Witchdoctor surrenders all

54-year-old Ana Simparaye has recently abandoned her job of witchcraft and embraced small businesses to earn a living. Thanks to World Vision’s Empowered World View training. The training she received on empowered World View challenged her beliefs in witchcraft.

Supported by her religious leader, she burnt and buried her fetishes.

“This is where I and the servants of God buried fetishes I used in my old way of life”, Ana shows and openly shares about her old practices and the way she changed.

Ana is a resident of Rutegama hill, in Muramvya Province, Center West of Burundi. She owns a big house with many rooms; including a spacious room that was used as a reception ward, where she could also administer traditional medicine to her clients. Other rooms were used for in-patients.

That was her life for 25 years, and could amass an amount of 100,000 BIF (approx. 60 U$) a day as an income, she says.

“I would lie my clients that I have diagnosed needles and threads in their bodies to force them pay”, Ana reveals

 She threatened them that failing to abide by her guidance would result in death, she continues

“Some sick persons died in my hands”, Ana still remembers in grief.

She has tempted many times to abandon her ways of ransoming her fellows, but feared to give up a practice that was helping her earn a living; she says regretfully.

After she was introduced to World vision’s Empowered World View (EWV), Ana decided to serve one Master and invited her church leader to come over to help her burn and bury the fetishes she owned.

According to Philippe NTARUKIZA, World Vision staff and Empowered World View trainer, one of the training sessions provided by EWV teaches how people, if they obey the commandments of God have to be compassionate whenever they are in front of afflicted people. EWV refers to the story of the Good Samaritan in the Bible.

This teaching touched a lot the heart of Ana who really felt compassionate when people were dying in her hands but failed to withdraw from her wrong doings because she feared to lose her way of earning a living

EWV rescued her soul, she worshiped two kings, God and the Devil, she says thoughtfully

“I was even tithing every Sunday in my local church out of the income I got from the witchcraft,, she continues.

After her transformation, Ana decided to testify to other witchdoctors what made her to change, and as a result, other 5 witchdoctors of the area have recently changed.

She decided also to invest in small income generating activities, and things work better than when she was ransoming her community mates.

Things are better because though she was earning much money from the witchcraft, she would spend it again in the sacrifices she had to make. She remained poor despite the huge daily income she collected; she says.

The best practices taught by the EWV to fight bad beliefs, seek transformation of heart and mind of people. EWV shows people how they can develop themselves by using locally available means.  This is what happened to Ana, Philippe NTARUKIZA believes and appreciates.

Traditional healing bankrupting

As citizens at Rutegama are changing their minds through being aware that visiting a nearby health center is a solution to their diseases, and that God is the provider, people who visit witchdoctors  are decreasing. Consolatte Gakobwa neighbor to Ana testifies.

Consolate is a community member who used to seek for treatment from witchdoctors who changed her mindset when she was introduced to EWV too. Before, she could visit Ana, and other witchdoctors of the area.

“I could spend 20,000 BIF each month (approx.11 U$), she says.

Sometimes, she did not get relief and ended up in hospitals for treatment. This prevented her from meeting basic needs her family was in need of, she recounts.

EWV really opened my eyes; I still don’t understand why I kept consulting witchdoctors even after they failed to help me and ended in hospitals; she says smiling.