In Africa, a curse is any attempt to use an invocation to cause harm to someone. An utterance whose cause is to do damage to the intended victim is a curse. It may be uttered by an individual with a particular religious or moral status. In such a situation, it is often considered necessary for the victim to invoke an ancestor, spirit, or deity to respond. Ordinary people have been known in some cases to curse their enemies, but for the curse to be accepted as significant and real, the maker of the curse must have credibility, that is, must be seen as capable of offering the curse.

In African thought, it does not take an expert to determine whether a person has been cursed, although ...

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