oneirogens, hallucinogens, coca – the cocaine plant). They are mood enhancers which make you feel eiree! and happy with your world (Jah rastafara!). So if I am a woman and serve my man with food steeped in this, he will be very happy to be with me. maybe even imagine himself to be in love with me. Nollywood never lied to us. The antagonist always puts some powder given to her by the jujuman into the food, doesn’t she?

IN GOD WE TRUST .…

Do you come into office and spend precious working hours 'de-witching and de-jujuing your office chair and space?
A childless couple come to you seeking advice. Do you encourage them to undergo IVF or foster/adopt children and turn their life around OR do you encourage them to seek spiritualists offering sacrifices, receive ‘pastorly’ anointing, and reject adoption cause who knows, ‘the child may be a witch’s offspring or a murderer’s son etc etc??


Please, please stop! Stop squandering the opportunity you have to be your brother’s keeper by chasing after shadows and thinking outta your arse. Be still and know that there is God.

Have a lovely week people!

28 comments:

  1. Shoot... I dashed over here as fast as I could.
    LOL

    Great post. I believe there are supernatural forces out there. However, I firmly believe that if you do not do rituals and stuff like that the GOD you serve can NEVER let someone harm you.

    I have been ill, childless, lost, down, broke ...and I only looked to God for help. Did he fail me? Not on your nelly! LOL

    Think about it. If as - mere human beings - we cannot stand by why our children cry out in need for something or the other. How can our almighty father stand by and let his children lack.

    That being said, the day a person enters a native doctor's shrine or partakes in a ritual/ oath.......the person has invited negativity into their life.

    Have a fab, blessed, confusion-free week
    xoxoxoxo

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  2. Like Naijamum, I believe there are some bad spiritual forces out there and some people, eg juju men, have the ability to communicate with and manipulate those forces. It's the same way there is the holy spirit, and how some devoted Christians have developed the ability to tap into that spiritual realm and cause things to happen in the physical, such as praying and people falling... :-/

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  3. Great post Ginger! True that! These things exist, but to give them attention would be to give them power. I hate it when people say stuff about their 'enemies' and how God should 'fire fire fire' them. It's so not right.

    Meanwhile, i think Juju man is different from Medicine man. Medicine men deal with those herbs you're talking about; Juju men deal with Okija shrines

    Adiya

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  4. Thanks for your lovely comment on my blog! :) Thanks also for another interesting blog,and for analysing jazz mystery with science.Just to add that a man suddenly dropping down dead could just as well be as a result of an aneurysm or stroke, or heart attack and not the jazz on his desk. A man who earns 10,000 naira a month yet having to feed a family of 10, who complains of things 'pressing' him might be suffering from high blood pressure, malnutrition and its other effects including anaemia, and just severe stress from worrying about survival!

    Anyway that was just my preamble here are the rest. Mind you my reply is an epistle, so bear with the length.

    Well I am a bit conflicted with this topic.

    On the one hand I understand that so many of these 'juju' are just smokes and mirrors maintained by ignorance, hearsay and fear of the unknown. Like you I seek logical explanations for events. Tell you what, I have been in a cab (those cabs that carry 4 passengers at a time) and the driver suddenly started threatening one of the passengers saying he will take the passenger( a young man) to the police for putting a ghanamustgo bag filled with dollars and stained with blood in his car. The other passengers started asking for more details and the man confessed that he was a houseboy to a gay white guy in the north whom he killed and took his dollars.
    The other passengers started begging the driver to forgive the boy and that instead they should wash the money and share it. By this time, we had long passed our stop and even our area with the driver saying he will take the boy to the police and take us as witnesses. Now I am naturally a very curious person so while I knew they were acting drama for my viewing pleasure I wanted to know exactly how they intended to jazz me. I followed them, they dropped us off to see a 'prophet' who had the 'stuff' to 'wash' the money. I asked them to show me the bag and bloody dollars, they said we should wait for the prophet that he will do it before our eyes.Na so prophet came in and started guessing things about other passengers. They all started shaking that he was real. It came to my turn and he said I had a substantial amount of money at home. I denied it instantly but tell you what I had about 300,000 naira at home!!He insisted that I did, and that I should go and bring the money to wash the dollars. I got bored that no hocus pocus happened, said okay and took a bus, made sure they werent trailing me, changed buses and went home to do my usual chores and sleep.lol

