Monday, December 18, 2017

Perspective | Superstition

One corporate guy was said to pass wind from the workplace elevator by 06:30 hrs every morning. It was meant to bring him good fortunes that included, among others, job stability. Maintain this, and his job was his for as long as he wanted it – or so he had been told.

Another, a married guy, had this not-so-eye-candy side chic he wouldn’t let go of because maintaining her on his “payroll” came with good fortunes. Every time he parted with some cash, he got several times more. His deals always came through. She was his godsend.

A number of (successful) men have said the same, of their partners. They are, in their own words, the kind of women that come with "natural blessings".

Some of these fortunes have been attributed to Aerva Lanata, a naturally occurring herb with a host of medicinal alleviations including but not limited to kidney stones, jaundice, cough, asthma, and headache as well as an antidote for rat poisoning, the herb locally known as Olweza in Luganda.

So lauded has it been, that its importance was extended to being used as a talisman against evil spirits, for good-luck as well as for the well-being of widows in the Ganda culture.

Olweza is one of the main components of the herbal concoction – Ekyogero – in which new-born babies are cleansed to protect them against the aforementioned misfortunes.

If one’s partner appears to bring good luck, the common perception, albeit sometimes used jocularly, is that they were showered with the herb. Thus the common phrase: "Yanaaba Olweza".

Every once in a while, you’ll meet this guy who won’t wear a certain color of shirts on a particular day of the week. You probably know of someone who will turn back at the sight of a startled black pussy-cat in the morning.

Others silently follow some rituals in certain spheres of their lives. People do car-showers (for lack of a better phrase) because the car needs that initiation ceremony.

So they eat, drink and make merry while some guy is busy concealing dry herbs in the glove compartment.

Others do animal sacrifices at every significant milestone of their construction projects. Someone gets to the wall-plate level and some innocent goat, somewhere, has to give up its life because the house is being "immunized" against misfortune.

Some give to charity not because they have big hearts but because they believe giving comes with good fortunes.

Superstition. Do these things really work?

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