When I was a younger, I had an Aunt who had been married about 7 years, with no kids. Then one Saturday evening, after receiving a phone call, my Mother grabbed her car keys and ran out of the house, before she could even wear both feet of her slippers. Upon her return, we found out that my Aunt’s housemaid, a little girl that had been staying with her since she got married, had confessed to being a “witch”, and that she had tied my Aunt’s womb in her coven. The girl was immediately sent back to the village, and what followed was a month of heavy prayers, casting, and cleansing, not only of my Aunt’s house, but anywhere the alleged witch could have had any influence…my home inclusive. Six short months later, my Aunt was pregnant with her now 24 year old son! To all of us then, it was like WOW!!! So truly truly, Ezinne was really the one holding my Aunt’s womb sha! But now that I am older, I have found myself wondering. Was it really witchcraft, or could my Aunt have had physiological issues that had prevented her being able to conceive? She had been incredibly overweight, but the stress of the witchcraft revelation, and marathon prayer sessions, had made her lose quite a bit of weight. Could that have been why she had eventually gotten the pregnant? Was it nature, coincidence…or was it jazz?
When I turned 18, a similar incident unfolded. A family friend’s housemaid (I know, right?!), also confessed to being a “witch”. Her employer already had a house full of children, the oldest of whom was my age, Chioma*.In a very déjà vu scenario, amongst the very many things the supposed witch confessed to, one of the most glaring was her affliction of infertility on Chioma. All the supposed spells were cast, bound, and rejected fervently. Four years later, when we turned 22, Chioma got pregnant for her University boyfriend, and gave birth to a son. The overwhelming relief that Chioma’s fertility was still intact, made up for the disappointment of her getting pregnant out of wedlock. Alas, Chioma and her boyfriend parted ways after a few years. When she turned 29, she got married, but unfortunately, after 6 years of childlessness, the marriage crumbled. Her Mother lamented and cursed their housemaid from years ago, and how it was her wretched spell that had caused the problems her daughter was now facing. But what nobody cared to recall was the fact that Chioma had undergone surgery to remove multiple fibroids, a few years before her wedding. Could her secondary infertility have been a direct result of this procedure…adhesion and scar tissue formation perhaps? And could her husband, who had refused to submit himself for any tests throughout their marriage, have been the reason behind their infertility? After all, she already had a child of her own. Or could it, really, have been the housemaid’s curse still lingering, over a decade later? Was it nature, coincidence…or jazz?
About a month before my wedding, my husband and I went to visit one of his Aunts, who lived in one of the furthest outskirts of town. She was a woman in her 70s, who lived alone in her flat, estranged from her husband, and even her children. The only person still in touch with her was her brother (my Father-in-law), and by extension, my husband and his siblings. She was so happy and excited to receive us, and fussed over us the entire time we were there. At a point, she sent me to her room to get her Bible, so she could pray for us. Fast forward a few years later, when my husband and I were still trying for a baby, another of his Aunts came to visit, and somehow, got talking about Aunty Ugo*, and how evil and diabolical she supposedly was. In the course of the conversation, we mentioned how she had sent me into her room to get something, and his Aunt literally hit the roof! “How could you allow your wife go into her room???!!” she screamed “Oh my God! Why didn’t you tell us?!! And yet we are wondering why your wife hasn’t yet taken in!!!”. This was immediately followed by several phone calls to several family members, all of whom proceeded to call to yell and scold us about how careless we had been, and how we had to find a way to counter whatever spell she had supposedly cast. It didn’t matter that I had PCOS, or only 1 viable tube, or adhesions and scar tissue from my previous fibroid surgery. Apparently, it was Aunty Ugo that was responsible for our mishap. Thankfully, my husband shut down all the rumour mongers, and we didn’t pursue it any further. AÂ few months later, I was pregnant with the twins. But I’m sure a lot of people were left wondering if it was nature, coincidence…or jazz?
One of my best friends has had a rough ride with life. She has found herself drifting from job to job, and despite being very beautiful and with a great personality, is still single. The people around her have been able to convince her that her troubles stem from her Stepmother, and an incident that happened about 12 years ago. My friend had been home on holiday from the UK, and had decided to visit her father and his new wife. Her flimsy nightwear was not appropriate to be worn anywhere outside her bedroom, so she had proceeded to ask her Stepmother for a wrapper to cover herself. She didn’t think much of the fact that her Stepmom had handed her a brand new ankara wrapper, still in its pack. Not until she recounted the story to her own Mother and siblings, a few weeks later, upon which they had gone ballistic! Apparently, that had been some sort of evil sign, and the fact that my friend had proceeded to use this brand new wrapper and, worse still, leave it behind, was enough ammunition for her Stepmother to use against her. So, years later, when she started facing career and no-husband issues, all fingers were pointed at this Stepmother of hers. The fact that my friend is actually a die-hard perfectionist who has found it hard to agree with what she believes were wrong practices in all the companies she has worked, or that she is always quick to find multiple faults in all the suitors she has had, apparently don’t matter. So, it makes me wonder, is her current situation as a result of whatever evil spell her Stepmother has supposedly cast, or her inability to compromise? Nature, coincidence…or jazz?
I have had this argument with so many people…my mother, and more than a few friends and family. Yes, we live in an evil world, with evil people…but I am one of those people who have a firm belief in the God that I serve. My own belief is that, as long as I pray, there is absolutely no way anyone will be able to harm me. I refuse to believe that the God that I serve would allow that! It sounds naïve to a lot of people, but that is just what I believe. So, I make sure I pray…and I mean PRAY!!! I pray to my God to watch over, and protect me and mine always…and I trust Him implicitly to do this!
So, for all the things that have happened in my life, I know that they are all part of God’s master plan for me, and, armed with my prayers, I’m happy to ride the tide and see where things go.
Nature, maybe. Coincidence, possibly. Jazz…not a chance!