Sunday, March 23, 2008

Nairobi's Mutinda the Witchdoctor

By Joseph Parish

Some may consider the tale a fantasy while others will swear that it is truth all the way. The tale begins in the small African nation of Zambia.

A wealthy Zambian businessman had his new car stolen and wanted desperately to have it returned. The police were totally useless in finding it as well as the offering of a reward for its return. Finally at his wits end he decides to consult with a local witchdoctor. The witchdoctor was shown the spot where the automobile was last seen and proceeded to perform a somewhat magical ritual. He danced and he chanted all the time waving his hands within the air. He finally concluded the ritual and went to his home.

It was a mere few days later that the missing automobile appeared at the exact spot where it originally disappeared from.

In another similar situation a man from Kitui had been missing for several years and no trace could be found of him. Police could not find him nor any proof of foul play. The family was in a state of despair and hinged on giving up all hope. The father finally decides to consult with the local witchdoctor and ask for his assistance. Within a matter of days the missing man reappeared at home. He had left a teenager and when he returned he was total unable to speak his native language of Kitamba but rather conversed in the language of Kikuyuland where he claims he had been living.

Although you may consider that these are some very unusual and strange situations they are not the least but peculiar to Teresia Mbini Mutinda. For the last thirty plus years, Mutinda has been practicing her special style of witchcraft in her native Nairobi. She readily claims to have aided people from every corner of the world and from every lifestyle imaginable. She claims her birthright as her start in the profession as witchdoctor. Records were generally not kept too accurately in the days of her birth and thus even though her nation identification card indicates that she was born in 1930 it possibly may only be an estimate.

She states that she was a witchdoctor long before she was married. Her husband had forced her to convert to Christianity which resulted in the name Teresia being bestowed upon her. She admits that when her husband had convinced her to convert to Christianity he insisted that she burn all her related craft paraphernalia and that to her was not an easy task to accomplish.

Mutinda will tell you straight out that when she entered the pool for her conversion baptism that she got lost in the water. This occurred on Saturday and on the following Monday she was discovered lying upon a rock violently vomiting. Her explanation of these events was that the associated spirits from her craft would not leave her alone.

She claims that she has paid a heavy price in this attempted conversion as she has two sons immediately upon their birth. It is no surprise that she abandoned this conversion to Christianity and reverted back to being a local witchdoctor. Unfortunately her husband could not understand this and within a short period of time left Mutinda.

In time Mutinda ended up living in Nairobi where others from her original homeland could be helped by her unusual but effective methods. Strangely upon settling in this new home she became the attention of people from all walks of life with problems and difficulties for her to solve. It is not unusual for the neighbors to see Asians visiting her in her one room home asking for her services. Although normal physicians' do not any longer make house calls Mutinda will. She has made numerous house calls to patients who happen to be too ill to come to her and even after she will make her rounds to ensure that they are still alright and feeling well.

Mutinda is illiterate and generally does not have any idea of what is going on in the news. She is unaware of the ongoing controversy between the witchdoctors and the current administration. When the discussion of witchdoctors is brought up she will quickly inform you that she is not a witch but merely undoes what evil witches do. She clearly lets the inquirer know that what she does is strictly for the good of the people and not for harming others.

When bewitched people approach Mutinda she undoes the current spell and then offers then protection from the spell being placed upon them again.

Her tools are of modest means and consist of cowrie shells, a bow, a calabash, a horn, gourd and a small mirror. She readily uses these tools to discover the root of the patients problems as well as the best direct way to deal with it.

Mutinda does not try to deal with medical problems. If she senses that the patients problem is rooted medically she will quickly advise them to seek the proper medial attention needed. One of her major complaints these days is the rising commercialization in the area of witchdoctors. It is not unusual these days to see may of the witchdoctors advertising their services and this Mutinda does not feel is proper. Her belief is that many of these commercial witchdoctors have purchased their craft and this to Mutinda is not good as spirits like jinni will return after you die to haunt your offspring.

Mutinda has three daughters and five sons all of which she has managed to provide successful education for through her craft. She will tell you that this is the only life she knows and that is what she shall remain doing until she dies.

Copyright @2008 Joseph Parish

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1 comment:

Kartik said...

How do i contact mama mutinda? My number is 0738543740

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