Gender Focus with EMELDA MWITWA
THAT the use of juju in love matters in Zambia is widespread is indisputable. Perhaps the question should be, does it really work? Men, women and girls alike, spend thousands of Kwacha consulting witchdoctors that allegedly specialise in bedroom matters or love issues.
Often times when I see adverts in tabloids of witchdoctors offering services that could help people solve their love jigsaws, that’s the question that comes to mind.
Apparently, the juju business specialising in the use of ‘supernatural powers’ to help women to meet Mr Right or men to spot their dream women, has become a big business. Whether or not clients are getting benefits for their money is another thing.
The witchdoctors, calling themselves professors, prophets, love doctors and Mama Jean, Mama Theresa, Mama Tina and mama this and that ( most of them are female it seems), also claim to have juju that could help women to hypnotise and manipulate their husbands.
Well, I don’t know why most of these ‘love doctors’ who advertise their services in newspapers are female. Perhaps they are just beautiful faces being used as fronts in the media to lure potential clients.
Some people say they find it easy to trust and do business with women, so I wouldn’t be surprised if the real shareholders happen to be working behind the scenes.
But the point is, the love ya juju has become a big business – love it or loathe it, some people are using it to provide for their families. Such people will do everything possible, whether by hook or crook to attract clients who are in desperate situations of some sort.
It seems women form the biggest clientele for the so called ‘love doctors’ who provide services to their customers using ‘black power’.
Women use juju for many reasons – to tame treacherous husbands, protect their husbands from being snatched away by other women or to put a man under ‘Petticoat Government’.
Information from the grape vine suggests that even some good and faithful husbands may find themselves submitting to ‘Petticoat Government’ by compulsion because some women prefer it that way.
But in other instances, it’s the oppressed wives in a highly traditional family set up who see love portions as a panacea to such gender discriminatory practices as wife battering and the patriarchal system in its entirety.
So if she has no say in the running of affairs of her home, or she is denied access to the family income, a woman may want to gain dominance using supernatural powers.
Actually, ‘gender iniquities’ in our communities, contribute a lot to attempts by women to make their husbands subservient to them through juju power.
With the help of magical power, certain women, when they put a man under Petticoat Government, want to dominate decision making in a home, including controlling financial resources and wealth.
Like a zombie, a man, will cooperate and possibly sever ties with the extended family. Our Bemba colleagues would say balibalisha (He’s become like robot), in reference to such a bewitched husband.
Personally, I don’t believe that love ya juju is long lasting. But my concern is on how most people are being deceived by commercialised love doctors that are always advertising their services in the media and on brochures.
Apart from that, some families disintegrate when a spouse discovers that a magical charm had been cast on him.
Let me put it this way – like in most African societies, love charms are administered through food which unsuspecting men or women are fed with by their partners.
It is said that these charms come in different forms and are in most cases unhygienic or unfit for human consumption.
Probably this is the reason why victims of love charms normally fume upon discovering that their partners have been using such things.
A lot of people – male and female – have severed ties with their spouses for feeding them with unknown charms.
This kind of reaction is also prompted by the fact that the use of juju is in some way seen as bewitching one’s partner. Only last week, a Lusaka woman was divorced when her husband discovered that she had been using juju.
Her plea in court that she used juju, given to her by her pastor, to protect her husband from being snatched away by other women, did not help the 21-year-old woman to save her marriage of two years.
The use of juju power is common among both the educated and non-educated, poor and rich. Sometimes, you’ll find a well-to-do or perhaps educated person curtseying before a ‘doctor’ in some shack at Soweto market.
Ironically, some people consult witchdoctors to solve their love problems when the ‘doctor’ isn’t able to prescribe his or her own cure.
In any case, why should one manipulate the mind of someone in the name of love? True love isn’t selfish, or deceptive. If someone should fall in love, they should do so with a free will.
The Bible in 1Corinthians 13:4- 7 aptly says ‘Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking…’
But sadly we live in a society where when a young woman becomes ripe for marriage, she is given some concoct ions to apply on her face to attract men.
Men are also culprits when it comes to using juju. Some will use charms to win over a woman or simply to flirt with women. There are men who actually boast about having charms that can melt the heart of any woman, including the hard to get ones.
Stories are told in our local courts that men as well as women even go to the lengths of using magical charms to prevent their spouses from getting intimate with other people.
Nevertheless, despite what people may do or say, in my view the most effective love portion that one can use is a good heart and good character, period.
To last week’s article headlined “Wake up call to maternal health reporting’ a reader writes:
I Hope you are doing fine. I write to appreciate your well written article in the Zambia Daily Mail of today (September 21, 2017). I am of the view that it’s about time you journalists started writing more on such topics to inform the public and remind the authorities on such important issues as maternal health and other related issues.
This subject reminds me of an incident in July last year when my wife who was then three months pregnant got seriously sick in the night and we had to rush to Chainama Clinic. From there, we were referred to Levy Mwanawasa Teaching Hospital where upon arrival, she was booked for an operation. Unknowingly to us, my wife had an ectopic pregnancy but luckily, the medical personnel attended to her on time and her life was saved.
However, they told us that had we delayed for a few hours before seeking medical attention, my wife would have died.
Therefore, I am thanking you madam and your colleagues on the good job that you are doing. Please you should not stop, you should continue doing such stories and God will reward you abundantly.
firstname.lastname@example.org/ email@example.com. Phone 0211-221364/227793