Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Evil Spirits? Please...

I am not going to lie, studying and living in the United States has helped me tremendously. Sometimes, I forget that my experience is not similar to that of many in Bongoland. I believe that what I write in this blog has been frustrating for some folks, simply because they can't comprehend what I am talking about.

I sometimes wonder if Mr. JK, for instance, understands what I am talking about. Honestly, I sometimes feel guilty for being so hard on these CCM, opposition guys and even wananchi. I mean, these people have no point of reference. A typical mwananchi can't demand what they don't know. Imagine being born and never left your remote village in Lindi. How would you ever imagine that there are highways with up to eight lanes in this world? I mean, why would you start talking about critical thinking blah blah to a person who can't even read, write or even own a pair of decent shoes?

Even those in Dar-es-Salaam, watching Arsenal and Manchester United duke it out on TV is not adequate to expose someone to the thinking level I see on this Northern hemisphere. It just provides vijiweni stories. Period.

I wouldn't understand me either, if I were still in Bongoland. I can say I was smart enough to understand issues, but my understand was limited by my environment. Trust me, I consider myself blessed to be here. It is not about money, cars, and paying mortage, because there are folks in Bongoland with a load of money that I can't even dream of. I am talking about the opportunity to learn and be exposed. That I have had, and I consider it to be priceless.

So when I read a story like this one from IPP Media about this dude who got conned by a witchdoctor , I just feel sorry. I mean, this is the 21st century. Nevertheless some folks, including Simba and Yanga still holds on to the witchcraft crap. Can you believe that?

With regards to this story, I like the witchdoctor's defense, because somehow he is right. The witchdoctor contends that he couldn't refund this dude service fees because the dude failed to follow instructions. Furthermore, the doctor couldn't get the money back because the evil spirits have gotten away with it. Well, I kind of agree with the withdoctor. If I were the magistrate in this case, I would sent this stupid dude away for life.

See, it is true that evil spirits really took away with the money. While the witchdoctor wanted to make the whole thing look overly spiritual, it truly wasn't that complicated ( I think the witchdoctor wanted to sound technical. I mean wouldn't you be flabbergasted when a Neurosurgeon is presenting a complicated procedure?). What really got away with the dude's money is the spirit of ignorance and stupidity. It is amazing that at this day and age of science and technology, some of our brothers and sisters are still holding on to such backward beliefs. I wonder why some folks have not figured it out that a dose of education 2X3 daily is adequate to fend off evil spirits coming from the pit of ignorance.

If juju really works, I am sure most African football teams would have won the World Cup thus far. We could have had a technology that would have enabled me to avoid security lines at the airport, visa requirements, and paying alot of dough to the British Airways. I could have just jumped on my ungo and do the amazing. But it hasn't been that way. That is because the realities of life have gone the opposite direction. We gotta think. We gotta apply our brains to succeed.

Ask the Majimaji heroes (By the way, are they still heroes, given they died stupidly? Or this whole thing is political that I would be hanged for even asking this question?), they would tell you all about it.

But somehow, I am not blaming this guy. If TFF has not clamped down on an open display of witchcraft during the Tanzania Premier League, why would anyone in regular life circles in Tanzania think that this is all wrong? Besides, how many leaders made a trip to Bagamoyo in 2005 to win elections? It is crazy to think that a leader who believes that they won an election through witchcraft would ever believe in science and technology. It is hard to imagine such a leader believing in critical thinking and application of our mental faculties as a vital ingredient for progress.

I am telling you, if you want to make it big in Tanzania, open your own witchcraft business. It is kind of being a lawyer in the United State of America. You will win all the time. By the way, are witchdoctors paying taxes? I mean, these guys are being paid a lot of money, not forgetting tons of freebies like chicken and goats they use for "medical procedures".

Just wondering.

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hilarious :-) Yet, so sad!

Jaduong Metty said...

@Anonymous,

Well, it is Bongoland as usual. Nonetheless, it raises a serious question: what kind of voters do we have in Tanzania?

mwandani said...

Metty, I truly feel a bit uncomfortable about maji maji comment.

They died for our dignity, they died resisting, although one may not agree with their military strategy.

I am proud of Maji maji.

Jaduong Metty said...

Mwandani,

I do apologize if the Majimaji comment stroke a wrong cord with you. Anyways, I am just asking a genuine question.

