Juju; the security alarm for Straying spouses


‘Kisumu has gone juju! Call your husband to come and key in the security password to set you free!” shouted a woman from the crowd.

Apparently, the two illicit lovers had no knowledge that one of them had been fitted with a 24-hour ‘security device’ when they checked into one of the lodges in town for a quick one, they got trapped like rats. What should have been a secret tryst turned out to be public spectacle when they man realised things were tight, forcing him to scream for help.


As expected, the many idlers hanging around the dusty street in Kondele, Kisumu, where the lodge is located responded to the distress call and, together with the workers at the hideout, broke the door.

The woman covered her face in shame while the helpless man bayed for assistance from the public to ‘unbolt’ him from this tricky predicament.

The crowd, though disgusted, sympathised with the two but there was little they could do. Some of the eyewitnesses started asking pointed questions to get to the genesis of the problem and nodded knowingly when it became clear the two — both married to different people — were illicit lovers.

The man desperately pledged large amounts of cash to anyone who could free him but not even divine intervention could untie the knot fastened so tightly by unknown forces. Meanwhile, some onlookers were recording videos and taking pictures with their cellphones.

“This is the third time a couple is getting ‘locked’ in this area in a span of weeks. Kisumu people should be faithful to their partners because there are a lot of ‘security alarms’ to catch cheating spouses around here,” joked Joseph Owino, a resident.

Stories of this nature are common in Kenya and across parts of Africa. In Zimbabwe, for instance, a similar incident happened when a 44-year-old Harare man was dramatically entwined to a 38-year-old married woman for 48 hours.

Sources claim that word reached the woman’s husband in South Africa that she had become unfaithful. It is said the man then came down to Zimbabwe and sought a traditional healer to give him a charm to entrap her.

Now it appears that type of juju, ordinarily associated to parts of Ukambani and the Coastal strip, has come to Kisumu. Some residents in the lakeside city who have witnessed such incidents claim to have substantial information on how the ‘locking’ is done through witchcraft. Incredibly, Stephen Ouma (not his real name), a resident of Kisumu, explains that all it takes is a pen.



Most ball pens have a cap and when a man wants to ‘lock’ his woman, he simply goes to a witchdoctor where a charm is rubbed on the nib. The man is then asked to find ways of making his wife cap the pen without raising suspicion.

“The man can deliberately ‘forget’ to cap the pen and afterwards request his wife to do it for him instead. Immediately she inserts the nib of the pin in to the cap, she becomes locked automatically,” explains Ouma.

The ball pen is then kept in a safe place, to wait for the day the woman dares to stray. Ouma says similar results can be achieved using a knife and sheath or tying knots on a tuft of grass. The husband similarly keeps the knot safely, says Ouma.

But there are other tricks that do not involve using objects, such as having witchdoctors smear charms on a suspicious husband’s manhood so that the moment the engages in sexual intercourse with his wife, the women can only stray at her own risk.

To be ‘unbolted’ from the embarrassing situation, Amos Okello (not his real name) says that only the husband can solve the mystery by uncapping the pen, unsheathing the knife, untying the grass knot or going to the witchdoctor for an antidote after publicly humiliating his wife and airing her misdeeds.



This phenomenon leaves many people puzzled since it is only seen when dogs mate. But medics are of the firm opinion that these stories are only myths since it is not biologically possible for a man and woman to get stuck together during intercourse.

But dismissing these stories as myths isn’t accurate either. Not too long ago, a video clip on YouTube showing a couple stuck together with a curious crowd, including uniformed Kenyan police officers, outside their lodgings went viral. The presence of police officers, bystanders photographing the couple, not to mention the sheer terror on the couple’s faces all show this could have been no April fool’s prank. 

Those in the know describe it as nothing complex or supernatural, but instead blame it on anxiety saying the fear of ‘stealing’ something or getting caught by their spouses can trigger the body to behave in a weird But others claim that apart from ‘locking’ cheating partners, there are equally other strange ways of nabbing wayward husbands or wives.

A Kisumu resident says there are stories of men who have gone into a lodging with a married woman only for the door to refuse to lock. This weird happening is repeated even when the couple changes rooms or shifts to another hotel altogether, meaning only one thing: The woman has been locked so that no other man can touch her apart from her husband.

Another mysterious thing that may happen to couples that steal is the inability for the man to rise to the occasion, a trick that suspicious wives are said to pull on their randy husbands. Equally, cuckolded men can booby-trap their wives in such a man that any man who ventures close finds himself rendered temporarily impotent. 

Interestingly, such a man will find his equipment totally up to task should he rush home to his wife or to another woman.

Women in particular have their own unique means of keeping their men from straying, including serving chapatti which they have sat on with their naked bums or serving them pieces of meat which have been inserted in their (women’s) private parts or just simply give them love portions.



Roselyn Auma (not her real name) said she bought a particular soap to tighten her birth canal when her husband started complaining that she was not as sweet as before.

“When you bathe with that soap, your man will never leave you for another woman,” said Auma.

Auma said that the soap has an effect on men too and when a woman bathes with it and has sexual intercourse with her man, he will never rise to the occasion if he tries sleeping with a different woman.

Well, call them myths or biologically impossible, if you like. But this being Africa, where witchdoctors make goat thieves to go down on fours and chew grass like herbivores, the weka condom mpangoni advert, contracting a sexually transmitted diseases should be the last thing on your mind.

Getting busted on radio is now kindergarten stuff. What should worry you, especially if you live in Kisumu, is could get ‘locked’ up in a lodging and endure the indignity of having rowdy crowds ogling at you through the window. And that is no laughing matter!