I’m of the firm belief that if you believe in the existence of a supreme being, you should believe in jazz as well because goodwill never exists without evil. Jazz (juju) is a form of Nigerian worship often referred to as voodoo in many other cultures. It supposably involves being in contact with the spiritual realm, traditional deities, and ancestors who grant supernatural wishes to the people who implore these spirits. 

Most of the time this communication with spirits or ancient Nigerian deities occurs through the use of a native doctor or witch doctor who is the intercessor between the devotee and these spirits. This transaction often involves some form of sacrifice, be it monetary or in kind. Sometimes animals, body parts and even human beings are requested (this is according to popular belief). When said exchange is made the person can gain whatever they requested for be it money, power, love or the destruction of an enemy. Jazz is a newer term for the phenomenon. It used to be called juju years back.

I asked a few people if they believe that it works and why they do or don’t. They had these to say:

I would say yes because just as religious miracles exist but can’t be scientifically proven, so does juju. Moreover, I have seen so many strange things in my lifetime to doubt its existence.

Bridget

I believe jazz is real because I’ve seen it happen first hand. We have rainmakers is my village and I’ve seen them perform and make the rainfall.

Ochemba

It is real because I feel like the world is deeper than we know. Because the spiritual controls the physical. 

Ashashi

I keep an open mind on it. I haven’t had any personal experience, but I’m leaning towards believing it exists because of the stories people have told me.

Akume

I believe there is a superpower that is beyond human eyes and the power makes available more power in the universe that not everybody can control. So for some people that are able to control these powers, they use it to create an illusion, some of which happen to be negative.

Tiwa

I don’t believe it’s real because it’s not consistent. I’ve heard about it working only based on probability.

John

Yes now, I believe it because I see it in practice every day at communal clashes where cutlasses bounce off people and people don’t get hurt from gunshots.

Akpos

I really have no idea. I don’t have any interest in knowing if I believe it or not.

Chidinma

The African in me says yes, but the logic in me disagrees. There’s something called The Archetypal Theory, which states that irrespective of the education or how far away you’ve gone from your roots, The human in you will always respond to the call of their blood. For instance, you might say you don’t believe in jazz, but if you walk into a bush and see a red cloth tied to a feather, your instinct will be to avoid that item.

Sanusi

The major thing about most of these responses is that people have not had the first-hand experience of jazz working. It’s mostly always “my neighbor’s wife said this,” or “I heard from my grandmother’s best friend, that…”

jazz

Now, the question is, “do I believe it works?”

The answer is no, do not believe in jazz or in the notion that it works. There is something called the placebo effect, which has nothing to do with the existence of spiritual forces. I think that people who believe in these things are victims of delusion and fear executed by dishonest people whose ulterior motive is supported by keeping people dependent on them, therefore making it easier to take advantage of these people. These are the signs of cult leaders, to be honest.

I believe that this fixation that Nigerians have on jazz is damaging to our society for many reasons. People hardly want to take any responsibility for their wealth (or lack of it) and well being. Because they believe that people get rich through jazz. They end up living their lives expecting things to end up like a get rich quick scheme.

Our society is hurting by thinking love can be gotten by looking into a calabash or drinking some weird mixture. We are doing ourselves and the future generations plenty of harm by always thinking we are in a state of spiritual warfare and making ourselves the physical tool of God’s pain. 

These issues cut across many areas in our society. And I believe that if we put our efforts into better things instead of believing in fairytales, we would go far and achieve more as a nation. The nations we consider great today were built on hard work and actually fighting the enemies in the physical realm.  

No human being can disappear or survive a bullet wound, that is a lie to me until I see it happen in real life. Let people who want to do jazz do their jazz o!

Do you believe that jazz is real? If you do, why are you afraid of it? Do you believe it is more powerful than your God? 

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