Believe it or not, magic exists - white, black, magic used to attract love, money or the type wishing for someone's death. We will now explore one of the most powerful of African magics, one responsible for making the hair of thousands of people stand on end.
Juju is a word of alleged West African origin, which was used by the Europeans to describe the traditional religions of West Africa. Etymologically, it means malicious spirit or evil demon in the language of the Hausa ethnic group in North Nigeria.
In the language of another ethnic group in Nigeria, the so-called Yoruba, "ju" means "to throw" and therefore, "juju" means "to throw-throw", in the literal sense meaning the action the shamans perform when they invoke their magic - during the ritual they throw an amulet or object they have chosen between each other, in order to urge evil spirits and energies into entering it.
Juju is used in all aspects of life in Western Africa. Of course, juju is also used to treat diseases but it is quite often preferred for enacting revenge, getting rich by illegitimate means and others.
Contrary to popular belief and despite the linguistic similarities, it should be noted that there's absolutely no relation between the so widely popular voodoo magic and juju magic.
Another no less curious fact is that besides a form of black magic, juju is also an extraordinary style of music popular among the Yoruba ethnic group in Nigeria and characterized by the use of guitars and various types of local drums.
Juju can be imbued into a doll, mask or other object, and the supernatural powers contained within act with destructive force. Using a chicken leg soaked in blood, wrapped in feathers and tightly bound with thread is very common.
Juju is characterized by the use of amulets made of chicken bones and feathers, the bones of various animals, their heads, organs and so on. It's no secret that they also use human organs when performing so-called "blood magic", which costs money.
One of the legends from West Nigeria, which is actually true, goes that many young men make use of the services provided by witch doctors and shamans who perform these types of magic. No small number of these men kill, kidnap and take body parts from their relatives, friends or loved ones and bring them to the shamans to perform magic. The closer the familial ties between the customer and the victim, the stronger the magic is.
The most common types of spells are for getting rich, with one of the downsides being that the clients die young and do not enjoy the wealth they've won for very long. This may sound like a story out of mythology but every person living in West Africa can confirm it.
In Western media we often hear of stories about the use of juju in the trafficking of women. The main tide of them comes from West Africa and more specifically, Nigeria. According to verified data, over 20 000 Nigerian women have been sent to serve as prostitutes in Italy. For them it doesn't matter what season it is, they simply have to pay off their debt to the people keeping them.
Over 100 000 African girls work as prostitutes throughout all of Europe, 80% of them coming from the state of Edo, located in South Nigeria. Just 3% of the 130 million population in the crowded country live there, and when you get rid of the men, elderly and children, words become unnecessary.
Besides this state being called the capital of trafficking, it's also home to the juju religion that's traditionally rooted in West Africa. Nigerian flesh traders use the black magic to lure their victims into a trap. Usually these girls come from very poor families, who survive on just $2 a day, sometimes even less.
They know that they're going to Europe to have sex for money and this very often isn't a problem for them but they are deceived into believing that they'll make a fortune within a few months. These are the promises given by these same traffickers who use the power of the magic to influence the girls.