How to Identify Witches

How to Identify Witches

Witches are the bane of our lives in Nigeria, and that’s a fact! After spending years avoiding them by not going to the village or having anything to do with our illiterate relatives (because those people are prone to witchcraft), it appears that these people simply refuse to leave us alone! They’ve moved their ministry to towns and cities all across the country. The end-of-the-world is truly nigh! In fact Jesus should just come now!

As if we don’t have enough to deal with, everything is going to hell in a hand-basket! There are the feminists, the gays, the Illuminatis and all sorts that we have to battle with on cyberspace, now the witches are trying to take over!

Don’t get us wrong, we know that witches don’t really exist, it’s just that they do! They eat pregnancies, kill children, steal destinies, make people’s private parts disappear and sometimes make announcements in the newspapers concerning political parties!

Witches have taken over *insert hysteria*!

We at 9jafeminista, your ever-so-helpful-blogzine, have taken it upon ourselves, at the risk of losing our vaginas, penises, boobs and destinies,  to help you identify all the witches that might have moved into your neighbourhood, churches, offices or (horror!) homes. These helpful tips might be the saviour of your destiny, and maybe some money because you won’t have to take these people to spiritual leaders (who might charge you an arm and a leg because money is the vehicle of the ‘good news’ or is it that money is the root of all evil? But we won’t worry about those distinctions now)

The steps:

Skin tone: the first thing you have to do when meeting new people is to gauge their skin tones. As we all know black is the colour of evil, so how many shades of black is this black person you’re meeting? Is it warm brown? Dirty brown? Black-black? Dirty black? Blue-black? Night black? B-b-b-b-b-black!? The darker the skin tone of a person, the more likely they are to be witches. There are some yellow witches too but those ones are related to Mammy-Wata, so we won’t bother with those just yet. On the other hand, too much of a good thing is bad. So, those extremely yellow persons, who look as if they are newly ripened mangos, might just be witches!

Age- this is another telling indicator of witchcraft. Really old people are witches! Honestly! Look at it this way, Nigeria is the worst country in the world to grow to a ripe old age! Studies have it that the life expectation of an average Nigerian is forty years. What with the bad roads, terrible to non-existent health-care facilities, lassa fever, etcetera, forty years is even too long! So why would anyone dare to live for more than 60years and then get wrinkled and stooped, and black and talking to themselves and confessing to witchcraft… in saner climes some of these old people would have even been diagnosed with dementia, or Alzheimer’s, or depression, but luckily we are Nigerians and sanity is not our strong suit. All old people, including your granny, are witches! Avoid them at all costs! Encourage your children NOT to visit their grannies, aka your parents, because ALL OLD PEOPLE ARE WITCHES!

… Wait a second, young people are witches too! Yes we said it! Especially those ill-educated young girls from the villages. They usually come to town with all their earthly goods in a black polythene bag, most of the stuff in the bags are rags sef, in fact they wear rags all the time! We’ve heard of a young village girl whose clothes would turn to a rag as soon as she wears them, yup, like reverse Cinderella! These girls are about seven or eight years old and they’ve never been to school before in their lives! And their parents have sold them to be given out as housemaids! And they are poor because of the state of the economy and their parents can barely afford to feed them. These young witches are wicked! They don’t even take their baths even after being brought to the city! They are not to be trusted with babies! We all know there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with employing a six or seven year old as a housemaid, especially to take care of 3month old babies. There is NOTHING wrong with waking these children up at 5am to take care of our ajebutter children who can barely lift a finger! Please, please, as soon as you employ any of these children… better still don’t!

Sex – not that type you perv! We mean the sex assigned to you as soon as the doctor pulls you out of your mother’s womb and either spots a penis or a vagina. Sex is a huge determinant of whether you’re a witch or not, because, this might come as a shock to you, so brace yourself… women are witches! Yup! How many men have been accused of witchcraft and stoned to death? While you’re counting let’s just tell you something, it’s only women that are witches, especially and particularly poor women, or single to stupor women, or women who do not meet up with the current societal standard of beauty, or women who have not taken refuge under the benevolent patriarchal arms and conformed to societal rules or women who have crossed eyes, or women who have beards or women whose mouth are too sharp, or women who don’t have children, or women who are really not womanly enough, but most importantly, they are poor women, disempowered women, women suffering from mental health problems, women who are not soft enough.

