Show me the Magic
“I’m a writer.”
“No…you’re a blogger.”
“No no no. Those two are worlds apart. You know the way at the circus they have like a seal playing bagpipes or something like that? You’ll watch it, you’ll be amused, you’ll even clap. But you won’t call that seal a musician. It’s still just a seal playing the bagpipes.”
“In case you didn’t get it bloggers are the…”
“I got it!”
“Seal. You’re the seal.”
I did two things in response to this conversation. First, I resisted the ridiculously strong urge to rename this blog to “Seals playing bagpipes.” Second I decided to reclaim the dignity of bloggers everywhere (you’re welcome). How was I going to do this? Simple. Good, old fashioned investigative journalism.
To show this naysayer, I had to delve into this country’s dark side and emerge victorious with some kind of exclusive story. But what story? Corruption? No, nothing would be surprising there, besides, I don’t need (any more) political enemies. Crime? Screw that, I don’t want to get shot. Perversion? Nah, too easy, Aggrey can write about himself.
I needed something darker, more dangerous (in theory) and interesting. And what’s darker, more dangerous and more interesting than corruption crime and perversion? If you said Witchcraft, 10 points.
For our international readers, it may help to know that in Kenya witchdoctors actually have advertisements. Wooden signs nailed to trees and posts that clearly read “mganga” (Swahili for witch doctor) and have a phone number and a list of services. In richer neighbourhoods they say “astrologer” but it’s not fooling anyone when the list includes “expelling demons.” I’ve never heard anyone actually talk about it but odds are they’re doing good business. The signs are on pretty much any street you walk on.
So, now committed to my gonzo journalist quest I called one of these supposed witchdoctors. Actually, I called several but most wouldn’t talk to me while I was on private number. Only one didn’t seem to mind my secrecy. It’s actually shocking to me that people give their numbers to these people so much that they expect it and get irritated when you don’t. Seriously? If you don’t buy their story, you gave your number to a conman. If you do then you willingly handed your contact and possibly your details to someone you believe can perform magic. There is no winning in that scenario!
Anyway, here’s the line I was selling. I’m a husband at the end of his wit because of his wife’s infidelity. I need her to stop. What can you do for me?
I don’t know what I was expecting. A con definitely but nothing like what i got. This guy says with all the confidence in the world (translating what he said).
“I can make her vagina seal shut!”
What!? Now hold on a second here. If that’s a bluff it’s the hell of a bluff isn’t it? If my story was true and I actually was in that situation I’d damn well notice if he actually delivered. If it’s a con it’s not an efficient one. You’ll get caught and you won’t get repeat customers and if there’s such a thing as a reputation in the witchdoctor market you won’t have a good one. It makes no sense unless…he actually could do it. I’m a natural skeptic but i’ll admit, his sureness unsettled me a bit.
“How much?” I asked.
That’s it? If I have a grudge on a girl all I need is what, 125 dollars and presto “vag away”, just like that?
“Ok…” I pressed on, “but I don’t want her completely unable to have any sex. I’m still her husband, I just want her to stop having it with other people.”
“Love potion then?”
“Hmmm – I can make any man she tries to sleep with have difficuluty ‘standing’.”
“Wait, are you saying you can make any of her potential lovers impotent?”
Whoa! Ok, as a con, this one makes sense. How would I ever know if it worked? But really, think about it. Imagine if this is true. Ladies, imagine if your ex can make you a ray gun of impotence. Spread, aim, fire…Man down! Man down!
All for 14,000 shillings. That’s all. Sure, it ain’t chump change but I know loads of people who’d consider it worth the price. as far as services of any kind go, i don’t know anything else that interesting within that price range. Now the only questions is…is it real? Do these people actually have powers?
I don’t know…yet. Generally, im the least superstitious person you’ll meet so I think it’s a con. But that man’s confidence has made me curious enough to give it a fighting chance. So…
I’m making a test. Next week I’ll meet one of these witch doctors. I’ll acquire some fairly cheap service they offer (much as I’m curious I’m not paying either of those prices without a guarantee or the witching equivalent of a warranty or whatever). Still trying to figure out what I’ll ask for but you’ll know by next week. Just to keep things interesting and confirmable, the victim will be one of my fellow bloggers here. Teren teren. They’re willing in a, I haven’t asked them kind of way. But this is for our pride, necessary sacrifice and all. Also, for science.
See you next week…Maybe