‘Juju’ in Zambian League fuels ‘witchcraft’ talk

20:42 WAT 19/04/2022
Zambia football fans
Have Red Arrows been the victims been the victim of some alleged ‘black magic’?

by Joel Omotto

The use of ‘black magic’, popularly known as juju, in African football has been one of the hot talking points of Zambian football this weekend, as Super League side Red Arrows opted not to use their dressing room after finding a broken egg in it.

Arrows, who were playing at Kafue Celtic, avoided the away dressing room at the Edwin Imboela Stadium in Lusaka, and instead used the space between the two team buses as the ‘dressing room’ for fear of the unknown.

It was not clear who smeared the egg on the floor during Saturday’s match, which Arrows won 1-0, but it brought out the issue of witchcraft and other unconventional ways used to win matches or intimidate opponents in African football.

Fans online were amazed that such events are still happening in the modern game.

“Africa and juju. Still don't understand if juju and magic have a significant effect on games. I believe Benin and India would have most Afcons and World Cups respectively to their names if this was the case,” wrote a surprised @EsselSebastian. “Football is a science, backed by proper investment in infrastructure and talents.”

@HamdallahF agrees with him: “We do all this yet no African country has ever gone past the quarter-final at the World Cup. We should’ve been the continent with more World Cup titles.”

“Crazy how this still happens in modern day football. Africa is going back to everything, it’s heartbreaking though,” replied @SamuelO74394042.

“Is the egg local or foreign one?” posed @justimagine7500 with adding: “African football keeps retrogressing.”

“Africa should use their juju to win the World Cup and stop being local champions. Nonsense,” commented, @NY2Cash, who does not buy into the juju issue.

Some want punishment meted on those responsible for such acts.

“Something must be done about this and those in charge of security have to be fired,” said @selormeo.

However, @SheriffBarrow sees nothing wrong with this. He said: “This is Africa. Different cultures, beliefs and traditions, let Africa be.”