Week 2‎ > ‎

Blessed by the Damned Ones

Yesterday it was the Independence Day here in Burkina Faso. Parades, talks and parties in sequence. But, who cares?
I won't post anything about that since it's not that different from any similar fiest in Europe.
Nevertheless it was an extraordinary day because I met some interesting and quite controversial characters: the "Dossos"!

So here it's the tale.
I was zipping around with my friend Ollé on his moped, when at a certain point we end up in a more remote courtyard out of the centre.
As we step in we see some bizarre men singing with traditional instruments. Ollé's eyes opens widely he turns towards me and says "Ils sont led Dossos, ils sont vraiment fort" ( "They are the Dossos, they are really cool") At first I imagined they were his favourite local music band, but then Ollé whispers in my ear: "They can make the kind of sorcery rituals you are looking for".
In fact it has been some weeks that I keep telling Ollé that I really need to meet a sorcerer.
So Ollé approaches the 5 guys (one older man, one sort of hunter with a -scary- working hand made rifle, two young musicians and one dancing kid), and tells me to move closer to them.

They start dancing and singing, touching my shoulder with their instrument and handing me their rifle.
The guy sings in a unknown dialect, he repeats my name and mentions Italy a couple of times. He shouts at 3cm from my face. I keep looking straight into his eyes. Ollé tells me their are giving me their blessing. After 10 minutes the ritual is over.
They sit with me and Ollé, I ask them some generic questions while Ollé translates.
At a certain point the old man insists to show me some pictures.
A picture of him with the president of Gambia. Cool.
A picture of him posing next to the head of a dead hippopotamus. A bit shocking but still fine.
A series of picture of dead people, probably shot or stabbed.
I'm a bit puzzled, I don't understand. I ask what is that, maybe this sweet harmless grandpa witnessed his family being killed?
Mmmh... not really. He explains me that they are sorcerers and musicians, but their other activity is working as mercenaries. So those were pictures of their job done in Ivory Coast. The guy was showing his portfolio!

I've seen images of dead people on any kind of media in my life, but holding the photos printed straight from the film, having in front of me the -possible- author of that and having behind me a man with a rifle makes my throat burn like my saliva transformed in aged rum. Thinking back I wouldn't now front the guy singing at 3 cm from my face and stare firmly into his eyes.
Bravery is not my top quality. For Ollé it's all normal.
The old guy for some reasons thinks I'm cool so he gives me a ring that will protect me from any disgrace. I hold the ring behind my back and repeat the magic words he tells me. Only conunter-indication is that I can't in my life eat any animal killed while still in its mother's womb (therefore forget about the crab's eggs I used to eat directly from the shell)
I'm blessed.
But I don't know by whom.

PS. I should tell you what happened to the ring a few months later. But you'd shit your pants. Offer me a couple of drinks and I will tell you.