Celebrating East African Writing!
In this place, I came to realize that there is so much more to what meets the eyes. Many bad and negative things like vices and disease are associated with this place. Although the side effects…, I found it a pleasure to have been born and raised in the ghetto!
My encounters since time immemorial have made me credit this place with love and respect. As years advanced by I came to conclusions that; the ghetto may be a lost world but a great teacher. In other words it also played a vital role in society and nation building. A bright person from this place makes an impact when given a chance to head any role of life.
We used to live in a two roomed make-shift shelter made of mud. Roofing was done using iron sheets while the floor was cemented for stability. One room served multiple purposes while the other one was the parents’ room. The former was multi-purpose because it served as a living room, kitchen, store, and summed up as a bedroom for me and my siblings. We had two pit-latrines which equaled up as bathrooms that we shared with eight other families; (our neighbors).
As if life was not fair enough for us; you haven’t felt its pinch until one gets a ride on our day to day activities. Analyze this… our immediate neighbor is a witch doctor when my parents are strict Christians… In fact my Dad is a Priest!
Dad always took heed to pray for us before sleep as it was routine. But the minute he started doing so it was as if he sent wrong signals which in turn saw the spirits of the witch doctor elated. He immediately started chanting slogans which proved difficult for any of us to understand! I bet if you also heard them you would lose ways to translation! Some words sounded Chinese while the rest was lingo of some alien kind.
Black magic is widely spread in Africa as a whole. It’s also known as voodoo! And it’s very active; it’s not a surprise to see a person who lives with strange animals doing strange things in the name of black magic! We sometimes woke up to chicken heads scattered on the compound. This wasn’t much of a worry to my family because we prayed a lot. I believe that a verse a day keeps the devil at bay!
Other people live in fear of the witch doctors by always distancing themselves from them. Sometimes parents fear taking their children for further studies. Not because they can’t afford fees, but because of fear to be bewitched.
I have never been so much afraid of these guys anyway. I call them ‘Science men’. Simply because I think that they use a scientific baseline to brain wash their clientele. To prove my facts; how can a person make smoke out of no fire?
©Andrew Moffat Mulehi 2010
If you would like this piece to be the Story of the Week, please vote below on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being weak, and 10 being excellent. The numbers will be tallied on Friday and the story with the highest figure shall be Crowned Story of the Week. Be sure to fill in your name and verifiable email. You can include your critique/comment after the vote.