Cases of unsuspecting individuals falling victim to self-styled prophets and sangomas, resulting in the loss of their valuables, continue to be a cause for concern. The most recent incident involves Julius Bwanali, a 22-year-old Malawian sangoma, who exploited residents in Mabvuku.
Bwanali made audacious claims, stating that he possessed the ability to transform stolen cellphones into snakes and had access to a spiritual plane that could transport his believers around the world. Astonishingly, he managed to gain the trust and support of numerous Mabvuku residents, who sought his assistance in resolving their personal challenges on Sunday.
“I have a number of traditional charms that can bring back lost lovers, help one to be promoted, acquire jobs and win court cases if you did not commit the alleged offences,” he told H-Metro.
The overwhelming turnout for his show clearly indicates a substantial number of people placing their faith in him. Many victims of theft and armed robberies attended, hoping to recover their stolen possessions. Bwanali charged a nominal fee, typically a dollar, for most of his services. While individually this may not seem substantial, considering the popularity of his show, he likely earned hundreds of dollars.
It is disheartening to realize that there are still individuals who can be easily deceived by opportunistic fraudsters. Despite the media’s repeated warnings, some people choose not to take heed. It is truly lamentable that there are those who can be swayed by sangomas and self-proclaimed prophets.
At 22 years old, Bwanali appears relatively young, which is not the typical age group associated with sangomas.
It is crucial for people to exercise caution and refrain from investing in self-proclaimed prophets and sangomas whose sole intention is to deceive others. Let us be mindful of the risks involved and prioritize the well-being and safety of our communities.