MUNIDE ZULU, Lusaka
RADICAL transformation and defiance of all odds is what it was when Royd Siame ditched his ancestral calling of being a witchdoctor to become a pastor and gospel musician.
Siame who was initiated into witchcraft at the age of 13 made a dramatic turnaround when he accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Lord and saviour in November 30, 2011.
Before surrendering his life to Jesus he was known by many as the hottest witchdoctor due to the many miracles he could perform.
He mingled with some of the prominent witchdoctors whom he said were of lower ranks compared to him and that together they would strategise on how to attack, who to attack and where to attack.
The witchdoctors also shared about how to cure breakout of some sickness and which charms to use among others.
Being in the highest rank of 12 in the witchcraft circles, Siame possessed powers to heal any sickness. Through magical powers, he was able to give children to the barren, jobs to the jobless and husbands to lonely women.
Born in Mwengo village of Mbala in Northern Province, Siame, 39 the last born child in a family of 12 was chosen by his parents to automatically take over their work as witchdoctor once they passed on.
True to their word, Siameâ€™s parents who were both witchdoctors handed over the instruments of witchcraft powers to him after their demise.
â€œI heard a voice telling me to go to Tanzania after my parents died. When I reached Tanzania, I was initiated into witchcraft. I was cooked in a drum containing hot water but to my amazement, I never got burnt,â€ he recalled.
According to Siame while in the drum he was then taken and thrown into the ocean in that country and was under water for 21 days. â€œI was made to fast for 21 days without taking either water or food. Even demons fast and if they do, what about a true Christian? He asked.
And on the 20th day of his fast under the ocean, he started seeing visions like those of prophets an indication that he had passed the test.
Siame was later given instructions by a person he only described as half human and half fish not to marry a prayerful woman or share his secrets with his wife.
He was also warned against sleeping with a menstruating woman and never to set foot in church.
Siame, 13 years old at the time was also told that he could only start practicing as a full time witchdoctor when he attained the age of 20.
After passing the test according to Siame he was given powers namely Chalatila, Mwinampili, Katai and Kilimanjaro.
The strongest of all being Kilimanjaro which is said to be an international demon. Siame says the Kilimanjaro power is the one that determines what charms to administer to clients with different predicaments adding that the Katai power is used to catch wizards.
After many years of practicing as a renowned witchdoctor in the highest rank of class 12, his downfall came after he defied instructions where he was ordered not to marry a prayerful woman.
â€œI could not listen when my spirits told me not to marry the woman who is now my wifeâ€ he adds.
He says his wife always cautioned him about his evil and deceptive job, warning that God was watching.
â€œI would tell my wife that I was also God that is the reason I was using the plants he created to help resolve many challenges people were facing. I never knew that God really existed and I did not even know the God she was talking about,â€ Siame said.
Being a non-believer, Siame told his wife to ask God to do something that will make him believe that he truly existed. He also dared God to kill him or stop him from the evil he was doing if truly he was a living God.
After a few months of daring God, tragedy and calamities struck as his house was mysteriously burnt.
â€œThe fire started from the living room where I was keeping all the instruments and charms I was using for my witchcraft incantations and other works. It later spread to other rooms. Luckily, we escaped unhurt,â€ he stated.
Siame then realised that God truly exhisted.He knew that he had annoyed God by daring him. Before he could come to terms with what was happening to him, Siame was struck by madness and was in that state for three years.
He moved from one church to another looking for healing and deliverance until he finally got delivered at Jesus is the King Ministry church in Chawama in 2011 by Evangelist Danny Kalekesha.
From the time he got delivered, the powers of darkness stopped haunting him and he now believes that God has greater power than the devil.
He advised people who are still practising witchcraft to read Job 5vs 3.Siame said witchdoctors do not provide permanent solutions to their problems.
â€œEven those who seek charms to find husbands, their marriages do not last long. There is nothing permanent that comes from witchdoctors but if you ask from God, you can be assured of having everlasting love, peace and financial breakthroughâ€ Siame said.
He said finances or anything from the devil cannot be enjoyed because they come with conditions.
After being transformed from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light Siame says he is now pre-occupied with leading a righteous life and preaching the gospel through music.
He is now working on what he can change and moving on to accept whatever he cannot change about his life.
â€œI crossed over from bad to good things just like the children of Israel who crossed the River Jordan,â€ he said.
Siame now leads a seven-member band and has so far written 255 gospel songs but has only been able to release one album due to financial constraints.
His vision is to reach the masses not only here in Zambia but worldwide through gospels music.
However, Siame says his vision can only be achieved through the support of citizens with a passion for the work of God.
â€œI also need sponsors to buy us musical instruments and help us produce videos and more CDs so that we can preach the gospel to the masses,â€ he said.
He is also appealing to well-wishers to help him get back to school.
â€œI want to go back to school but I do not have resources. The evil spirits prevented me from getting an education but now that Iâ€™m saved, I want to excel in my education,â€ he said.
Despite his busy schedule as a pastor and musician, he finds time to be with his lovely wife and their two daughters.
MUNIDE ZULU, Lusaka