By Amie Sillah
She came out from her house sweeping her back yard. Suddenly she screamed when she treads on the chemical powder.
“O my leg! My foot!” She fell on the ground yelling and screaming.
He came out bewildered and is helpless. Yerro Maga came out and shouted for his father to help him get his mom inside the house but instead he turned and ran away. Screaming Yerro dragged his mother into her bedroom. He is equally disturbed by his father’s abnormal behavior.
Baabalawo (Witch Doctor)
Maga rushed to Baaba with his complaint.
“My wife is knocked downI don’t know by what, can you explain?”
“Have you used the medicine as I have instructed?”
“That’s what I exactly did I sprinkled it behind the new house.”
“I’ll give you a second charm and this time with no stories.”
“Okay Baa!” Maga left a very confused man.
He waited until very late during the night and did the same process.The person in white gown did the same thing by sweeping the dust powder and sprinkled it at Maga’s back door.
In the Morning
Yerro Maga came outwith his rat traps to go into the bush to set themas he treads on the chemical he screamed.
“My foot! My leg!” He also fell upon the floor screaming in pain. Maga stood very surprised indeed.
“What is happening, I cannot understand? Have someone see me doing this or is it the spirit of my dead bother?” He questioned. He is afraid and confused as he rushed to Baa.
Maga broke down.
“I am finished! I am finished!”He cried.
“What is it this time around?”
“My eldest son Yerro is struck down by the same evil that befell his mother, what am I going to do? Is the ‘Jaalang’ (Idol) angry with me?” Maga asked Baa.
“I told you to leave Jaa as she is protected by Allah, she is kind hearted and wish you well. I have said my own O!” Baa posited.
Maga invited the patriarchs of the extended family to lay his complain. He fabricated stories and beat about the bush before he named his suspect.
“Something greater than the termite has entered my home and before it is too late I have to sound the alarm.”
The kindred are impatient with his analogy.
“Please go straight to the point as some of us are busy people, why do you call us here?” Alhajj Suwaebou posited.
“In simple language I have visited many witch doctors and big marabous about my family predicament but they all came to the same conclusion that a tall, fat, fair coloured woman is responsible for my wife’s and son’s ailment. Their description point out to Jaa’s description.”
The kindred were taken aback.
“What do you say?” They asked in unison.
“I said Jaa is responsible for my family predicament.” He emphasized.
Pa Unusa became very angry.
“The Jaa I know cannot hurt a fly and moreover, why should she do that when her family is progressing to higher heights?”
“I don’t know but what I do know is that the heart of man is wicked and dark.”
Alhajj Bangaly; “Your accusation is very serious we have to invite Jaa to come and clear herself.”
She is taken aback and cannot still understand why Maga is after her downfall after everything her dead husband and herself have done for Maga and his family.
She cried bitterly and through sobs expressed her innocence.
“I don’t know what he is talking about, I know nothing about his family predicament as he is in a better position to know that, I don’t have such an evil heart, he is the one who has it but not me and I am ready to swear by anything you believe to prove my innocence.”
Her tears melted the heart of the kindred and they empathized with her.
“I am not surprised by your attitude, you should not be baffled by her crocodile tears and I also believe that one of you is thinking of inheriting her because of her ‘new money’ but I don’t care, let us swear by the oracle of the next town.” Maga suggested.
“We are not going to any place but by the village oracle, this is where we live, born and bred.” All the kindred posited. Cow Yerro frown his face and disbelieved Maga.
Baabalawo (Witch Doctor)
Maga went to him again and offered him some money.
“My kindred are coming to the shrine with Magi’s widow please cover me up and apply something that will make her fell down to prove her guilt.”
“I’ll try and do my best for you my very good friend.”
“If you do expect more goodies from me.” Maga promised Baa
The Girls and their Spouses.
Mama informed her children and the girls and their spouses came from the city to give her Solidarity. It was a sobre mood.
She meets them and explains her case.
“Maga accused me of inflicting ailment to his son and wife, he said I am a killer, am I a killer?” She sobbed bitterly. The girls’ tempers flared up.
“What is this? Enough is enough! Cow Maga and his family used to bully us in the past but this cannot happen again, we are grown up now and know better, tit for tat, no more nonsense, Mama is tired, and she lost her husband under mysterious circumstances, can he not leave her to mourn her loving husband in peace? This man is evil for Allah’s sake.” The siblings posited.
“They say I have to swear by the village Jaalang to prove my innocence.”
“What nonsense! You’ll never swear by that Jaalang, you are Muslim for Allah’s sake and not a pagan.”
“I have a different opinion, nothing will happen to her, clear conscience knows no accusation and the devil, Satan will be put to shame.” T.J raved and ranted hurling insults at her uncle. I.J concurred as their husbands counseled them.
“Myself and Tunde will go back to the city to continue our work while the two of you stay back to give support to Mama.” Sura posited and it was accepted and executed.
At the Shrine (Jaalang)
The kindred, Maga, Lama, the girls and Mama were present. Baabalawo said some incantations consulting the oracle. The girls sandwiched Mama and gave her strength. Maga went close to Baa and whispered to his ear. The kindred became suspicious and very alert. He called Jaa to come forward. The girls winked her to comply.
As soon as Baa started to administer the swearing he became dumb and started to use sign language. The kindred were overwhelmed and Maga became very confused. As soon as he put down the staff he can talk again. He tried and tried but the same thing happen again. Cow Yerro was the first to get up and leave followed by the rest. Mama and the girls were the last to leave leaving Maga with his accomplice behind.