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  5. Now on the other hand OTHER people around me seem susceptible to being tricked/jazzed/entranced. I remember one of them. It was ssce holidays and my best friend and i would meet up, gist,escort each other to each others housesand escort each other back again(no work) on one ofthose days, after escorting me home and walking back. I called her for our usual top up chat and she avoided me, she was so cold. I innocently had no idea why. Only for days later she calls mecrying that she had been jazzed. That the day she escorted me home, on her way back, some men stopped her. They told her that her best friend planning tosteal her boyfriend. They told her that they will give her a special mercury to neutralise the juju. But the mercury was to be madeup of gold. They told her to gohome, and pick up all the gold in her house and give to them. She sef went like a robot, and picked upthe gold. Her siblings reported that they were talking to her but she blanked them like she couldnt hear them. She gave them the gold, they asked her to walk back home and tell no one. And then they 'disappeared'. She went home stillentranced and when icalled she ignored me. It was when her mother raised alarm about her gold that she 'snapped' out of it shaking and crying. And guess what? she had no boyfriend, we didnt know man at all sef!!!

    The point of my 'story is if there are angels there are also demons. The fact that one has unshakeable faith doesnt mean we shouldnt be weary of the tricks of the devil. He may not get to us but he may get to others around us which is equally bad. The bible said “We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Ephesians 6:12) If we take the bible as the truth then principalities, powers, SPIRITUAL wickedness, rulers of darkness etc etc are also real. Thank God it also said, No weapons formed against children of God shall prosper.

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  6. Wow. What an interesting post. You and I are of pretty much the same beliefs. Though I am a long lapsed Catholic, I never left God. How could I? I and the Father are one.

    But every so often I do wonder if my moon isn't in feces. ;)

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  7. Loved this post.... well written and compelled me to read till end.

    As a matter of fact I never believed in such things too.

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  8. i've never believed in juju and black magic, even bad omen sef get as it be. I'm jst not fetish or spiritual like that. I hate when i hear of stories bout relations cursing a person or sumn..it's like, dnt blame ur misfortune on someone or some juju..pssh!

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  9. Very straight-to-the-point and true. Although, the Word encourages us to "walk circumspectly, not as fools, but understanding the times," we must not be scared to do good or merely to exist fully, because God is with us...and if God be for us, then what can rise up to harm us? It just won't work. "No weapons fashioned against us shall prosper."

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  10. I like Mena's comments...I totally agree with her.

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  11. InterestingPost! I didn't know much about the jujuman before reading this but it's the same kinda superstitious stuff that all people think just with a different name. I believe people's thoughts are more powerful than anything so if you believe in something making bad things happen to you then bad things will happen. If you think good things can happen to you they will. It's simple!

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  12. This post rings so true but I actually agree with Mena....that exact thing with the cab driver and the fake prophet happened to me in Abuja and yes I caught on but went with the flow and the prophesies were not fake but so generic I can't even remember

    I acknowledge that there is evil, jazz and the like(because i have seen weird things like fat ass blue and red candles inside bottles and pins and ish happen to people I know... unexplainable illnesses) but do not believe that there is a higher power or will than that of God for me...long story short God knows the whole story and I believe every phase is a scene in the script of my life....He is me security, my all.

    It's given me peace so far.

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  13. @Ope - Thank you :)

    @NaijaMum - You bring up a great point, one shouldn't dine with the devil and thus invite negativity into their lives. Yet His mercies abound even for these souls who have gone astray.
    LOL@confusion free week- will try!

