A regular visitor to these pages would be familiar with my theme
The Beauty And Chaos Of The Place I Call l HOME
“…I write fantasy, fantasy steeped in African mythology, legends of old married to the science of today, spawning narratives that celebrate the magic in my ancestry and the myths behind the truth of my heritage……….”
I have had a love affair with words from the moment I learnt to read and picked up a copy of classic fairy tales and I got lost down the rabbit hole of fantasy… how readers become writers
I have read many genres since then but my favourite has always been epic fantasy, a world where anything could happen, later I would discover African Authors who write the blend of fantasy that I never knew I had been searching for between all the pages of books I read, fantasy set in a world closer to the home I know and our blend of magic…
In the African context when you speak of magic, it becomes witchcraft, an evil and dark craft; traditional healers are known as witchdoctors, even those herbalists whose herbal remedies are simply roots and tree bark are eyed suspiciously like there’s more to their mysticism than can be explained by science…
Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.Arthur C. Clarke
Sometimes I joke that we would progress much faster if we stopped calling our type African Science, witchcraft.
There’s a divide between African tradition and religion particularly Christianity from when the colonialists settled bringing along missionaries with them and imposing all sorts of legal frameworks some which we have carried on to today.
Witchcraft Suppression Act [Chapter 9:19]
The Witchcraft Suppression Act was enacted in 1899 under this act, it was a criminal offence to name anyone as a witch or wizard or to accuse someone of meddling in the supernatural. Money received as payment or received for practice of witchcraft, would be deemed to have been received by fraud, and punished for such fraud. Traditional Courts felt there was a grave injustice in that this law which punished the victim and how the courts regarded the whole practice of witchcraft as a pretence, something which had no real existence at all, referring to it as so-called witchcraft.
Amendment of the Witchcraft Suppression Act
The Witchcraft Suppression Act was amended in 2006 and now reads:
“Whoever accuses a person of witchcraft means to indicate that the person (is possessed by a spirit or) used non-natural means (witch-finding) to cause death, injury, disease or inability in any person. “Any person who engages in any practice knowing that it is commonly associated with witchcraft, shall be guilty of engaging in a practice commonly associated with witchcraft if having the intention to cause harm to any person. “Such practice inspires in the person against whom it was directed, a real fear or belief that harm will occur to that person or any member of his or her family, and be liable to a fine not exceeding level ten or imprisonment for a period not exceeding five years or both.”
“For the avoidance of doubt, it is declared that any person who assists another person to commit the crime of engaging in a practice commonly associated with witchcraft, by giving advice or providing any substance or article to enable that person to commit the crime, shall be liable to be charged as an accomplice to the crime.
It had to take almost a 100 years for the law to decide there could be more to this even if its just in the associated belief of the social phenomenon.
What is witchcraft?
I wont even lie, I don’t know, its not a subject that is ever really talked about and maybe partly due to the legislation that refused to acknowledge its but what comes quickly to my mind is that:
Witchcraft is someone using the supernatural to injure or kill another person or their property.
But is that all there is, isn’t there any good kind, aren’t there those who would practise this for protection and prosperity not selfishly but for the community. We have called it witchcraft and its difficult to see any good in it. Read Demystifying Witchraft
During the liberation wars spirit mediums were a crucial part of struggle. Mbuya Nehanda, Sekuru Kaguvi, are iconic, there’s stories about their deeds, that they told the freedom fighters bullets would turn to water. Before she was executed she proclaimed “Mapfupa angu achamuka“(My bones will rise again) Ancestral Spirits/Vadzimu/Madlozi have always been an integral part of our identity whether we acknowledge them or not.
Magic and Me
Imagine if we figured out how to harness our mystic skills. Remote viewing? We been having it, practitioners can “see” you in a clay pot, they can track a target using intricate global positioning in the spirit realm find lost objects and bring back lost lovers (I don’t know how you would lose a lover but that’s not the point)
Imagine if at the center of the Reserve Bank there was a snake just vomiting out a pile of cash for the treasury.., how about building a lightning powered Power station since they can conjure up lightning on demand, we could even be video conferencing by just looking in mirrors….
I am the man who is going to write the type of fantasy that I want to read; an epic African fantasy where we won’t call flying in a Reed Basket witchcraft…
I can’t do magic so I write….