There are too many women out there who are witches and we need to strip them down (very important to humiliate them) and then stone them. We’ll need a lot of stones though because these women make up the larger part of the society. But we can do this! Stone every single one of them, one woman at a time! Are we misogynists? No we don’t hate women! We are Nigerians, and we love our women with big bum-bums and tits! It’s just that those women who have turned down our advances and women who think too highly of themselves and women who don’t have big yanshes are witches! Women who refuse to SUBMIT, should be stoned to death, all of them!

Defying Gravity: THIS RIGHT HERE IS THE GREATEST OF THEM ALL! Kai! How can a mere human being defy gravity! Defying gravity comes in different forms, from jumping all the time, to putting your legs on the wall when you’re asleep, to morphing into birds (big black birds particularly, don’t forget black is the colour of ugly and evil) and to levitating. Hian! We’ve all read or watched badly filmed shots of old black women morphing into birds and FLYING! We all know about planes and helicopters and other things that fly, although most of us don’t know how these things perform this feat but we climb into planes without giving it a second thought! But the moment we smell a human being flying we just KNOW that these people are witches! Especially and particularly if they are dark skinned and are women. Flying is a sin! Are we sinners when we fly in an airplane? No! Should we be stoned to death? No! but the moment we hear that a non-oyinbo person is flying or has flown we congregate and stone the person to death because those people are witches! We do enjoy watching movies about monsters and vampires and human beings morphing into animals, well as long as they are Hollywood movies, those Nollywood people know how to treat such sin! Anybody who can fly in say, England or America would obviously be taken an interest in by the government and scientifically analysed, their methodology thoroughly studied. In Nigeria we stone them to death because we do not tolerate such nonsense! We like ourselves the way we are, our Ministry of ‘Science and Technology’ will soon be inventing pencils… you heard me right! We are just in the nick of time because pencils are yet to be invented. We are not backwards, we are forwards, we are brilliantly, shamelessly, and insanely fearful of anything that’s in the least different! Let fear continue to dodge our footsteps, let it rule us, let fear eat us from the insides out, that’s the way we’ve survived all these years by fearing even our shadows.

We hope these helpful tips will continue to guide and guard us throughout our lives, we shall continually tell our children and ourselves not to read books by Nigerians or other Africans about fantasy, although they can read ‘furreign’ books so they can acquire ‘furrigne’ accents and speak through their nostrils, ‘nspirin nspirin’. Do NOT let us progress beyond an economy of consumerism, do not let us invent anything new. Let our young women and men ‘disrupt’ how we import shit from other countries, while those other countries invent new things.

Finally, if all else fails we advise you to do The Mirror Test

The Mirror Test: This test has been passed down from one generation of witch-hunters to the next, the steps are very simple:-

  1. Clean your mirror with soft cloth and white powder. Make sure it is sparkling.
  2. Cover the mirror at 12midnight with a white cloth. Note that the mirror must be COMPLETELY COVERED.
  3. Have a good night’s rest knowing that the witches haunting you shall be revealed soon
  4. After 24hrs (i.e. 12 midnight the following day)
  5. Take off all your clothes, including your underwear
  6. Stand in front of the covered mirror
  7. Close your eyes
  8. Shout ‘Yeepa!’ Thrice
  9. Pull off the mirror covering
  10. The person you’re seeing in that mirror? That’s the witch eating your destiny!

Wait… can any of you explain how the internet works?

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IFELANWA: Adventurer, humanist, writer and 70% Female (or so he claims)

IFELANWA: Adventurer, humanist, writer and 70% Female (or so he claims)

9jafeminista: Can you tell us a little about yourself?

Osundolire Oladapo Ifelanwa: I am a BIG dreamer, child in an adult’s body, an architect in Real Estate. And I love to write. I

Ifelanwa Oladapo Osundolire
Ifelanwa Oladapo Osundolire

once attempted to travel from Lagos, across the Sahara desert to London by road with Newton Jibunoh.

9jafeminista: You sound like the very adventurous type. You’re a biker and a mechanical toys lover … You own a bike right?

Osundolire Oladapo Ifelanwa: Yes, I adore sports bikes and I would make them my primary means of transport if I could. It leaves you to the thoughts in your head and 1000 rpms revving beneath your yansh. I genuinely love adventure. I think being born a Nigerian limits how far I will be willing to go for adventure. That notwithstanding, I still scrape the little I can to sate my adrenaline thirst.

9jafeminista: Would you say being a man is also an advantage? I know very few female bikers.

Osundolire Oladapo Ifelanwa: I can’t tell. I haven’t been a woman before. Truth is I’ve only met one. I only see a few like Speediva on the road with their Yamahas. On a serious note, I think our society silently limits women’s foray into the adventurous.

