Africa Myth Mythology

Top 7 Interesting African Myth About Life And Beyond

African myth has always being a part of our history and it is a tale that has gone down memory lane.

There are many colourful flowers on the part of life, but the prettiest have the sharpest thorns. (African)

Oral tradition is the major way of passing information and knowledge. Storytelling/cave paintings are also some of the mediums employed.

In the course of the narrative, African myth was created. There are numerous reasons why this myth was formed but as generation passed, we tend to lose the main sense while they were established in the first place.

Why the Myth Was Created

African myth was created to contain some bad habits, reform the society, and diplomatically teach life lessons.

It was formed to call into essence the existence of the gods, their roles in our lives and our undivided believe in worship.

Thus this African myth was cultivated but when the purpose of a thing is unknown, abuse is inevitable.

As days turn into year’s, people forget about the main essence of this myth and they became superstitious. 

Some of the African myth might be true but since there is no credible proof to show the authenticity, the true validity is being questioned.

These myths might sound/look ridiculous, but do bear in mind that it is the belief of a people and should be respected no matter the cost.

With that being said, I welcome everyone to another adventurous journey with me. Take a seat and let’s discuss African myth.

MYTH 1

A woman Should Always Eat Okro When Pregnant.

Okro plant myth
Okro plant

This African myth originated from the Yoruba people of the Southwest in Nigeria. I can not pin how and when it came to being, however, I always come in contact with older women who advice young mothers to eat lots of okro when pregnant.

It is believed that when taken, labour is easy for the soon to be mum and she will also push freely without stress.

In other words, eating okro overtime during pregnancy helps the birth canal. Also because of the slimy nature of okro, the child easily passes through.

To learn more about this plant, Click here.

MYTH 2

A Pregnant Woman Should Not Be Out In The Sun Between 1 to 2 pm

Africa is a hot continent and oh boy, it is extremely hot sometimes. It is so hot at times that one can cook beans with it. Just joking.

The sun is usually at its peak at about 1 to 2 pm and during this time, pregnant women are admonished to stay indoor. It is believed that, at this time of the day, extraterrestrial beings are among us.

There is a good and bad spirit, nevertheless, it is advisable for expecting mothers to stay indoors. It is said that if one is out by that time and one unknowing walk past and evil spirit, the star of the child might be stolen.

What this means is that being an extraterrestrial being, they could see the future of the unborn child. And with their powers, they could take the child’s glory.

Some of these beings can also change the sex of a child, exchange his fortune or at worst, kill the child. Due to these reasons expecting mothers are to stay home during this time.

Now, if it’s of uttermost importance that she must go out, then she has to attach a safety pin under her clothes or put a stone in her pocket. Especially if she is going to the market.

If she does these things, the evil spirit won’t be able to harm her child in any way.

MYTH 3

Wearing Tiro On A Child Makes Him See Better.

What was the first thing that came into your mind when you read this? Well, it is just the way it is.

Tiro African makeup
Tiro ( Traditional African lead)

Living in Lagos Nigeria, I see kids wear tiro also called, tozali or traditional lead. Being a curious one, I asked some of the mothers why they rub this on their child. And the all-purpose answer is, it makes them see better.

I thought it was just for beautification only. Little did I know that there was more. I went further to ask some of the mothers putting it on also. I ask if the lead also made them see better and they said yes.

Black kids with tiro
Black kids wearing tiro under the eyes

Of course, what would you expect? Do I expect them to tell me no, of course not? Although I don’t believe in it, I left them to their fate.

A white kid with tiro
A white kid with tiro

My challenge came when I gave birth to my son and my mother in law was rubbing this same powder on my son’s eyes. When I asked her “why,” she said it will make him see better.

Oh mine, I was boiling inside. How do I tell this woman I don’t believe in this? After all, there is no eye defeat of any kind. I tried talking to my husband to discuss with his mum, but he was in full support.

She said am behaving like a white woman and I said no am not. I don’t just believe in it. It was a trying time for me I must confess.

