Nowadays, Nigerian native doctors, like their counterparts in other fields, have gone digital. They have not only taken their careers to a new height but are putting this novelty to fantastic use. They now use smartphone apps to reach their numerous and interested customers online. OLUWASEYIKEMI ANDREW, who has been tracking this development, reports
Nigerian native doctors appear to be taking their careers in a new direction. They now use smartphone apps to reach their numerous and interested customers online. They have not only taken their careers to a new height but are putting this novelty to fantastic use. Healings, according to them, are now made easy. With this innovation, many of them have now expanded their horizon.
“It’s a digital health solution to improve care and general wellbeing, not just in Nigeria, but also globally. It is user driven, so, patients will sit in the comfort of their homes and discuss issues or problems they want solved. It’s personalised information for the patient. That way, treatment options are recommended,” one of them, who was contacted through his phone number provided online said.
He declined to give his name when asked during the telephone interview.
In line with the new thinking, an Ogun State-based Babalawo, from Ghana, recently wowed his audience with his shared spiritual photos and stacks of dollars that went viral online. He asked interested people to contact him. He wrote: “I’m a foremost spiritualist with AIM spiritualists. I am from Accra, Ghana, and studied at Yendi High School & Money Making Secrets Revealed. I now live in Ijebu, Ogun State, Nigeria.
“Never take council from the realm of poverty if you want to live in the realm of wealth. Don’t let poverty take over you, or your problems, say it out and you will get solution for that problem. Don’t hide sickness or your problems, say it out and it will be solved. You have anything to share with me, feel free to call or leave a massage.”
As if in competition, another Ogun State-based herbalist, also introduced himself and his traditional home as Baba Ogunbiyi Ifeseun Traditional Healing Home, Ijebu Mushin, Ogun State. He stated in his advertisement on the internet that nobody is above sickness and spiritual problems but just to trust and believe that GOD is able to save the suffering humanity.
Ifeseun went on to admonish interested customers to use leaves and roots, which, according to him, will make one to become prosperous and live a long life. He also said that people should be mindful of the society they live in which is full of evil. Many people, he further said, had fallen from grace to grass as a result of ignorance.
Don’t be a victim, he warned, adding “Save yourself today.” He, however, believes some will take advantage of what he said while others will simply overlook it. There are different ways to be successful, he continued, before adding: “It doesn’t just come and meet you on your bed.” He let out a contact telephone numbers and said: “SUCCESS IS YOURS!!!”
The Babalawo did not stop there but added: “We’ll like to share with you the result of our great research into the natural powers present in different leaves and roots. For those who care, please read Genesis 1 vs 11, 12 and 29. Our research has led to the secret of leaves and roots dignity. For those of you whose dignity have disappeared you’ll surely bounce back in a wonderful way.
“Consult with me, what did you really need? You want to become rich and famous in the world and have power to control people in the high place? Are you a businessman or woman, artist, politician, musician, student? Do you want to be rich, famous and powerful in life with no side effect? Do you want your market to boom?
“Do you have any disease such as menstrual disorder, staphylococcus aureus, gonorrhea, vaginal discharge, male and female infertility, syphilis, pile, low libido, ulcer and prostate cancer? Do you have a husband or wife problem? Do you need do as I say charm? Do you have problem at work? Are you fighting for any position or do you have any case to win? Contact us and your problems are over.”
Chi Marine Temple was equally in the news a few weeks ago. He shared a video of him making a charm for a young ‘yahoo boy’ fraudster, as he justified the crime perpetrated by fraudsters. According to him in the video, Africans lost their wealth to westerners, and it is time for ‘yahoo’ boys to bring it back.
But in a twist, another, who is based in Asaba, Delta State, has taken to social media to urge youths in Nigeria to go and work hard for money and stop disturbing him to help them with money rituals. According to his Facebook post, he said he doesn’t do rituals for money as he advised the ‘lazy’ youths to go find something serious to do.
He said: “I am not a money ritual traditional doctor, please lazy youths, go and look for something serious to do. Money will locate you; don’t be deceived by any spiritual man, nothing like money rituals. The best way of making it is by hard work and destiny.”
Indeed, herbs and herbalism in Nigeria have gone digital as the native doctors (Babalawos), find interest in social media to advertise their business. They now make more customers both from Nigeria and abroad, even politicians and big people in high places, patronise them and get them to do one thing or the other for them. Perhaps, the trend in which people make use of herbal medicines is increasing globally, and the Nigerian native doctors appear to be taken advantage of that.
Armed with the knowledge of internet herbalism, our reporter went in search of some contact on different social media sites. She eventually had an encounter with a number of them. First was with one that identified himself simply as “Esoteric World Discovery Limited.”
Conversation with the herbalist:
Reporter: I have a friend that wants to snatch my boyfriend from me and I don’t want to lose him to anybody. Please how can you help me?
Herbalist: You want me to help you keep the boy by your side abi?
Reporter: Yes baba
Herbalist: For how long have you been dating?
Reporter: For some years now; about two years now to be specific baba
Herbalist: Send the name of the boy to me and his mother’s name, your name and your mother’s name too. I will have to ask the oracles if you two match together. If the oracles answer yes, then it will cost you some amount of money, which I can’t say for now to keep the two of you together and if the two of you don’t match together, we can do something but it will cost you much more. However, first send those names to me and let’s see how it will go.
Reporter: But, baba, how do I send the money to you?
Herbalist: I’ll send you my account number in which you’ll pay in, including the freight charges. I’ll use the same means to send you the charm you need. After you would have used it and it works, you can now join others to advertise me and my work. A trial will convince you.
Another conversation with Baba Ifa Araba:
Reporter: Baba, please I have a brother that wants to sit for an exam and I want you to help him out.
Herbalist: Tell him to call me.
