A couple of years ago, there was a report of occult practice and initiation in one of our most prestigious senior girl's high schools in Ghana. This should not be surprising because cultic practices have always been with us; only it is increasing at an alarming rate.
For example, a study showed about 20 per cent of our senior high schools seek cultic interventions. It is also known that many Ghanaians seek cultic interventions in churches, football, business, marriage, family life, relationships and all areas of life. Many Ghanaians seek cultic interventions from fake pastors and mallams to find lovers, win back lost love, change a bad relationship to good and prevent rivals from taking over their loved ones.
Some two years ago, a man was greatly peeved when his lover of three years left him because he had spent a lot of resources to get her through to the university only for the lover to tell him that as a graduate, she couldn’t marry a mechanic. The man went to a 'juju' man to make the woman come back or become a cripple. When that failed after paying a huge consultation fee, he threatened to ‘show’ the mallam by seeing a more powerful mallam. That also failed. There is also a case of a man who paid a juju man for his ex to die. If he can’t have her, no one should.
What is occult?
Occultism comes from the Latin word ‘occultis’ which means hidden or secret. It refers to knowledge and workings of the supernatural as opposed to visible or measurable knowledge. It is a supernatural manifestation that cannot be understood from reason or deduction. Common forms include 'juju', magic, sorcery, numerology, and extrasensory perception.
In Ghana, occults are called ‘African electronics’. Each type of occult starts with a person claiming to have a hidden or supernatural power that must be kept secret and accessed through the mind or spirit by ritualistic actions such as meditation, chanting or repetition of some words. To work, an occult needs a medium such as concoction, pubic hair, handkerchief, gift, powder and sometimes a handshake or a mere smile.
The myths of occultism
When some Ghanaians see a lover acting beyond cultural expectation, they believe that occult is at work. If a man cooks for his wife or washes her clothes, he must be under a spell. The Akans say 'enye nani' or he is not doing it out of his free mind.
The fact ,however, is that when you fall in love, your brain produces a cocktail of chemicals which puts you in a condition similar to being mad. The greater the stimulation, the greater your ‘madness’ and the greater you show affections which may be seen as abdominal.
Some believe that occults lose their powers and make lovers behave in culturally acceptable ways if some norms are not followed. In Akan, we say 'ate nani' so or the occultic power has died off. The fact ,however, is that the stimulation that promotes extreme affection tapers off. It could be as short as three months or as long as three years. The behaviour of a lover, therefore, has nothing to do with a talisman, concoction, blood or powder. We suffer from a lack of knowledge.
Can juju kill your ex?
Many Ghanaians want easy ways out of their problems. They simply spiritualise them and blame unseen forces for their failures. A woman having difficulty with pregnancy may think that a blood relation has removed her womb and hidden it under a tree. She will seek cultic intervention instead of medical help.
Occultism breeds indiscipline. It makes you think of easy ways to the challenges of life. It is a disincentive to hard work. It, therefore, kills self-trust. The mindset that one can get the best things in life without working hard for it is damaging to personal and social development.
The inventor of the electric bulb is said to have made about a thousand attempts before he was successful. He drew good lessons from his failed attempts - how not to do it the right way. Dan Gable says gold medals aren’t made of gold but are made of sweat, determination and a hard-to-find alloy called guts. Colin Powell says a dream doesn’t become a reality through magic. It takes sweat, determination and hard work. Simply put, if you want to get back to your ex, work hard at it.
•Allow yourself time to get over any confusion, hurt, anxiety and sadness. Then decide if you really want to go back and why. Creating space can help you decide if you need him.
•List the bad and good qualities of your ex. Draw a balance sheet and decide if he or she is really your solution. It is very important you are certain you can cope with the problems that led to the breakup.
•Keep friendly contact but don’t appear desperate. Find out quietly if he or she is available and accessible. Also, find out about her past relationships and activities to make sure he or she has improved himself or herself.
Keep aside your ego and talk about what hurt you with an open heart. Listen to his or her side of the story with empathy. Resolve your differences, apologise or accept an apology where necessary. Your true act of forgiveness is the single most important key that opens the door to relighting your love flame.
Never expect anyone or anything to win you love or make you happy. No one or anything can. You must therefore, never try to use occult to cover up your inadequacies. It is your positive behaviours such as self-confidence, self-care integrity, loyalty, commitment, effective communication and forgiving spirit that can win you love and sustain your relationship.
If you believe in yourself and make the best of what life has to offer, true love will find you. Anything cultic, if it works at all has an expiratory date but true love does not.
Again, accept that true love is about sharing from the heart. If one partner is not giving his or her heart freely but out of cultic intervention, such a relationship is like building a house on sand. It falls in no time when it faces the challenges of life.
If someone does not love you, he or she does not deserve your coercion through occult. Life is a gift of God. No human being of power has the right to take human life. And definitely not in the name of love