In my Senior Two, before I became a devout believer; a visiting evangelist pronounced words of prophecy upon my life that drew me closer to God for the wrong reasons. It was during the prayer and worship session, that moment when the chapel would get a little confusing for the uninitiated.
With worshippers calling upon the spirit of the Lord with their hands raised above their reverent faces, some members slouched against the walls with their heads cupped in their hands as they wailed like little children, others uncontrollably rolling on the floor with convulsive spasms, and the so gifted handful of the congregation spouting utterances in what appeared to be an extinct Mesopotamian dialect.
In that moment, standing in the corridor half dozing with my triceps aching from carrying the weight of my own hands; the man of God walked up to me, held my head with both his hands and proclaimed, “the witchcraft set against you will not prosper.”
Before this experience, I had never ever considered the possibility that someone out there may be bewitching me, let alone actually have a reason to bewitch me.
I was not exactly from a rich family, neither was I one of those children who made others’ lives in school a living hell. This would have been received with less shock if I was a considerable contender for the yearly academic bursary, but I’d never even made it to the top 10 of my class. What motive would anyone have to seek the help of the gods to kill me? It didn’t make much sense, but you don’t just receive news like that and you take it lightly.
I was happy that it was a positive prophesy, but I had to become more cautious. Paranoia came to define my life, I questioned all my friendships and guessed every kind gesture. I had nowhere to start, but it was imperative for me to prepare a list of people to watch out for that ranged from close friends to relatives.
It took over a year for this paranoia to fade, but while it might have drawn me closer to God, with hind sight, I doubt anyone was actually consulting witchcraft to control my fate. Religious leaders should be more responsible before inciting witchcraft wars.