All of the stories below are real and true. We have changed some names to protect the privacy of everybody. My family would like to share with you some of our history and the ways that African Magick has helped the lives of us and our friends.
These were all major events that happened in Congo. You can read more about them from the BBC and NPR at the links provided with the stories.
When my father was 17 it was already widely understood in the village of Ishango that he held special abilities. However, this was not recognized as an inherently good thing. Many of his neighbors were apprehensive and afraid that he could be dangerous as well as helpful. This put him in a dangerous position as at that time and place there was a very real risk of him being killed out of fear. He was very careful and only practiced discreetly.
For some time the wife of a wealthy neighbor had been trying to conceive a child, but every time would have a painful miscarriage. This was beginning to take a toll on her health. This began to happen again when the woman was ripe to give birth and the man feared for the life of his wife. He came to my father and demanded that he do something. Tata Remi first refused, afraid to get involved. But the man kept asking and pressing him until he relented.
The journey was many kilometers and by the time they had arrived the woman had already given birth. But the baby was born dead. The neighbor man became furious at my father and started to shout, threatening him to be killed. This was very dangerous as he was a very powerful man and could have had my father killed if he wished, especially due to the accusations of witchcraft that were in the village already. My father became very afraid.
Tata Remi told me how he began to weep and was very scared at how dangerous the situation was becoming. Without thinking he picked the child up and said prayers to Marigunda and Makengue. The wealthy neighbor became enranged and started to hit my father who fell to the ground. Others who were nearby started to hit him as well and my father started to cry and scream. They kept beating him and kicking him until he did not move and they thought he was dead.
My father told me that when he woke back up he was being taken in a car to the hospital in Kinshasa. They later told him that when he stopped moving the crying had continued and gotten louder. The people who were there had looked down to find the baby alive and well, even though it had been dead for hours. My father made a decent recovery but still has the scars on his head and left arm from the beating. After that the people in his village were still afraid, but treated him with much more respect as a healer rather than a witch.
In Congo there is a thin line between what is considered a witch and a spiritual worker. The former is considered to do harm or be evil; even today in the modern world they are often run out of their villages and even killed. The spiritual worker is consulted for healing. But the two are one in the same and the people know this. They know the power certain individuals are born with and at times become very afraid. My father was very lucky and we as his family are lucky to have him and his special abilities to help with us today.
Very recently Tata Remi had to make a trip to Bandundu from Kinshasa. Although the airplanes in the DRC are not as safe as in many other countries he was not initially nervous to fly. I went with him in a taxi to the airport and said goodbye. I was extremely surprised when he returned eleven hours later to my friend's apartment in Kinshasa. He was with two men that I had never seen before and they all had their bags from the airport.
My father told me that when he had reached the line to get on his airplane he started to feel very ill. Then he had a sudden vision of a large snake leaping out of the water and eating the airplane. The men that were with him began told me that he started to shake and they could tell that he was distressed about something.
When the two men who were with Tata Remi asked him what happened he told them that he felt sick and what he had seen. They became very nervous and all three decided not to get on the airplane. I teased them a little but I also knew in my heart of hearts that there was some reason for this.
That night the two men left and we stayed in the house of a friend. The day after we were listening to the radio and we heard that the very same airplane had gone down in the jungle. One of the survivors was being interviewed and he said that a man had snuck a crocodile onto the airplane and that it had caused the crash. All in all 19 people died in the airplane crash. The two men who decided not to get on the airplane with my father still visit us for coffee often.
You can read more about this story from National Public Radio - "Crocodile Seen As Culprit in August Plane Crash in Congo"
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.
Not long ago a local team from Basanga had a match and although the opposition was not especially fearsome the team in Basanga was very nervous. This is because the other team had a reputation for using a potent and harmful witchcraft. It went beyond just helping them win and was actually causing opposing players to become sick and physically ill. It was quite natural that the young men from Basanga wanted something to help protect themselves.
This would become a very famous story in Congo, especially in the town of Basanga. Tata Remi spent four days preparing and performing a special ritual only to protect the men of the team. They proceeded with their match as usual, but it was on a very rainy and stormy day. The weather was so bad that it was difficult to compete and spectators actually started to leave. The match was tied and up until this point there was no sign of foul play or witchcraft apart from the bad weather.
Just before the game ended lightning struck the field. The story in Congo was that the entire opposing Bena Tshadi team was killed, but those of us who were there to see Basanga know that this is just a rumor. Very tragically two of the players did die and others were injured - but none from the Basanga team. Most of the people knew that a spell had been involved that caused the bad weather that day and the young men from Basanga were very thankful to my father for having performed the protection spells and that no one on their side had been hurt or killed.
Read more from the BBC - "Lightning Kills Entire Football Team"