Gbala, or Agbala, simply is voodoo, juju, consultation with spirits and what not. It is often the case where one has to travel to the outskirts of the country and villages in order to consult with the “pros”.
There might be a few practitioners around the city, but I doubt anyone would take them that seriously, after all, gods have traditionally been in conflict with technology. I mean, I can’t possibly imagine some god hanging out in Accra.
Accra, well if you live in Accra, I am sure you’ve noticed as well. I haven’t been around the country that much so I can’t say for sure if this is only an Accra phenomenon. Back to Accra, well if you live in Accra, you might have noticed the influx of an eclectic array of advertisement.
I mean, it’s bad enough our ears and eyes are bombarded with all these commercials. Move to and from any point in Accra and you won’t find fault in my reasoning.
I did say an influx of advertisement, have you noticed all the ads pronouncing financial freedom, love, academic success and a whole lot more? And no, these aren’t by the churches, they’ve told us all of that and probably shouldn’t anymore because we get it; if you got a problem, come to church, no problem is too small; neither the consultation fees and psychological brain washing you might have to endure.
Back to gbala, chale have you seen the posters! Often it is some “mallam”, striking as fearful and yet cool pose as possible, with a stash of cash (more than often dollars) in one corner, and of course, some earthen pots. Oh , oh, oh, don’t forget the snake!
Okay, first up, who the hell does these posters, are they Photoshop artists from the program’s inception? I mean the poster art is terrible! Are they oblivious to the fact that packaging is key to gaining customers?
Okay enough “non-fa”. It’s impressive that our “traditionalists” and “mallams” and “gbala-ists” and “gbala-istas” are using technology to reach out to people. For me, that sure as hell is a positive sign Ghanaians are becoming better at adapting to changing times.
Well this got me thinking, it’s the 21st century, would gbala of today be any different from say, a decade ago? I don’t know any priests, and frankly I’m too scared to go investigate one, that leaves me with Nollywood. The portrayal in their movies tells me no, there hasn’t been that much a change in the affairs of juju!
Well I think some “reforms” would do for the er, institution(??:p). I mean imagine: some girl bi you dey want toast, you go see the gbala man, der norr e say e know why you come, e gey some iPad bi kraa, chant some things, norr the chica in pic that for the tablet top, der norr e give you some Galaxy S3, wey e tell you say in a few days time call am, but before you call am ah, dial some number bi, e go help am communicate with the spirit of love (not cupid), and voila, move na pai!
And oh, did I mention you could pay him via eZwich?
And oh, you know how in the movies, they would often show real time cinema via a mirror, well they could switch to HD, crisp and clear. Imagine executing your enemy while watching it go down on HD. [You might pay a hefty sum though if you have to do the whole cracking the mirror thing], but oh well…
I meant to adopt this concept in a comic, but then as it stands, it’s four am and I can’t sleep, so I just had to share…
but think of it, albeit the dark overtone, tech could be applied by our “gbala-ists” and “gbala-istas” to do all the healing stuff, and perhaps, we would save all the animals and the trees, and save all the spitting and concoction stuff or something…
Why did I write this anyway??