Black chickens a hit in Mutare

MUTARE - With companies closing shop on a weekly basis and workers ever fearful of being dismissed, many black-feathered chickens are proving to be a hit as they are believed to be powerful medium in job-protection incantations.

Not surprisingly, the prices of “black chickens” have gone up as some superstitious workers, who continue to face an uncertain future in a bleak economy, seek job security in magic.

Chicken vendors are all smiles these days in the border town as the economy continues to nosedive and more customers hunt for the “black chickens”.

Now, at Sakubva Market the size of the birds no longer counts and what is important is the plumage—as vendors cash in from the desperate times.

“They serve the same purpose and based on that we don’t vary their prices,” Innocent Muvadi, a chicken vendor notes.
Because black chickens are hardly bought for consumption in the home, their prices are not negotiable.

“We are currently selling them for $15 and we do not take anything less. They are on demand.”

A bird of any other plumage fetches a price of $8.
And the 34-year-old Muvadi, who has been in the business for 15 years now, said black chicken sales always go up when the economy implodes.

“Sales always seem to go high when the economy is in a bad state,” Muvadi said noting though that most of their sales are done outside normal working hours.

“Some will come and pay for the chickens during the day but will only collect them at nightfall,” he said pointing to a pitch-black hen he said was only waiting for collection.

Now commonly referred to as huku dzekuchengeta mabasa (job-securing chickens) black chickens have given some in deeply superstitious Zimbabwe a reason to believe.

“Depending on the preference of the spiritualist some people come for white chickens but the bottom line is that they will want resilient chickens that can survive if left alone in the forest,” Muvadi said.

Wilson Mugazi an African traditional religion believer is convinced that exorcising evil spirits from people onto chickens is the way to go.

“Let’s be realistic here, evil spirits are there and can cause you so much bad luck in life so what is possibly wrong with having them cast out onto a chicken which is then thrown into the wilderness,” Mugazi said.

Winnet Sibanda a white-garment apostolic sect member also concurs albeit making biblical references.

“If you look at the sacrificial system in the Old Testament, you would see that God instructed the nation of Israel to transfer its sins annually onto a goat which was then taken out into the wilderness. As people continue to lose their jobs, many of us are being cleansed so that we are not unfairly discharged because of evil spirits,” Sibanda said.

Black chickens are also said to be used by prophets known as vanamadzibaba in the process of cleansing homes from evil spirits and avenging spirits of the dead.

A Chimanimani woman who asked not to be named and is a member of the Johane Masowe sect said that in her case she was asked to buy a black hen which was then used for cleansing rituals.

“Black hens are used in cleansing rituals at our church.
During the period that I was having problems at my homestead with evil spirits tormenting my home I was asked to bring a black fowl which was then used.

“The purpose of the fowl was to lure evil spirits astray because after madzibaba had done his best I was asked to take it to the forest where I left it,” she explained.

Comments (3)

"Winnet Sibanda a white-garment apostolic sect member" . you are absolutely right about the old testament rituals. however, news flash!! there is a new testament that has got rid of such rituals because of the saving blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.

james - 17 December 2015

people just involves themselves into oblivion.imaging something that you don't see and then you chase it its a shame. god fobid his subjects

george - 6 January 2016

this is satanic

eddie - 10 January 2016

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