A lot of debate and mockery has clouded social media concerning the proposed Degree Programme in Witchcraft Studies to be offered in Zambia. I will call it Culture, Traditional and Witchcraft Studies( Witchology)
In my opinion I think the programme is a welcome move. And l think we are even late. We should have introduced it a long time ago. Probably UNESCO and the Minister of Higher Education Professor Nkandu Luo and her ministry have seen that there is something that can be learnt from it.
Of course one of the question is what will or where will the people who will do this course work? Those who have spent time in academic institutions will agree with me that some times we do courses, workshops or rather attend talks which we don’t even need or which are not related to our career prospects.
Some programmes are important so that you understand what is behold your cycle. I am Political and Development Economist. But that doesn’t mean l should stick to those areas. I should read or rather do research in areas which affect or influence society. For interests’ sake as per say.
These days a lot of things or programmes are cross cutting because our lives or social attributes are crosscutting too. I have attended works and conferences in Zambia and abroad on magic, witchcraft and African beliefs conducted by mainly European and American scholars and speakers.
In many countries the subject of Witchcraft and Black Magic is not new. People study not to be witches or wizards but to understand a certain ‘tradition’ or belief. Or understand why people believe that anyone who is rich in some countries uses black magic or rather why poverty is mostly seen as related to people been witched?
We have a lot of debate surrounding the issues of “black magic” , satanism, witchcraft and ghosts. I think these programme will help settle or answer such doubts or debates.
Don’t bring the Zambia is a Christian Nation issue here. Some of you are busy doing things which I don’t want to highlight here. Did you know hypocrisy is also a sin?
The other reason why l am in support of Zambia introducing a Programme in Witchcraft Studies is that we have a lot of people who believe in Witchcraft. Anyone who believes in something has elected to have a way of life. I think this calls for studies to understand such people.
Why do people prefer to go to see a Witch Doctor than seeing a Doctor at a Health Institution? Why do most people believe that a man who does dishes or goes home immediately after knocking off from work has been bewitched or has been give charms or a head of a lizard by the wife?
Why do people see adverts of traditional healers, traditional witch doctors in our newspapers? Why are you drinking herbs or going around your house naked so that you can get your friend’s man? Why are you always urinating on a bottle top so that you don’t get drank?
These are some questions we want to find answers to. Studies are not only about facts but also about beliefs and notions.
Here in Zambia not so long ago we accused Senegalese players of using juju during last year’s African Youth Football Tournament which Zambia eventually won. God knows what we used to win the Under 20 Trophy.
The problem we have in Zambia is that we like to make fun of things or issues but believe in the same things. Have you asked some of those pastors, prophets or women of “god” why they tell you that you are not married or you don’t have a job because of your uncle or your grandmother. Or rather you can’t have children because your reproductive organs were stolen by your friend. Most people believe this but you wouldn’t want to study why people believe in them.
I am sure if there was a Scholarship to study Witchcraft studies in Europe some people will even go to Witch Doctors just to get that scholarship.
As we speak there are people bathing water mixed with lizard eyes, pieces of clothes from a pant from a man or woman, sand from a foot print of a person they want to propose love to or they want to get from another man or woman.
Let’s not pretend here some people believe Witchcraft is there. Why not try to understand this phenomenon.
I repeat. Sometimes we study programmes in order to understand what attributes influence society or why we as a people behave in a certain way.
We don’t just study so that we create or develop a career out of it.
Most of us studied the first and second World War(s) at secondary school. Are we war veterans? No. People are still studying North American Geography yet they may not visit Alaska or Cincinnati.
The Witchcraft studies is a welcome move. I want to understand why Church Elder Polepole would preach in church but be home at the same time. I want to understand why some people claim to sleep in grave yards.
As l noted above we study not only to work in that area but to understand certain issues. Unless you don’t want us to know what you and your family do…then you will be against.
Not that l believe or don’t believe in Ubuloshi aka witchcraft. I am looking forward to the practical part say in the final year…lol.
Author is not a Wizard neither are his friends related to Church Elder Polepole or descendants of Shaka’s Sangoma.