|Blyden's Midnight Juju|
Of late I have been wondering whether Sylvia Olayinka Blyden, the Special Executive Assistant to Sierra Leone's President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma and publisher of the Awareness Times gossip column is either a practical joker, has some marble loose somewhere, or is just plain mischievous.
Last year, spending just two weeks in America, she made up this story that members of the APC North American chapter have so much admired the work she is doing back in Freetown that they bought her a red Mercedes Benz. The uproar of the false claim almost fractured the North American branch of Sierra Leone's ruling party in USA, causing the chapter leaders to quickly release a statement rebuffing her claims in a bid to calm down frayed nerves. The woman is a mobile trouble magnet.
As if all her claims of being the target of almost everybody in Sierra Leone is not enough, now she has come out with this fantastic claim that at 11.00 pm sometime this month a mysterious four horned object mysteriously dropped out of nowhere, yes, just out of thin air and fell onto her house.
Not knowing what it was, she, a practicing Christian, a point she repeatedly emphasizes, did not send to call her pastor or church priest, but instead sent for one Dr. Sulaiman Kabba, who she claims is the President of Sierra Leone Traditional Healers Association or to put it in simpler terms, the country's Chief Juju man, officially recognized.
According to Dr. Blyden's own personal account the witch doctor quickly came to her house and dismantled the strange paraphernalia. The object as reported by the President's own personal assistant, consisted of horns, cowrie shells, the skin of a pussy cat (don't know if a zoologist was also at the scene), some monkey hair, mirror glasses, (last time I checked most mirrors are made of glass), red blood, and some other strange components.
|Blyden's Mysterious Horns|
Dr. Blyden is of the fervent belief that on that fateful night, she did come under sustained JuJu attack which she only repelled because, according to her, she is living in a house consecrated with the Holy Spirit and it was the power of this Holy Ghost that repelled the invisible "witch juju invaders." If this juju, Holy Spirit and consecrated house combo sounds confusing, then you need to take a trip to Freetown.
According to Blyden's rag, The Awareness Times, it was the Holy Spirit himself who was resident at her consecrated house that caused the mysterious object to morph from its hidden metaphysical form into the strange object that suddenly appeared on her doorstep in the middle of the night, causing her to summon the nation's most decorated witch doctor.
|Guinea needs Dr. Sulaiman Kabba|
Now if somebody had just told me this story as a rumor, I would have probably just dismissed it as somebody talking too much after a hefty plate of cassava leaves. But this is a story being peddled by the Special Executive Assistant to no other person than the country's President himself, and you wonder if somebody that close to the center of power and professing to be a trained medical doctor, would be that irresponsible to make such a public claim, the veracity of which depended solely on superstition.
You wonder whether this was the first time the witch doctor, Dr. Kabba, was summoned or whether he was also being summoned in times when decisions of national importance have to be made. A scary thought, when you think that economic decisions that will affect the destiny of our nation may now be made not on the basis of data from the central bank or Ministry of Finance, but from the mystical visions of the country's most celebrated witch doctor! The consultation of herbalists now becoming official government practice and policy; scary!
Sometimes thinking about Sierra Leone really saddens anybody with the capacity to think above a pussy cat. Here is a country that was the first in English Sub-Saharan Africa to have a University with graduates getting the same education as the leading British Universities at the time. Forward to many decades later we have a President who graduated from the same university, with a Special Executive Assistant professing to be a medical doctor, yet would believe that she is under attack by juju because the leading witch doctor in the country had told her so.
Now with the whole world looking for that missing Jumbo Jet, why can't we just call the Malaysian government and say "Hey Malays, you have been looking for that missing Jumbo Jet for several days now. Here is Dr. Kabba, the leading proponent of dark arts in our country. Take him to the middle of the Indian Ocean and he will help you locate that plane before you can say Shokolokobangoshay.
Probably this elevation of mediocrity is the reason why occasionally people look at you quite strangely when you tell them that you are from Sierra Leone. They sometimes tend to look at you as if you are an interesting biological specimen for dissection. "Lets put him on a table, and see what the brain of an elemental moron looks like."
The next thing Dr. Kabba will tell SOB is that the witch plane came from either Makeni or Kono. The pilot will likely be a young man, fair in complexion, with a popular weekly radio program that starts with an M, go figure.
As we say in Freetown, "Ayyyy Salone!"