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
“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.
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.
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.
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!!!”
“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?
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.
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.”
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.”
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?
Reporter: Yes baba
Reporter: For some years now; about two years now to be specific baba
Reporter: But, baba, how do I send the money to you?
Another conversation with Baba Ifa Araba:
Herbalist: Tell him to call me.
Herbalist: Ok, what do you want me to do for him?
Herbalist: Didn’t he read or why is he scared?
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.
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
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.
“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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
“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.
“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.”
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.
“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.