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Crazy Superstitious beliefs that work?! (2)
I believe most people know by now that Africa is the land of superstitions? So after writing about some crazy African superstitious beliefs that we are always aware of consciously and/or unconsciously in and around the place I live in Nigeria, I felt compelled to continue with that line of story i.e. with that type of incredible(?) tales this time once again. So I went back and searched some more to find out if I can still find out some more superstitious beliefs. Oh boy! Luckily for us, I found some more. From the mild and funny to the bizarre and to the utterly confounding, I found some more of them. And so I present them to you once again…
Answering a call from an unknown caller…
Have you ever witness this situation whereby by you hear someone call your name but you don’t seem to know who the caller is or where he/she is calling you from like in the case of Young Samuel in the Bible? Well if it happens to you around my area, you will hear elders around forbidding you from answering such a call. It is superstitiously believed that if you dare answer the call, something terrible will surely happen to you. Some people are said to have lost their senses by answering to such calls while I have also heard that some people even died because of the same reason. Now your question, what if you ‘mistakenly’ answer such a call? Don’t bother, those same elders or parents around you will immediately order to say this: “I did not answer!”
By saying that, you will have nothing to fear again. You are safe from any form of harm from the unknown caller who is obviously planning some evil for you!
There is great power in a person's name
By now, it is no more news that almost all African names have some meanings attached to them. Our African names are derived from many events or history or ideas. Some names are as a result of triumphant wars which our forefathers won in the past, some names serve as a reminder of something that happened sometimes in that particular family and so on. Our African names have deep meanings!
But there is more to our names…
Do you know that we strongly believe that a person’s name has a very great influence in his or her life? Let’s say something (most times something good) happens to someone and surprisingly people will start asking about what this person’s name is. They are doing this to find out if what happened to him corresponds to the type of name he bears! Examples of this abound but one clear one that is making waves in Nigeria currently is the Nigerian President whose name is Goodluck Jonathan. People now associate everything about this man with good luck!
This Nigerian President is certainly a worthy candidate for the famous Guinness Book of Record for being the only Nigerian so far in history to have become a governor and later a President without facing any direct election in a supposed democracy and if you ask any sane Nigerian you come across what he thinks is responsible for this, you will most likely get the same answer that it is the 'good luck' which is in his name that is responsible for such remarkable achievements. Simple!
Oho! Please don’t ask me if to ask them if Goodluck is actually an African name?
All the same, watch it when you name your child(ren). The names you give them today will definitely have great influence in what they become in later in life! At least going by these crazy superstitious beliefs…
Spiritual bondage of curses known as sins of the father
Are you always going through hard times in your life? Have you observed how it appears life is so difficult for you especially when you notice that under the same condition, people around you are always ‘progressing’ more and more while you are ‘going down’? Are you always having one form of financial difficulty or another? Do you think it is ordinary that nothing promising or good or special can be attached to your name?
If you take your time and ask some elderly African what he thinks is the cause of your predicament, don’t be surprised when he tells you to go and ask questions about your ancestors!
This is what we call the sins of the father or ancestral curses and it is deeply entrenched in the African superstitious belief system. It is generally believed that what our forefathers did in the past has a great influence in what happens to us today. I have heard about instances where some people who are going through some very severe difficulties such as no childbirth and barrenness, lack of finance, marital difficulties, insanity and poor mental health, poor physical health, late or no marriages, untimely deaths etc. are advised to carry out certain sacrifices to appease certain gods or people concerning what their forefathers did or didn’t do way back in the past!
And the funny…
Dogs and dog eaters…
If you live in some part of Africa (Nigeria) where eating of dogs is considered somewhat a taboo like in my area in Igboland, then you will understand this very well. It is strongly believed that dogs have a way of knowing people who eat dogs.
How is this possible?
If you ask around, you will be told that you should observe most people. If you notice that dogs normally bark at such people when they pass by, then that is the real sign that that very person is a confirmed dog-eater!
Do dogs bark at you often? Are you sure you are not a dog-eater? Hahaha!
My confusion here is that I keep on imagining what dogs will be doing if they go to areas, like Calabar, Nigeria where dog meat is considered one of the best delicacies you can ever taste?
They could bark themselves to sore throat!
Spiritual transfer of one’s wealth and good fortunes
The spiritual transfer of one’s wealth is very possible. There are certain things you will likely do and it is believed that your money will be spiritually transferred to someone else.
In Nigeria, some people find it hard to give alms to beggars. This is neither because they are so hard-hearted nor is it because they don’t have the money or gift to give. No! It is simply because it is superstitiously believed that some of those beggars you see here and there on the roads are not ‘real’ beggars in the real sense of the word. Some of them, it is widely and strongly believed, are evil people who are on a wicked mission to transfer someone’s wealth to their own. And if you mistakenly give them your money, you are finished! No stories!
There is another angle whereby it is believed that some occultists have the ability to transfer your money to their own by simply giving you their own money! To protect yourself and your money from such evil attack, often times you see some people tearing off just a small bit of the Naira notes they receive from others at the edges just to play safe!
Some crazy thoughts of mine here…what do you think will happen if such an occultist give such a ‘beggar’ his money?
