For non-Gambian readers, *juju is a charm made by a marabout, normally from backs of trees, animal skin, horns, claws, hooves, leaves, branches, et cetera...believed to serve a special protection, harm, heal, give luck, fight evil spirit and surpress a perceived enemy. To those familiar with Gambian soccer, it almost constitute ever an unresolved myth. Below is the Solo exclusive.
FOOTBALL IN THE GAMBIA-SIDE
A "JUJU" AFFFAIR
PLAYERS COLLAPSING IN THE FIELD
By Solo, Banjul Correspondent
Football is almost the only game played in the provinces nowadays, and because of the popularity of the game, teams would want to do anything to win a game. On Tuesday 21st April 2008, Boro Kandakassey and Bajakunda locked horns at Sutukoba playing grounds. The game was a crucial match and both teams were eager to win the encounter.
Interestingly enough, during the first half, the crowd experienced the collapse of two of Bajakunda's players in the field of play. No one knew or knows the cause of their collapse. At the end of the game, Boro Kandakassey by a lone goal to none defeated Baja kunda.
After the crowd dispersed and the teams were said to have gone to their various villages, over 14 other people among them none players also collapsed until they were hospitalized at the Bajakunda Health Center. Seven of them were players of Baja.
This reporter was eager to hear the reasons behind the collapse of these people. When He contacted a player at Bajakunda, the player opined that they were charmed by the Boro people and that was why they had all collapsed. He was however unable to say how that had happened.
On more enquires, the reporter was reliably informed on how the whole thing had happened. The story went like this. The Boro people they said had gone to see one marabout by the name of Bakary somewhere across the border in Senegal who gave them concoctions and charms; that the charms were be planted in a hole under a tree 11 feet away from the part of the field they the Boro team were to play their first match. This they said was done with much precision. But word had reached the Baja kunda people of the charm, which propelled them into action to find out the whereabouts of the said charm before done but to no avail.
According to my informants, the Baja kunda people had done everything they could but could not see the charm; that they were forced to play the game despite their knowledge of the charm with much reluctance.
This reporter made all efforts to find out if the marabout might have given the players some concoctions, which may have some kind of drug in it that could make them to collapse, but this was rejected by my interviewees.
A health worker however told my informants that all they did was to give some water through injection to the players which helped them to be conscious again; that all the 14 people have become conscious again. My informant said the others who collapsed in Baja kunda village itself had received the reading of the Koran on a chapter called "YASIN" but could not say whether they have become conscious or not.