Festive remedies

2009-12-05 12:12

It’s a sad day when a woman turn to potions to keep her man

I had never seen a sangoma in a pub until last


Though I had seen a couple of them drunk and acting crazy I’d

always thought it was against some ­ancestral rule for them to drink in public


Besides, their dress code doesn’t gel well with the atmosphere of

any pub after dark. So it was quite shocking to see this guy scratching his red

and white beaded dreadlocks at the bar counter. He made everyone around him

uncomfortable with his constant sneezing followed by a loud ­“makhosi”.

So being the investigator that I am (my friends will argue that I

like snooping around in ­other people’s business) I went to chat to the

depressed looking ­sangoma.

I bowed down before him and did the “thokoza” greeting before

ordering him another round of beer.

He mistook me for one of his ­clients, Sophie, who has been having

troubles with her man. Apparently Sophie and I were separated at birth. Apart

from the scar on her left cheek we look like identical twins.

Trying to convince him otherwise was pointless, he still ­believed

I was Sophie and that I had mysteriously made the scar ­disappear.

He said he understood why I would be embarrassed to be seen with a

sangoma after dark – and at a pub nogal. So he assured me that our ­appointment

at the river was still on and that I should bring an extra R100 for the special

December potion he had brewed.

Apparently the recent recession has affected his business badly.

Unlike in previous years the number of students who were coming to consult him

before writing their exams had ­decreased. So to make up for lost business, he

had prepared a special Christmas potion for women.

The mixture of herbs and oils is called “siyidla sonke iChristmas”.

Loosely translated it means “we are spending Christmas ­together”. The potion is

prepared on demand to cater for desperate women who want to keep their men at

home during the festive season.

Like Sophie, women have come to him complaining that their husbands

spend their bonuses buying gifts and booking holidays for their


It is also around this time of the year, he said, when extramarital

babies start showing up from all corners of the country.

“It is only fair for wives to get their hard-earned share, and

that’s where I come in,” he said.

He explained that for an extra R100 his siyidla sonke potion was

the perfect solution for any woman whose husband was more interested in finding

his car keys than the clips of her bra.

Now I’m no expert in the powers of traditional medicine but I

believe that the Sophies of this world should be investing their money in things

that will give them better returns.

Potion or no potion a man will still find time for a quick shag

in-between grocery shopping while you are busy puffing away at something that’s

supposed to be bringing him back home.

But the sangoma obviously disagreed with me. His potion, and his

alone, can make any man rush back home at lightning speed if one just calls out

his name.

His theory is that men have lost the battle to remain faithful and

that women need to puff herbs, swim in rivers with snakes and “spice” up food in

order to keep what’s theirs.

And his odourless potion can ­also be easily mixed with make-up or

hand lotions to eliminate any suspicion.

I didn’t know who to feel sorry for, the desperate women or the men

who think their women have a secret ingredient for the delicious plate of food

they rush home to every night.

But I still have faith in the good men out there who can save their

poor women from being poisoned or drowning in rivers by doing what’s expected of

them this festive season. If not, my newly found friend is out to get you.

And to all my desperate sisters, I know where he lives.

  • Mapiloko is a reporter for City

    Press’s investigative unit

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