Haters abound out there; you heard me right and thus do not need to visit a physician.The reason things are not going well in my life or that I am not in a better position than I am in currently in is because there is someone behind it all. It can’t be me. No. You see, I have decided to join the bandwagon, because if not, things might just get worse for me. Today I want to address this phenomenon of “haters”. I am talking about those who accuse others of witchcraft.This has been going on for years in our communities. So much so that as soon as our youth graduate and get decent well-paying jobs, they use this as an exit ticket from eKasi. They claim they will be doomed if they stay, because these haters will inflict misery to their lives.I have in the past not given much thought to this, not only because of its sensitivity, but also because I believe “I am the master of my fate and the captain of my soul”.Yet this attitude is getting out of hand now and I figured a discussion on it wouldn’t be bad an idea. Granted, the practice of witchcraft is a contentious issue. For many, many years, people (especially women) in black communities have borne the brunt of the sharp side of the witch hunter’s knife. The old and the infirm are especially at the receiving end of these accusations. When someone loses a job, they find it easy to point at that an old woman down the street is responsible.When one is infected with a disease, it is always somebody else who brought it on them. This finger-pointing business people do even before they take a long, hard look in the mirror and do some introspection. Imagine how it must feel for the accused. In our communities, it is not even possible to own a monkey as a pet. Suddenly you are evil and are suppressing the success of others. Even when kids see you on the street, they run away. I am not saying the practice does not exist; I even believe in it. We are entitled to different beliefs after all. But when these same beliefs bring emotional harm to others, who as a result are treated with scorn and disdain, perhaps the problem is with us after all. What are we teaching the young if we cannot own up to our failings? I was holding small talk with friends about this matter just last week. They stay in a nearby informal settlement and all agreed that there is unease about the place, especially at night. I was left speechless and shocked as they shared details about things that appear in that neighbourhood while everyone else is asleep. One friend said as he was in deep slumber when he heard a ghostly sound and, when he awoke, he saw what looked like a black cloud on the roof of his abode and a phantom picture of a cat. He went on to reveal that when he chanted and chased these spirits away, the mama from next door could be heard screaming at the same time. I am also told that a lady from the same neighbourhood woke up one day to find her face deformed. Apparently a visit to a sangoma brought her the news she had long suspected: the area in which she lives is under a spell. It was also after this visit that the shape of her face returned to normal. Hayi khona, this witchcraft business is a whole lot of nonsense to me.