Glory, power, vanity, revenge, seduction, and the supernatural, “Sneaky Showbiz” is a US juvenile book and Amazon bestseller. Author Simo Ben Bachir sheds light on witchcraft in his country, Morocco, after investigating the extent of this phenomenon. The “art” of grandparents arouses all desires. In the midst of an in-depth investigation, the reporter intends to recall abuses by resorting to magic, a “weapon of mass destruction.” Pending a movie adaptation, “Sneaky Showbiz” arrives in France in early April.
We learn in your investigation that witchcraft is a practice “like any other practice” in Morocco. How do you explain its widespread use here and nowhere else?
Simon Ben Bashir There are several reasons why magic is so widespread in Morocco, despite its spread in other countries. First, because we are a crossroads country at the crossroads between Africa, Europe and the Arab world. There is a real question of identity because many aspire to a European destiny that overshadows their Africanness. In the Kingdom, many people suffer daily from uncertainty, fear of tomorrow, so there is a need to control this anxiety by all means by resorting to alternative powers. The lure of sailing, the difficulty of obtaining visas, and the influx of European and Middle Eastern tourists visiting the country en masse exert a real form of social pressure, the one-man gambit.
Authentic Morocco is not a golden riad and five-star hotels. Indeed, many of my countrymen dream of living by Western standards, even if it means invoking the occult sciences. In Europe, Moroccans are by far the number one nationality for migrants in terms of citizenship acquisition by the host country, according to the latest Eurostat data.
Traditionally in Moroccan customs and traditions, it is “normal” to force fate by asking for the help of magicians. There are neighborhood witches like shoemakers, hairdressers, bakers… It’s an inherited societal role. a woman who wants to keep the flame in her husband or drive out a rival goes to see a witch; A person who has a problem with an eminent person or is in a neighborhood conflict will also resort to this practice or, in another record, if one wants to get the job of his dreams, quit smoking, and of course marry a Westerner or an Emirati … Indeed, as In ancient times when we invoked the oracle, we have the same tendency to want to control our lives without questioning the moral aspect of having to cast a spell.
It is a never-ending story because, when a person realizes that he has been bewitched, he will also resort to an incantation to get rid of it… This is what I call the ‘Moorish drama’, an expression that recurs frequently in my letter. A book that tells all about this schizophrenia and exaggeration.
Your book begins with an important episode, the starting point of your investigation. You have been commissioned by a famous British media outlet to conduct an in-depth investigation after its journalist witnessed witchcraft while covering a traditional Moroccan wedding in a model village. As you explore, you discover real work. As a Moroccan, how shaken are you in your convictions?
If you use magic to satisfy your ego, heal yourself, and win a soccer match, good for you! On the other hand, I have a problem of conscience with those who are willing to do anything to harm others! Black magic is not a frivolous practice: its consequences are very real and devastating. Hollywood is full of movies and series that tell about this world that only the insiders know about. During this report in which I worked as an English translator, I discovered that even in the depths of a rural village one could try to break up a union on the very evening of the wedding night!
For me, magic is about “improving” one’s daily life, not exterminating people. I never imagined there was a real “raw material” business, to poach, to develop a spell like a cooking recipe. All this feeds into a huge speculative black market.
The fact that notorious figures like French Montana’s rapper Pamela Anderson openly stated that they were victims of “witchcraft” in Morocco does that comfort you in your style?
Their statements made headlines in the Anglo-Saxon and French newspapers, which began to listen. And the French singer Montana had stated in a television broadcast to an American media that ” The United States suffered from the popularization of firearms, which resemble weapons of mass destruction, and Morocco did not count its victims who were destroyed by magic.. Of course, these media outlets have been a godsend for my investigative writers in the sense of that Sneaky showbiz It will be shown for the first time in the United States. I live in Los Angeles, and I know many celebrities are in on the secret of these “alternative practices.”
Some of them don’t come to Marrakech just for the beauty of the place, they are driven by very specific goals. Glory at any cost and the irrational need to retain the attention of the public, and the world, is sometimes their ugly genius.
Simo Ben Bashir: My book leaves no one indifferent. It rocks, it questions, it makes you want to document yourself and, for some, take a trip to Morocco! (He laughs).”
How did you manage to convince Rukia – the most powerful witch in the kingdom – to open the doors of her private palace for you in Casablanca, where she caters to the most insane demands of the rich and famous?
Contact us immediately because we hate hypocrisy! R’Kia assumes its unconventional activity and knows that it does not spread the spirit of peace and love. Her clients think they are good people while they are driven by vanity, jealousy and vindictiveness who knock on her door. I accepted all terms set by R’Kia by maintaining absolute confidentiality, and amending the name of every customer I could monitor through my cache. I only revealed what you allowed me to share with the general public.
You especially single out “phantom influencers” who are willing to do anything to exist in the media, causing immeasurable harm among the youngest. This topic is particularly close to your heart in your book.
I am scarred by the tears of a Moroccan father who called me to tell me about his teenage daughter’s delinquency. A once bright student whose grades suddenly plummet. Her daughter has transformed herself into storytelling influences and sees school as a waste of time. It is unbearable for me to hear these bogus influencers told that they work hard to succeed, while being maintained by a sugar daddy, and in the face of “competition”, they use magic to maintain their favored position. It’s their choice, just as it is R’Kia’s choice to have the practice, but what about the feeble young brains?
We have not left out any details in your book, which will be published in France at the beginning of April. The process of becoming a “witch”, motivating clients, creating custom spells, providing raw materials… Your first book quickly became a bestseller across the Atlantic. Do you think you will see the same success in France?
I think so for several reasons. In the United States, this topic is less known to the general public, in contrast to France, which shares a greater closeness with Morocco. Also, there are regular controversies about ‘Murabet’, black magic… Until recently, there was the ‘Pogba case’. As a watermark of Moroccan charm, my book deals with vanity, jealousy, and universal human failures. My book leaves no one indifferent. It rocks, it questions, it makes you want to document yourself and, for some, take a trip to Morocco! (He laughs).
Many pages are devoted to the incredible strength of the hyena, an animal that is undergoing a real war of poaching on the black market… For those with a single gram, anything becomes possible. Tell us what you learned.
Her code name is also Avatar or Cobra, I have devoted an extensive chapter to this sacred animal in this microcosm. 1 gram of hyena’s brain sells for 5,000 euros in this market, because its power is enormous. During my investigation, I discovered that women seeking a good match, and an important position in society, applied hyena powder to their faces by mixing this elixir with mascara, and penciled their eyebrows. All they need is to stare at you for a moment to dazzle you and make you fall under their spell, when for you it is a real shock, like lobotomization!
At a party I attended in Marrakesh, the powerful businessman instantly became a “thing” for the woman who carried hyena powder inside of her. Furthermore, it is the only “raw material” that R’kia personally travels to obtain. Without unpacking the topic further, I can say that in the memory of the journalist and reporter, I have rarely seen anything so powerful and wonderful!
Hollywood is looking at you…so was I Get close to looking at screen adaptation. will you follow up
It’s a fairly mid-range project. For now, I am focused on publishing my book in several languages to reach a worldwide readership. I am above all a pen, a journalist, writing is very important to me. I am also comforted to see that paper still has a bright future in many countries, and my book is currently translated into Japanese, Spanish, Italian… where there is strong demand. One of the things I am most proud of is getting a score of five out of five from the College of American Authors, whose rating determines the book’s release.
Convincing these remarkably early and influential readers was a source of immense joy. In fact, I first enjoy the success of my first “baby” before looking at the cinema side, platforms like Netflix.
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