9jafeminista: How many women were on that trip through the Sahara?

Osundolire Oladapo Ifelanwa: On the Sahara expedition we had quite a number you’ll be amazed to know, almost 15. And9jafeminista there was this one Sola Obiwusi who clocked more driving time than almost every other guy. She practically singlehandedly drove even when she took ill on the trip.

9jafeminista: How many men?

Osundolire Oladapo Ifelanwa: Men were about 40. Or let me say 30 taking out the camera crew and soldiers and officials.

9jafeminista: How far did you guys get?

Osundolire Oladapo Ifelanwa: We went as far as Agadez in Niger Republic.

9jafeminista: Why didn’t you guys finish the journey?

Osundolire Oladapo Ifelanwa: War in Libya. Coup … in Niger. We could have become diplomatic bargaining chips with the size of our cavalcade.

9jafeminista9jafeminista: In the story you sent to us (coming up in our next issue) you examined the life of a house maid. Especially the under-aged ones in Nigeria would you say the girl’s experience kind of sums up the experience of housemaids? Generally

Osundolire Oladapo Ifelanwa: I can’t say for certainty but I believe largely it does. We treat them like property don’t we?

9jafeminista: Why do you think the maltreatment of maids is the norm?

Osundolire Oladapo Ifelanwa: Because we lack what I call mutual self- respect.

9jafeminista: What does mutual self -respect mean?

Newton-Jibunoh
Dr Newton Jibunoh

Osundolire Oladapo Ifelanwa: Older people to younger people, employer to employees, parents to children … masters to servants. I want to believe we believe subordinates do not have as much right to existence as superiors have. So we ride rough shod over their person, goals and super impose our wishes on them.

A maid for instance can’t ask for a second helping. She shouldn’t have an opinion, she should just be the silent mule that hauls the family’s cargo. How does one live like that?

9jafeminista: Would you say this is a result of the fact that generally women are expected to be all of the things you’ve listed above? The neck, the one that should not have an opinion? The one not allowed to go on adventures because it is dangerous?

Osundolire Oladapo Ifelanwa: I think we limit girls in a sense.

9jafeminista: Have you ever wondered why there are more female underage helps than male?

Osundolire Oladapo Ifelanwa: The males are a threat of theft and peadophilia. More so we tend to believe girls do better as house helps. Even though we started that indoctrination when boys have the liberty to play football while their sisters are busy helping in the kitchen.

9jafeminista: In your opinion how are women limited and how does this affect men?

Osundolire Oladapo Ifelanwa: Women are limited by the patriarchal structure of the world in general. As girls, they can’t9jafeminista climb trees or fight. As young women they should keep their virginity for their husbands (don’t get me wrong I advocate for keeping ones virginity). They can’t leave home till they marry. They have to change their names when they marry. They have to be the one to stay at home to cater for kids while the husband provides.

I think this subjugation gives men power. But in the same breath I think an equal appreciation of our complementary roles is essential to prevent anarchy. I also think embracing fairness and having a mindset of reviewing age old ideologies will help restore that balance.

9jafeminista: Were you a Virgin when you got married?

Osundolire Oladapo Ifelanwa: Yes I was. Oops! No I wasn’t…

9jafeminista: But you advocate for virginity before marriage

Osundolire Oladapo Ifelanwa: Yes

9jafeminista: Isn’t that a little hypocritical?

Osundolire Oladapo Ifelanwa: It’s not hypocritical. Sex outside marriage is a sin. Selah. That I failed at it doesn’t mean I don’t consider it the ideal thing.

9jafeminista: In your collection of short stories ‘On a lot of Things’ you were able to write comfortably in the female voice how were you able to do that?

Osundolire Oladapo Ifelanwa: I think I am 70% female. In my constitution.

9jafeminista: Would you say you’re a feminist?

Osundolire Oladapo Ifelanwa: I dislike the tag feminist as I observe it’s becoming a haven for bitter and reactive women to society. I prefer the tag humanist.

on stage9jafeminista: One last question … So you believe in jazz? As in ogun abenu gongo?

Osundolire Oladapo Ifelanwa: (laughs) Yes

9jafeminista: Really? Go on then… Tell us why? Have you seen it in action before?

Osundolire Oladapo Ifelanwa: I haven’t seen it in action before but I premise my belief on the fact that there is more to this world than the things we see and in that little grey area, super natural powers exist. I believe well over 90% of the cow horns tied in red scarves are just charlatan bullshit. But that doesn’t invalidate my firm belief that there is dark magic if I can call it that.