Mermaids and Bull Genitals Used to Find Missing Car

Status: Scam
This leaves me at a complete loss for words. It's amazing:

HARARE, Zimbabwe - A bogus traditional healer who persuaded a businesswoman to hire "mermaids" and accommodate them in a Harare hotel to help find a stolen car was convicted of theft by false pretenses, court officials said Tuesday...
In Zimbabwe, where tribal superstition is deeply entrenched, prosecutors said Chizema persuaded Margaret Mapfumo to pay 200 million Zimbabwe dollars (about $30,000) to hire mermaids, feed and accommodate them in a Harare hotel, buy power generators for a floodlit lakeside ceremony and invoke ancestral spirits to find the missing car. Some of the money was to be used to buy a bull whose genitals — described in court as the animal's "strong part" — would point out the car thief, prosecutors said.

All that was needed was the addition of a penis-melting Zionist robot comb, and it would have been a perfect trifecta of weirdness. (Thanks to Big Gary for the link.)

Con Artists

Posted on Tue Mar 21, 2006


It reminds me of the time where I lost my keys, and I spent $20,000 hiring two Yeti and a sheepdog to find them. Turns out they were just between the couch cushions.
Posted by AqueousBoy  on  Tue Mar 21, 2006  at  11:07 PM
You can buy a decent car for $30000
Posted by Sharruma  on  Tue Mar 21, 2006  at  11:50 PM
While you're looking for cars, what about the Australian Hovering Vehicles ? See today's 'Melbourne Age' which has a shot, said to have been taken from 'Google Earth' of a 'hovering' car in a park in Perth, Western Australia. Not very spectacular - no bull's balls - but mysterious.

Regards, Bryan.
Posted by Bryan McEnroe  on  Wed Mar 22, 2006  at  02:57 AM
She must have been on some of them drugs that MUST have been hidden in the secret compartments in that car, to make it worth $30,000 to find in the first place. I mean, c'mon man, ain't the primary mode of transportation in Zimbabwe the likes of the bull whose testicles were gonna be used to find the car in the first place????
Posted by Christopher in Joplin, Missouri  on  Wed Mar 22, 2006  at  04:34 AM

On the third page there's a link to the new one.
Posted by Boo  on  Wed Mar 22, 2006  at  06:34 AM
What's the source for this story? I'm sceptical. In my experience Africans are not idiots. If they have spent over $30,000 dollars on a car, will have it insured. What's more, Zimbabwe is completely landlocked, so I doubt whether mermaids are part of traditional beliefs.
Posted by Mr Henderson  on  Wed Mar 22, 2006  at  03:10 PM
I'm guessing about the same proportion of Africans are idiots as you would find in other ethnic groups, which means that there should be some of them gullible enough to fall for this sort of con. Part of the article that Alex doesn't quote above says, "In Zimbabwe, prominent figures and even leading politicians have often been the victims of such scams." Although the story doesn't say so, I suspect that the "bogus traditional healer" didn't cop all $30,000 at once, but gradually pulled the vicitm in deeper and deeper, so that she kept throwing good money after bad. That's standard procedure for bunco artists.

Africans I've known do, however, tend to have a different sense of reality than most westerners, so that a claim that mermaids could be persuaded to reveal the location of a stolen car wouldn't be more strange to them than a claim that Jesus or God or St. Anthony could help find something lost would be to many Americans and Europeans, or a belief that an individual has a reasonable chance of getting rich by playing the lottery.

A cult involving a belief in supernatural mermaids is widespread, and growing in popularity, in West Africa, so it's not unlikely that some people in Zimbabwe have also heard of it or even follow it. For you ethnology buffs, this iconography is related both to the old Yoruba sea goddess and to the more modern figure of "Mami Wata," who is just as often associated with rivers and lakes as with the sea.
Posted by Big Gary in Ponder, Texas  on  Wed Mar 22, 2006  at  04:16 PM
Bah.. forget bull parts, you wouldn't *believe* the sort of things *my* 'strong parts' have found...


.. ok, I guess that just sounded funny because it's one in the morning..

Hmm.. 'Strong Parts'.. sounds like an X-rated version of a popular webtoon character...

"Dear Strong Parts, Where the heck is my car? I've looked everywhere, and still can't find it. Yours with much crap, Bob."
Posted by Robin Bobcat  on  Thu Mar 23, 2006  at  02:13 AM
Robin Bobcat, you owe me a new keyboard.
Posted by Boo  on  Thu Mar 23, 2006  at  03:15 AM
Mr Henderson:
What's more, Zimbabwe is completely landlocked, so I doubt whether mermaids are part of traditional beliefs.

Even if a country is landlocked, it still has water. Zimbabwe has many rivers, including the very large Zambezi river on its northwest border. Plenty of room for mermaids to frolick about.
Posted by AqueousBoy  on  Thu Mar 23, 2006  at  07:25 AM
No need to adjust the front of your car otherwise to install a motherboard or a lubrication pump. All wheel drive vehicles may require a tow bar off and remove the drive shaft for transport. Tractor trailer weight to these bars to evaluate between five hundred thousand and five hundred and the good thing is that the weight of the motor vehicle towed easily.
Posted by Tow bar  on  Wed Dec 16, 2009  at  11:18 PM
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