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Selling superstition on radio may do more harm than good

We got power of helping one find a job, treating chronic disease like cancer, win a case in court, kurudisha mtu aliyepotea (tracing lost people), passing exams, performance in bedroom and, most amazingly, kupandishwa cheo kwa kazi (getting promotion).”

Well, not us The Observer. That was a “daktari wa miti shamba” hosted on Sasa Radio, which covers some areas in Western. There are several such miracle workers with the same message, different charges and proven success, or so they claim.

Because of the need to resolve uncertainties and find quick solutions to unending challenges facing the population especially the poor and vulnerable, it is tempting to believe in supernatural forces. Stressed jobless youths may see this as an opportunity to get jobs and reduce anxiety; people may intentionally commit crimes hoping to win court cases with help of ‘madaktari,’; no need of investigation when one gets lost, leave it to madaktari to find lost persons.

Lazy students have no reason to study for examinations. Madaktari will make them pass without much strain. If you are not good in bed go over to the “experts” and lo and behold, you will do miracles. Do you want a job promotion? Madaktari wapo, and these days you can hear them on your favourite radio station. Perhaps even consult.

Who knows? At this pace, one day they might wake up and announce they have discovered the power to make us immortal. In any case, the media is available to sell such voodoo to the willing buyer, spread the fake news to whoever wants to live for eternity.

One of the reasons why Maji Maji Rebellion failed in Tanzania in 1907 was because the fighters believed in some magical water that never worked. No proper preparation or clear understanding of the enemy was necessary. They believed in supernatural powers that failed to protect them from the German bullets, which led to the loss of many lives.

It is unfortunate that despite the exposure of many fake madakatari who claim to make people rich and solve many other problems that may not be solved scientifically, some media still offer them a platform to mislead more people.

There has been a constant hosting of “daktari wa miti shamba” on Sasa Radio. At least three different “daktaris” have been on air. Sometimes they host even two of them at an interval of an hour.

Mama Miti Moto, who was hosted on September 14, claimed to have been born with supernatural powers. The woman had enough time on air to explain her trade to Sasa Radio audience.

All the daktaris heal or perform miracles at a cost. For example, one indicates she demands for two eggs and Sh1,200 for consultation and healing.

Crazy as this might sound, some listeners called in to have their problems solved. Most were women, a few men. Men who called mostly had problems with relationships and in the bedroom. A lot of women who called were mama mbogas who complained of bad business in their vibandas while their immediate competitors appeared to do very well. The daktari went ahead to caution one of the callers not to give out loose change to the competitor because she was using the money to kill his business.

Sasa Radio, we need to talk urgently.

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