Open Market for Goblins

The Herald (Harare)

By Brenna Chigonga and Patience Nyangove
Belief in goblins is still persistent in Zimbabwe, fuelled by a desire for quick riches, fame and power. And there are people ready, for a large fee, to "manufacture" them to feed the desires of the gullible.
And sometimes this "manufacture" will involve more than just a cash fee. Rape, mutilation and even murder have been committed, although few will ever admit to such crimes.
But even "making" goblins would probably be illegal under the Witchcraft Suppression Act, since it is an act of witchcraft. Some of the processes would also be crimes under other laws.
But how easy is it to acquire a "goblin" -- genuine or fake?
Reporters Brenna Chigonga and Patience Nyangove decided to find out.
They report:
We did not even have to travel outside Harare to secure one. It took us just 10 minutes to Harare's Mupedzanhamo flea market in Mbare where "goblins" are sold in broad daylight.
We arrived at the flea market just after lunch-time and, as usual, vendors were busy soliciting for customers and despite it being Good Friday, business was as brisk as ever with scores of people milling around the market, nicknamed "Edgars" for its thriving second-hand clothing business.
We headed for the market's north wing were traditional medicine and artefacts are sold. Just as we were entering that section, a man beckoned to us.
"Huyai ndikubatsirei, hapana chandisina (Come, I will help you with everything)," he said as he lured us to his stall.
As if he knew we were coming, he ushered us to two wooden stools where we sat before he began talking to us in hushed tones.
"I am an assistant of Sekuru Nzaramuroyi, one of the most renowned traditional healers at this flea market. He can do anything for you, so please feel free to share with me your problems."
We looked at each other thinking to ourselves whether this man was genuine or he was one of the conmen Mbare is infamous for.
We decided to try our luck and introduced ourselves as two orphaned siblings in dire need of a financial breakthrough and spiritual guidance.
"We are orphans and for the past few years, we have been having financial problems. We need money -- lots of it -- and we would appreciate if you could give us money-making charms or even a goblin. We do not have much money, but we really need one, sekuru, please help," we begged as the middle-aged Makumbi listened attentively.
He pulled out a box full of charms and goblins: "These are some of the charms that I have at the moment. But as for your problem, I think you need a special goblin. I have to see Sekuru Nzaramuroyi, he will be in a better position to help you since your problem is big vazukuru," he said.
We parted after Makumbi instructed us to come back the following day. He wanted to have time to meet Sekuru Nzaramuroyi.
The following day we were at Mupedzanhamo as arranged and the Makumbi took us straight to Sekuru Nzaramuroyi's residence at Matapi Flats.
As we entered his room, full of herbs and strange charms hanging all over, we were immediately ordered to remove our shoes and jewellery and to switch off our mobile phones.
"Vazukuru vangu mashupika nei? Kumusha kwatadza kugarika, chemai tinzwe," (What seems to be the problem?)" Sekuru Nzaramuroyi asked us.
We quickly told him that we did not need to go into matare (consultations).
"Zvakanaka vazukuru saka ndokupayi chikwambo ichi chandakarara ndichibika nemitombo yakabva pasi kwenyika, kumusha kwendarama (It's fine, I will give you this goblin that I made last night using medicines from a far away land were gold and silver are in abundance)," he said.
The "goblin" was a scary-looking object, a fierce doll made up of a black cloth, animal hide and beads.
We were instructed not to eat chicken for the rest of our lives, tell no one about this "goblin" and prepare a safe, comfortable place where we would keep it.
We would also need to perform rituals every year and pay homage to the "goblin" so that it would continue blessing us.
A special cloth popularly known in Shona as retso was to be used to wrap the goblin.
To protect ourselves, we asked about the correct method of disposing of the "goblin" if we no longer wanted it.
"Munotobika doro kwofa mombe nomwe kupira kuchikwambo ichi, mondidaidza kuzochenura musha (You have to prepare traditional beer and kill seven head of cattle so as to cleanse the family," Sekuru Nzaramuroyi said.
"But how then are we going to plant the goblin?" we asked Sekuru.
"Izvozvi chakatoguta nesimba, munouya kuzonditora pano toenda kunochiomberera kumusha. Ipapo munozochipa zita chotanga kushanda (The goblin is already fuming with power, take it home and anytime you feel free, come and take me to your homestead so that we perform the last ritual,)" he said confidently.
We paid $890 000 for our newly acquired "asset" and left Sekuru Nzaramuroyi's tiny room before we locked up the strange-looking "creature" in the back of our pick-up truck.
We then took the "goblin" to Zinatha.
The organisation's deputy secretary for administration and information, Mr Tapera Dzviti, said the purported "goblin" was nothing more than a fake pixie made from baboon hide, beads, a traditional clay plate and African potato.
"This goblin is not genuine. As Zinatha we are aware that there has been mushrooming of fake n'angas that sell fake goblins," Mr Dzviti said.
He said the real thing was made up of different animal hides, herbs, cooking oil and human parts.
Mr Dzviti said the most common human parts used were fingers, hair or bones.
A genuine goblin should talk the way a human being does.
"A real goblin has powers that allow it to talk because it is made from a dead person's spirit. During the making of the goblin the traditional healer goes to the grave of the dead person they want to raise and conduct the ritual," Mr Dzviti said.
He accused greedy people of forcing goblins to take human life.
"At first when one acquires a goblin, this thing does not cause any deaths in the family because it does not require blood to perform supernatural acts.
"It becomes rebellious and turns to human blood when its owner refuses to return it to its original owner (traditional healer)," Mr Dzviti said.
He also explained the differences between a goblin (chikwambo), tokoloshi and chidhoma.
"A tokoloshi is made from a cat and is mainly used to spy on people or attack them, while chidhoma is made using the remains of small children. That's why it speaks like a child. It is mainly used to kill people.
"A chikwambo is mainly used to safeguard people, make them rich and famous in various disciplines," Mr Dzviti said.

Copyright 2007 The Herald.
Libra Girl
Hmmm... *Takes a deep breath* Yes, well, erm... No comment!
I read this on yesterday... one of the stranger stories I have read

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