A month later when we went back to the hospital, a lady brought in her son. She complained about some rashes growing around the child’s eyes. The matron asked her if she was rubbing tiro on his eyes and she said yes.

She advises her to stop it as the child might be allergic to it. She also added that the belief that it makes children see better is fake. ( At the last, someone agrees with me).

After that incident, I confidently told my husband to talk to his mum. I told him what matron said at the hospital and about the child they brought in. Although noting is happening to our son when he rubs it, but I don’t want to take chances.

The next day, grandma wanted to apply this tiro again. How do I stop her? My baby does not even like it on him. So as grandma was trying to rub it on his eyes, he was fighting back. Kicking his legs.

Hold still grandma said but my son was still kicking hard. I sat there helpless watching the drama. In my mind, I wished the container of the tiro will just fall and throw away.

In a twinkle of an eye, it did. Wow, what a great relieve. We won the battle. Grandma was so furious and she said take your son. I gladly took my baby and left the room. It was a triumphant victory for me and that was the end of tiro.

A few months later, my elder sister called and said she was having some eye problem but with the help of tiro on her eyes, the pains are reducing.

In essence, this African myth is true because it is proven but it does not also stop the fact that it is also dangerous. What if you are allergic to it as the baby?

Wisdom is profitable to direct.

Myth 4.

Do Not Answer Your Name At Night

It is believed that spirit take the forms of humans and for them to be able to achieve this, they call out the name of the individuals.

Also, because spirits do not want people to know about their deeds, they call out at night.

So let’s say, perchance you heard your name while you were outside the house, do not answer but walk-up to the person you think might be calling you.

If you think it was your mum, dad,  friend or a relative, just walk up to them if they are close by, or give them a call if they are far away but do not answer the call. Most especially if it is a voice you do not recognise.

What happens if you answer the call?

If the person calling is a spirit, tales have it that, the individual will vanish instantly or the person will be walking to where the call came from.

From tales told, the individual involved has no idea about what’s going on. He can walk without stopping until it gets to his destination. Which is usually not in the open.

It takes the grace of another supreme being/ someone who has witnessed this and knows how to correct this, to bring back the individual to his senses.

 

Myth 5

Do Not Allow Anyone To Touch Your Forehead Or That Of Your Child

It is believed that the forehead holds the destiny and light of a man.

Furthermore, it is said that the head is the most important part of a human. So if a bad person wants to carry out evil intention, he goes for the forehead.

Destiny can be or change just by merely touching the head as they say. So one should be careful as to who touched the head.

Unexplained illness can also be passed through this medium and it takes one with spiritual eyes to note this.

For you can be suffering for years without knowing the root of the problem.

Myth Six

Do Not Sit With One Leg Inside The House And One Leg Outside

Let’s take for instance the room is hot and you decide to sit at the entrance to the house with one leg out and the other in.

Dad said you are sitting in between worlds. The physical and the spiritual. Scary right?

Dad said little accident can take your life depending on the stronger side. Life or death.

For example, as you go inside the house to get something and you hit your leg, the wound might be dangerous.

You will wonder if it is the little hit that cost this big damage.

Myth 7

The Water Used in Bathing A New Born Should Not Be Flush Down The Toilet Nor Thrown Away Outside.

The first time  I heard this,  was like come on. What’s this? Must there be significance to everything in Africa?

Yes, there is.

This myth is so funny. The reason why you should not throw the water outside is this.

It is believed that, when you throw the water outside, and people step on it, the baby will develop back pains.

Also, flush the water down the toilet should also be avoided. This I have no idea why.

If you must do any of the above,  you should wash the baby’s cloth or any other cloth in the water. By doing this, the water is mixed.

Another interesting thing about this myth is that, when you use this water to bath and older sibling, they develop an unbreakable bond and love for each other.

This might be some myth but I  believe we can learn one or two from it or do further research on them

That’s it, guys.  Seven African Myth about life and beyond. If you’ve heard or known about any myth, please share with me in the comment section below as I would love to learn from you.

Also, I would love to know your thoughts concerning this myth. Do have a nice day and see you on my next adventure.

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