Honestly, at point to we drop the "how" and concentrate on the "why"? I must agree that "why" we do things is generally more important than "how" we do things.

Nonetheless, I would like to contend that we have alot to learn from the past "how" experiences, given the fact that the same ignorance that killed our Maji Maji heroes is still prevalent in our society to today.

That is the point I wanted to bring up.

SIMON KITURURU said...

I really think those who died during Majimaji war were heroes.I really think one of the factor that keeps us down and will still keeps us down is failing to learn from the mistakes. We seriously keep making same mistakes because noone is trying to learn why certain things failed. We dont even know for sure strategically why we won the Uganda-Tanzania war.I was reading how the spanish won the Inka in south America. One biggest clue was from réading the strategies that worked in wining against the Mayas in the north.DO U think Kikwete know what went wrong with Mkapa's government?One sure thing is that he knows that he will never be poor in his life. But also the Tanzanian people are not that naive the way I felt U potray them, I think they have questions and they feel something is wrong even if they cant point out what is wrong. Its time to provide alternatives and answers

Jaduong Metty said...

Simon,

Given the fact that "why" the Maji Maji heroes died trumps "how" they died, I would agree that they deserve the heroism status.

Are there ridiculously smart folks in Tanzania? Absolutely yes. Just go visit UDSM or Sokoine and you will see that proof. Nonetheless, is that the majority? I would problably say no (stats show that 80% of TZ are farmers, and these are not sophisticated farmers).

So what I am talking about is not the minority elite, but the majority who are representing our society at large.

kipopo said...

Hi dude, you are right but on some issues you are not thinking loud and wide. May be that is the northern hemisphere way of thinking! let me point one thing which I thick you are short sighted or spoiled by your new way of thinking.

The majimaji heroes are heroes and we remain to be heroes. The lesson from majimaji is wide and obvious people need to be courage, self-determine, have unity, tolerance among yourself. Those heroes ( but you call them stupid) possessed these quality, despite their inferior weapon and unorganized army, they fought those dudes with determination and courage....please think little bit louder and wider

Jaduong Metty said...

@Kipopo,

I appreciate your visit to my blog and your comment. Please refer to my original writing and my response to other folks who gave their comment.

My piece wasn't about Maji Maji heroes, but trying to bring an historical perspective on witchcraft beliefs and how that has not changed todate.

It is amazing that the Maji Maji issue has been made a central theme? Oh by the way, didn't I wonder if I would hanged for this?And being hanged I have been.

SIMON KITURURU said...

I got what U mean Metty. But I am also not suprised why majimaji issue took over? But are U suprised about that? But I hope everybody got the big picture and the whole point of the mwssage U were conveying

luihamu said...

To be Frank Mett i dont believe in witchcraft i believe in I and I,Mett God created us in his own image and gave us the power to reason and understand.Naomba nikuulize swali,Je matambiko yanauhusiano wowote na witchcraft?

Patrick Kamera said...

Hi Metty,

Well said bro, I generally concur with your analysis.
I would also point out that lack of exposure is not a uniquely Tanzanian problem. I am sure you have encountered similar situations(ignorant or unexposed folk) in the US. I am not making excuses, just stating the obvious.

Now one is left wondering what's to be done to remedy the situation in Tanzania?
Someone once said "the problem with history is that people never learn from it". I wish it were not true.

Patrick Kamera said...
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Patrick Kamera said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jaduong Metty said...

@Luihamu,
I can only respond to your question from my spiritual orientation and biasness. I have never practiced "matambiko", though I know this tied to African traditions.

Given my ignorance with regards to this practice, I can't conclude that "matambiko" are tied to witchcraft or otherwise.

Bringing in my Christian orientation into the equation, I can only conlude that the "matambiko" practices is still tied to "darkness". If that helps.

Jaduong Metty said...

@Patrick,
Dealing with witchcraft beliefs is a bit tricky. As I pointed out, how can the government educate folks on concentrating on science on tech while most of the officials make endless trips to Bagamoyo for "protection".

Well, last weekend, Simba and Yanga duked it out in Dar and apparently witchraft was part of the game. If TFF can't say anything about it, then it just shows that this is a notion that does not bother alot of folks in Tanzania.

