Growing up in Nigeria, is a myth on its own. There were a lot of stories we were told. From how the tortoise cracked its shell to how the Lion became the king.
I personally believe that these were the best times of our lives.
Do you remember the myths we were told as children? The stories our parents told us as a way to either control or scare us? Thinking about it now, we were really gullible.
You cannot tell any kid these myths now. They will just go to Google to confirm it. Internet killed our fun last last.
Lets walk down memory lane a bit. Here are six myths/superstitions that we probably thought were true. Comment if you relate to any or simply add yours.
Seeds and crops growing in your belly.
The number of things we were told would grow inside our belly or worse, out of our heads eh… I remember when my parents said if I swallowed an orange seed, the tree would grow out of my belly. I freaked out a bit when I swallowed one by mistake. I would go to the mirror everyday, look at my navel to see if a branch was on its way out. But it was all lies. It didn’t stop at orange seeds, there was also rice and basically any food crop they felt you ate too much. I once asked my dad why his belly was so round and he said it was the orange seed he once swallowed that was growing in him 😂😂.
Zobo is made from blood
Low budget movies caused this. Back then, Nollywood would use zobo for blood effect and if you grew up in Southern Nigeria, you’ll understand how this quickly turned to a real deal. A lot of zobo sellers lost on this count. There were rumours of women using their blood to make zobo. It was said that those who drink the herbal juice would be visited at night. I remember when I had zobo as a kid. I had the color stain on my tongue. After getting my day’s whooping, my siblings went on about how I have drank someone’s blood and would be called at night. Its funny now, but it wasn’t then.
Don’t pick food from the floor because the Devil has eaten it
I understand that this was a way of maintaining hygiene but the devil? 😂😂. Our folks were extreme. You will see your perfect biscuit or sweet drop to the ground but you cannot pick it back up because you don’t want to “dine with the devil”.
Whistling at night invites demons
I think till this day, there are people who actually believe this. Growing up in Nigeria, you must have heard this a lot. Whistling at night is considered an act of witchcraft or something evil and forbidden. I remember one time we were at the village for Christmas. I was really little. I was whistling Christmas songs and for that reason, my cousins were asked to stay away from me. I loved whistling and it made them think I was “calling the spirits” so you cannot even imagine how it was for me.
When rain and sun collides, it means a lion/elephant is giving birth
For some it was Lion and for others who grew up in the South like me, it was elephant. We even had a song for this; “Rain dey fall, sun dey shine, wetin dey happen? Na elephant dey born pikin…”. This is not true though but it was a fun song to sing
If a lizard does not eat your broken milk teeth, it will never grow back
At this point, we may all need therapy because we went through a lot 😂😂. While kids in the states would put their milk tooth under the pillow for the toothfairy to get it and give them a present (making money from a broken tooth. Chai!!), we were told to throw ours on the roof so a lizard could eat them, otherwise our teeth would not grow back. I remember when my molars were taking its time to drop back out, all my classmates started asking me if a lizard ate my broken teeth. I told them I didn’t see the lizard do it but I threw them on the roof and when I checked, they were gone so the lizard must have taken them 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣. My molars are here now so I guess the lizard did them.
There are many other myths of course but lets stop here for today.
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