A story of Muti and God.
By Thobani Khumalo
Today I woke up to another day, same as any other day—daunting and full of disappointments—however the struggle in me is still there, a struggle to be somebody. Spam and promos congest my inbox every week. On the streets I see jackal smiles jeering at an unemployed graduate. “What’s the use?”, they ask, “to spend so much time and energy, only to wonder around broke as a clock that froze on 11:55?”—an almost case. Is that how I will live my days, saying I almost became, I could have become but never became? Education has lost its reputation as a guaranteed mechanism to achieve a career let alone a job. I, myself have come to resent it as it sends an awful message to my younger sisters and brothers. What does it take to advance my standard of living?
I pray to God Almighty, the High Priest according to the order of Melchizedek; the reigning Alpha and Omega that splashed mercy even unto the gentiles. If He would only shine opportunity to a young ambitious me, I would be indebted forever unto His Kingdom. But I find no breakthrough. They say he is teaching me patience. Is that really true or a way just to try to feel good? I try so hard to harness my writing skill in the hope that through pen and paper, I can goggle eyes, spread smiles, ignite concern and entertain. At times I never finish writing a piece. Where is my error? Perhaps I should be more interested on what is really my forte. Do I know my strongest points? What about my weak points? Who am I?
As I sort the aid from above, my mother points me to another direction where she herself has never found satisfaction for her ills. She cajoles me to trust in the muti made by weird men—living men, men that eat and breathe air—but these men have the power to see energies hidden from the naked eye, therefore perhaps better than us. However these powers do not impress me. With so many of them scattered all over, bidding to be the one to solve all your ancestry hick-ups—who do you adhere to? I, seek the one that gave life to the birds of the sky, and the power of love demonstrated on the cross. I seek the maker of mankind, former of wind and earth; the one who pays close attention to detail and thus perfected my smallest blood flowing arteries. Where was this God? Could I call him ‘my God’ or am I alien to those he safeguards like a hen after its chicks?
Out of respect for my elders, I took heed to the pestering inquisition to seek aid from the muti man. In the bathroom, I sat there, holding the muti in the palm of a shaking hand. The weather was not cold nor did I have Parkinson disease. It was my rage boiling within, I was moments from consuming a substance with contents unknown to me but it was said that this little parcel would open doors to prosperity. How will I know that God has been sensitive to my cries and pleas if I consume this substance now? Could this be my darkest hour that’s trying to send the last remnants of my faith to perdition? If it does work, if it could work, my restless days fixed in idleness could cease. I felt weak that I was contemplating such a notion I had lived so long banning from my courts. So displeasing to me that it symbolized defeat from my beliefs, but what did I have so much against this ‘black’ muti? Both possess powers but the other speaks of the other in a stray bound way. Did a man’s hustle become insufficient? Is a man’s toil and hard efforts not enough? How can success reside in the granules of this little plastic wrapped parcel? If worthwhile living is such, then I choose to fail, I choose to lumber in the walks of life with an alien ‘pointless’ addiction to that of others—the addiction for God’s aid. And so I flushed it down the toilet, spiraling down as I watched, I felt a hypnotic concern. The concern was, could I have flushed what would have helped me in my despair? How tough it is to believe in this God?
In the midst of my dilemmas, the evil one whispers in my ears. He wants my soul in exchange for the fulfillment of my virtues. Should I step up to the bargain and live the way I desire? To do as thou wilt? Will I find peace in all the materials he promises to baptize me with? Are fancy materials, women and power all that a man like me needs? But in the absence of capability, manhood seems weak, pride dies, living seems paralyzing and the only way to attain this capability is to possess money. Is the evil one my way out of this impoverishing predicament? How did it come to seem as if God does not want me to win but the devil does? Are we mankind created to fail, insolvent in our wise and hopeless in the absence of powers emerging from the other world?
They may ignite disbelief in me by telling me that I am a fool to adopt a British religion called Christianity that was designed for the enrichment of foreign principalities, popularized by greedy, racist men; diluting indigenous mores and caused the exodus of African traditions.
Tonight, after crying and begging the Almighty with no prevail, I shall attempt to provoke my God to anger in the hope that he will come to me and I will wrestle with Him that he may bless me; pound Him to give me prosperity, question his authority not because I am a disobedient, self-righteous man. But I see adversity and failure in my eyes and if all things are possible in Him—it is not fair that he made failure possible in my life. Did he see it fitting to make me miserable, that my old lady shall die without having tasted the first fruits of my labour? Who is my God and what am I to Him?
Is the bible full of factious tales made to fool ourselves so we can feel good while reality sits in our stomachs and in the mouths of those that raised us…? “Nothing will come of you through prayer alone, take the muti and claim your destiny. This has forever been the black way, the African way—back to your roots young man!”