Foolishness is a killer: Modern prophets and laziness under the guise of faith

I had an exciting post into my WhatsApp inbox recently. It was Henry Kachaje’s writings on foolhardiness of laziness under the guise of faith. I am sure everyone who is technologically enabled has read it.

Pastor groping a woman's boobs

Prophet groping a woman’s boobs

Put simply, it illuminates on the fact that lazy people of zero initiative and determination are a fatalistic lot. The pinnacle of fatalism, which is akin to laziness when it is made to become the default mode of behaviour of a people, is an excessive obsession with superstition.

Poverty is one of the underlying symptoms that show signs of a people that are endemically and naturally superstitious. One could make a literal equation that says that “behind every great expanse of poverty there is a culture of superstition”. I hasten to say that not being a scholar of anthropology, maybe that is a field that is fertile for a thesis in economic anthropology.

Suffice to point out that in most of my growing up, I came across a lot of dosage of superstition. When I look back I can now clearly relate to the state of poverty that is ubiquitous among us Malawians in every inch of space, nook and cranny of villages and place superstition at the centre of that poverty. Even within town life, one finds the illness and insanity of superstition not only alive and kicking, but vigorously and openly embraced; not only by the daft and illiterate, but even by some of the most “educated” and “learned” folks who up to now believe in the stupidity of witchcraft.

Truth be told, the common belief of witchcraft and ufiti is one of the reasons Malawi will forever be poor and its impacts are pervasive. Folks refuse to go and get proper medicine in proper hospitals because for an ailment such as cancer. For example sometime back, one of my workers claimed that his nephew had to be taken to a sing’anga instead of a hospital because witches made him step on a “missile”. I protested, but then eventually conceded that convincing this folk otherwise is harder than moving Mulanje Mountain to Lilongwe so that it is close to Kamuzu International Airport (KIA); impossible today; but maybe in 100 years’ time Google technology could do it.

Even the state of poverty in our villages and towns; in any case our towns are simply over rated villages as someone said you can take Wilkins away from Malembo (author’s home) but you cannot take Malembo away from Wilkins. It is that hard and it will take a lot of hard work to cleanse most of us Malawians from the village “sleep”, having grown up with goats, chickens and pigs in the same huts.

Getting back to how our archaic beliefs have fueled poverty; in the villages anyone who was entrepreneurial, hardworking and had a bumper harvest was branded “ali ndi fumba kapena chambu” meaning he uses witchcraft charms for his bumper harvest. Owning a maize mill was a social crime because the jealousy folks would claim that anyone who died in the village was put in the maize mill and then the gullible others in the village, who were content in the sea of poverty would chorus in belief with such stupid claims.

Owning a car in the village was criminal because lazy jealousy bones would claim the car used peoples’ blood when they could see gas stations all over. In the end, a spirit of innovation, initiative, industry and enterprise was abhorred and laziness and fatalism promoted instead as the collective poisoned consciousness of the masses. That is how we got here. A nation in perpetual poverty that has become so accustomed to being poor that anybody trying to plug it out of poverty will be violently ejected as a leper, a foreign body or an eye sore.

The culture of superstition of yesterday had its escapism in the obsessive belief that the witch doctor had answers to all problems.

Folks, therefore, had witch doctors for diseases, for job security, career success, business growth and success. As for most women: they ignorantly poisoned their husbands to death with a multitude of love portions of every guise and descriptions given to them mostly by women herbalists whose marriages had ironically collapsed and whose daughters were “attendants” in Chibuku taverns. What cheek.

Today, 2016, the sing’angas have all been replaced with a poisonous obsession by most folks, especially women who seem most desperate and naturally gullible than men, to hop from one fake prophet to another in search of the magic breakthrough. Sad fact is that most end up with tragic stories and even deaths in some cases when some even stop taking life-supporting drugs.

There is no substitute for hard work. Foolishness is a killer.

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Ijeku
Guest
Ijeku
7 months 14 days ago

The author disapproves witchcraft yet he accepts/believes that some women have poisoned their husbands with herbal love concoctions that were administered by women herbalists to win favours from their husbands,that is proof enough that him also believes in witchcraft only that he is too comfortable with life where he is.It is this kind of thinking that is dragging our country backwards,sometimes people take too much pride in their education that it ends up blindfolding them. Let’s talk reality not what we read/were taught somewhere.

Manuel
Guest
Manuel
7 months 19 days ago

Some people question Godly things yet they have never worshipped throughtout their stay in their blasphemous organisation wrongly refered to as the(Roman Catholic-) “church” Just check background of most of those who question the existence of God, they were catholics before

Kandapako
Guest
Kandapako
7 months 20 days ago

Poverty is an equilibrium Malawians are anchored in. When they are uplifted from that equilibrium, they will overtly and lazily over relax until they return to the poverty equilibrium. When extraneous forces pull them to below the poverty equilibrium, they will work hard to uplift themselves to the poverty equilibrium. Moral of it, “do not disturb Malawians from their poverty equilibrium”.

2016 welcome
Guest
2016 welcome
7 months 20 days ago

Thanks Wilkins for your enlightening article. But just take note of the comments. If someone who is able to connect few sentences in English which is an empirical sign that he/she must have attained some level of education still sounds superstitious, isn’t that a waste of resources? What more with my village friends who cannot read and write?

Tt
Guest
Tt
7 months 20 days ago

The other things is: during easter or every Sunday, Christians pray for a biscuit and some wine to be “transformed into the flesh and blood” of a 2000 year god, for there consumption! Really, isn’t this practice witcraft? Dont you guys find this extremely weird and disgusting and revolting? The only way most of you cope or think it’s okay with this, is coz you have been desensitised through your childhood and upbringing!

Tt
Guest
Tt
7 months 20 days ago
Wilkins, let’s be consistent here: superstitious beliefs are nonsense, I agree with that but the fact is: religions are also superstitious beliefs in fact they are extremely superstitious : I mean, who in the right mind can actually believe that the creator of the universe made a virgin pregnant! That half god half human jew walked on water and later ascended into heaven? Or that all species of land animals were put on a boat, this includes polar bears and kangaroos! Let’s be honest here, I always wonder ” does religious make humans to be fools or its the goods… Read more »
Khamsin!
Guest
Khamsin!
7 months 20 days ago

Go deeper prophet! Hahahaha

Winston Msowoya
Guest
Winston Msowoya
7 months 21 days ago
Believing in witchcraft is tantamount to believing that there is no God.Indeed,people practice witchcraft,but it is not effective to alter human existence under the sun.This is proved to be some sort of humbug.For instance,you go to the witch doctor to look for medicine that will make you rich,but he himself is very poor,doesn’t he himself want to be rich? I have lived abroad for over 30 years and I have never seen a white Prophet as Iam observing in Sub Saharan Africa.The fact of the matter is that these so-called Prophets are a disguised business crooks who live to swindle… Read more »
Tent upends
Guest
Tent upends
7 months 21 days ago

What do boobs got to do with whatever the prophet is doing for the woman? Some of them are transmitting STIs by indulging in the forbidden love with their victims

reasonableman
Guest
reasonableman
7 months 21 days ago

understand Wilkins properly he is not pointing to the fact that ufiti kulibe but the idea of living in superstitions. it is this deep rooted belief that is making us myopic and hence living in poverty.

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