• Natalie was desperate to have her once love back in her life so she drank the liquid
• Her facial expression as she explained the taste of the liquid clearly indicated it was not pleasant.
Love makes the world go round, it has been said.
It's no wonder then, that some people are willing to go to extremes to find love.
This search for love has made many a witch doctor 'mganga' survive and keep their businesses running.
If you walk on the streets of Nairobi or any other county, you will see posters on poles and walls of witch doctors advertising their businesses.
For instance you will see 'Dr' A stating that he or she can help you get love, can make a love interest be attracted to you, help get a promotion at work, make employers like you, help you make lots of money and the list is endless.
The Star had a sit down with a Nairobi resident who has sought a witch doctor's services to find out the reason for the move and whether she thought it worked.
Natalie walked into the restaurant we were supposed to meet. She was dressed in a a white blouse, leather jacket, blue high waist jeans and a floral pair of chunky heels.
She looked nervous but tried to hide it. We greeted each other as she sat across from me.
I asked her to order what she would like as we talked about our jobs. After the order came we went straight to the point.
She explained how she fell prey to witch doctors following desperation to find love after her heart was broken by a man she had dated for five years.
“It was hard letting him go,” she said, “So a friend of mine told me to try the waganga who are advertised on the streets. One day when as I was walking home, I saw a poster of a “Dr” claiming he could help me find love.”
At this point you could see that she was not ready to share what happened but I urged her to speak out. She picked the number and went to her house, closed the door and sat on her favorite chair.
“I was reluctant to call the number, but remembering what he did to me, made me gain the courage to dial the number. It rang and a man picked up. I asked him if he was Dr Wanjala, he said yes, the doctor who is well known for his services.”
At this point she started feeling like she was going to get the help she wanted. Natalie told the doctor what happened to her and why her relationship ended.
“After explaining everything, Dr Wanjala told me to visit him at his “clinic” the next day. I got scared for a minute but told him I would avail myself. He asked me to bring anything that belonged to him and Sh10,000.”
She hang up the phone and went straight to the bedroom to check if her ex had left anything behind when he was moving out.
“I found his boxers and a shirt, so I took the boxers and quickly wrapped them in a bag and put in my bag so as not to forget it the next day.”
The night was long and she couldn’t sleep because she didn’t know what was ahead of her. The next day, she went to work but the hours seemed not to be moving.
Immediately it was 5pm, she took her belongings, ordered for a cab and went to the Dr Wanjala’s “clinic”.
“When I got there, there was no sign of a clinic but apartments. I called the doctor and he told me to go to house number x. As I climbed the last stair to the apartment, I could smell some weird fragrance. I knocked and some weird old looking man opened the door. He said he was Dr Wanjala, showed me a place to sit and told me to wait for a few minutes as he was finishing up with another client.”
“I’m starting to get nervous at this point but I pull myself together. A young man walks out and the doctor calls my name. I go into a room and what I saw really shook me. On the floor, there were so many bottles with liquids of different colours, there was a small calabash, chicken feathers and a substance that looked like crashed chalk.”
The doctor ordered her to sit down and cross her legs. He then asked her to narrate her story afresh.
“I tell him everything then he said “ok nimekuelewa (Ok, I have understood you”). He asked for the boxers, took them, smelt them, then put them in a bowl and poured a brown liquid. He started chanting and after let’s say a minute, he told me to drink the liquid. At first I told him I couldn't but he said if I wanted to have my ex back, I had to take it.”
Natalie was desperate to have her former lover back in her life so she drank the liquid. Her facial expression as she explained the taste of the liquid clearly indicated it was not pleasant.
“After drinking, he chanted a little bit more, applied oil on my hands and blew some chalk dust towards my face. He then gave me a small bottle with a brown liquid and told me to pour two drops of the liquid in his drink and he’ll be mine, but if anyone finds out, then it won’t work, then go see him after two weeks to give him a report.”
She paid the doctor Sh10,000, took her bag and walked away. She left with a smile knowing that things would go back to normal.
“The same night I called my ex, pretending to be sick and he’s the only one who can take me to the hospital because I didn’t know anyone with a car. All this time, I was plotting how he’ll come and later tell him that I feel better after taking some over the counter pills, but needed him to stay with me for a while.”
The ex fell prey to her plan and he showed up at her house, concerned. She gave the same story and he believed her. She went to the kitchen to get him a drink, took out the bottle and poured two drops of the witch doctor's concoction in the drink.
“All this time I’m shaking and hoping that I don’t mess up everything. I take the drink to him. He takes a while before drinking then, he takes his first sip, then the second and after a while he’s done. I’m deeply hoping that this juju works and he’ll fall back in love with me.
We sit watching a series we both love. I keep checking the time and looking at him to see if anything is changing but he’s just the same him. At around 11:30, he tells me he wants to go back home. It hit me so hard that the concoction was not working because the doctor told me it works instantly.”
Natalie got concerned as her ex kept insisting that he had to go. He finally left and she was left with so many questions on what exactly happened. She wasn’t sure what to do next, so she opted to call the doctor.
“I sit down and call Dr Wanjala hoping to get answers. His phone goes unanswered. I try again but he’s mteja. I start to panic because I’m not sure what to do next. I start to conclude so many things about the activities of the day and it finally hits me, the doctor was a scam. My Sh10,000 is gone and I haven’t seen any results.”
She couldn’t sleep that night, crying, her mind filled with unanswered questions. She didn’t even know how she fell asleep, but the next day, which was on a Saturday, she decided to go to the doctor’s clinic. She goes to the same apartment she went to the previous day, but she finds the place empty. No sign of Dr Wanjala or his things.
Natalie had been conned. As she sips her juice, you can see balancing tears as she tries to hide her sadness but it’s evident she had mixed emotions.
“I was desperate to have him back and opted to use the easy way out, a route I had never used before and didn’t even do thorough research before using it. I feel stupid to date for thinking these doctors are legit."
I learned the hard way, but I came to understand that you can’t force someone to love you. If it was meant to be it definitely will be.”
She now looks composed and is even smiling as she tells me she has moved on.
Natalie is among the many who have fallen prey to such situations.
Many people have been tricked into believing that the witch doctors can do anything.
Out of desperation, many believe them since they are looking for an easy way out of their misery.
In August, three witch doctors were arraigned before chief magistrate Francis Andayi on fraud charges.
The court heard that Titus Fedha, Haji Shariff and Suleiman Salum obtained Sh2 million by claiming that two parcels Harbans Singh intended to sell harboured evil spirits.
In May, police in Naivasha started hunting for witch doctors, mainly in Karagita estate, an area which is home to tens of flower farm workers.
During the raid, two suspects were arrested. Strange items, including snake skin and dead chicken were found in one of the houses.
The raid followed complaints from residents that the suspects, who claimed to have come from Tanzania, could cure all kinds of diseases, including impotence and financial problems.
As other counties are trying to get rid of witch doctors, the case is different in Kwale county.
The witch doctors were seeking recognition and proper offices in public health facilities.
A number of them said they want respect, training and safety, adding that traditional medicine can complement modern medicine.
Witchcraft is alive in Kenya and like Natalie, many continue to be conned.