    @Prism - indeed there are people who walk in other worlds, but my power pass their power. end of story:).
    As for your last sentence-are we being real or sarcastic :P? we have also heard of people who fix some vibrating machines under the floors to make their congregation susceptible to falling!

    @Adiya - You may be right dear, about the difference between jujuman/medicine men. My great Uncle was the priest of a shrine and though he handles sacrifices and oath takings and such, I don't think he did healing rites or gave herbs.
    Thank you for noting that.

    @Mena - thank you, thank you for sharing.
    Thanking God you haven't left for home yet, I wont have read from you :).
    There's no denying there are angels and demons, but cleaving onto the life of Jesus even onto all the bible saints we read about, they didn't spend as much time as we did looking for and binding the devil like we do. I remember the showmanship between Moses and Pharoah. But there are faithfuls like Abraham, Paul, Peter, Job whose faith was practical and uni-directional...God only.
    Your stories were LOL. The first one I have experienced. Almost same story line , except that the woman with the money in the booth said she stole it from her husband who makes her sleep with dogs. I tell you it was a wtf moment for me. I nearly burst into laughter. The driver and passenger at the back were all for going to the black market to change the dollars and everyone getting a share. I also noticed the driver and the guy beside me kept checking me out in the memory, guess they wanted to see if i was 'falling for their yarn'. When they ran out of stories, it was the driver that asked me to please get off their car, cos they had changed their route. I got off happily and without a parting shot at the woman that if she has money in the boot that she should be more careful who she tells it so. See naivete mixed with oversabi.
    Like you I also have susceptible friends and many have sad stories of being jazzed and told to go clear their accounts or their purses. What they never tell you and what I believe is the foundation for a good heist is greed. They always offer something. bring money so you will pass your JAMB(happened to my cousin), go clear your account, we can double it(my colleague), My mom nearly fell for it but she was really broke then..lol. Its just like mind Yahoo. If you are tempted you are half way to being a victim of hypnosis. All that's required is a mind that is willing to make money illegally. That's my opinion oo.
    And about him knowing you have money..call it a calculated guess. Unlike here in the West were cards are it, Nigeria is a cash economy, most people keep substantial amounts of money at home at some point or the other.
    But Babe, your curiosity much o. Abeg no try that kind thing again. One can get physically over whelmed or drugged abeg!

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  14. It's all about an individual's psychology and how they roll. If someone invites negativity into their life, it defocuses them from the real issues.

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  15. @Jayne- *big smile* At not leaving God. Nor has He-you. Thanks for reading.

    @Jyoti - Thanks for reading to the end. I know it was looong. Pls don't change your unbelief!

    @Kitkat - bad omen..lol remember the ones of if you stumble on your left big toe something bad will happen...yeah my nail broke.

    @Jaycee - I am loving "We must not be scared to do good or merely to exist fully, because God is with us". You hit that nail right on the head.

    @Climb2Nowhere - lol. You might not have heard of jujumen, but the Western version is witches and wizards. Think Witches of Eastwick lol.Practical examples of ladies who dabbled with magic and got more than they bargained for.

    @Pretty Lashes - thank you

    @Tee - Welcome Tee and thanks for commenting. Nothing do you my Brother, keep holding on to God and ignoring the other noise.

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  16. i share the same opinion as NIL. I think i understand those things exist cos ive seen alot of it to know it exists. But if one is centered in Christ they cant harm you.

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  17. Great post--especially naijamum's comment. They do exist, but like i say "Greater is HE that is in me oooo"--I cant even shout mehn!

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  18. Great post Ginger but I am with NIL and Sisi Yemmie on this one. I come from a polygamous and it could get ready diabolique. As a child of God, no shaking, I no fear nothing,

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  19. I love how you dissected this topic.
    Please permit me to go hard on this one.

    I am convinced that the spiritual controls the physical. Life is a battle.

    Ephesians 6:12 "For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places."

