Over the years, myths are passed down to children and have gone far in history. Growing up in Nigeria, you most likely would have heard one or two of these myths. The belief in these myths is in one way or another linked with spirituality or spiritual beings.
Check out these myths most Nigerians believe to be true;
1. Walking over a pregnant woman
When you see a pregnant woman and her legs are in the way, it’s better you tell her to excuse you. You may not be able to handle the drama that comes after you cross or walk over her. If you happened to have walked over her, she may insist that you walk over her in reverse to undo that which has happened.
It’s believed that if you walk over a pregnant woman, the baby she is pregnant with will resemble you, not the actual parents.
This myth has become so grounded in the mind of so many Nigerians. Even children who are not pregnant will tell you not to cross or walk over them. They wouldn’t want their future children to resemble someone else.
2. Whistling at Night
While growing up, some people have gotten scolded or received knocks on their heads. They get that for whistling at night. This is a myth passed across various Nigerian tribes and cultures. Some Nigerian even grew up with this belief but weren’t told the consequences. They only know that it’s bad.
Here, if you whistle at night, you are inviting evil spirits and dangerous animals. Some Nigerians even believe that by whistling at night you will wake up the dead, and they might haunt you. There is also the belief that you will meet yourself at an unknown place when you whistle at night.
3. When the sun is shining and it starts to rain
This is another popular and interesting myth. Nigerians believe that when it rains while the sun is still out, a lioness is in delivery and will expecting a cub. Most children find the myth interesting because it means a ‘mini-lion’ is coming into the world.
The fun part is when the adults tell the children to run into the house and take cover indoors. However, science calls such an occurrence a sun shower.
4. Looking in a mirror at nighttime
The myth is more focused on newborn babies and children of young age. This myth is also known in diverse Nigerian tribes. Some believe that a child shouldn’t even be near a mirror because there are spirits that can call on such a child from the mirror. Also, that the baby might end up seeing a ghost instead of the baby’s reflection.
There is another belief that a baby that looks into a mirror may not grow teeth. There are some groups that even give the age at which a child can be in front of a mirror. The most common one is the child must be above the age of three.
5. Beating a boy with a broom
Yes, Nigerians find this funny. Still, a larger percentage of Nigerians are against the idea of beating a child with a broom. Now, we are not just talking of any child, but a male child.
Want to know why? Oh, that’s simple. Nigerians actually adhere to a myth. It’s a common misconception that striking a boy or man with a broom can cause his penis or manhood to become smaller.
6. An itchy palm is a sign of a Financial breakthrough
This is a sign that money is coming your way, more like a sign of good luck. Even to this present date, so many people think an itchy palm is a spiritual sign of wealth and fortune.
7. Continous Sneezing
Imagine walking with a Nigerian friend, and you keep sneezing. Well, don’t be surprised if that friend of yours tells you that someone somewhere is calling your name. It could also mean someone or some people are talking about you. Some Nigerians also believe that people are talking about you when your ear keeps buzzing.
8. Dogs barking at night
You will understand this if you live in a neighbourhood with lots of dog owners. You will notice that there are times when dogs bark for a long time, especially during nighttime. The Nigerian myth on this is that dogs have deep foresight and can sense the presence of evil spirits or ghosts.
When dogs keep barking for a long time at night, some women even tell their children to go inside the house and close the door.
This is a very popular Nigerian myth, especially among Yorubas. It says that when a person dies in the family, the person comes back into the family by rebirth. He or she will take the form of a newborn baby born into the family.
10. Spitting on the floor
The Nigerian myth about spitting is that when you spit on the floor, you should cover it up with sand. If you do not, you will have a sore throat if someone else stepped on it.
Most times parents tell their children these myths. They are to scare them because they believed them to be true. We must bear in mind that most myths don’t have scientific backing. But the good thing is that there are some morals and lessons attached to these myths. In fact, children get to enjoy a lot of stories based on these myths.