When love rhymes with fetishism and voodoo. What you should know
“I have consulted fetishists several times, but the most shocking thing is that often they can even ask you to have sex with them.”
For women, fetishism their morning cup of tea. Young and old, they are all customers of these men with mystical powers commonly called “Bokono.” The phenomenon is fairly widespread in all regions of Togo. Women see consult those men especially when they want to know a little more about their married life. Or they go there to seek for magic help to get a husband, but also to keep the “Don Juan” (boyfriend) they have already found. Sometimes they see their wish happen, but most of the time they see their money flushed in the toilet. This does not prevent them from continuing to consult the “Bokono” and follow their recommendations to the letter, even if it negatively impact their happiness. Togo is certainly a country where Christianity dominates, but it is also a country where people are very attached to mystical beliefs. For various reasons, people often consult voodoo practitioners. But it is like a must do for women. They consult them like their problems can never be solved with following recommendations from a voodoo practitioner. They are hundreds of thousands of Togolese women in their thirties and have everything to cherish but not “the right shoes for their feet”, the men they would like to share their lives with. All of them, without exception, want to marry a good husband, the ideal man, the charming prince, no matter the price and the risk this must involve. But they ignore that marriage is not for everyone. To give themselves all of the chances available and find “a good husband”, many are the Togolese women who rely on fetishists, prophets, pastors... And chances are in their favor and they start by calling themselves Mrs. X or Y, they quickly consult fetishists to keep this “precious gift”, the new husband, to themselves. Ironically, these marriages always end in catastrophe. This is the case of a woman who had cursed her husband so that the latter would not look at anyone other than her. But, by making the man follow her like a dog, the man had become too “sticky”, which annoyed the woman. She ended up finding a firefighter (a gigolo). Any excess is harmful. Despite tragic endings or disastrous consequences of faced by couples that seek “helps” from fetishists, Togolese women continue to bewitch their husbands. And the most common ones remain what is known in colloquial language a “Gbontémi”, meaning “say yes.” A practice that has mysterious powers and that would allow the women “remotely control” her spouse and make him eat in the palm of her hand. Togolese women are very fond of the Ibo (Nigerian) films that are flooding the Togolese market. Which illustrate some African realities. And in Togo, these featured movies are watched by 95% of women because they are broadcasted on Zion (a Christian channel), and narrated in local languages. But it is clear that the phenomenon is gaining ground and one has the impression that these scenarios which highlight witchcraft, only entertain them or at worst, encourage them to recourse to voodoo. In fact, young Togolese girls, by their nature, are always looking for an easier and faster solution to find “the charming prince.” Fati, a 27-year-old girl, says she has visited fetishists to attract men, on several occasions. But his attempts were unsuccessful. “I went to see the fetishists so that chance would smile at me, but also so that men could court me. Some of the fetishists gave me a potion and some gave me an amulet. I’ve had to do all of these things, but so far, I’m alone. I think the best thing is to believe in God. These kinds of fetishist stories are a waste of time and money.” Fati’s girlfriend, Adjoavi, very interested in the question, told us: “I have consulted fetishists several times, but the most shocking thing is that often they can even ask you to have sex with them.” Ayélé, another young girl tells her story. “It is an African or even Togolese reality. But it turns out that many of the people who call themselves fetishists do only bad things in general. She concludes that “it is better to build trust with her man instead of consulting fetishists. When there is trust, it becomes easier to keep the man we love.” Unlike young girls who consult fetishists to find the faithful husband, married women go there to protect themselves and keep their husbands away from possible adventures. As for women whose husbands are polygamous, they go there most often to, they say, distance their husbands from their co-wives or make life difficult for them. It must be admitted that the high rate of celibacy in Togo represents a preponderant factor. There are women who have not yet found a soul mate, and those who thought they have found the “charming prince”, later realized that they were wrong. The get divorced, become old, and feel hurt and betrayed. There is also the case of those who are waiting for the return or to join their fiancés in Europe or the United States. They endlessly wait for the hypothetical return for marriage. Those women are ready to do anything possible, any unimaginable voodoo practices to protect themselves and to get their dream come true. Fetishism, voodoo… cannot run a household because the key to a fulfilled and happy family is first of all love, mutual respect, understanding and trust. In short, communication is the foundation of a solid household. Living a healthy and responsible life also attracts many Togolese men. So women, think about it.