Witchcraft has long been entwined with the Kikuyu traditions with some using it in fear of losing power, positions as well as influence.
It existed alongside the traditional religious beliefs and practices and has been carried on even with the emergence of the modern religions.
It’s believed that the rising trend of some Central Kenya residents turning to witchcraft is surprising because ‘juju’ was not entrenched in their cultural history like it was in Kirinyaga, Embu and Meru.
Recently, there has been a sharp debate on what might be ailing Kikuyu artists after a section of them publicly claimed that some envy their success and use black magic to bring them down.
About six months ago, popular gospel artist Dennis Mutara shocked the country after he publicly claimed that someone stole his star and that’s why he doesn’t produce music any more.
Mutara is nursing accident injuries after he was involved in a deadly accident along Kenol-Murang’a road in 2020.
“Am suffering because someone stole my star, I haven’t been releasing music, the accident wasn’t normal, this isn’t fair,” Mutara stated.
He accused fellow artists of being behind his woes a sentiment that didn’t go well with his colleagues among them gospel musician Shiru wa GP and Muthee Kiengei.
Recently, Muthee Kiengei said that the sentiment by Mutara was meant to hide his weakness and used artists as a scapegoat.
Shiro Wa GP had requested Mutara to retract the statement noting that the mentality that artists’ accidents or deaths are associated with black magic is long forgone and shouldn’t be re-introduced in the current world.
Other artists whose deaths were associated with witchcraft includes the late Makibi James, Sammy Muraya, Murimi Wakahalf, Salim Junior, George Wa Njaro, Sam Kinuthia among others.
Ino ni Momo singer, Murimi Wakahalf death sparked controversy after his mother Grace Kanuthu accused his wife of using black magic against her son.
Grace claimed that Murimi had earlier been taken to Embu to see a witch doctor for treatment.
Until his death, the doctors couldn’t diagnose his sickness and here’s where the myth of witchcraft came from.
Murimi’s second wife Nancy, in an earlier interview with Opera News, denied any involvement in her husband’s death and instead blamed the third wife, pastor Zaweriah, for the misfortunes.
Nancy said that she didn’t take Murimi to visit a witch doctor and while at the hospital bed, he (Murimi) requested for forgiveness.
There was another accusation that Wa Kahalf and his daughter’s underwear was discovered twisted seven times, his vest and T-shirt ripped at the neck and then concealed in a black paper bag in the house.
About a month ago, the wife to the late musician George Wa Njaro also publicly cleared the air that she didn’t take part in the death of her husband.
She said that social media rumours pointing at her involement were fueled by fake news by family members that she killed Wanjaro by infecting her with HIV/Aids.
“Today I have decided to take HIV/AIDS test live on air for people to know that I didn’t infect my husband with the virus, I’m HIV/AIDS negative,“ she stated.
She disclosed that family members chased her away from home and later sold their land including Wanjaro’s grave.
Before he died, Mr Wanjaro complained of headache and his family associated it with black magic.
During the burial of the late Mugithi Star Mighty Salim, the preacher requested Kenyans to stop circulating claims that Salim’s family is bewitched considering that several members have passed on within 5 years.
In 2016, the family buried the late Salim Junior, late her sister Dorcas Muthoni (Domsa) and last week Mighty Salim who succumbed to kidney failure.
The pastor said that their deaths are normal and shouldn’t be associated with anything like black magic noting that God will reward the family after the loss.
Other artists whose accidents were associated with black magic includes that of Kamande Wa Kioi along Kamiti road in 2019, John Demathew, Jimmy Wa Yuni and that of the late Elijah Murugami who was allegedly drunk.