Inyangas will always suck a sucker

Several columns ago I asked why it is that inyangas - the real famed ones - will prescribe the most obscure ingredients for their patients.

Several columns ago I asked why it is that inyangas - the real famed ones - will prescribe the most obscure ingredients for their patients.

Read stuff like owl eardrums, toenails of a pregnant giraffe or the bladder of a tortoise.

It is sad that, after all, the charlatans among them are tarnishing the credibility of the rest. And I am sure not all of them are fake.

Years ago I had a friend and colleague who loved his booze. He mixed his drinks - from beer to cane to brandy, wine, vodka and back to beer - with gay abandon.

These things catch up with you at some stage. And they did with him. He soon got gout, or whatever it was.

Once every few weeks, he hobbled into the office on one foot, the other so badly swollen he could not even get it into a shoe.

When he did not over-indulge, which was only when he was broke, he picked up no problems. Several doctors said it was gout and told him the usual: eat well and avoid too much booze.

But then my friend was a believer in everything. He believed in voodoo, faith healing, Western medicine, homeopathy, science, horoscopes, prophets and, importantly, witchcraft. Everything he had heard was true.

One morning he came into the office almost in tears.

"I have found the cause of dié ding. Jislaaik, these things (our colleagues) bewitch. This is a speed trap," he said, pointing to his swollen foot. "Eish fana, what have I done to them? Just tell me."

"Speed trap" meant he had stepped on something "wrong", ostensibly put in his path by a colleague to bewitch him.

If it were possible to bewitch, I thought to myself, why would anyone want to bewitch a harmless, untalented yob like my friend with no two Zim dollars to his name? What would be in it for him or her?

He spent several hundred rand on the motho who had told him about the "speed trap" and wanted to borrow more to pay the motho to identify the culprit and fix his problem once and for all.

"I am sick and tired of injections and pills," he said.

Arguing with him was like having a discussion with a brick wall. He shut his mind completely. He could have invented the line: "Don't confuse me with the facts . I have already made up my mind."

Had he been open to persuasion I would have wanted to tell him that I would doff my hat to the inyanga who tells a bugger like him: "Go easy on rich food, eat more fruit and vegetables, drink lots of water and stay away from alcohol."

The stuff about "speed traps" jealous neighbours is easy crap, easy money.

And shit.

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