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Friday, January 8, 2010

IS THERE REALLY ANYTHING LIKE JUJU?


So I was having a conversation with my very erudite bros who says every nonbeliever is "poor upstairs."In the course of the conversation, I was reminded of the extent to which religious faith trains the mind to accept things without reason. In this case, proof-free belief in supernatural/spiritual phenomena.

On a side note, he offered me an answer to a question I've asked others concerning what I consider a paradox in the concept of on omniscient creator, and I must confess that his answer gave me serious pause. I wanted to know how an omniscient being can find purpose in humans when she knows all; our beginning through to our end. If so, why bother creating us? Bros went like "Have you ever watched a movie you've seen already? Where's the purpose in that? Where do we get off trying to imagine the emotional imperatives of an omniscient being with our stunted minds? O PLeeeze sharap!!" I'm still stumped.

Anyways, as our conversation evolved he made references to his 'spirit' and that got me thinking. How did we come to accept absurd ideas like every human has a spirit as fact? No one has ever observed evidence of his/her spirit. I would think progress in science should have arrested that dogma, but Bros isn't convinced that biology would ever explain his consciousness, and as far as he is concerned, his brain is an instrument through which his spirit controls his body. Nothing more. All that complexity. Nothing but a spiritual receiver of sorts.

Most of my episode with Bros reminded me of a convo I had in school with friends regarding witches and wizards. I still don't understand how engineering PhD students believe that humans fly and convene at 2:00am (i dunno if it's pacific time or central African time) to discuss and plot evil. That these witches/wizards can transmute into different animals (For what purpose, I don't know). That a barely dressed man with chalk markings who thinks raffia clothing ain't faux pas , but an appropriate fashion statement, can call your name into a calabash in his shrine and inflict an ailment or death upon you, remotely, for a small nominal fee from your enemy.

Like most Nigerians, my friends have unshakable convictions about these witch doctors, shrines, black magic, voodoo, and stuff like that, and yet the closest they've ever come to witnessing any supernatural phenomenon is a naija movie. That and umptillions of third hand accounts.

This issue shouldn't deserve more than a chuckle but when a relative's nanny loses her mum and her family members do an 'autopsy' in their heads and conclude the cause of death is a spiritual attack and then proceed to beat a confession out of the alleged perpetrator, chuckle turns to wild choke.

So like I usually ask folks, has anyone around blogsville ever witnessed a supernatural phenomenon? If not, why do you believe second hand accounts?

28 comments:

..Moyo said...

Personally no. But apparently, my dad's mum used to involve herself in that sort of thing. When he was younger, she took all her boys to one of those men to get "initiated" so they all have some stupid three marks on their cheeks.

People believe in those things because that is what they know. That is what they've seen right from the start so it's natural for them to think right well these things happen and because probably in their family, they've accused someone of doing something through these means. It then depends on you as an individual to think about it and come to your own conclusion or rather gather up your own views on the matter just like you did.

Dith said...

Hmm! Very interesting topic!

I sometimes question myself as well.
Does juju only occur in Africa and other predominantly 'black' countries?
E no dey cross border ni? but they ( the witches) supposedly FLY?
Makes u wonder if it is merely a thing of the mind or one of those colonial, primitive mentality that continues to plague black folks.

I remember telling a classmate of mine (African american) back when i was in like 7th grade(?) that my aunt claims she lost her baby 'cause her maid was a witch and the way this chick laughed at me ehh.
I was so embarrassed and it didn't stop there, She just never looked at me the same..always looked at me like i was looney or sumtn.

Anyway, what does she Know? She had never crossed her little Georgia county anyhow.

Growing up in naija, I saw some pretty odd things but now that I am much older, I wonder if they were mainly a figment of my imagination and if early Nollywood is to be blamed.

The mind(brain) is a very fickle and delicate organ. Which explains why It is very easy to brainwash a relatively sane human.

I cannot answer your question Azazel, but I can indeed tell you that the world is filled with mysteries, and unfortunately we may never solve all of them.

Has this occasional brandishing of every Ekaette and her mother a witch gone bad in naija?
Hell to the yes!!!!
I mean am I the only one who has taken to notice that these so called witches are always from a poverty stricken family? And how they are mainly women??
Abi rich people no dey chop winch??

