Was surfing through the net when i cam across this shocking revelation as former Super Eagles defender, Taribo West, confessed to using charms popularly known as “JUJU” while on the pitch. He further disclosed that his manager normally took him to several native doctors in Senegal where they will cut his tongue, hands and legs and then cook it.
In his words, he said;
“I spend most of my time at home meditating. All I want to do is to keep spreading the gospel. In my own little way, I have been into evangelisation visiting places like Ughelli and within the Orile community, Ajegunle and so on. God has been kind during these visits to preach the gospel to people who are yet to receive Christ. We believe He will take us globally very soon,”
“Your background experience counts. We turn to God to give us direction. I’m happy how far He has taken us.
“The gospel is for the poor, rich and noble. Part of the gift God gave me is to reach out to the downtrodden. It is good if you can reach out to the downtrodden, preach the gospel to them and try to meet some of their needs through humanitarian services. I’m grateful to God for using me to spread the gospel across to these people,”
Speaking about the usage of charms, Taribo West said;
“Of course yes (I was involved). I don’t know why people decline to talk about their involvement with charms. Football has to do with a lot of powers. When there are big events, you look at the stadium, you see people, fans invoking all kinds of things; magicians are there, voodooists are there.
“In my playing days, when I was ignorant, I used to get some mallams and babalawos (traditional doctors) to make charms for us, which we took to (national) camp. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t.
“In some clubs, before every game, the president or leader of the club will give you a lucky charm to play with. They will tell you to put it in your boots or socks and play. It’s their superstitious belief; that it can help them win matches.
“There are some coaches who are connected to African magicians and soothsayers from Senegal, Burkina Faso, Zaire or even Nigeria. These people are consulted to give these coaches results of games even before the matches are played.
“These people see strange things and they can tell you with their magic and charms, what the outcome of a match will be. People believe and use it. It works for those who believe in it. I saw it, I experienced it, I was with players that used it and I used it. So, why are people denying it? There are charms and rituals in football. It still exists.”
When Patience Ikemefuna, an evangelist who lives in America paid Taribo a visit in Milan, it marked a new phase in the 1996 Olympic Games gold medallist’s life.
Today, even though they are not biologically related, he refers to Ikemefuna as “my sister.”
“God used her to change my life and ever since, my life has never been the same. I’m grateful to her. When I had an encounter with God and I became born again, I discovered that these powers were powerless. It was an avenue to collect money from us. There are lots of voodoo practices in football. If you are not with God, you have to be with the devil; with the devil they come with everything,”