In a chapter on African football/soccer, David Goldblatt’s The Ball is Round: A Global History of Soccer has this sentence: “Muti, ju-ju, m’pungu, blimba are just some of the many words in African languages for the complex of beliefs that are held in the supernatural, in the animist realm of the spirit and in practices of witchcraft, magic and divination.” The only one of these terms I was familiar with was juju (as it’s spelled in the US), “a fetish, charm, or amulet of West African peoples,” which is probably from a source related to Hausa jūjū ‘fetish, evil spirit’ (though the OED entry, from 1901, says “generally thought to be < French joujou toy, plaything”). Muti, it turns out, is familiar enough in the English of southern Africa to have its own OED entry; its meaning is very similar, and it’s from Zulu umuthi ‘tree, plant; medicine, medicinal charm’ (umu-, singular noun prefix + –thi ‘tree’). Mpungu, according to this site, is “a KiKongo word that refers to power generated by something.” But I can’t find anything about blimba. I’ve tried “balimba,” “bulimba,” and “bilimba” (since the book has its fair share of typos), but no luck. So I thought I’d turn to the Varied Reader: any of you have any idea what he’s referring to?