Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Bayie Kɔɔɔɔɔɔɔɔɔɔɔɔɔɔɔ!!!

“The witch cried yesterday and the child died today, who does not know that it was the witch that cried yesterday that killed the child who died today” Yoruba proverb.

Brutus, My brother from another mother, since I got back to Accra, I have been very reluctant to travel in a vehicle with wheels - cars, lorries, mummy trucks, motor bikes, bicycles, tricycles, trucks, wheel barrows, you name them- I’m avoiding them all. Brutus, the news is that they’re back in full force, the witches are back! The witches of Ghana!

Brutus, I know in your part of the world you do not believe in witches for reasons I believe are linked to a deep seated belief in your psyche that the last witch hunt in Europe that saw massive executions in places like Denmark and Exerter finished off this heretic breed. Not so in Africa. Our witch hunt might have been interrupted by European colonizers who imposed laws that didn’t allow us to bring closure to the issue of witchcraft. As a result, they live with us, eat with us and share all the perks of democracy with us. They are at the bottom of all that is ugly in Africa, high mortality, poor quality of life, increasing population of bastards, low sperm count, barrenness, low farm yield and even baldness. My Brother from another mother, do you know how many lives have been claimed by road traffic accident in Ghana this year? The news is that all these horrendous accidents are incidents orchestrated from “spiritus mundis” by powerful sorcery. Some politicians are supposed to have consulted the world of the spirits to help them win elections, however, these felons haven’t lived up to their part of the bargain, the result is a massive rain of fireball on the streets of Ogyakrom. Since this revelation which has been authenticated by Christians, muslims and anaemists alike, I gave up on cars.

Brutus, however, I have great difficulty understanding the modus operandi of these flying saucers of Africa. Don’t be mistaken, I am not referring to UFOs . In fact, I have a strong suspicion that our definition of witchcraft, AKA bayiee, is different from definitions in other parts of the world. For the avoidance of doubt, a witch is usually, a woman or child and occasionally men whose rendezvous point is usually at the summit of the biggest trees in a forest. Their meeting agenda has only three items: Blood, Blood and Blood. Brutus, the easiest way to identify a witch in a village is to look for a defenseless woman whose face is battered by want, leaving little beauty to be cherished. I do not know what kind of succession is practiced in Ghanaian witchdom but they never pass on the powers to a beautiful charming educated influential woman in Ghanaian Society. The kind of powers attributed to the witch is totally incongruous to her life of abject poverty. The witch has the ability to fly but can’t create an airplane, the ability to kill a man but can’t resurrect his goat, the ability to maim but can’t heal- surely this is an epitome of the sad story of Africa, the richest continent in resources but alas carries the world’s poverty as a crown without shame.

In your part of the world, you seek rational explanation to things that don’t go right, but in Ogyakrom, our first point of call is the super natural. Why do we do that? Because the bible says they are there! You see, before the whiteman introduced us to Christianity, we knew all about bayie, when we took the scripture we searched until we found Exodus 22: 18, “Suffer not a witch to live”, that was all we needed to link all our bayiee to witchcraft. Ask an average forty year old Ogyakromian the following?

Question: Do you believe Yaa killed her rival’s daughter through withcraft?

Ans: Yes I do

Question: Any evidence that she really has witchcraft?

Ans: No. Do you want me to experience it first? The bible says it is there.

Que: Do you believe Juju makes people rich?

Ans: Yes!

Que: You know it for a fact?

Ans: Don’t you watch Nigeria movies?

Brutus, I am not kidding, I can list a tall list of exploits by the witches of Ghana. My 79 year old grandfather didn’t die a natural death. My uncle who drank too much for his liver to process was killed by Yaa nom.

My auntie who got an infection and was only sent to the hospital after the soothsayer failed to heal her was killed by all those people the soothsayer identified.

My footballer friend Fuutse who loved training like the goat loves being tied in a rope, lost his position in the team to Ankobra because the latter used Juju.

We had only few rains in May because the market queens in Makola shook their backsides at the skies to clear the clouds that gathered so they don’t interrupt their sale.

Brutus, in certain parts of Ogyakrom, a man can perform some rituals with a padlock and if his wife cheats on him with another man, the two cheaters get stuck in the act like dogs till the man returns. Have I seen this before? No, we only hear of them, but they must be true, the bible says there are forces.

Koo Brabo who hailed from a mountainous village in Ogyakrom bought one of those old VW beetles and took it to the village. Whiles all his folks flocked around the new toy, he walked to the front to open the bonnet, and to his horror there was no sign of an engine. The man was joined by his folks to wail and curse the witches in his family as everybody pointed accusing fingers towards hut that housed the usual suspect, Yaa Etufaa. As the Ululation continued, Kofi Broni the mechanic arrived in the compound and had a hearty laugh on hearing the cause of the uproar. He took Koo to the back of the vehicle and explained to him that this car was designed with the engine at the back and not the front. Poor Yaa Etufa, nobody bothered to apologize to the old witch, of course not , she must be a witch! How else could she have outlived all her contemporaries with her 68 year old body actually looking like she was 90?

A few years ago, all men had to walk around Accra with their hands cusped on their most important members because there were rumours of people who lost their genitals after shaking hands with some strangers. In fact, some families lost their sole bread winners because the poor guys were suspected to have caused a few genitals to fly out of position. There is no record of any body walking the streets of Ogyakrom today with nothing dangling between his thighs as a result of those incidents but the guys were killed anyway, and we still believe their genitals were charmed away. Of course it is easy to verify if a man’s genitals are locked in position by mere inspection, but nobody bothered to do that before pouncing on the “culprit” and sending him to join the ancestors.

Back to the modus operandi of the flying saucer, why do these deities that were consulted for election miracles kill innocent people for the sins of politicians who have no relations with them and who they didn’t even vote for? I have heard of other deities who kill everybody in a family for the sins of one man who is only killed as a last resort if the family doesn’t make a sacrifice. These African deities mete out African Justice.

Brutus, I’m coming back to Europe sooner than I thought. I missed Ogyakrom, but I can’t stand the fire in the kitchen, I will walk to the airport, I won’t give any deity the pleasure of sacrificing me for a politician’s folly.

Sincerely yours


(blogging from the capital)

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