The prodigal Nyanga returns, and honestly, my editor has been amazingly patient with me, (always shout out to her) not only that, but I know my readers have been waiting too, so thank you for your patience.
On that note, let’s move on to the meat and potatoes, Ukudliswa part 2. Why you ask? Because merchandising.
So, I’d like to explore an idea that someone brought to light on my last article (link here). No really, the commenter’s display name was “someone” – love to my readers for this. To paraphrase someone (seriously, you’re dope muntu), “…when people talk about ‘ukudliswa’ they automatically think about ‘dark magic’. What can we say about those going to their pastors and getting ‘holy water’ to use on their targets?”.
Firstly, I’m glad someone [wink-wink] brought it up, and as a self-respecting Nyanga, why wouldn’t I take the opportunity to tear down the competition? I’m sure most of my African readers already have a face in mind after reading about ‘pastors and holy water’. We all know a guy, maybe a relative who attends ‘amachurch omoya’ – forgive me if I’m out touch with the terminology, but you get the gist. I’m referring to the start-up churches that come complete with super-powered pastors and pay to win life hacks that solve all your problems. For a small fee, these pastors can exorcise your demons of illness, poverty, and bad-luck, and for an additional cost, they’ll let you take home, magic water to sprinkle away your problems.
This is where someone’s comment comes into play. From my understanding, the question is posed to bring to light the bias we have when it comes to colonial religions vs traditional belief systems. I don’t think I need to dive into the specifics of how Africans were taught to hate themselves, and their beliefs. If you’re unfamiliar, please, the internet is your friend. Politics aside, why aren’t Christian beliefs subject to the same level of bad press? Or at least scrutiny? Sure, jokes are made at the expense of the catholic church’s mishandling of choir boys, but aside from that, we’re all quite comfortable to allow them to operate within society with a belief they’re a force for good. Meanwhile they get to ostracize indigenous beliefs as evil or even demonic because “the One true God” and an 8th century bible that’s got more holes than swiss cheese says so…
I’m sure you can see where I’m going with this. I’m not knocking anyone’s beliefs, but the nit-picking and general witch hunting found in Christianity is a little over the top. So, to my Christian readers, be sure to read Matthew 7: 1-5 whenever you feel yourself slipping up, and that spirit of condemnation is taking over. You’re welcome 🙂
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?
4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?
5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
Now to finally answer the question, (I’ve got to fill out a whole blog during assignment week, cut me some slack), the involvement of “holy water” as a prayer aid does not seem too farfetched, all things considered. The bible openly encourages believers to pray for anything and everything, [see Mark 11:24, Matthew 7:7 or Matthew 21:22] so it only stands to reason that at some point someone was going to start praying for a partner, because God I guess, I don’t know.
What’s strange is the weird confessions I’ve heard people giving their partners, “I prayed about you”, “I went to pastor [insert name] and he prayed for our relationship to blossom into something more than friends” – these are given as testimonies, TESTIMONIES – in the public, phambili kwabantu sibili. And no one finds that creepy? The whole church accepts it as normal because of course it is. Now assuming God and his infinite power are real, you’re actively changing people’s destinies to fulfil a base human desire from your sin-filled thoughts? Not to mention if you’re purchasing “holy water” to use for that same purpo–
Liyazi, a potion by any other name…