In Congo there are many people who both seek protection from curses as well as a doctor to place curses upon others. Most magical workers in Congo will practice both, but if you are suspected of cursing others it can be dangerous as they will try to retalite physically or spiritually. As Africa is the home of many branches of magic and spells this makes sense. There are many potent curses flying about.
A few years ago my father Tata Remi and I were in the Ishango region where he is from. We visited our village and afterwards went to stay with relatives in the nearby city of Goma. We planned to stay for two months to help run a small market store owned by one of my cousins. During this time we stayed in the house of my cousin and woke very early each morning to make the trip to the center of the town and open the store by foot. Every morning we also had to suffer the abuse of a particularly evil neighbor of my cousin.
I do not know exactly why the hostility began but every morning this neighbor would come outside, shout abuses and demand that my cousin leave. My cousin explained that this all began when he started dating a girl years ago that his neighbor fancied. My cousin is very Christian and never responded to the insults and abuses from the neighbor. This made the neighbor bolder and my cousin explained that it had been that way for many years.
When my father and I arrived in Goma we were able to help my cousin reopen the store. I beleive this enranged the neighbor further or he just didn't like seeing the family of the man that he hated. My cousin began to feel sick and my father, knowing the symptoms, soon after discovered the curse. We even found the items used in the curse (hair, blood, and a dead animal of some type wrapped in black string) buried directly behind a tree in the yard of my cousin. My cousin was very fortunate because my father was able to remove the curse almost immediately before it could do damage.
After two days my cousin was at full health again and we continued making our trip to open the store. We found more magical items on the property of my cousin. It was very obvious the neighbor was trying to curse him further. Then one day as we set foot outside the door my cousin shouted. We all looked down and his foot was cut wide open on a big piece of glass. The neighbor had broken many glass bottles and thrown nails right outside the front door so that we would injure ourselves.
I was outraged and so was my cousin. My father was much more calm. We begged my father to respond and he refused to cast a curse on the neighbor for what he had done. Then after three days he suddenly relented and said he would. We performed the ritual together that night and followed each day for seven days as my father instructed. The next day was very calm and we did not see anything at all from the neighbor. The day after that something would happen that would change my life and the way I looked at the power of our ancestors in the spirit world.
This was the day that Mt. Nyiragongo erupted nearby the city of Goma. We were all suddenly forced to flee town. The lava from Mt. Nyiragongo destroyed thousands of houses and ruined a large part of the city. This included the neighbor that was my cousins. It was impossible to return to the city for many weeks. When we finally returned we found most of the neighborhood destroyed.
Out of the twenty or thirty houses in the old neighborhood that were not destroyed or damaged too badly to live in again there was only the house of my cousin and three other houses. One belonged to a close friend of my cousin and the other belonged to a local doctor in the area. The house of the troublesome neighbor was completely destroyed and we never saw from him again. This may have been coincidence that the volcano erupted exactly when it did, but that it destroyed the neighbor's house was very powerful for me. The ritual that we had used had invoked Nsasi, in Voodoo better known as Shango, who controls fire and volcanoes. Nsasi, or Shango, is also very strongly associated with our Ishango village and the region that we were travelling at the time.
The area of Ishango where my father is from is very old spiritually. From this area (and many other places in Africa) originate wells of magical power. These often flow from similar sources of natural water. One of these is the Semliki river; it is this river in Ishango that is one of the many sources of the Nile. The waters from this river are well known all over Africa to hold properties that can both heal and harm.
There are many who practice forms of Egyptian magic and sorcery that utilize the potent waters of the Nile river to form curses. There was one such individual who was a close friend of my father Tata Remi. He had an agreement with my father that my father would withdraw and stabilize water directly from the Semliki river and send it to him in Egypt. This was used to make the spells even stronger, as the water here is much more pure than the Nile further down in Egypt (being a source of the Nile itself).
One day this man told my father that he wouldn't need any more water from the Semliki from him. There was no hostility or bad feelings according to Tata Remi. But he did relate to me that he felt at unease and that he was sure he would see this man again.
Chance Meeting at the Semliki
It is very common all over the world for football teams to enlist the help of magick and rituals to help them win. This is especially true in our home country of Congo. All of the football teams from the national Diables Rouges of the DNC down to the local level enlist the help of sorcerers and doctors to win. My father Tata Remi has himself helped over a dozen football teams. Some want spells to win, attack the other team or even protect themselves from other sorcerers.
Many months later my father did meet this man - in Ishango at the Semliki river. He and my father exchanged greetings and were very happy to see each other. They withdrew water together and prepared it for the use in rituals. My father, for a healing ritual, and his friend for a curse. They made plans to prepare a meal together and discuss old times.
During the meal my father's friend confided that he was preparing the water for a very special task. This is why he had come all the way to Congo from Egypt. It was not an ordinary curse, but one that he was required to do on another spell caster. It had to be as powerful as possible to work. The other spiritual doctor would certainly have protection. He wanted to know if my father would help.
My father agreed without haste to help his friend curse this other practitioner. This was required of him due to his vows of loyalty. My father also knew of the other sorcerer and his reputation as a particularly evil and wicked man. They would make preparations to complete the rituals during the next half moon. They would need all of the time up to that day to purify themsleves.
Purification is extremely important when casting the strongest of curses, because without a pure soul and heart the sorcerer or spell caster may be in danger. My father was well aware of this but tragically his friend was not. For seven days prior to casting the spell it was imperative to go without any food - only water and fruit juice is allowed. My father followed this portion of the ritual very strictly and his friend did not.
The curse they were using is a ritual that lasts for two days and must be completed without sleep. It was far too stressful for my father's friend because he had not strictly followed the purification rituals. During the casting of the curse my father's friend had a heart attack. Tata Remi was able to quickly bring his friend to a local doctor. My father's friend did not die, but was incapacitated and unable to complete the ritual. Tata Remi thankfully was unharmed. They would later complete the curse successfully, but this time following the reglas of African magick more strictly.