By Fatima Lawal Abdullahi
Diabolical practices are occult practices by soothsayers and fortune tellers alike. They are part and parcel of many African societies including Nigeria located in Sub-Saharan Africa with women making up more than half the population.
Both men and women patronise fortune tellers for different reasons but surveys have shown women to be the usual clients. One would assume that this practice is peculiar to illiterate women. Surprisingly, even the highly educated women succumb to the urge to seek for the services of these fortune tellers when the need arises. They tend to forget the intellectual superiority they assume over the illiterate when it comes to matters of occult practices.
Women who patronise fortune tellers do so for many reasons top of which is the issue of a co-wife or rival in a marriage or relationship. A large fortune is spent by both rich and poor alike to tackle this issue. Having a co-wife/rival is considered a nightmare and misfortune by most women and calls for serious actions. Even women living in abject poverty sell off their few properties just to consult a soothsayer. Some feel they are doing it to get a grip on their husbands/boyfriends/clients as the case may be; others do it to destroy relationships or stop them from being formed; others do it to harm an existing rival; young girls and divorcees do it to get husbands/suitors; barren women seek for the fruit of the womb.
Troubled mothers seek for solutions to their children’s waywardness; business women seek for a boom in their businesses; working woman seeks for promotions and so on. The list seems endless. The worst of all is the happily married woman that seeks to overpower her husband and his family for selfish reasons. All of these services require the use of charms and other unacceptable practices.
Some of these practices include: burying of charms in graves, old wells and within the residence of a victim, writing someone’s name on faeces, burying of animals alive, sacrificing animals or even humans, inflicting the smell of a rodent or uncontrolled bleeding on a rival to make her unattractive, use of some charmed herbs in a man’s food or drink, use of a man’s or woman’s underwear or hair for charm, use of charmed perfumes, face powder, eye pencil, amulet in head ties or henna to attract men and so on.
Whether for good or for bad, these women fail to see the negative consequences of their actions. They fail to assess the efficacy or otherwise of these charms. They are completely blind to the fact that these so called fortune tellers are destitute in most cases bearing worst burdens or misfortunes which they cannot change except God Almighty.
This dangerous trend which has become a vicious cycle in today’s society is fuelled by selfishness and impatience. Illiteracy among religious faithful is no longer a factor as a lot of awareness through preaching has reached all sectors of the society. Therefore the perpetrators of this evil do so deliberately failing to acknowledge the fact that only God alone can do and undo.
Women who engage in such practices are never contented even if they feel successful; most of their fortunes go to fortune tellers who ensure that their clients keep on patronising them. Today, mobile phones are being used for fortune telling and provide a way out for married women whose husbands are strict. Some sinful women even engage in extramarital affairs with fortune tellers in their desperation for success.
The big question is whether these practices pay off or not in the long run. The answer lies in the fact that any woman who engages in such practices will eventually sell her soul to the devil becoming a slave of her mind and what it whispers to her. The few successes which coincide with her destiny deceive her to do more.
Women are their own enemies in the sense that they tend to forget that every woman can be in the shoes of another as a first or second wife, as a mother to someone else’s co-wife, as a mother-in-law, as a troubled mother, as a widow/divorcee seeking for a husband and so on.
As mothers women fail to understand the implication of engaging in such occult practices which have fuelled the use of our children for human sacrifices, invasion of graves, just to mention a few all in the quest for worldly needs or for inflicting harm on a fellow human being. Bringing charms into our homes has a lot of negative consequences on our families while we are enriching the fortune teller.
Fatima Lawal Abdullahi is an undergraduate student at Bayero University, Kano