*sigh* so many questions, so little time

I will however continue to take precautions because eh... Abeg man pikin never wan die but Whoa betide the yeye agbaya pastor/visionary monkey that will label any of my loved ones a witch.
As in he/she will witness first hand from me what witches are capable of. lol

David.фаворит Бога номер-один said...

i'm not sure if my experience will
count in this situation but i do
believe that it exists...
but basically, you act according to
what your mind believes so...let's
wait for someone to give a better
account of an experience...LOL!

leggy said...

my dad doesnt believe in juju cos my grandfather never believed in it.and thats why i dont believe in it.
my granddad said one time they took him to a native doctor when he was sick and the man told him that his mother is the one tormenting hima nd that he has to bring goat for his mother to appease her, and my granddad told the juju man that his mother hated goats when she was alive and therefore she couldnt be the one asking for that same goat.lmao.
anyway, i believe that what you believe in works for you or works on you.i dont believe in it, cos two generations taught me that it was bullshit and my dad always said..'what i have never known, will never know me'.
so i call BS on juju.

Neo said...

there are "forces" out there o, whether they are metaphysical auras that fly at night i dont know but there's definitely evil out there. Me i think serial killers and the like are possessed, the question u might ask is "by what?"

on a lighter note u shld spend some time in Benin, i hear over there kids wave at their moms as they fly past to attend "meetings"

Mw the proper witching hour is 3am!

Geebee said...

I still have my reservations on the issue of witchcraft, juju and what have you. While i do not totally rule out the existence of such phenomena (why? the world has some diabolism after all), i believe the concept has been too overrated, especially in Africa. It's about 3am right now so am i supposed to wonder if some witchcraft meeting is convening behind my house? It's pretty baffling. I conclude that most of these assumptions are projections of our mind based on hearsay and maybe too many home videos. lol. There's a spiritual dimension to the world and that's where the mind comes in. If you allow your mind believe a juju man can harm you then he can. . . It all rests with the mind. . . I like the audacious nature of this blog even though i might have to differ on some of the views therein. Should be back to read a lot more.

Azazel said...

Personally I am not sure. And with that said, I believe that there is nothing like Juju. And I find it interesting how some of the christians on here can say they do not believe in the Juju they can see, but they believe in the watwillicallit. They believe in the 'divine healing' they cannot see. I just thought that, that was interesting lol.
Looooooooooooooooooool @ Dith..
wow I loved ur whole comment, but Dith please give credit where credit is due o. It was not me that wrote this post, the contributor is on here. We have several contributors on this blog

Azazel said...

Lmao @ Neo..
Proper witching hour @ 3am..
How u take sabi? U dey fly with them? Lol u are so funny neo

EDJ said...

I don't believe in juju, and apparently juju can only work if you believe in it...so I'm all good.

I believe in some form of life after death, but I also believe that spirits have much better things to do with their time than show up to harass me because someone ate a lizard and swallowed goat pee then asked them to bother me.

Dith said...

oh my bad!!
very interesting topic to whomever the author is.

Azazel said...

EDj why would u think that? U are 'attaching' reason/logic to spirits? When did they ever do anything logical.

Anonymous said...

There are supernatural power, but Africans just over do it because we are so superstitious. Many of the things that people think are juju are just illusions. You can make your self believe and see anything that you want to see. The mind is so fragile and also reality is subjective, but anyway after saying all this, I still won't stepped in a orji shrine. I am open minded, but not stupid.

Enoch said...

@Moyo
Glad to know you think it's rubbish.

@Dith
LWKMDSISM(Lauagh wan kill me die sotey I soiled myself)
loved your take on d issue. Me I believe it's our primitive fear based feral instincts kicking in. It's all a thing of the mind.

@David
Personal Experience? You dey fly for night? lol. You know say Nice has dumped me? :( so saaaad.

@leggy
That's the spirit. Pun intended. JUJU no dey.

@Neo
The only forces that exist are those explored in Newtonian physics. Rigid body motion and chemical forces. Abeg, there are no metaphysical forces.

Benin is the home of the fliest lies. Pun intended. Don't believe their kids.

@GeeBee
Juju no dey.

@Azazel
u on point as usual. There's nurin like juju.

@EDJ
I guess it's okay to believe in life after death, but don't kid yourself, it's just wishful thinking.

You are right. Spirits can no more reach into this world and influence it than a triangle or a square or any other concept that resides in euclidean space can spit on your face. Spirits are nurin but mental devices.

@Dith
Why thank you :)

@Azazel
Ask her o.

@Anonymous
When you see supernatural power and show it to me, I'll believe you.

Nice Anon said...

You know ever since I read "Delivered from the powers of darkness" as a teenager I have come to fear the things in the water o!

As long as God exists; the devil and his wizards do as well. I don't want to witness it either but I know it does exist!

Now some people take it a tad too far hence a family friend of mine told me not to use Old spice because it has mark of the beast on it. Yeah sure!

Infact I know they gather at night(12 midnight) and also during the day. Lord save us from every principality and power amen!

Anonymous said...

@Enoch, if you believe in God, then a belief in supernatural power is part of believing in God, now If you don't believe in God, then there is no point in this argument because you will never see my point.

Azazel said...

