A battle of wits between witchdoctors on a beach in Bondo, Siaya County turned ugly recently, leaving a family in shock after their dinner miraculously went missing as they prayed before eating.
It all began after a fisherman found himself in trouble for differing with his regular witchdoctor and sought the services of yet another to spite the former.
The fisherman, who happens to be a boat owner and always enlists the services of sorcerer, is said to have been ‘wealthy’ by the area standard, but his fortune began to dwindle after he disagreed with his usual witchdoctor who cursed him.
His boats began capsizing, every now and them, killing fishermen who worked for him. After a while, all his boats disappeared mysteriously, and the houses he built were condemned. People began moving out of his rental houses and no new tenants wanted to live in them.
However, recently, a few families ignored the rumours about the houses being jinxed, and moved in. Little did they know that the move was to haunt them. Just when one of the families were saying a prayer before eating their super, their food mysteriously disappeared, leaving them in utter shock and dismay.
“The former ‘tycoon’s’ houses are jinxed. Many people who rented them would hear unseen people loudly conversing in their living rooms at night. Just the other day, a family got a rude awakening when their food disappeared just before they began eating,” a local who sought anonymity said.
The man goes on to add that the ‘missing food’ incident was not happening for the first time.
“Many other families have reported similar occurrences in the past around here. Nobody lives in those houses, these ones thought it was a joke. Now they have experienced it for themselves, and have moved out,” he added.
‘Sleep inside a bull’
The former ‘tycoon’ is said to be currently living in abject poverty as his children turn to serious drinking.
Witchcraft is real in Nyanza. People consult witchdoctors. Take, for instance, the case of a fisherman by the name Samson Ochieng. When he began capturing less fish, Ochieng is believed to have invested in a little sorcery to revive his waning fortunes.
After a month, one of his boats capsized, killing two crew members whose bodies were never found. According to fishermen who spoke to Crazy Monday, Ochieng had sacrificed the two in a process locals call luoko yie.
During the ritual, the witchdoctor, among other things, asks his client to slaughter a bull, remove the innards and sleep in it naked. Then call his friends for a feast the following day.
True to form, things seem to have changed; Ochieng’s boats allegedly docked with fish worth thousands of shillings.
In yet another related case, as thousands of fishermen went to the elections of new Beach Management Unit (BMU) officials, aspirants sought votes by any means necessary.
Persuasion is key and even an appeal to the dark side is a viable option. As sources told Crazy Monday, a former BMU leader brought a witchdoctor at the beach three days prior to the elections.
“The witchdoctor came carrying a dead dog which they placed at the BMU’s office where they conducted some rituals before leaving at around 3am,” said a source.
He further disclosed that after this incident, another aspirant also came with a witchdoctor, three days later.
“The second witchdoctor revealed that somebody had ‘worked’ there. He also performed his rituals to weaken and undo what his colleague had done,” said the source.
Rituals were also done to the money that the aspirant gave to potential voters. This was believed to deter the voters from voting for the opponent. It is believed that some of the long serving beach leaders only manage to hold on to power that long, on the sustenance of the magical powers of witchcraft.
“When I took over the office after beating my predecessor in the beach elections, some people told me that I would not spend more than three months in the office,” said a former BMU leader.
He said he panicked and changed furniture and other things in the office after realising that some charms were planted in the office by his predecessor. “I was forced to go and seek charms from a witchdoctor to enable me counter those planted by my predecessors,” he concluded.