Africans are well-known around the world for their undying belief in the spiritual. The dead and gone even have sacred dates and special festivals dedicated to them as a show of reverence and a means of connecting with them over there in the afterlife.
We call them our ancestors.
It therefore shouldn’t come as a surprise that we Africans are regarded as arguably the most superstitious race in the world. And, by the way, superstitions are beliefs and behaviors that are based on fear of the unknown and faith in magic or luck.
These beliefs are being handed down from generation to generation and even now, a lot of people still hold them seriously. Stick with us as we take you on a ride through seven of the most ridiculous ones.
Never whoop a male child with broom
This is one of the most popular superstitious beliefs in Nigeria and Africa by extension. Male children are never to be beaten with a broom as you might just end up sweeping their genitalia away. It is believed that this would cause their genitals to mysteriously vanish.
Of course, male children are mostly annoying and troublesome. And as a typical African mother or parent, you must not spare the rod. However, you can use anything on them, but never a broom.
Well, except if you wish to have them to a eunuch mysteriously!
Crossing a pregnant woman’s stretched out legs
Millions of dollars have been spent on researching the cause of that deep-rooted bond between parents and offspring and how DNA plays a big role in how we take after our parents and close bloodlines.
All those funds are being put to shame by our ancestors who seem to always have the answers to just about everything. They believe that all it takes for an unborn baby to look like someone is to have that person cross over the pregnant mother of that baby.
This belief is so strong that most pregnant women will have you – uncross them – cross back the way you came if you mistakenly cross them over while they are lying down. It even gets worse if you are known to be a well-known troublemaker or a never do well.
Of course, no one wants a child like you.
Eyelashes induce amnesia
How many times have we tried this simple hack out as kids, desperately hoping to get away from an ass whooping from our parents but yet getting let down – time and time again?
This belief is a popular one among kids. The general idea is that you can get people to forget any ill you’ve done to them by simply plucking one of your eyelashes and dropping it in their shoes.
Okay. So I’ve been thinking.
• Our Nigerian government owes the Chinese government a humongous debt.
• Our Nigerian president drops one of his eyelashes in the shoes of the Chinese president during one of their numerous meetings
• Bingo! Debt forgotten.
You are welcome.
The legend of the sunny-rainy noon
It is widely believed in Nigeria that once it is raining and the sun is shining at the same time, then a leopard must be giving birth. Of course, just like all other superstitions, no one knows the logic behind this. No one has the answers. And neither does anyone know the origin.
Or, could it have been some ancient hunter who was fortunate enough to walk in on a leopard in labor on a sunny, rainy afternoon?
Coconut water as IQ drainer!
If you are hoping to give birth to the next Einstein or Socrates, then this is one you probably should not miss. It is widely believed in Nigeria that the more coconut water children drink, the dumber they become.
No one knows the relation between this delicious, nutritious, harmless gift of nature and a low IQ anyways, and we don’t even know whom to ask. But, I guess the fear of having little dull John Bulls running around the house is too real for parents to allow even a little sip.
Itchy palm? Money is coming
An itchy palm is one of the best omens a man can experience in Nigeria. Once you feel it, it is generally believed to be the universe’s way of telling you that you are about to get money.
And no! It doesn’t even really matter whether you have done anything to warrant you having a payday, you are just about to get some cash; deserved or not.
Did I hear you ask, but what if it’s just an allergic reaction?
Well, who are we to argue with our ancestors?
Looking between your legs at night in the market
So, we wrap up with this absolutely scary one from our book of Nigerian superstitions. Just as we stated in our opening paragraph, there is a huge belief in ghosts and the afterlife in our part of the world, and there are several doorways by which the living can see and connect with them. One of them is by bending down and looking right through your legs in a marketplace at night.
It is widely believed that ghosts come out to the market at night to buy and sell and they take the form of regular human beings in disguise. And, the only way you can tell who is by bending over and peeping through your legs. This however comes with some warning though. It is believed that these ghosts might get mad at you for spying on them and do some hurtful things to you like, giving you a vicious knock on the head.
People all over the world have their myths and superstitions, regardless of race, tribe, or tongue. While some people argue that these beliefs are just pointless myths, others believe there is more to them and argue that they should be adhered to, since they are a part of us.
Please let us know your view about them in the comment section.