Bewitching friendship

When does friendship turn into enimity or at what point do persons start seeing each other as rivals as opposed to the good friends they once were?

About 5yrs back, a cousin on my mother’s side was introduced to the wife to one of my aunt’s sons. This was done in the hope that these two could share childcare support with each other as both their children were roughly around the same ages, besides, they were living virtually next door to each other. The two ladies appeared to hit it off – they became so close that they would even hold social events jointly at the exclusion of inviting the person that brought them together or even keeping in touch. In any case, this wasn’t an issue at all – they were both mutually gaining from the friendship.

A year and half into their friendship, I got a call from the wife to my cousin checking when it would be convenient for her to drop by to collect some items from my house which had been dropped off for her from Uganda. Fortunately, I was off that day but had an appointment later on in the day – so we agreed a morning time for her to come pick up and I made to put her items nearby for her in the kitchen. Usually I bake or make some chappatis/piratha when I’m home and so I’d prepared some mandazi (doughnuts) for the girls. Since I was expecting a guest, I put the kettle on too. Not long after our phone conversation, my cousin’s wife turned up for her stuff. Jokingly I said of the items she had to pick up when handing them to her, that it would be great to have some of the loot as I thought it was, nsenene – a delicacy which I’m afraid some of you might not think so as it’s from the family of locusts… My request was met with excuses which I accepted because this is a delicacy which not many are willing to share. Later I was to find out it was some herbs she had requested from Uganda to fend off evil spirits…no wonder she’d not wanted to share the loot.

As we proceeded to have tea, she revealed to me that she was very concerned that someone appeared to be bewitching one of her children. Thinking she was joking at coming up with such a statement, I laughed it off and asked her why she thought this was the case. She went to explain that pieces of hair had been cut from her daughter’s hair. Again, I told her it could be the child herself playing with scissors or a razor – I’d done something similar when I was little. She was very adamant it wasn’t the case. That she had even consulted with a spirit medium who had confirmed this and even told her who was doing this. I was even more bemused – I wasn’t aware such persons operated this side of the globe here in the UK!

I think my inability to take her account seriously pissed her off…in fact she thought I was siding with the accused! It wasn’t until much later when I was clearing away the dishes that I realised she hadn’t touched the mandazi she had claimed to like so much on previous occasions…Made me wonder if I too now was a suspect in the bewitching saga…

It certainly seems to be the case that once a person has a certain way of believing in witchcraft or religious faith, everything that happens in their life is explained away accordingly. Trying to reason with such individuals is like attempting to make sense of madness.

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