Culture: How fishermen use charms, juju and suicide ropes to catch fish for Nairobians

xmzydu6mhk4cvqhmn578b2bfa32223At 8pm, a ghostly stillness settles over the waters of Lake Victoria. A gentle breeze wafts along the beaches, the air fragrant with pine, grass and the sharp, pungent smell of fish as crickets and croaking frogs lull residents to sleep. But for fishermen, bells toll, signaling a new ‘day’ in office. Far away in Nairobi, mama samaki is keeping vigil at Gikomba, Marikiti and City Market, awaiting trucks piled with tilapia to arrive at dawn from the lake’s landing beaches for Nairobi’s urban population. But unknown to urbanites who devour the ngege with relish, fish does not stagger into the net like drunken louts. Most fishermen (and women) use witchcraft to ensure a bountiful catch!  From naming boats after dead relatives, scrambling for ‘suicide ropes’ and seeking the services of witchdoctors for protection and good tidings, fishing in the lake region is not for the fainthearted  or the ‘Amen!’ brigade. Read the rest here 11:11

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