Understanding Witchcraft among the Digo Muslims on the Coast of Kenya: Implications for Mission

Abstract

This paper is about understanding Witchcraft among Digo Muslims on the Coast of Kenya.  The question of whether witchcraft is real or not has been a concern to many people Worldwide. It is true sometimes that innocent people are accused of witchcraft, but among the people living along the coastal regions, witchcraft is a common practice. They have reasons why they practise witchcraft, the types and forms of witchcraft they practise and how they practise them. This paper seeks to examine witchcraft practice among the Digo people, who are believed to have been the first to convert to Islam in the coast of Kenya, and that over 90% of them are Muslims. The study reveals that despite being over 90% Muslims, Digo people still associate most calamities and problems with witchcraft and they also seek traditional methods of solving socio-economic problems. It also establishes that the Islamic religion does not provide solutions to problems faced by the Digo Muslims, forcing them to ‘Digonize’ the religion and become ‘dual’ Muslims, mostly known as “folk” Muslims. The study therefore suggests ways through which Christianity can be used by Digo Muslims to seek for solutions to their problems without resorting to witchcraft. Since this research needed interaction with people in order to get the information that led to understanding witchcraft among the Digo Muslims of the Coast of Kenya, an ethnographic research design was employed within the context of qualitative research methodology.  The researcher went to the field to seek the information that led to the understanding of Witchcraft among the Digo Muslims on the Coast of Kenya.  The research was conducted on the South Coast of Kenya among the Digo Muslims. In order to understand Witchcraft among the Digo on the South Coast of Kenya, the researcher analized the ethnographic data and interpreted the findings.

Keywords: Culture, Digo, Mosque, Muslim, Qur’an, Witchcraft


Article Review Status: Published

Pages: 1-17 (Download PDF)

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