On 1 January 1804, a former slave, Jean-Jaqcues Dessalines, declared the freedom of St. Domingues and founded the first Black Empire in the world, Haiti. How did he do it? Through the Bois Caïman ceremony of August 1791! This voodoo ceremony began the Haitian Revolution. During the ceremony, the dark-skinned and scarred warrior-mother, Ezili Dantor, the patron goddess of women and children, possessed a priestess. A black pig was offered to her since she has a weakness for black pigs. All present pledged to fight for freedom from slavery and oppression. This ceremony ultimately resulted in the liberation of the Haitian people from French colonial rule.

The Sleepless

The Sleepless

Moral behind this little tale? Beware! African curses are lethal, powerful enough to topple governments and raise kingdoms. As you can see, it was this very use of curses that resulted in an independent and free country of Haiti. In many parts of Africa, no misfortune or death is accepted at face-value. If a church pastor can't have visions to explain it, then your witchdoctor /Dibia/Babalawo might have the answer. Here in the west, you just might find yourself a victim of an African curse. When that happens, how can you recognize the symptoms and how do you go about curing yourself? Well, have no fear. Fear! Remember this word. It's one of the sure signs of an African curse. Your Queen of African Horror, Nuzo Onoh, is here to explain how you can recognize an African curse and how to go about getting a cure for your hex.

You wake up one day and experience a sudden cure of addictions, such as drug addiction, alcohol addiction, chocolate addiction, smoking, nymphomania, texting/sexting mania, Facebook/Instagram addictions - This is the mother of all hexes! Examine your friends, especially your African friends and figure out who has cursed you with a powerful evil spirit. You see, spirits don't like any addiction to mess up their mischief when they take possession of their victims. So, they absorb all your former addictions and then take over your mind, making you commit evil crimes or even suicide! Your only cure is to convert to Catholicism or become a nun/monk and pray that the Vatican sanctions an emergency exorcism. Otherwise, give me a call and I'll take you back to Africa where a good Babalawo will sort you out sharp-sharp and send those demons back into the River Niger!

You suffer from physical symptoms such as tiredness, dizziness, headaches, stomachaches, toothaches, common colds, sneezes, constant yawning, farting, palpitations, tinnitus or buzzing ears and sleepiness - You have been cursed! Irritate your GP if you like but believe me, you'll be wasting your time and theirs. Your only hope is to consult Rhonda Bryne and get The Secret on how to think yourself into health and out of your curse! Otherwise, contact me for advice on how to find a powerful African witchdoctor to zap your curse.

Problems in your relationship, your partner leaves you for someone else, your teenage kids start playing up, Mother-in-law becomes more evil than before, your boss has grown horns and tails and claws, your best friend having new best friends, the postman not smiling at you! This is a curse that is very difficult to cure. Not even Jeremy Kyle, Jerry Stringer, Judge Judy or Oprah can help you!! You're doomed! Doomed! But don't lose hope. Your only cure lies at the hands of the bartender at your Local. But first, you need to consult a powerful witchdoctor for some special powder you can sprinkle in your pint of larger to annihilate the demon ruining your relationships. After that, watch your mood improve as you wallow in blissful inebriation and mellow towards your worst enemy and the whole universe. Nothing works like African Juju powder!

Insanity or any mental health problems such as hearing voices, mood swings, depression or anxiety - Definite signs of an African curse! You have been possessed by evil spirits sent to you by an enemy to steal your joy. Even when you laugh, you can't be sure it's really you laughing and not the demon within. Instant exorcism by either an evangelical prayer warrior or powerful witchdoctor is needed if you are to survive this curse. Otherwise, head to Disneyworld and spend a week with Bugs Bunny and co. Hopefully, you should come back much saner than a March Hare!

A persistent disease which seems to have no cure; maybe you can't shift that cold you got since last month. A lot of AIDs victims in Africa were initially thought to be under curses and many false accusations were labelled at innocent people who weren't all old women with or without black cats. Your only cure is to stay away from the human race, look to the classified pages of the Birmingham Metro newspaper for the addresses of powerful witchdoctors that can cure everything from your impotency to HIV and even turn you from a boy to a girl without expensive and painful surgery! These Birmingham, England witchdoctors are omnipotent! Just like their contemporaries in Africa, they're the Ghost Busters of the continent! Nothing can resist their mystical powers, not ghosts, not men and certainly, not demon and curses.