Enoch
Nice Anon makes a point, if God and his angels do exist as a lot of ppl claim.. Shouldn't there be the devil and his demons/witches to balance things out as well??

Bubbles said...

Enoch
I honestly think Juju exists
especially in Nigeria
there are some very evil, wicked people back home. I kid you not.

Anonymous said...

I think the juju that exists is the juju of wickedness... it is wickedness and poverty that makes the blackman blame their laziness and stupidity on juju. You guys go get a life and use ur juju for ur betterment just as ur white counterparts have done. It is called a brain, we have chosen to use ours (brain/juju) to destroy ourselves and perpetuate wickedness and ignorance.

Now go and sleep as it is almost midnight, my babalawo is on his way with his charms to disturb ur sleep

Enoch said...

@Nice
I read that book too. It was very scary at the time but if you read the online version now, you'll just laugh. Well, I did. I'm sure you can do a better job at creative fiction.

Moreover, I have long learned that fear is not a valid basis for a conviction.

God of the bible needs evil to balance the biblical narrative but not all God ideas come with that requirement. This is especially true for 'new age' nutcases that believe the universe is alive and is God. So the question is which God exists& why ll the wizard stories with no credible proof.

@Anonymous
Obviously, you mean If I believe in a Christian God. Not all religious beliefs accommodate the witches and wizards crap.

But even if these things dey and many people claim to have had experiences, the fact that it's impossible to find a credible witness that has had a firsthand account is a statistical misnomer.

Enoch said...

@Azazel
That's not the point. The question remains; why are there so many stories of these things yet never proof? If these things dey and people see it, with 6.5billion people, evidence suppose boku.

@Bubbles
Wickedness to JUJU is a long leap.

@anonymous.
I love your comment. Can you comment more regularly like after every post? I hope you're bullet proof like me and wouldn't get pissed when responded to. we can go to and fro like a yoyo abi na up&down? Or, if you prefer, round and round like a hula-hoop.

Well, I think your babalawo would better serve you if he gives you a charm for coherence, because your comment reads like sophisticated gibberish. But if you insist on disrupting my sleep here are my GPS coordinates. 40.704912,-74.006181. Let him know that I'm a REM sleeper. Ask him to go for the kill, and not just small fish like insomnia. If you need anything else lemme know.

rayo said...

i believe in the possibility of it. same way i believe if there is some efficacy in the white man's God, then there is in the African gods.
so if there is the possibility that pastors can invoke the name of Jesus and heal people, Sango can probably do the same.
but lyk i said earlier, i only believe in the possibility of these thing, i dont believe in these things in themselves...
nd as people have pointed out, i think its what people bliv in that works for them...

Azazel said...

Good point enoch

JuaNita said...

Do jujufied movies count? Na i dont think it exists, its just the way we are led to believe..e.g if a relative dies because he's rich..juju killed him haha! But I don dey fear mami water oh! Chai...I need to stop watching those movies!

LucidLilith said...

Yes. Juju is real. It is very real just as Wicca is real or Christianity or Buddhism. It is a religion. Just as we pray to God to change our situation, Juju practitioners use spells or concoctions to do the same.

I don't mess with that sh*t.

New Orleans, Cuba and generally South America has a lot of Juju or Voodoo practioners.

Myne Whitman said...

Should I tell you a story? See your ear like story. LOL. Of course there is Juju. What do you think is keeping all those men in Aso Rock assembly quiet while our Yardie slips away?

Nice write-up though

Suru said...

This is exactly the same thoughts that have been on my mind lately. Someone I know just died and it was a bizarre and tragic death. I personally don't believe in juju but this death made me start questioning my non-belief. Then I realized that crazy and bizarre things happen to all types and races including those who don't do juju. So for example if whites are not doing juju then why do crazy things still happen to them? I realized that maybe because Africans are so superstitious they just believe in juju because they want an explanation for things that can't really be explained. On the other hand, I don't rule it out completely because just because we don't believe in something doesn't mean it doesn't exist. I just choose not to let it affect my life and see things differently.

Azazel said...

Lol @ lily.. @ I don't mess with that shit..
Myne wat is keepin them silent is fear o..
Nobody wants coup d'etat

Suru

miss b said...

i cant believe no one has raised this point throughout the arguments. All traditional believes or "juju" stem from the religion of our forefathers before colonisation. as hard as the colonialists tried they could not completely erase their beilefs and so it has been passed down from generation to generation.
If you look at christainity in paticular, the way its practised in Nigeria and other African countries is completely different from the way it is in the West. it has been diluted with our culture passed down, hence our obsessions with deamons and possesion etc.
It is like that all over the world, if you look at christainity in brazil or Haiti, it is also diluted with thier beliefs in witchcraft and deamons!

I believe in order to believe in God and Right, you have to believe in the devil/evil/bad.