Juju is not as powerful as Nigerians assume
Juju Is Not As Powerful As Nigerians Assume
The rate at which Nigerians exaggerate the potency of juju or voodoo one might think it is the remaining untapped potential left for the country to achieve success and attain greatness. Almost every successful Nigerians is alleged to have made his fortune to juju or he fortify himself or herself and successes attained with juju – even successful and devout Muslims and Christians are alleged to be users of Juju. While Juju is not entirely falsehood, its powers have been greatly exaggerated, this is why.
Juju fetishes (Image: The News Nigeria)
Juju is different from herbal medicine, it is the dark art of manipulating the spiritual powers in nature to influence physical things, individuals and events. The English call it magic or sorcery when referring to the art in their lands, and as voodoo when practice by Africans; but the general term for the arts of juju is witchcraft. There was a time juju was the only spiritual art in Africa, individuals and communities fortify and protect themselves by this dark-firewall against enemies within and without until the Europeans came and with the crack of canons and shouts of Hallelujah the great juju walls fell like that of Jericho. How did the Europeans succeed in putting African juju to shame?
The entrance to the Arochukwu Long Juju shrine (Image: Howntoen.ng)
Knowledge and understanding, there was a time – a very long time – in Europe whereby people believed in spiritual powers than the powers of their brains and their environment. They understand the world as space were spiritual powers compete for the control of man: good spiritual power represented by Christians religion and evil spiritual powers identified as witchcraft and sorcery. Challenges that were solved or could be solved by human power were attributed to Jesus power or witchcraft: from common sickness to piece of land or water meant to be explored. This period was called the dark ages in European history, it slowed the progressed of Europe until some realised that witchcraft was exaggerated.
The so-called witches and wizards and sorcerers were mere men leaving far above their times, people we call scientist today: chemists, physicists, doctors etc. The so-called spells cast on people were mostly hypnotism, and fortune-tellers were merely using their super skills of deductive reasoning like Sherlock Holmes. Diseases were caused by germs, bacterial and viruses and not demons; people contact these diseases due to poor hygiene and not by curses, and sins. Forbidden lands and waters were violated and exploited for good, the victory Europe made over witchcraft thanks to the powers of the human brain led to the discovery of new continents, and initiating scientific and industrial development that enabled the European to sailed to Nigeria, only to discover that our ancestors believed in witchcraft, Juju.
Some artifacts (spiritual objects in traditional societies) were looted and taken to Europe and displayed in European Museums today: Nok Terracotta and Benin Iyoba mask (Images: Guardian Paper)
That explains why the Europeans dared to desecrate Nigerian shrines and oracles with reckless abandon: The most formidable oracle in Igboland had its shrine invaded and destroyed; the purest of juju in traditional communities in Nigeria which have restricted their movements and thoughts and stalled rapid developments, could not withstand the formidable power of British arrogance and canons. Shrines were invaded, looted and oracles are stolen, the oracle whose Ikemefuna’s blood was fed to is displayed in some museum in Europe. In those days, traditional leaders the most spiritually fortified individuals, before coronation they were subjected to levels of rituals that made them powerful, with godlike potentials. But these kings were captured and exiled, Jaja of Opobo, Nana of Istekiri, Oba Ovaramwen of Bini kingdom – Edo? Even the Caliph of Sokoto fled but was pursued and killed. Juju failed them.
It failed them with greater cost, Nigerians lost their communities to the Europeans and marvelling at the powers of the white Nigerians traditionalists converted en mass to Christianity. But there are some who maintained that juju remains formidable and that believe was maintained to date: criminals, politicians, lawyers, ordinary Nigerians and even men of God (in Islam and Christianity) subscribe to Juju, premium package often come with a greater price in money or human life. But is Juju responsible for successes often claimed by its users or not. It isn’t, it the power that made Europe great that is responsible for the success.
Fraudsters (Yahoo boys) arrested with their laptops and juju charms
The powers of the human brain. Most Nigerians are creative and highly intelligent and possess the potential to make exploit, but most are plagued by inferiority complex and fears to be audacious in their dealings with others. Juju serves only as motivation, it gives them that sense of invisibility to dare to act, but in reality, doesn’t make them invincible. A yahoo boy who had used a ladies pant to do juju was not taught programming or the art of persuasion by Juju, and it is their errors that often lead to their apprehension and not when the juju fail them. Every person’s success is attributed to the powers of his brain, his potentials and not Juju. But ironically, it is after many have succeeded by their own power that they resort to juju for protection. The same Juju that couldn’t protect your ancestors.
Less I will be misunderstood, Juju or the black art is an extant power capable of some of the wonders attributed to it, same as miracles are associated to the powers of God in Islam and Christianity; but the powers are greatly exaggerated to an extent that human ability is greatly undermined. Juju can offer little and afflict greatly, but human potential can lead to greater personal achievement and societal development.