Ha-Muthike is a dreaded and revered place along the Nairobi-Sagana Road, where charcoal is left unattended but is rarely stolen even at night. The place is named after Tabitha Muthike, a witchdoctor who passed away in 2010.
Stories are told of vehicles that stalled and some nearly went up in flames after their owners attempted to cart away the unattended sacks of charcoal at night.
Her mystical powers that were used to protect property, guard against, and solve marital issues drew clients from far and wide. Her reputation craft still reigns after her twin sister took over the mantle and is now calling the shots.
Elizabeth Mukonyo was initiated into witchcraft by Muthike and says that, “I have not failed my sister though she was a big name, feared and loved.”
The mother of nine and a staunch Jeshi la Wokovu faithful struggled to fight the inborn ability through church prayers and rituals but gave in to it.
Martin Mwangi, a resident, says her fame cannot be underestimated: “Muthike’s burial was attended by moneyed people. Some people working for international NGOs drove later to console the family.”
While she’s feared, Mukonyo disputes the perception that her powers harm and are used for evil, insisting that she has good intentions. Her home is in Kambiti area in Machakos at the boundary of Murang’a County and Kirinyaga and Embu counties and where she tackles a myriad of issues, with clients forking as much as Sh6,000 to have their properties protected, banish witchcraft and tame errant spouses.
But there are those who part with as little as Sh500 for love potions.
When The Nairobian visited her on January 28, she claimed to have foreseen this writer’s coming “with a notebook and ball pen” the previous night.
She then blurted, “I hope you are not seeking my help to win an election. I don’t take care of such things. That is being unfair to others, but if it is a love issue or protection of your property, then you are in the right place.”
Of those seeking love charms, she says that, “I help them lure the ones they admire. However, winning their hearts or sleeping with them will depend on their own charming words and promises. I don’t confuse people for them to take advantage of,” she says and adds that her charms can help snatch another person’s boyfriend or girlfriend but not married ones.
“Those who lust after married women or men will be in for a rude shock. Not my kamuti, which only works on those who are single. It is not my wish to ruin other people’s lives and marriages,” she says.
To tame wayward spouses, she needs their underwear that once treated, they would not be interested in sex outside marriage.
“When the underwear is treated, they can’t stray anymore as they will not feel the urge to sleep with someone else besides the spouse,” she explains.
She adds that, “I don’t even kill thieves, but I make them walk to you with the stolen items or be stranded in your shamba or house until you set them free by uttering a word.”