Last year there was a report of occult practice and initiation in one of our most prestigious senior girls high schools in Ghana.
This should not be surprising because such practices have always been with us; only it is increasing at an alarming rate in all areas of the Ghanaian life; in schools, churches, football, business, marriage, family life and relationships.
Many Ghanaians, therefore, seek interventions from fake pastors and mallams to find lovers, win back lost love, change a bad relationship to good and prevent rivals from taking over their loved ones.
Two years ago, a man was greatly peeved when his lover of three years left him because he had spent a great deal of resources to get her through to the university only for the lover to tell him that as a graduate she couldn’t marry a ‘fitter’.
The man went to a juju man to make the woman come back or become a cripple. When that failed after paying huge consultation fee he threatened to ‘show’ the mallam by seeing a more powerful mallam. That also failed.
What is occult?
Occultism comes from the Latin word occultis which means hidden or secret. It refers to knowledge and workings of supernatural as opposed to visible or measurable knowledge.
It is a supernatural manifestation that cannot be understood from reason or deduction. Common forms include juju, magic, sorcery, numerology and extra sensory perception.
In Ghana occults are called ‘African electronics.” Each type of occult starts with a person claiming to have hidden or supernatural powers that must be kept a secret and accessed through the mind or spirit by ritualistic actions such as meditation, chanting or repetition of some words.
The myths of occultism
When some Ghanaians see a lover acting beyond cultural expectation they believe that occult is at work. If a man cooks for his wife or washes her clothes he must be under a spell. The Akans say ‘enye nani’ or he is not doing it out of free mind.
Fact, however, is that when you fall in love your brain produces a cocktail of chemicals which puts you in a condition similar to being mad. The greater the stimulation, the greater your ‘madness’ and the greater you show affection which may be seen as abnormal.
Some believe occults lose their powers and make lovers behave in culturally acceptable ways, if some norms are not followed. In Akan we say ‘ate nani so’ or the power has died off.
Fact, however, is that the stimulation that promotes extreme affection tapers off. It could be as short as three months or as long as three years.
The behaviour of a lover, therefore, has nothing to do with talisman, concoction, blood or powder. We suffer for lack of knowledge.
The problem and solution
Many Ghanaians want easy way out of their problems. They simply spiritualise them and blame unseen forces for their failures. A woman having difficulty with pregnancy may think that a blood relation has removed her womb and hidden it under a tree. She will seek help from mallams or fake pastors instead of medical help.
Occultism breeds indiscipline. It makes you think of easy ways to the challenges of life. It is a disincentive to hard work. It therefore kills self-trust. The mindset that one can get the best things in life without working hard for it is damaging to personal and social development.
The inventor of the electric bulb is said to have made about thousand attempts before he was successful. He drew good lessons from his failed attempts - how not to do it the right way.
Dan Gable, a retired American Olympic wrestler and head coach, says gold medals aren’t made of gold but are made of sweat, determination and hard-to-find alloy called guts. Simply put, if you want to get back your ex, work hard at it:
Allow yourself time to get over any confusion, hurt, anxiety and sadness. Then decide if you really want to go back and why. Creating space can help you decide if you need him.
List the bad and good qualities of your ex. Draw a balance sheet and decide if he or she is really your solution. It is very important you are certain you can cope with problems that led to the break up .
Keep friendly contact with but don’t appear desperate. Find out quietly if he or she is available and accessible. Also find out her past relationships and activities to make sure he or she has improved himself or herself.
Keep aside your ego and talk about what hurt you with an open heart. Listen to his or her side of the story with empathy. Resolve your differences, apologise or accept apology where necessary.
Your true act of forgiveness is the single most important key that opens the door to relight your love flame.
Never expect anyone or anything to win your love or make you happy. No one or anything can. You must therefore never try to use occult to cover up your inadequacies.
It is your positive behaviours such as self-confidence, self-care, integrity, loyalty, commitment, effective communication and forgiving spirit that can win you love and sustain your relationship.
If you believe in yourself and make the best of what life has to offer, true love will find you. Anything occultic, if it works at all, has an expiry date but true love does not.
Again accept that true love is about sharing from the heart. If one partner is not giving his her heart freely but out of occultic intervention such relationship is like building a house on sand. It falls in no time when it faces the challenges of life.
If someone does not love you he or she does not deserve your coercion through occult.