The Sunday Mail
According to the standard definition of a goblin, this is a hostile, small, grotesque and mischievous supernatural creature.
But if you live in Matabeleland’s Kezi kingdom or Cowdray Park, Bulawayo, you can add invisible, stone-throwing noisemaker and women’s defiler to the characterisation. Hundreds have claimed to be victims of these imps that throw stones at houses and assault people, particularly women. According to a report carried by the Chronicle, Cowdray Park residents had to raise money to hire “professional goblin hunters” to drive the creatures out.
The report states that the residents endured goblin attacks since 2015, before the attacks waned in early 2017 following the intervention of Prophet Lazarus Siziba.
But was the prophet’s intervention a genuine victory against the supernatural creatures? Was it a psychological solution to one of the many cases of mass hysteria, religious frenzy? Was it simply an elaborate hoax? While residents were still pondering over these and many other questions, the attacks resumed in November 2017.
Over 300 women from Gwezha in Ward 3 reported that they had been molested by the goblins. They claimed to wake up with no underwear and would see signs of possible sexual assault. The said victims ranged from teens to grannies in their 80s.
A widow, Theodore Ncube and her daughter, claimed they were victims of the goblins. Ncube said every night, she would feel an invisible being getting intimate with her.
Commenting on the issue, Kezi’s Chief Nyangazonke said, “I’m appealing to genuine prophets or men of God to come and root out the said goblins in my community. They should not come here to divide people or to fleece them of their wealth.
“It is a great challenge because these goblins will wreck marriages and cause divisions in the community.”
Despite the chief’s plea, the said goblin attacks continued until May 2018. The stone-throwing even increased, with residents attributing it to a different goblin called Mike Maqobola. They believed the creature had mobilised other goblins to terrorise the town.
Maqobola means to hit something.
Faced with Mike Maqobola and his mates, residents donated $1 each to hire wafa-wafas, a team of goblin hunters from the Zion Church in neighboring South Africa.
Since it is believed that goblins eat birds and eggs, the goblin hunters decided to use free range chickens on their mission.
Beer bottles were also part of the exorcising ritual. However, no one knew why.
Videos of the goblin hunters at work showed them with what appeared to be a rolled doormat. Inside the mat was something that looked like a monkey’s head. They are said to have removed it from a house in the terrorised neighbourhood.
While other residents were pleased with the goblin hunters’ “victory” the owners of the house were worried and scared of the recovered goblins as well as the angry mob’s possible violent reaction.
But was the recovered goblin real?
Some people suggest that residents of Cowdray Park were being tormented by a tokoloshe. In African mythology, this is a dwarf-like evil water nymph that can become invisible by drinking water. It is said a tokoloshe can be called up by magicians or witch doctors to wreak havoc on others. lt can only be banished by a spiritual healer or n’anga. With the rise of popular fiction and the advent of film, monsters and gremlins like goblins seem to have taken over many people’s imagination.
In several stories that do the rounds, the tokoloshe, impundulu, biloko and kongamato are said to cause havoc. More recently, the media reported about Pinky-Pinky, a ghoulish figure that was said to be haunting girls wearing pink undergarments.
But are goblins a myth or a reality?
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