Arab Today, arab today togo voodoo market helps the sick and politicians
Last Updated : GMT 14:36:48
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Togo voodoo market helps the sick and politicians

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Togo voodoo market helps the sick and politicians

Akodessewa district of Lome
Lome - AFP

Lucien Yekpon, a Lome traditional healer, sat on a stool surrounded by voodoo objects -- skulls, feathers, statuettes -- to place his hand on the head of a patient and recite incantations.

"You will soon be completely cured," Yekpon told the 35-year-old visitor, who had travelled to Togo from neighbouring Benin to seek a remedy for migraine that dogged him for three years.

"I have been treated in several medical centres in Benin (but) the pains have persisted," says Adolphe Houndji, a tailor from Benin's main business city, Cotonou.

Just three days after his arrival in Lome, Togo's capital, Houndji has started to feel the magic touch, reporting that he feels "much better."

Located in the heart of the rundown Akodessewa district, the market is famous across west Africa. All manner of ailments are treated, ranging from malaria and typhoid fever to erectile dysfunction, asthma and tuberculosis.

About 100 healers and witchcraft doctors work there and have mostly come from from Benin, the historic home of the polytheistic religion known as voodoo, which takes multiple forms and is known as vodun in west Africa.

Traditional worship and magical practices were mixed with some Christian rites during the colonial era.

- Ebola fears deter tourists -

"This market is a heritage from our grandparents. We initiate our children into it so that they take over from us," explained Paul Adounsi, 40, while he attended to a patient from Senegal seeking a cure for his sinusitis.

"Most of the clients (in early days) came from Lome," said Houndjenoukon Boccovo, a renowned healer.

"It was in 1963 that (our elders) got the idea to create this market" in Togo's capital itself, bringing their services closer to their main customers

A dozen altars adorned with totems for vodun divinities stand behind stalls displaying skulls, dried animal skins, reptile bones, feathers and statuettes.

The nauseous stench of decaying flesh oozes out in alleyways.

"All that you see on the shelves are ingredients used in the preparation of our products... For example, a properly crushed tortoise's shell, combined with certain herbs and honey can cure a chronic asthma patient," Yekpon says.

"Patients come from all over... Some whites also patronise us," he claims.

But tourists from Europe and sometimes America tend to visit the market more out of curiosity than to consult with the healers.

Their number has fallen since last year's outbreak of the Ebola virus in several west African countries, the market's main tour guide, Elias Guedena, says regretfully.

"Ebola caused many tourists to flee because most of the objects displayed are derived from animals in the bush (a major source of Ebola transmission). But over the past two months, they have been coming back gradually," he adds.  

- 'We are not witchdoctors' -

A traditional healer from Kpalime to the north of Lome, Olivier Massenon, travelled more than 100 kilometres (60 miles) for a singular purpose.

"Today, I bought three heads of a powerful bird, known as 'Aziza' to make medicine for a patient who has suffered from a feeble sex drive for eight years," he says.

"He will never be healed in a hospital because the spirits have revealed that he has been bewitched. After two weeks of treatment in my care, his penis will recover all its strength," adds Massenon, 35.

Ailments blamed on witchcraft are numerous in the Lome market because hospitals and doctors are unable to treat such cases, which are "not natural", Yekpon says.

In a separate domain, the market plays host to a different set of clients when elections are coming near, Boccovo says.

"Politicians come to ask us to prepare charms to enable them to succeed at the polls.

"During the July 2013 parliamentary elections, especially during the electioneering campaign, I even prepared rings for some candidates" to enhance their chances, he adds.

Boccovo declined to reveal whether the charms worked to maintain professional secrecy.

There are few clients for whom the healers of Akodessewa will not work, but they turn away "those who want charms to harm their neighbours," Boccovo says. "We are not witchdoctors."

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today togo voodoo market helps the sick and politicians Arab Today, arab today togo voodoo market helps the sick and politicians

 



Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Mohamed Bahari prepares new collection for spring 2017

GMT 06:15 2017 Monday ,27 February

Mohamed Bahari prepares new collection for spring 2017
Arab Today, arab today As Olympics loom, China plunges into snow biz

GMT 10:08 2017 Tuesday ,28 February

As Olympics loom, China plunges into snow biz
Arab Today, arab today Sheds light on major steps in 12-year career

GMT 06:07 2017 Monday ,27 February

Sheds light on major steps in 12-year career
Arab Today, arab today UN envoy sets out framework

GMT 07:25 2017 Monday ,27 February

UN envoy sets out framework
Arab Today, arab today Kalam Nawaem made a difference in social issues

GMT 06:43 2017 Tuesday ,28 February

Kalam Nawaem made a difference in social issues
View News in Arabic - Culture: أخبار الثقافة والفنون
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Parliament considers solutions to overpopulation

GMT 20:27 2017 Monday ,27 February

Parliament considers solutions to overpopulation
Arab Today, arab today Penguins in the age of dinos

GMT 11:44 2017 Saturday ,25 February

Penguins in the age of dinos
Arab Today, arab today Pluto's unruly moons

GMT 06:31 2015 Thursday ,04 June

Pluto's unruly moons
Arab Today, arab today Final Phantom VII signals end of an era

GMT 14:31 2017 Tuesday ,28 February

Final Phantom VII signals end of an era
Arab Today, arab today 'Constructive' Vauxhall talk with union

GMT 08:54 2017 Saturday ,25 February

'Constructive' Vauxhall talk with union
Arab Today, arab today Aspires present the story of Egypt’s first president

GMT 06:18 2017 Sunday ,26 February

Aspires present the story of Egypt’s first president
Arab Today, arab today Ex-yoga missionary unleashes rage

GMT 12:16 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Ex-yoga missionary unleashes rage

GMT 06:42 2017 Saturday ,25 February

Reasons for the delay 'On the Stairs of Servants'

GMT 05:14 2017 Thursday ,23 February

UK appoints 1st Scotland Yard chief in 188 years

GMT 18:23 2017 Friday ,24 February

Fadi explains secrets of  Nancy Ajram's newlook

GMT 10:28 2017 Wednesday ,22 February

Milan laughs while Rome cries

GMT 19:45 2017 Monday ,20 February

Sarah Belamesh designs antiques of "ceramic"

GMT 10:51 2017 Saturday ,25 February

Pigs with edited genes show resistance

GMT 18:28 2017 Saturday ,25 February

Tourist guide explains types of tourism

GMT 13:12 2015 Saturday ,09 May

Sheikh Sultan opens Sharjah Centre

GMT 06:28 2017 Tuesday ,28 February

Dumbphones survive rise of the smartphone

GMT 22:42 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Nasima Gamei revives heritage in jewelries
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
 
 Arab Today Facebook,arab today facebook  Arab Today Twitter,arab today twitter Arab Today Rss,arab today rss  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
arabstoday, Arabstoday, Arabstoday