Dear non-Africans, do you believe in juju? I mean voodoo.
What’s with the question, right? So I’ve read, seen around and on TV too, a thing — not sure how common it is, so I won’t say — one of what has earned Africans, especially Nigerians, a bad reputation abroad. It’s the thing with some fathers suddenly disappearing, abandoning their families and never contacting them again. Leaving the wife and children confused and bitter. Some are just irresponsible and some, well…
I was watching Dope last year and in the scene where Malcolm explained that his father was a Nigerian who left them and went back to Nigeria or so, the first thing that came to my mind was that he had received ‘the call.’ The kind of call that is the dread of a lotta people from here who live abroad — those who understand the workings of this place, how dark a man’s heart can be.
What’s the call? It’s not a phone call or anything directly similar. It’s some voodoo stuff — a powerful something that could make a man; successful or not, self satisfied or not, suddenly get on a flight home for no reason. In most cases, taking nothing with him. It’s deeply spiritual! Unless whatever hex placed on him is removed, he’ll be stuck here permanently; useless, with nothing, dependent. It’s a classic grace/whatever place to grass example. It’s a fall, not because he is back home, but because the purpose of the calling is not just to bring him back home. It’s wrecking him that is. He suffers from seemingly perpetual bad luck. And no! He can’t ‘simply go back.’ There are forces preventing him from. No matter how hard he tries, he won’t be able to reestablish contact. Well, the last statement is debatable. It depends on the severity of the hex.
There’s a small scattered population of supposed to be successful doctors, engineers, lawyers, toilet washers, sweepers and whatnot stuck here. People who have been recipients of that life-changing call. It’s to a measured extent, fascinating to see intellectuals who, under normal circumstances, should be doing great things, unable to make anything of themselves once they’ve been called back.
You might not believe in voodoo and all but this is a reality. The only way I’ve seen people break free from it is with God. Yes. God’s grace or nothing.
Here’s a shabby tip: If you’re gonna marry an African, make sure he’s responsible enough to stay. Know his hometown too. Just in case.
There are many things which make the people who place the calls, place them. Jealousy is chief. There’s this misguided notion that people who go abroad have somehow, automatically ‘made it.’ It’s like a feat to some — even if you have nothing doing, just being out is great to them and it sparks that jealousy. Thankfully people with such ideas have reduced greatly. The calls still get placed though; just less frequently.
This doesn’t mean men who leave their family all get the call. It’s just something that happens to a percentage of people.