You see? There’s going to be a cataclysmic to and fro transfers of evil money…just my crazy thoughts!
The things these superstitions can do!
This superstitious belief in the spiritual transfer of does not end in the transfer of money also. It is believed that other things such as a person’s good fortune in life and health can also be taken from a person if he/she if the person has the misfortune to get involved with such (a) diabolic individual(s). It is generally believed that you could easily become a victim or such a diabolic person either by eating his/her food or by engaging in sexual acts with them. I have also heard that this so called transfer of ‘good luck’ can also be done through the communal killing of cows during the burial of a departed family in when someone dies in that particular family.
This reminds me…let me recount what happened sometime ago. There is this group of Arabic beggars from Niger commonly found in some places like motor parks and busy markets in Nigeria. On this very day of our story, one bosomy lady who was walking past a motor park was accosted by this young Arab beggar. After it seemed like this lady was not going to bulge in giving the poor boy some alms, the boy reached out and squeezed her breasts and then he ran away. The bewildered onlookers amongst which were many loafers and commercial cyclists popularly known as ‘okada’men immediately started telling the lady that the mischievous beggar has just possibly taken all the breast milk reserved for her future-children to come.
You should have seen the scene! On hearing this, the visibly alarmed lady started sending and raining curses and abuses on the retreating poor beggar demonstrating the sending of those abusive words to the boy by throwing her right hand in the air in the direction of the retreating figure while clutching her two big things with the other hand in a demonstration of protection. One expletive I kept on hearing from the lady directed to boy was ‘Jesus!’ and ‘back to sender!’
Do you blame the lady? Don’t please because it all boils down to superstitious belief at the end of the day.
Mammy water and her agents
It is believed in this part of the world that ladies from the underworld who are said to live in the bottom of rivers and oceans can actually take up human forms and live amongst people. These ladies are said to be half-human half –fish! Such ladies are known as mermaids or better still, they are popularly called mammy water in the everyday Nigerian diction. Mammy water and her agents are said to be very pretty and they are very capable of helping complying people (mostly men) or completely destroying them if they choose to.
Tales are abound on how these mermaids have given great talents and subsequently huge successes to some popular musicians in Nigeria. There are also tales about how they have equally destroyed many homes by bringing about marital problems in many homes. This strange belief in mermaids have even be spread in Christian beliefs to the extent that many Pentecostal pastors and preachers now cast away and bind the spirit of mammy water or marine spirit from their troubled and possessed members during church deliverance sessions.
That is the extent to which it has gotten.
Our people do not joke with dreams. Almost all dreams have one or two connotations…superstitious connotations, that is. For example eating in the dreams is interpreted as a sign for impending serious ill health or sickness for the dreamer. It can also be interpreted as being initiated into one secret society/fraternity or another.
Also, dreaming about the past so often is not seen a good thing. It is usually interpreted as a sign of a major setback or glitch for the dreamer.
Similarly, seeing snails in the dream is also another sign of backwardness apparently due to slow motion movement of snails. But the seeing of snails in the dream has another interpretation as it sometimes depend on who is dreaming because I have heard some people say that if a pregnant woman sees snails in their dreams, that is a clear indication that she is going to deliver a baby girl!
I don’t actually think I should include this one here because from the stories and bizarre news we have heard, ritual killing is real, it is much more than superstitions. There are tales about how people (mostly children) disappear or are kidnapped for ritual purposes. The tongues and private parts of the victims are then extracted to be used for ritual purposes of making money...stupendous wealth!
You will also hear the tales of such ritual killers prevent their wives from entering certain rooms in their homes. These sacred and forbidden rooms are believed to harbor the dead bodies of their victims. These dead bodies are said to be vomit so much paper money when their names are called by the ritual killers.
You may decided to say this is utterly incredible i.e. the ritualistic killing of people for exchange of money in but the facts that people keep on disappearing and we are still read about mutilated and decapitated torsos and headless bodies surfacing here and there in the newspapers goes to show that it is beyond mere superstition.
And the utterly confounding…
Dead women are buried with dolls
Yes the utterly confounding. Pregnant women who die while giving birth or women who die when they are still breastfeeding their babies are buried with dolls. If no dolls are available, cut plantain stems can be substituted for the same purpose.
Of course, superstition has it that it is to save the life of her baby because it is believed that the dead woman will most likely come back to take the child but she will now have the doll instead of her baby as a form of distraction.
There was this story that made round about the ghost of one dead woman who kept on coming to the hospital to take her baby whom she still breastfeeding before her untimely death. We have also heard stories of one woman who actually came into the hospital to take a baby. This baby was reported missing.When the missing baby was finally found, she was found in the most unbelievable place you can imagine: the baby was lying dead in the arms of the dead woman whose remains were still lying in the morgue!
Dead people are capable of revenging their deaths
Speaking about the dead, it is believed that people who died suddenly under suspicious circumstances are empowered with weapons so as to revenge their deaths. If someone is believed to have been killed by his enemies, especially under questionable circumstances, he is provided with some form of weapon such as knife during his burial together with strong words/command to avenge his death.