THE ALTERNATIVE By Reno Omokri
Africans love a good old witch-hunt, and over the years it has stunted the growth of the continent because we have killed many of our most intelligent people on the false basis that they are witches.
In Africa, having too much knowledge is risky. ‘How you take know?’ ‘Abi you be winch?’ Those words have led to the death of several innocent people by witch fearing hordes who can’t explain the reason why someone knows so much.
I know of an African man who was lynched to death because he stole some woman’s pregnancy. He was paraded in the community and had a protruding stomach. It turns out the man had ascites.
Several women have been ostracised as witches in Africa for being pregnant for many years. They have been chased away from their matrimonial homes and in too many cases made to ‘confess’ their ‘winch’. It is now that we know they just had fibroids!
The reason why I have chosen to write this piece is because a federal legislator recently made the news after he released photos on social media of an ‘evil’ owl that was sent by his enemies to kill him but was neutralised by prayer.
Being that this is a man in authority, he is likely to sway so many others and perpetuate this false narrative, so I will now go spiritual and scientific, to clear the air.
I have read Scripture from cover to cover, in different translations, and multiple languages (English, Hebrew, Greek).
Many Christians and Muslims ignorantly believe that satan took the form of a serpent to deceive Eve. Not true. Not true at all. If you read Scripture, what it says is that the serpent deceived Eve (Genesis 3:1-4).
The story of the Garden of Eden is an allegory as Jewish Rabbi’s will tell you. There are too many esoteric things that are strong. The serpent is not referring to a literal serpent. satan did not possess the serpent. He was the serpent himself, and we see this in Revelations 12:9.
We as Africans should spend more time watching National Geographic and less time watching Africa Magic, and they will understand that when it rains, birds naturally look for shelter. They are not witches sent to kill you. They are just seeking temporary shelter!
Why are birds coming into your homes more often than before? It is not because the population of witches has suddenly increased. It is because Africa has the fastest rate of urbanisation in the world. Forests and bushes where these birds used to live have been cut down and houses built on their traditional nesting areas.
I feel sorry for animals and wildlife in Africa. Africans must stop spiritualising natural phenomena that logic can explain. A cat is just a cat. There are no instances in Scripture where witches use cats, or birds, or primates to bewitch others.
Yes, a bird flew at night. That is what God created those birds to do! Africans, read Scripture instead of Africa Magic! God created some animals to be nocturnal. They are not witches. God Himself created owls, Galagos (Bush Baby), Bats, some breed of cats, and a host of other creatures to be active at night. They are not witches! They are glorifying God but fulfilling their nature!
Our tendency to spiritualise the explainable can be downright nonsensical at times. Absurd even. And I am not exaggerating.
While I was a pastor in Abuja, I had a case of a man who refused to marry his girlfriend because she was just too ‘yellow’. What has yellowness got to do with marriage? He claimed he was scared she would wake up at night and start ‘pressing’ him to death! Many Africans still believe in Mammy Water!
If you put #COVID19 in one room and put a black cat in another room, and ask a typical African to choose which of the two rooms to sleep in, nine times out of 10, we will choose to sleep with #CoronaVirus. Superstition, myths and fables hold us in strong bondage and set us backwards!
As long as Africa continues to glorify superstition over science is as long as Africa will continue to lag behind other continents. We are too willing to believe even the most outlandish things.
We unconsciously combine a belief in Christianity and Islam with mystic belief systems. We bear names like Babatunde, Yetunde, Babarimisa, which reflects reincarnation of an ancestor. And we pray against ogbanje, which demonstrates the belief in demon children. It does not seem to bother us that these beliefs are incompatible with other beliefs we hold.
A poor lazy African will blame his poverty on his brother for stealing his destiny. You remind him that his brother is a medical doctor, and he is a typical dropout, and he responds by saying that his failure in school was because his stepmother transferred his brilliance to her son. Based on this idiocy, he will feed a deep hatred for his brother. He will teach his children to hate their cousins. And he will do this while professing to be a Spirit-filled, tongue-speaking Christian.
A well educated Muslim colleague, who used to be genial and pleasant with you at the office will switch one day and suddenly treat you with coldness and utter disgust. Why? Because his marabout told him that you are dragging that new post he is eyeing in the civil service.
Such is the type of people we are. Even Buba Galadima, once the Director-General of The Buhari Organisation revealed that General Buhari consults marabouts. Yorubas will say lobatan!
God gave Adam a job before giving him a wife. Learn from God. Don’t get a wife before getting a job or business. That is why Africa is poor. A poor man with no source of income marries because time is going. The end result is multiplication of poverty. Genesis 1:28 says “be fruitful and multiply”. Get fruit (money), BEFORE you multiply! The Church is the Bride of Christ. Christ did not ask the Church to suffer for Him. He suffered for the Church. Don’t expect a girl you want to marry to suffer for or with you. Go and suffer alone. When you have found your Garden of Eden, come back and marry her!