Black Magic

I'm not trying to scare the gut out of you, but I sure know what I saw; it happened right in front of my eyes.

I was returning from a fellowship program—so I took a bus—which dropped me at the nearest bus stop of the agreed location. As I stepped down from the bus, a young black man walked up to me. From the look on his face, you could tell a complete stranger on trousers—which I confirmed from his speech: "I'm a fisherman who's based in the riverine area. On one of my fishing days, I saw a diamond, which means God has blessed me. I came here because I heard someone buys diamonds here." See me—have I seen a diamond—talk more of knowing who buys it. Trying to help a complete stranger—who could turn out a helper—I called the attention of a random person. After explaining to him, he assured us that he knows the man we're looking for: "Who doesn't know him; they always interview him on television and radio. That man is a very popular man." He said. "Please, my brothers, please take me to the man." The man with the diamond said—beckoning at the other guy and me.

You may ask what I was still doing there. I have called a second party who happens to know the said man. Meaning my business there was over—but there I was years back—not knowing why—but chose to accompany them. After the first few walk, the guy that professed to know the man that buys diamond asked if we had any money with us: "It won't be good to see the man empty-handed. Does any of you have any money with you, so we can contribute together and give to him?" He said. "I just have some change with me; nothing more," I said, after feeling my pocket—ensuring the two hundred naira change the bus driver gave me was still intact, plus my techno button phone. "It's not important, though; let's get there first." The guy later said. As we continued, he pointed out a skinny tattered-looking short man—that was around one bushy area—picking leaves—that he was the Baba that buys diamonds. We greeted the man. His deep accent voice spoke of a Yoruba man and a native doctor. "Baba, we are brothers that came from one home. One of us found a diamond—so we came to sell it." The guy that professed to know the man became our spoke person.

"One met here—one met here—one met here; that's how three of you came together." The Baba started—bringing his hand together to demonstrate how we met at the road junction, which falsified the lie our spoke person made earlier on. "Ahhhh! Baba! How do you know?" Our spoke person put his hands on his head—with eyes opened wide. You may ask how I was feeling already. Let's say I didn't leave my house in the morning expecting to meet such a scene—so I was in the middle of trying to grab everything. He went ahead to give each of us a different prophecy. I can't remember what he said of the others, but I sure remember that I didn't get any spectacular revelation about myself. He sounded like, "you're very intelligent, and at some point, you were given a scholarship." That was not satisfying. It's true that at some point in my secondary school days, I was given a scholarship—but someone could possibly make a random guess of that. The Baba ended that session by asking the man that owns the diamond to bring it for testing. "If this is a real diamond, it would travel to the world bank to bring money." He said. I didn't see the diamond with my eyes—except seeing small stuff that was wrapped in black nylon waterproof. The Baba refused to open it—defending that it would affect our eyes if he did. 

Look at me that day—I have never seen a diamond with my naked eyes—and you're telling me it would affect my eyes—I will sure believe anything you tell me. He collected the diamond—covered his right hand tight around it—and started muttering some words, which he obliged us to say along with him. After all of that, he opened his closed hand, and boom! I saw a ten naira note. You may think I'm hallucinating or trying to make things up—but I'm dead sure I saw the ten naira note in the man's palm. We didn't close our eyes when we muttered those words to him. If it were so, I could believe he played smart on us—but right there—he closed his hand tight for some time, after which he opened it back with the stuff gone and ten naira note staring at me. My eyes jerked up in surprise. He told us to congratulate ourselves, and there I was years back—shaking hands with the other two guys. Like, are you damned serious! Do you mean people go out and meet luck like that? That was me in a high spirit that day—strategizing some smart move the money that would be divided after the sales—could go for. He later broke the smile: "We need to send the money back to the world bank and retrieve the diamondback; before the witches would steal it." He said.

On this ground, we went back to the part of muttering words again; but it was more intense this time—because, according to him—many things travel through the air, and there could be a negative effect as a result. You may wonder what a Christian like me was thinking—muttering those words. For God's sake, it sounded like an incantation—only that it was English we spoke. What I was thinking then was—let's do what needs to be done fast—so the diamond would be sold and a little money apportioned to me for my patient. I started becoming uncomfortable as time passed. "Please, I need to start going; I'm no longer interested in the money," I said. "Are you trying to say I'm playing here? If you move an inch, I will make you run mad immediately." He threatened. The word gushed through my cold body; fast and fast, it penetrated through my pores. The hair on my skin stood erect, allowing my heart to race heavily. I forgot I was a Christian.

You may think I don't speak in tongues then, or I wasn't baptized with the Holy Spirit. I was, and as you read from the first episode, I was coming back from fellowship. What then was wrong; why did I forget the scripture; why did I not make that place the next Mount Carmel—where it would be recorded that a young boy called down fire? You will always think Christianity is all about getting high when you're with your brethren. As I think of it now, the excuse I can come up with is that I was scared. What if I called Jesus and nothing happened? What if he turns me mad as he threatened? Our spoke person started saying some things: "Baba, what did you do to him? Why is smoke coming out from his head?" I didn't see the smoke, nor anything of such, but from the look of our spoke person and the other guy—hanging both hands on their head—with mouth wide open and eyes shooting out—I was sure there was something up there. The Baba then raised his hand like he was trying to remove something from my head. After which, the other two guys confirmed that the smoke was gone.

"I don't want the bad breeze to affect any of your properties. So each of you would go home, check where they use to keep money and other accessories (laptop, phone, jewelry, etc.), and bring it for prayers to stop the bad breeze from affecting those things." The Baba said. How did we get here? What relationship does selling the diamond (the business that brought us there) and the bad breeze have in common? Is it not for him to say how much he would buy it? Mind you; it was at a later time I found out that he was not the one that wanted to buy the diamond. Ahhhhhh... Let me add here that at this point, he had disappeared the ten naira, and the diamond was back in his hand. He went ahead to state his rules before releasing any of us. "If any of you don't come back, that person would die. And if another ear hears about it, the person would die also." The guy that owns the diamond was exempted from going, except our spoke person and me. He touched our spoke person, after which he left. It was now my turn. "Do you have any money I can use to buy a drink to pray for you when you return?" He asked. Mind you; I was already uncomfortable; all I wanted was to leave that spot. I quickly placed my hand inside my pocket and brought out the last two hundred naira, which I handover to him. And boom! I was on the run.

You should come and see me running that day. I don't think I have ever run like that all my life. My mind was, "where is my president?" One of my Christian brothers saw me running, and he was like, "what's happening?" I still remember my exact word to him: "na a matter of life and death." Those that know me from my secondary school fellowship days could attest to my playfulness. So he, seeing me so serious, running at that pace—could have been the reason he decided to run along with me. We reached a shop. I saw two of our other Christian Brothers there, and I was like, "where is President?" I guess they were surprised, too, seeing me panicking and breathing hard. They started asking questions: "Brother Stephen, what happened?" "President needs to come first, or else I won't talk," I said. I should talk. Have you forgotten what the Baba said? I don't want to die—better still, let my president come, so I know if I would die, I will die in his presence. After a while, my president came, and like a loose tap, I continued to pour and pour. They all listened. And at that moment, my president just couldn't help but laugh. Seriously! You mean, all he could do was settle for laughter. See me shaking like a fowl to be slaughtered, and there he was years back—laughing hard. "Why did the diamond not change to one thousand naira or other denomination? Why ten naira?" He asked. It was at that moment everything began connecting in my head: the whole acting from our spoke person... So it was a scam all this time.

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