Writer, Church leader, Eccentric Nut, Marketer

I'm Church Leader, Writer, Speaker, Marketer, Kindness Project Founder, Broadcaster and Superhero. But most important I'm a Husband, Father and a worshiper of Jesus.

17 February 2008

Blame it on the Boogie

One the biggest differences between African Culture and North American is that here... to even mention the supernatural precludes you from being rational person.

There... "not getting good enough witchcraft" is an official reason for loosing a soccer match. I remember when we were in Ghana, the Accra team called "The Hearts of Oak" were in a major tournament and country officially called on the nation for Intercessory Prayer! This from a Ghanaian newspaper...

1.an object venerated superstitiously and used as a fetish or amulet by tribal peoples of West Africa.
2.the magical power attributed to such an object

"In the 2008 African Nations Cup group D game between Angola and Senegal's renowned Lions at Tamale Stadium the other day, a member of Senegal's "technical team" was removed by match officials towards the end of the first half.

He had apparently been sprinkling something out of his pocket onto the athletics track on the side of the pitch. Journalists covering the match did not think much about the incident at the time, though there was some muttering about him being a "juju" man.

But the incident took on a different hue when the Senegalese press reported a few days later that the country's sport minister Issa Mbaye Samb had suffered a nervous breakdown after his imperious President Abdoulaye Wade demanded to know why the national soccer team had done so badly.

The Senegalese newspaper L'bservateur reported mysteriously that sources (or could that have been sorcerers?) did not rule out the possible involvement of witchcraft in Samb's "sad and inexplicable" affliction and his sudden departure for the old mother country for treatment and recuperation.

The report was not clear whether Wade had berated Samb for blaming his team's poor performance on inadequate witchcraft or for not providing the team with sufficiently potent witchcraft.

But it did say that the marabouts, or juju men, had predicted that the tournament would be a disaster, though not quite as bad as it turned out and added that according to police sources many members of the Lions had been seen in Ghana with said marabouts.

In the opening match of the tournament between hosts Ghana and Guinea, several Ghana fans carried a "juju pot" containing leaves and liquid in order to "scare away all devils", while churchgoers went to their Sunday service bedecked in the country's red, gold and green for a "cleansing" ceremony designed to inspire "total victory".

Again, the magic seemed to work, as Ghana's Sulley Muntari scored a last-minute screamer to win the game, the Guardian reported.

Back in the 2002 semi-final between Mali and Cameroon it was reported that Cameroon coach Winfried Schafer and his goalkeeping coach, Thomas Nkono, were arrested by riot police for placing a magic charm on the pitch before the match.

Two years previously, Senegal had again been on the losing end of a charm offensive (so to speak) during a quarter final with Nigeria. Just 15 minutes from time Senegal was one goal ahead.

A Nigerian football official then sneaked onto the pitch and made off with a charm which had been placed in the back of Senegal's net. Over the next 15 minutes, Nigeria scored twice to turn the game around.

There were strong rumors some time ago that Bafana's deputy assistant physio was actually a practitioner of the dark arts. But if so, he must have been exorcised since then. Or perhaps he simply got out-charmed in Ghana."

Blame it on the Boogie indeed. Sounds so bizarre to our ears... but if the spirit world is, in most ways, more real than the world we can see, touch, and feel... who's culture is more bizarre?

I'm not always a huge fan of blaming everything on the boogie, but then again... I don't see people healed, raised from the dead, and rarely even saved. So again I ask... who's culture is more bizarre?

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