Lightning strike - a sure sign of a curse is to be struck by Shango , the god of thunder. A lightning strike means a curse has found its target and that the target was guilty of the crime/offence that brought the curse into existence. Your only cure is to relocate to Spain and get away from our English weather. Failing that, see if there are any old shelters left over from the 2nd world war and retire there as a hermit. Spiders and bugs are surely better than being annihilated by a lightning curse. If that fails, then look to the nearest Pentecostal Church for deliverance from evil curses. When it comes to sheer muscle power, these Pentecostal Church prayer warriors are almost a match to our deadly African witchdoctor.

Simple accidents either in the home or outside - a knife cut while dicing the vegetables, a bruised toe on the pavement, tripping on the stairs, breaking a glass, choking on a George Bush pretzel or the mother of all accidents, a bit of masonry falling on you in the street! Beware! These are sure signs of a powerful African Hex! You need to book yourself into the first flight to Nigeria and immerse yourself in the cool waters of the Bar Beach, Lagos, to wash away the curse. Believe me, there's no other cure. Tell your boss you really need an African Holiday! If he refuses, ignore him and go anyway. While there, buy yourself a voodoo doll and some pins to make your boss's life a living hell if he gives you grief for going AWOL. Apart from that, you'll be doing a massive favour to the fledgling Nigerian tourist industry

Having nightmares, bedwetting or sleepwalking are another sure signs of an African curse. Someone has sent evil spirits to possess your thoughts and drive you to insanity. The only cure for this curse is to sleep even more till you sleep away the curse. This is one time you can be a couch potato without guilt. After all, if those demons keep you awake all night, then who can blame you for making up for lost sleep during work hours. Make sure that dragon at the Jobcentre understands that you need to claim benefits for this real incapacity. Collect your benefits and treat yourself to more bottles of Lambrini and chips and crash out on your couch when you're done. Soon, those demons will figure it's not worth their time plaguing your night sleep when you can make up for it in the daytime without worrying about earning an income, unlike those poor sods in Africa who have no access to benefits. They'll soon look for someone else to torment.

You notice a dwindling in your income, lose your job, fall victim to a Ponzi scheme, money becomes really too tight to mention! You don't need Simply Red or a witchdoctor to tell you someone, a very jealous and envious someone, has sent you an African curse. You see, this is one of the most popular African curses deployed by the PHD practitioners (Pull Him/Her Down). Look to your neighbor who just might be jealous of your new car before you had that inexplicable crash. If they're Africans, then look no further! They've sent you a very royal African curse. Your only cure is to play the Euromillions, National lottery, Postcode lottery or better, bet on the horses, tennis, football, cricket, the new name for the royal baby and visit the bingo hall every night. Otherwise, move to a new neighbourhood that has no single black face in residence. Failing that, return to that Birmingham Metro Newspaper mentioned earlier on for your nearest witchdoctor. Remember, it must be the Birmingham, England, Metro. No other paper will do. The witchdoctors in Birmingham, England, are almost as powerful as the ones in Africa.

Finally, if your wife or partner can't get pregnant or you suffer from impotency or notice that your pecker has dwindled in size or totally vanished, disappeared, zapped overnight by aliens, or you also notice your hair is starting to thin to near-baldness, then my friend, you are finished! Almost! The doctors might use artificial insemination to bring about a baby and Donald Trump's stylist might help you get back your hair. But as to the other little matter, the vanished pecker, this is one curse that has no cure. Total celibacy is hereby recommended. You can't reverse this curse because the demons don't like to give back a healthy virile pecker once they get their hands on one. Explain to the ladies on the dating site after your wife divorces you, that you're looking for companionship and friendship and hopefully, you should find yourself one whose libido has also been hexed.

That's it folks! Hope you now have a better understanding of how to recognize and deal with an African Curse. If still in doubt, get a copy of my latest African Horror novel, The Sleepless and see how one desperate mother deals with her child's hex and how the child battles the terrifying supernatural entities with her own brand of hex. Beware! You laugh at our African Juju and witchdoctor at your peril! That ordinary sneeze might just be the start of a mighty African curse!

Nuzo Onoh is a British Writer of African descent. Now recognised as the front-runner of African Horror, Nuzo is the author of The Reluctant Dead and Unhallowed Graves both collections of African ghost stories. Nuzo has two daughters and lives in Coventry, from where she runs her publishing company, Canaan-Star Publishing. Her latest book, The Sleepless, another novel about ghosts and hauntings, will be published on 28th June, 2016 and is now available for pre-orders from Amazon -