I'm a creative non-fiction writer who believes stories maketh our sixth sense. I have a flair for weaving up tell tales into beautiful art. I contribute to notable Publications in Kenya such as Daily Nation and the Pulse Magazine. I also blog at www.fotophreak.com and www.kileta.blogspot.com.
You are always fascinated by the craft practised by witches. You marvel at how they perform magic, especially in Nigerian Films. It seems unfathomable to you how a witch can make someone filthy rich, yet they are wallowing in poverty. Legend has it that your Tribe is infamous for devouring people and performing things that seem so surreal.
You are yet to encounter such, so you pass it for a myth. You are currently reading the Harry Potter Sequels, where magic seems to be so much fun. In the book, kids your age go to a school of Wizardry and Witchcraft. In your moments of quiet, you fancy an idea of having a Wand with which you would jinx people or a fly whisk for touring the skies ticket free and passport less. Fun right?
You arrive home one noon all dog tired and hunger-stricken. You make a beeline for the kitchen, and Alas, the sparkling Sufurias reflect your bald scalp. You stand Steel wired on the floor, contemplating what to do. You stay with your Aunt, who usually leaves for Chama every Thursday after preparing lunch, of course. As you exit with a metallic taste in your mouth, you catch a strong whiff of something ripening bananas. You sniff around like a nervous habit, and you locate the smell to be emanating from the attic cellar or instead of the ceiling. Just before ascending the ceiling, you recall the countless times your Aunt had warned that no one should look beyond the ceiling.
Your last pet, a small, wiry black cat, had met an untimely death after a neighbor hacked it with an axe after it always yowling at his doorstep every midnight. Since Curiosity is bored and in the precipice of mischief, you ascend the walls and into the ceiling in no minute.
It is pitch dark as you crouch into the ceiling. A hole through the Corrugated iron sheets gives way for sun rays to penetrate through, thus allowing you to see. You get appalled at the spectacle you behold. Up there are Pharaphernalia you only see in your telly. Witch doctors Wares and tools of work are strewn all over. You muster some courage, and in great trepidation, you move to the far corner. The smell is concentrated at this point; your feet hit something as you bend to check the stumbling block, Vualaa! You come face to face with Skulls beside a Casket. With your heart in your mouth, you open the Coffin and inside are very yellow, ethereal and sumptuous looking Bananas. Your grumbling stomach announces it’s presence amid the Labyrinth of shock and Awe. You man up and grab a bunch.
Just as your getting ready to descend, you hear some noise down the ceiling: Kumbe, your Aunt who’s calling out to you. With Strengthless Knees, you slowly climb down from the ceiling. You know your goose has already been cooked. Just at the periphery of the ceiling, You find your Aunt awaiting your arms akimbo, her tall figure towering. She has a Salt pillar look on her face. She clears her throat and, in a subdued tone, says, “Nilikukataza Lakini sasa umeamua Utatujoin by force by fire eeh?.” As if tight-lipped, you don’t respond, and you pass it for her normal bickerings.
The daytime fastly elapses away, and the matter is put at bay. Just right after Your 6th dream, abruptly, it is cut short by someone tugging your arm. It’s your Aunt, and in a hushed stern voice, she says the time has come. Your eyes are still smarting from sleep as you drowsily follow her to the door. Outside, a cold past midnight breeze hits you, making the coveted sleep scamper away. As if mentally deranged, your Aunt starts sprinting and orders you to follow suit. In a speed that would rival that of a World champion, she goes, closely behind you, trying to keep the pace. The run culminates in a piece of land near a river. The field was known as a meeting place for witches and wizards. Till then, it didn’t hit you; what was happening.
At the Rendezvous, already in place, is a clique of men and women adorned strangely. Some are humming nondescript tunes while others are engaged in Tittle tattles. The retinue comes to a deafening silence when a man emerges out of the Murky water of the river. He appears to be in charge as his surly, booming voice, which sounds authoritative, calls for the secretary to brief on the day’s agenda. Your Aunt introduces just as the members begin ogling at you. She discloses that you had discovered the big secret hence being jeopardy to the Coven of witches and wizards. As their policy demanded, you had to join them. The Chairman proceeds to give you a cordial invite. The secretary momentarily rises and begins the brief. At that juncture, you’re in a mishmash of emotions and fazed.
You make up your mind to bring everything into perspective and maybe say a fervent prayer so that all this may disappear, and you realize that it must have been a nightmare. You are startled from your trance when out the Reds, armed to the tooth; a vigilante troup tasked to witch hunt, are seen marching towards your direction. The Vigilantes close in as the meeting is abruptly disrupted. Everyone tries to have their heels save them, but the youths are a step ahead as they surrounded the whole land field. Most of the elderly folk in the Coven of witches are caught up with as the few others escape. Fortunately for you amid the melee, one of the Vigilantes recognizes you and you’re put aside for interrogation. The commotion wakes the whole village, who make way to the spot. The ensuing events become deeply etched in your brain.
Mob psychology manifests itself like a wave among the villagers, and in a spur of a moment, a tyre and petrol find their way to the scene. The witches and wizards, most of them old Quinquaagenarian and septuagenarian, are burnt to a crisp beyond recognition, a very macabre scene. You undergo a very nerve jarring ordeal that to many seems unfathomable and out of this world.