Bowing to the suggestion of a friend, a woman got the services of a maid to assist in her daily endeavours. Little did she know that her ever cheerful and hardworking house help was working hard to bring her and her household all manner of misfortune, and it took the grace of God to expose this messenger from hell. In our last edition, the travails of the family was narrated by the victim; here is the final part.


It was still raining hard and the thunder and lightning seemed to have increased, but we were determined to check out her story. With light from the torchlight of one of the policemen, he pointed at the spot and we saw to our amazement, black threads, the type used in plaiting women hair wound around the tree trunk. This was not the time to remain amazed and I quickly cut the threads. When I was finished, we returned to the house.

By now we were all drenched and tempers had started to rise. We knew if she could tie a human being spiritually, she was capable of other mischief, but we concentrated on the situation on ground; the matter that had brought about this midnight discourse. This time I asked the questions but she was not compliant. It was not until one of the policemen corked his rifle, threatening to shoot her that she confessed she was only partially responsible; a girl in our compound was her accomplice and in fact, senior partner in this perfidy.


With the precision of a Swiss clock, I marched to the flat where the girl resides with a policeman in tow and with a voice that would have raised the dead, summoned Agnes, a house help of our neighbour to the consternation of her employers. After a hasty explanation, one of them followed the girl to our flat and she was brought face to face with Ibiere, to account for her part in this grisly event.

Again the policemen came in useful, as with their guns pointed at the teenagers heads the pair became talkative. Only for a moment did Agnes pleaded we leave her alone, saying they, her cohorts, will kill her if she were to confess openly, but we were bent on unraveling the truth and her pleas only infuriated us more. Being assured of certain death if they delayed any longer, the girls went into a diatribe that shook everyone that was present.

First they revealed that they had ‘tied’ my daughter’s brain so she would not do well in school. That explained so much as her grades had nosedived recently. When an A++ student suddenly starts to flunk her exams, there must be something amiss. I knew something was wrong but just couldn’t place my finger on the exact cause of her retrogression.

I had wanted to explode but Ibiere continued that my son also had been bewitched. He had been programmed to make us suffer and waste our resources through sickness and living a mischievous life, but he had been stubborn, refusing to do their bidding and that was why he was being punished.

Well, we have heard enough. There is time for everything. We have heard of the problem, it was now time for the solution. When asked what was to be done, Agnes pointed outside and Ibiere whispered we needed to go outside to dig up something. I am a Civil Engineer by training and my husband and I run a construction business, and so digging materials are aplenty in our home though I would have manufactured one if the need had arisen. My husband grabbed a spade and I a shovel and we made our way into the wet night with the witches leading the way.


They led us outside the compound and headed for a spot where people use as an emergency refuse dump. They circled for some time before pointing to a clump of bushes near the dumpster. By now the storm had receded, the night coming alive with the sound of nocturnal creatures momentarily overwhelmed by the sheer intensity of the hurricane. But there was no time to listen to their ‘music’ as my husband had started digging.

I forgot to mention that my husband, before now, does not believe in the supernatural, much less witchcraft but he was now the one attempting to dig with his good arm. The policemen relieved him and took turns in digging until the shovel struck something hard. While we all looked, a wooden doll was brought out of the pit. The mud stained effigy was tied with the same thread that had been used in tying the coconut tree. This, Ibiere explained was my daughter.

I had been enveloped in grief but before I could break down, they had started moving again. This time we were taken back into our compound, to a spot close to our bedroom window and there the duo stopped and pointed towards a clump of hibiscus trees. This time the digging took longer than the first, but everyone wanted to get at the end of this ghoulish event. It took time but finally, another wooden doll was taken out of the muddy depths, but this one was a bit different; its head had been cut off.

More revelations were to follow; while we looked on petrified, Agnes explained that while my daughter’s brain had been blocked, it has been determined in the witches’ coven that my son would die that day and that was why his head had been chopped off. On why they decided to harm children that they seem to like very much, Ibiere answered that I sent my children to a private school while she was made to attend a public one.

Hey, are you still there! Here we are, battling with the vicissitudes of life, consisting of more downs than ups and here was someone we brought from the village, having the impudence to begrudge our benevolence.

I can’t figure out why bad people prosper and good people die young. There are lots of things I don’t understand about life, but I do know that never in life would I demand for any house help or whatever they are called these days. They are just no longer desirable for me. I had only two children then but now there are two more additions; the Lord has been faithful in that regard. But anytime I think about the hellish experience of long ago, THAT, my friends, is enough to send me howling to hide under the covers.

Kariba Welsh


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