Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Does muti work in Botswana football?

In neigbouring South Africa, when their national team failed to qualify for the 2012 African Cup of Nations, some people put the blame on South African Football Association (SAFA) for not listening to a traditional doctor. The medicine man had warned that Bafana Bafana would not win unless they paid their outstanding debt.

It is reported that SAFA consulted the said traditional doctor ahead of the 2010 FIFA World Cup but they did not settle the bill fully.

The same happened in Nigeria with striker Osaze Odimwinge claiming that they knew that they would not beat Guinea at home after Prophet TB Joshua had predicted that the Super Eagles would not qualify for the continental showpiece.

Those who do not believe that muti works wonders in football say that an African country would have won the World Cup in the past years with their powerful juju-men.

Ahead of the much-anticipated Coca-Cola Cup final between Extension Gunners and Motlakase at Lobatse Sports Complex in May, Gunners’ officials attacked their Motlakase counterparts for leaving a ‘creature’ which they claimed was muti next to their bench. It took the intervention of the match commissioner and organisers to calm down the officials who were at each other’s throat. It was until that particular ‘creature’ was thrown away by someone that Gunners’ officials calmed down.

Township Rollers’ midfielder, Ntesang ‘Mirror’ Simanyana, was sidelined at Gaborone United after he was alleged to have refused to perform the latter’s rituals.

Former national team striker Barulaganye ‘Jomo’ Bolofete said that whether muti works in football is debatable.

“When you’re winning, that’s when you think that muti works but when things aren’t going your way, it becomes another issue. I think the power of muti is all in the mind. Since I started playing football, I have seen muti being used at all the teams I’ve played for and I’ve never had a problem with it,” he said.

Bolofete has played for Notwane, Extension Gunners, Mochudi Centre Chiefs and Motlakase in almost 15 years.

Khumo ‘Shoes’ Motlhabane said the use of muti in football is corrupting players because they are made to believe that it is something you cannot do without applying.

“I don’t believe in muti but all the clubs I have played for used it, especially at Jwaneng Comets. At Comets, I used to be given things to put inside my socks and it was torturing psychologically, especially when results were not coming our way,” he pointed out.

BMC veteran midfielder Donald ‘Coach’ Mopako believes that muti works wonders and if a team is not using it, that particular club is bound to fail. Mopako confirms that he has used it before during his football career and it produced the desired results.

“Most of the time when a team loses using muti, it boils down to the happiness of your traditional doctor. In most cases, results do not come when your man has not been paid,” he said.

A traditional doctor Rhuu Modise told Sunday Standard that having played football, he realised that you cannot play without the help of muti. He said that muti is used to tame opponents, especially strikers. According to Modise, most of the times, moraro and mpitike herbs are used to make strikers think slowly and miss chances which they could have buried easily. He added that there are other herbs like monnamontsho and mabofe which are used to stop opposition from scoring.

“Sometimes when muti is not working it is due to various reasons. At times I’ll give a team a strong muti to go and use but when the gods are not happy, that muti is bound to fail. In most cases gods become unhappy when clubs are not paying for the services. A team might lose a game having used muti maybe because their opponents used stronger mixtures,” said Modise on Friday.

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