My paternal uncle in the village, a self-acclaimed wizard sometime in 2007 after patrimonial disagreement, threaten to use “MBAIM” on yours truly. MBIAM is a highly feared voodoo or “juju” in my native place which is believed to possess powers to terminate the life of an individual or strike the designated person with an incurable ailment. As stubborn and disbelieving this Son of David right here has always been, I told him to go and pour the Mbiam and do his worst. Many years passed and here I am.
Sometime last year, I decided to pay a traditional visit to my kinsmen in the village to acknowledge my ancestors, spirits of the land and greet all and sundry and make amends with the kinsmen. My kinsmen are of royalty lineage called “OBONG” in my native dailet, in other words I am from a family of OBONGS and MKPON-OWO (Big and powerful people or ancestors). Like tradition demands, I took along the necessary gifts which included the African she-goat.
After much lengthy talks, I presented my gifts to the “EKPUK” (kinsmen), shockingly, they rejected them, telling me they’ll have to think about it before receiving them. I was passively angry and lashed back at them with witty proverbs and sensational rhetoric which threw them into guilt and self-defense saying they are not rejecting my gifts, but rather the entire EKPUK is not present at the moment, but we should fix a date to make it very official and traditional, and I agreed to it.
On the set date, on reaching the large ancestral compound, a “busy-body” who is kind of related called me on side to gossip what was happening behind my back. He told me that a few of them out of fear of me, went to consult voodoo or an oracle to find-out whether my gifts were poisoned or meant as a trap to kill them. As ridiculous as it sounds, I laughed so hard, that he pleaded with me to reduce my voice. He went ahead to enumerate that my paternal uncle (the self-acclaimed wizard) took my name to a native priest sometime ago to hurt me, but the juju instead told him “IBOK ISI TAGHA IBOK”, translation “Juju doesn’t feed on another juju”. According to him, since then, my uncle has been on the leash to spread to anyone who cares to listen that I am a WIZARD or whatever. Again, I busted into an uncontrollable guffaw, and he really felt uncomfortable with it begging me not to disclose this to them. He went ahead to enumerate how their consultations to the oracle went: when they asked the oracle whether I am wizard, a member of some occult and if I possessed some spiritual powers or whatever, but the Oracle never responded with a yes or no. All the oracle told them was that, I had no intention to hurt them and my gifts are neither poisoned or charmed.
After all and sundry was prepared, one of the elders stood-up and spoke saying : “We initially weren’t sure about these gifts; these days a lot of things happen, young men do not allow elders sleep at night all in the name of SECRET SOCIETY. So we went to pray about this and…..” before he could say anything further, the rest of the elders interrupted him and one of them said “we are not into long talks here. All what you’re saying is unnecessary, we are happy for this our son here, who has come to his home to acknowledge us, let’s just get into business”, the rest agreed in unison, like they were avoiding something.
My eyes eventually made contact with the gossip guy and his eyes were like saying “I told you”. Isn’t it laughable when a self-acclaimed wizard calls someone else a wizard? I am no fan of superstitions and fairytale, but this is what I’ve come to learn about these things:
First all, the mind is a substance of great power, where the power to wield good and evil lies in it thereof, those who tap into it en mass will wield great power…..