I could feel the rhythm as I wiggled my hips and danced to the sound of the drums, avoiding eye contact with the long-haired man shaking his touche in front of me; the local children clapping in joy. Finally, my part was over and I could rejoin the audience and watch the witchdoctor grind his body to the beat.
I had got more than I bargained for during my visit to the local witchdoctor in Malawi.
“If he asks you to dance, you must dance,” said Black Rhino, my local guide.
So I danced, and then he showed me his potions. I was told to be nice to him as I had heard stories of bad spells being cast on those he took a dislike too.
“You're a good dancer,” I said, smiling sweetly. There was no way he was going to turn me into a toad! As my eyes lit in glee at the love potion, he couldn't resist the opportunity to make a sale.
“Would you like to buy it?'
Although the lure of finding my true love was difficult to resist, the thought of a dodgy tummy was enough to put me off.
“We can send home for you?” he pursued.
I must have looked desperate, especially when he told me my fortune.
“You will meet your second husband in 2 years.”
“Will it be forever?” I asked, in hope.
“Yes,” he said. “And you will have two children.”
He had said everything I wanted to hear and as I parted with my Malawi currency, I felt a warm glow at the prospect of falling in love again.
Later that night, I asked our Kenyan tour guide if he had ever visited the witchdoctor.
“Yes,” he said. “He told me I would get married in two years and have two children.”
“When was that?” I asked
“Seven years ago.”
And yes, he is still single! whoever said I was gullible…