Witchcraft and witchdoctors are common in most Kenyan communities, especially those living in coastal regions such as Kwale, Mombasa and Lamu. The Maisha Mkanda team recently interviewed some witchdoctors and their clients, in a bid to find out how they carry out their craft, and the impact it has in the community.
One of the witchdoctors interviewed was Juma Jaosi, a witchdoctor based in Kwale who has been practicing the craft for the past 30 years. He claimed to help people find money, love, success in business, or even stop enemies from interfering with their lives.
He uses rice, millet and eggs to cast spells and in return, he gives the clients a concoction that he makes using leaves that he collects in the forest. Although some of his customers confessed that his powers have helped them find love and money, others wondered why he didn’t use the same spell on himself to find the very things they wanted.
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Nassiri Kassim, another witch doctor that operates in Likoni Mombasa has been practicing his craft for seven years and is also a tailor. One of his main customers is Aisha Salim who operates an informal hotel. She wanted her business to flourish after it took a financial dip, so she reached out to Salim who gave her some medicine to bury at the entrance of her hotel. Salim admits that her business took a turn for the better so much so that she linked Kassim to her sister in Saudi Arabia, who needed some help with her strict employer.