Of Witches and Witchcraft

A renowned rainmaker in my village lost his mother during a drought season.

We all left our raincoats and umbrellas at home rest assured that it wouldn’t rain at the funeral. Believe you me, it rained more than cats and dogs. It was more like hippos and elephants.

Mourners confronted the rainmaker to stop the rain but he claimed he was extremely bereaved to think of what was happening in the sky. I whispered to my friend asking whether he thought the rainmaker was genuine and he replied, “Rainmakers don’t exist at all except in our imagination.”

An old lady who was eavesdropping on our conversation immediately shot up and at the top of her voice said, “The gods are hearing you. You will die with your head upside down if you don’t withdraw your words. You are joking with witchcraft.” My friend laughed it off and responded, “If people were able to perform real witchcraft, I think we would have been able to solve many of the world’s problems by now.”

The old lady was extremely offended. She unleashed several examples of witchcraft scenarios that had allegedly happened previously in the village.

“I know these things because I practise them,” she concluded. My friend boldly assured the old lady that if witchcraft existed, Uganda would have won the World Cup by now.

“There is no scientific basis upon which we can make a case for the reality of witches,” he concluded.

The old lady went silent. I kept thinking about this whole witchcraft circus as the funeral service proceeded and realised that if you took any piece of technology from today and sent it back to the medieval ages, they would call it witchcraft. The idea is that with technology beyond its time, you would seem like a witch too because people wouldn’t be able to explain it and would fear you.

After the last hymn was sung to escort the deceased to her final resting place, the old woman pulled out a smoking pipe from her undergarments and threatened, “You are next on the queue,” before walking away as she lit her pipe to smoke her dry herbs. The wrinkles that formed on the old lady’s face reminded me of the Uganda martyrs. I told my friend to apologise before the lady turned us into pillars of salt.

“Stop being a coward,” he continued, “if she was able to perform real witchcraft, don’t you think she could use that evil force and become the first lady? Which woman wouldn’t want to be married to the president?”

We still wonder to this day how long that queue was because the old woman is long dead. I guess the queue killed her.

Source : The Observer

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