Is believing in witchcraft a snag on our way to progress? You bet it is. You have probably heard of folks who wouldn't move to Rukwa for fear of witchcraft. You have heard of folks who would not invest in fear of being hit by witchcraft. You have heard of old ladies dying in Shinyanga for being accused of witchcraft.

Isae said...

That's precisely the problem. The 'educated' leaders we have don't condemn such practices because some of them actually believe witchcraft. This takes us back to the electorate. OMG, its a viscious cycle!

Anonymous said...

I think JK is exposed well enough, this guy has benn cruising the worls for more than 10 years as Foreign Minister. But he is surrounded by colleagues who are nevertheless educated but less exposed, and for some reason he is very loyal to to them, may they know somethng about him that we don't.

Or it could be since they voted for him in the CCM NEC so he has to keep them on his side and represent their interest or else in few years they my bench him.

Please do not forget to mention here in the States we have our own devils Visa, Master cards, and the American Express...

Anonymous

Jaduong Metty said...

@Anynmous 6:20,

You provided a very interesting insight. Nonetheless, I would like to contend that JK's exposure is limited to "visiting". That is opposite of "living". If you have "lived" an American life, for instance, that would provide you with a different perspective.

I don't think attending an official meeting in NY will provide anybody with the realities of an American life. A case in point: our very own ambassador in the USA. The guy is in this country, but because he is not "living" the American life, he is still acting and thinking like someone in Kariakoo. So with regards to the exposure that we're talking about, he is not.

I am convinced that JK is not deterred by his NEC friends. He is deterred by a culture that created him. Would you cut off hands that feeds you? It requires a lot of guts. I wonder if he has such guts.

TZ requires a leader who will be bold enough to be odd and able branch off from the culture that Nyerere created. That, I must admit, is not easy.

g shuma said...

uchawi upo, here is the evidence from BIBLE

8 So Saul disguised himself, putting on other clothes, and at night he and two men went to the woman. "Consult a spirit for me," he said, "and bring up for me the one I name."

9 But the woman said to him, "Surely you know what Saul has done. He has cut off the mediums and spiritists from the land. Why have you set a trap for my life to bring about my death?"

10 Saul swore to her by the LORD, "As surely as the LORD lives, you will not be punished for this."

11 Then the woman asked, "Whom shall I bring up for you?"
"Bring up Samuel," he said.

12 When the woman saw Samuel, she cried out at the top of her voice and said to Saul, "Why have you deceived me? You are Saul!"

13 The king said to her, "Don't be afraid. What do you see?"
The woman said, "I see a spirit [a] coming up out of the ground."

14 "What does he look like?" he asked.
"An old man wearing a robe is coming up," she said.
Then Saul knew it was Samuel, and he bowed down and prostrated himself with his face to the ground.

15 Samuel said to Saul, "Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up?"
"I am in great distress," Saul said. "The Philistines are fighting against me, and God has turned away from me. He no longer answers me, either by prophets or by dreams. So I have called on you to tell me what to do."

16 Samuel said, "Why do you consult me, now that the LORD has turned away from you and become your enemy? 17 The LORD has done what he predicted through me. The LORD has torn the kingdom out of your hands and given it to one of your neighbors—to David. 18 Because you did not obey the LORD or carry out his fierce wrath against the Amalekites, the LORD has done this to you today. 19 The LORD will hand over both Israel and you to the Philistines, and tomorrow you and your sons will be with me. The LORD will also hand over the army of Israel to the Philistines."

20 Immediately Saul fell full length on the ground, filled with fear because of Samuel's words. His strength was gone, for he had eaten nothing all that day and night.

21 When the woman came to Saul and saw that he was greatly shaken, she said, "Look, your maidservant has obeyed you. I took my life in my hands and did what you told me to do. 22 Now please listen to your servant and let me give you some food so you may eat and have the strength to go on your way."

23 He refused and said, "I will not eat."
But his men joined the woman in urging him, and he listened to them. He got up from the ground and sat on the couch.

24 The woman had a fattened calf at the house, which she butchered at once. She took some flour, kneaded it and baked bread without yeast. 25 Then she set it before Saul and his men, and they ate. That same night they got up and left.

Footnotes:

1. 1 Samuel 28:13 Or see spirits ; or see gods

Jaduong Metty said...

@Shuma,
I wasn't trying to discredit the existence of uchawi , but rather trying to highlight ignorance as the main issue.

I couldn't argue with the Word of God, but let's try to put things in their proper perspective.