Monday November 5 2012

The world of Africa's sorcerers, remote sex and disappearing genitals

By By Janet Otien

When you walk down any street in Kenya, you cannot miss to spot a small poster advertising witchdoctors who claim to offer solutions to an array of problems, from relationships to financial matters.

But wait a minute! Do these 'experts' have power to influence love, considering reports of the people coming out to say they had been swindled of huge sums of money?

However, it is not only in Kenya. Stories of black magic or what is famously known in West Africa as voodoo or juju, are common elsewhere.

In Zimbabwe, it is called mubobobo.
Police in the southern African nation reportedly arrested a man recently after he was caught using mubobobo on a woman at a bus terminus.

According to a report on Bulawayo 24, the visibly shaken woman reportedly sensed ‘unusual funny feelings in her private parts’ and realised that her ‘underwear had vanished’ after the ordeal, according to the report.

Mubobobo is an ‘African technology’ where men allegedly satisfy their sexual desires through strange ways, akin to witchcraft.

In July this year, a woman reportedly fainted in Masvingo, rural Zimbabwe while waiting for her travel documents to be processed after a man using mubobobo allegedly pounced on her with his sexual antics.
Harvesting blood

But it is not only mubobobo, other strange things are also taking place in Zimbabwe where a group of women prowl highways and kidnap men before allegedly raping them and harvesting their sperms in condoms for luck-enhancing rituals. The male victims are reportedly given sex stimulants and raped at gunpoint.

Apart from ritual purposes, some experts have given the reason for the big sperm harvest to be its use in beauty products like facial creams and hair conditioners. Local papers reported that condoms full of semen sell like “hot cakes” in Zimbabwe.

In Kenya, incidences of adulterous lovers being stuck after a spell is cast on them have become a common occurrence.
Moreover, it is not only in Africa as cases of white witches have also been reported.

In September; The Telegraph reported that a recycling worker known as Osezua Elvis Osolase smuggled Nigerian children into the UK then used African magic to manipulate them into prostitution.

According to the paper, one of the girls told Canterbury Crown Court that she was given a concoction which looked like blood to use in her bath water and a red cloth to tie around her waist thereafter.

Strange events followed as she claimed a man cut her armpit hair and nails, then pricked her to harvest blood from her right hand.
Shrinking genitals
In April 2008, Reuters reported on the "penis theft panic" that was sweeping DR Congo capital Kinshasa.

Police arrested about 13 suspected sorcerers who were accused of using black magic to steal or shrink male organs.
The same bizarre incident of genital theft was also reported in Benin, Ghana and south western Nigeria, where people lynched some individuals claimed to shrink the vital organs after shaking the victims’ hands.

Even as medics frantically try to explain the cases of shrinking genitals because of contracting illness, witchdoctors still make a killing claiming to restore shrunk organs.

Some of these witchdoctors allegedly prescribed accidents and deaths to desperate customers who continue to be bullied into submission.

Western-based analysts have argued that the practice existed in Africa because hard science was not prevalent and foundation of all cultures was deeply rooted in inhibitive traditions.

Since physical and emotional problems were beyond law, voodoo, juju or mubobobo was unlikely to go away anytime soon. Perhaps, it was about time people realised that it could have lethal implications!

Email: ajotieno@ke.nationmedia