How did I know that the curse existed? I was born into a Gnongnonsé family, an ethnic group of the Mossé, wholly devoted to fetishes. This group possesses extraordinary supernatural powers, and my ancestors were idolaters who did not believe in God. My family was under the influence of two curses.

Curses don’t come out of thin air. They attach themselves to a situation.

Four hundred years ago, a thief lived in our family. When he stole a sheep, a goat, or anything else, the family had to repay the owner for the stolen object or animal. Fed up, the family threatened to kill the thief and bury him themselves if he stole again. When the thief repeated his actions, the family carried out their threat. Family members dug his grave while he went back and forth, checking the progress of his grave while playing his traditional guitar. When the grave was ready, six family members looped a rope around his chest and stood on either side, three on each, pulling the rope, breaking his ribs. Upon confirming his death, they buried him.

The thief and his elder sister were the only children of their mother. Learning how her brother had been executed, the sister gathered the family and, standing on her little brother’s grave, said, “Because I am a woman, you killed my brother. There are other thieves in the family, but you don’t kill them. I declare a curse on the entire family.

Until the end of time, I declare that every year, at the same time you killed my brother, someone in the family will die a violent death.” She returned home and died as well. Since that day, every December, a member of our family dies in an accident. Imagine the toll since this curse was pronounced on our family.

In 1982, one of my older brothers, named Michel, who worked at a petroleum products station in Abidjan, returned to the village for his holidays. He had bought a trendy motorcycle called “Nous les jeunes” (We the youth) at the time. He didn’t use the village’s gasoline because, he claimed, it damaged the vehicles. He would buy gasoline in Ouagadougou, about 45 kilometers from the village. One day during a funeral, Michel came back to wash around 7:00 PM. Before taking a shower, he undressed, leaving only his underwear.

He then took a four-liter can full of gasoline to fill his vehicle’s tank. Not seeing well in the dark, he used a hurricane lamp for illumination. As he approached the tank’s opening, the four-liter can exploded, and gasoline spewed on him, catching fire. He fell to the ground with only his underwear still on. The fire began to burn him from the head. We were still children at that time.

We grabbed blankets to extinguish the fire. But every time we hit him with the blankets, the flames flared up even more. The fire continued to burn him until it went out, completely removing his skin. Transported to the nearest clinic, he died on the way. This happened about 400 years after the curse was pronounced. What I’m telling you is not theory. It’s real life, and this story involves my own older brother.

When I started my ministry, God granted me at least seven gifts of the Spirit. However, when I prayed or when someone else prayed for me, I always saw a spirit of accident in vision. Knowing the origin of this spirit, it didn’t surprise me. I could have a revelation that I would have an accident on a particular day, at a specific time, and at a particular location. As the time of the accident approached, the spirit of accident oppressed me and led me to get up and head to the designated place. When I arrived at the said place, the accident happened.

I went through a period of having four accidents a day. That’s why my left arm is weak. I can’t lift anything with that arm. I do everything with my right arm. Five days after my wedding, I told my relatives that I would have an accident on a particular day at 3:00 PM at an intersection. They told me that if that was the case, I should stay locked in the house without going out. A few minutes before 3:00 PM, I went to the intersection in question. A friend came to meet me there, and we were talking. My friend left just before 3:00 PM.

When I wanted to leave, the chain of my vehicle broke. As I bent down to check the problem, a motorcyclist appeared, heading straight toward me at high speed. I ran to the side of the road, but he followed me there and hit me. I fell, and my shoulder fractured.

I have the gift of prophecy, the gift of healing, the gift of working miracles, the gift of discernment of spirits, the gift of the word of knowledge, the gift of speaking in tongues, and the gift of interpretation of tongues. Despite all these gifts, I was bound by a spirit of curse. I couldn’t continue to experience four accidents a day. I would eventually die, I said. Some people would say at that point that I was killed by a sorcerer when, in fact, it was the consequence of a family curse.

About two hundred years ago, our ancestor was the richest in the village. At that time, chiefs and kings oppressed the population and often forcibly took their animals, property, and other assets. Our ancestor was discouraged by this behavior of the chiefs. So that these chiefs had nothing to take from the family’s assets, the ancestor took a canary, filled it with cowries, closed it, and buried it in his field.

He stood above the buried canary and declared that, until the end of time, none of his descendants would have money or any wealth because they are sources of problems.

The curse did not apply to procreation and food but only to money and prosperity. This meant that his descendants could no longer be rich in terms of finances and material possessions. He spat three times and left. Since that day, our family became the poorest in the village, whereas before the curse, it was the richest. It was the flip side of the coin.

My father slept on a straw mat typically used for sheds. When he got up in the morning, you could see the marks of the straw on his skin. He didn’t have a bicycle. If he needed to travel by bike, he had to borrow one. He didn’t have stylish clothes. When he went to his in-laws, he borrowed clothes from his friends.

In 1983, my older brother convinced me that we would overcome the curse on our family through our work. I totally agreed with him and committed to it. He went to see a fetish priest who asked him to bring the heart of a donkey. Getting a donkey’s heart was difficult, but my brother approached a local delinquent who found him a donkey’s heart. The fetish priest did what was necessary and gave my brother a talisman that someone under thirty should not consume.

At the time, I was only 18 years old, but I didn’t hesitate for a second to consume the concoction. Arriving in Côte d’Ivoire, the spirit of the donkey animated us. We started working in the field every day at 4:00 AM and only came down at 10:00 PM. In six months, our employers already owed us one million six hundred and fifty thousand (1,650,000) francs.

In one year, we were at over two (2) million. At that time, with two million, you could buy a plot in Ouagadougou and even develop it. That was without counting the demon of the curse’s capability for harm. At the end of the farming season, our employers refused to pay us. Being authentic sons of Côte d’Ivoire, they said, we could, if we wanted, take them to any authority. It would be a futile effort, they assured us.

Through perseverance, we eventually got payment of one million. When we received this amount, a letter from the village informed us of the death of our maternal great-aunt and invited us to take charge of her funeral. Listen, my brothers and sisters, the spirit of curse is very subtle. It manipulated us with a spirit of pride.

My brother and I decided to finance the funeral so that the village could say that never before had such funerals taken place, as the participants would eat and drink to their heart’s content. So, we put the entire million into organizing the funeral. Guests came from everywhere to eat and drink to their satisfaction.

After this event, I returned to Côte d’Ivoire, but this time alone. With the spirit that animated me (the spirit of the donkey’s work), I did the work of two to four people, so I didn’t need teammates in the plantation. In six months, I earned eight hundred thousand (800,000) CFA francs. I decided to return to the village for some time. At that time, there were no buses traveling the Abidjan-Ouaga route.

Travel was only by train. Approaching the border between Côte d’Ivoire and Burkina Faso, two thieves entered the train. When I saw them, I knew with certainty that, driven by the spirit of curse, they would target no one else but me. Indeed, they came straight toward me after making a round trip in our carriage. I watched them coming straight at me. I had placed the sum I was carrying in two places: some in my underwear and some in one of my shoes.

When they reached me, one stood in front of me, and the other behind with a knife pointed at my neck. They asked this question: do you want life, or do you want money?

Without hesitation, I replied that I wanted life. In the blink of an eye, I took out all the money I had on me and gave it to them. I returned to the village with only the kola nut that I had paid for before the robbers’ attack. This is the work of the spirit of the curse. I will stop here for a few moments. If I were to tell you how much the spirit of the curse degraded me, you would be astonished.

This text is an excerpt from the book “The Curse of Generations ” written by Prophet Emmanuel SAWADOGO.

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