Voodoo And Parenting: The Nollywood Connection?
As you might already know, parenting is the world's hardest job. As a parent, you naturally need help sometimes, and you probably grab it when it's offered. What if voodoo could help? Would you use it? Africa is a deeply religious continent, where almost every action has a religious undertone to it. As you would expect, myths and superstitions are the order of the day. The result is that your average African knows something about religion and spirituality. While not many people would openly admit to practising African black magic, the subject is not unfamiliar.
In contemporary families where religion's hold is lax, our knowledge of African black magic is informed by Nollywood movies. Thus, these practices subtly shape many of our beliefs and choices. For instance, we've seen too many movies where the boss falls in love with the maid through voodoo. Maid throws the mummy out, kills her children and takes over the home. So it's become sort of an unspoken rule that when you're employing a nanny or a maid, make sure she's not voluptuous or worldly-wise. She just might know some voodoo, and she might want more than a job.
Let's talk about some of these instances where parents might consider using African black magic.
When they practice the Traditional African Religion
Not many families do, but there are families who practice voodoo, or African black magic as a religion. The implication is that voodoo influences every area of their lives, including their parenting choices and their parenting style.
According to Nollywood movies, some parents rely on African black magic to protect their children and fortify them from harm. Say a there's a bully stressing your child at school. While most parents would report the matter to school authorities, some others would teach their kid to stand up to the bully. There are other parents still, who would rather use voodoo to fortify their child or repel the bully, assuming it works the way Nollywood portrays it.
Also, there are those who believe that black magic will protect their family from external harm. A talisman here, and some ritual there all around the house. A lady once told me that sprinkling salt at the gate of your house will repel evil spirits and bad people from coming to your home.
In health situations
Again, following Nollywood's lead, there are illnesses that sometimes defy medication. The solution lies in a sacrifice in a shrine or some dark concocted mixture that the sick person drinks. The examples are many. There are pregnant women who will choose to deliver their babies at a traditional birthing place rather than the hospital. There are parents who choose tradomedical solutions to their family's health problems. People also seek African voodoo for solutions to financial challenges that might affect the running of the home and children's education.
For divination purposes
This should probably be the first, considering that it takes place at birth. When there's a new baby in the family, parents who adhere to the African traditional religion go for a divination. This divination is supposed to tell them about the child's personality, the child's spirit and his purpose on earth. These revelations will guide the parents in raising that child according to the details revealed in the divination. The alternative that we're used to is that the parents closely observe their child, and raise said child accordingly. But sometimes a parent might want a heads up, and African black magic gives them that.
Whatever your parenting style and leanings, we're here to remind you of the goal - to raise well adjusted children who will become upstanding citizens in society. While you're at it, don't take Nollywood too seriously. All the very best!
What aspects of the African traditional religion would you incorporate into your parenting? Share with us in the comments.