Reporter: He’s staying abroad and to reach him is not that easy.
Herbalist: Ok, what do you want me to do for him?
Reporter: He wants to pass his exams but he’s scared the exam might be tough.
Herbalist: Didn’t he read or why is he scared?
Reporter: It’s a promotion exam in his office and most of his colleagues have influential people backing them.
Herbalist: Tell him to keep calm that they will choose him. Tell him he will pay the sum of N120,000. Immediately the money is paid into my account I will start work on it.
Reporter: Baba, can you also help someone to get visa to the US, and solving solution of a barren woman as well?
Herbalist: Yes, if I do it and if there is no result after I give you what to use, I will return your money with immediate effect. If you also want a husband of your choice, that one na im easy pass
Reporter: But how are you going to send the medicines since we can’t see one on one?
Herbalist: My daughter, don’t worry about that, I’ll mail it to you but you’ll have to pay for the charges. You ought to have known that we have gone digital. Internet has made our job so easy. My clients are all over the world. Wherever you are, we are sure to reach you, and help solve your problems with our finest herbs.
According to Ewelogun Herbal and Spiritual Home, herbs are beneficial but not all are meant for harmful uses. Orthodox medical treatment, he said, couldn’t do it alone in the delivery of perfect health. “This is where the native doctors come in, for better and complete treatment.
“Using drugs and taking drips do not give perfect healing neither will herbs nor concoctions or black soap give you 90 per cent healing. It is God that gives perfect healing. Like the conventional doctors, the traditional doctors also have a saying that “we treat people but God heals,” he said.
According to the man, esoteric herbals and spiritual homes have gone global, Nigerian practitioners are only taken advantage of the new trend. Ewelogun said: “Herbs have helped many people, especially those that they can’t see. People that need help from abroad and other countries of the world can get solutions without coming down home. We save people from afar the stress of running around as well as those who want to hide their identities for one reason or the other.”
Just like Ewelogun, Baba Ifa Araba, also said that herbs had been a source of healing from the days of their forefathers and that the potency still remain the same and could be found all over the world. “Herbs can never be a thing of history in this world because God Himself created herbs for the use of mankind. It only depends on how humans make use of it; either for good or for evil, humans will decide that.”
The herbalists said that most of their internet customers encourage them by asserting the potency of their herbs. Baba Ifa Araba said he joined the social media not only to advertise the efficacy of his herbs but to healing and cure and to educate people that herbs are still helpful like in the days of old.
He said: “Medical doctors are now adding herbs into what they do because they have seen what the traditional healers do with them. We are now a source of blessing to many and could reach them with ease since we started putting our herbs on different social media website. People now are better informed about their treatment.
“In the times past, most Nigerians always feel reluctant and timid to go in search of a traditional doctor either because of their status, fame or distance. Only a few of them go the extra mile to get an herbalist when they need them, especially when the problem is more than what the orthodox doctors could handle.”
Indeed, technology has made things easier for both the native doctors and their customers alike. People now get through to herbalists even without going to see them. That way they protect their fame and status. Distance or any other thing that can hinder them from going to search for an herbalist has also become a thing of the past.
Email addresses, Facebook accounts, Instagram and WhatsApp, have been the order of the day for the herbalists, who are also known as traditional doctors. Incidentally, these social media accounts are drawing traffic in which thousands of people are following them. Others who don’t follow them simply like their posts.
Gradually but steadily, people have started developing interest in herbal issues. Women in particular have been seeking their services online in their numbers, according to some of the herbalists Saturday Telegraph spoke to on the telephone. This is understandable. The women are found to use herbs to beautify their body, for sound health and to smooth the skin, while men use herbs for different purposes too.
But while some native doctors use herbs to cast spell on other people which many think has been the disadvantages of herbalists, others claim they use it to cure ailments such as HIV, herpes, weak erections, fibroids, warts, miscarriages and many more. There are also those who are into breast enlargement, slimy or flat tummy.
“No matter what the problem is, once you get to me through any of my social media accounts, be it emails, Facebook, WhatsApp or phone call, solution must come. Being on social network does not mean you will get notice but for your works that you post to speak for you,” said Ewelogun.
The herbalist further disclosed some of the processes that led to his interest in the social media. His son, he said, introduced him to the internet. He said when he got a browsing phone he didn’t know how to use it and was not even interested because he felt it’s for computer age children.
“But my son made me to know the usefulness and advantages. He was the one who helped me to open an email account and that was how it started. Even without me seeing you, once I have all the information I need, I will get your job done, receive my pay and delivered to you.”
The shipping of idols and charms from one place to another became the new fad as it goes on the internet. It is not only from one part of the country to another, it is also done from Nigeria to other countries of the world as the white also finds interest in it. Herbalists now see the internet as a market place to showcase what they are capable of doing.
However, there have been testimonies as well from clients, who patronise these online native doctors. For instance, one customer shared his experience on Instagram about his encounter with Dr¬. Omoghene Herbal Clinic. The customer said he used the native doctor’s herbs and concoctions to cure a disease called herpes which he has been suffering from for over four years. He also said he was sharing his experience so that others with a similar problem could take advantage of the herbalist’s herbs to free themselves from the bondage of herpes.
The customer went on to repost his brief chat with the herbalist on the native doctor’s Instagram page. “I told you before, my herbal medicine work wonders against herpes, and all other STDs including HIV. Different leaves are joined together to cure a disease. Fresh leaves are joined together to get an absolute solution.
“However, cleanliness is the very first thing, if one wants the herbs to work. Herbs used for healing are different; it depends on the type of disease the person is struggling with, but there are some when prepared it can be used to cure different kind of diseases and the process of turning herbs into medicine are different too,” the herbalist was said to have responded in one of his post after the customer’s testimony.
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