    Not acknowledging the existence of the supernatural doesn't make it disappear. Expecting them not to "disturb" you cos you're not hurting anyone is like a country not having a trained army cos they are not looking for anyone's trouble. If you don't look for their trouble, they would look for yours. Al-Queda for example. After 9/11, our perspective has changed. You have to be prepared. You have to be proactive.

    That said, our approach to this battle is another matter all together. Who is the enemy? We have only one. The devil. Where is his position? Under our feet. We fight a battle that has been won. What we are required to do is enforce this victory and not allow the enemy walk all over us.

    Colossians 2 talks about how He spoiled principalities and powers, making an open show of them. Luke 10 tells us how we have been given authority to trample on every power of the enemy and NOTHING will harm us. We are more than conquerors because we fight a battle that has already been won. The enemy has been defeated.

    The enemy uses the tools of fear and ignorance to keep people bound. That's why we need to know the word ourselves and not just got through the motions of just going to church and saying I'm a Christian.
    2nd Corinthians 10:4 "While we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. The weapons of our warfare are not physical... bringing every thought into captivity"

    The battle is fought and won in the mind. If you don't know your enemy is defeated, you'll walk around like a victim, afraid of the enemy's gragra. You shall know the truth, and it shall set you free.

    Jazz and Voodoo are real! I have seen things in this my short life. Even more real to me than the negative supernatural is the power of God, which I have experienced and I can tell you for sure that there is no devil that's devil enough overcome me, cos greater is He that is in me. He will try oh, but I know I'm coming out victorious!

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  20. LOL @ "remote control" - this woman, you will not kill me! hahaha...when last did I hear that?!

    Anyhow...as a former juju-woman, I beg to differ. Juju is real, I've put many men inside bottle, I've talked to snakes, and gone for evil meetings on Jupiter!

    Ok, I'm joking! I kid. I'm not and have never been a juju woman. The only juju I know about is hearsay; can't say I've ever witnessed it first-hand. But I've always been fascinated with the powers to do & overcome juju.

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  21. I really know nothing about "witchcraft" or "voodoo". I am not religious, but I think these juju things may work because of the power of suggestion along with the herbs that you mention. I certainly wouldn't mess with it myself! You have a good head on your shoulders, Ginger Darling!

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  22. Ginger, juju is real. Yes in the developing countries it is all about painted faces and gourds and cowries, but over here in the west, it is called witchcraft. Some call themselves white witches, others black witches. They are all servants of the devil. I agree with Gbemisoke's take on this. The fact that you are minding your own business does not automatically protect or insulate you, 1 Peter 5:8 cautions us to be on our guard. I don't advocate blaming the devil for every misfortune that befalls one, neither do I advocate ignoring the fact that he is real, evil and hates humanity. Thank God for Jesus Christ is my conclusion.

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  23. lol @ melecine...

    I believe such things exist...the Bible refers to "principalities and powers" and to "wickedness in high places"...

    But I know "my Redeemer lives", and "He that is within me is greater than he that is in the world".

    I also know that "no weapon fashioned against me shall prosper", and that "every tongue that rises against me in judgement shall be condemned"....so no shaking.

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  24. You know I always thought it was ironic that one of the most religious people on earth is also the most superstitious. We attend church and sing our hearts out, dance, tithe, proclaim our Christianess to kingdom come. But we are also to first to blame juju when things go wrong in our lives.

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  25. Hhen you have mind o. I also had the cab experience once. I was going to VI from Surulere with a close to N200k in my bag. When they started gisting their jargon i just told the driver to drop me that I wasnt going again. He said he wouldnt drop me. I told him I was going to open the door and get out if he doesnt stop, he insisted that he wouldnt drop me. Due to all the home videos I have been watching and the outcome as shown by Nollywood, I started screaming, the other passengers were telling me to calm down; Whosai, I screamed some more. The guy jejely dropped me and sped off.
    I believe there are evil spirits. I agree with Gbemisoke's take on this.

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