Children playing in the rain
Growing up in Nigeria is definitely interesting as children were made to believe different myths for one reason or the other, and we bring it all to you today!
Below are some of the common myths which growing up in Nigeria thought us;
1. You must not sit on the mortar
Most homes have mortar and pestle as pounded yam is wildly eaten in every part of Nigeria. The mortar for its round structure could be seen as a stool and people often sit on them. Growing up, it was believed that if you sit on the mortar, your butt would swell. Many people would have known by now that this is not true. Elders probably said this for us to learn to keep the mortar clean and to avoid breaking air into it.
2. If you beat a boy with broom, his penis would be affected
Now this is hilarious. Most men still avoid being beaten by broom till now for fear of having a shrunk penis. This myth is so popular most people do not know if it happens for real or not. Moreover, no one is ready to experiment since an important organ is involved. Men do not even like people teasing them with being beaten by broomstick.
3. Coconut water makes you a dullard
The head of fish was dreaded by most people while growing up as a regular Nigerian kid because of this myth. This is because, the eye of a fish is presumed to make one fail in school if eaten. There were even songs sang to children who failed in school as a result of them eating the eye of a fish. Till date, most people still avoid eating that part of the fish and pop out the eye before eating. Some even avoid the entire head.
5. If you look at your shadow at night you will have bad dreams
Many children were told this myth and they avoided looking at their shadows at night so they would not have nightmares. The shadows were presumed to be scary and many children even cried upon seeing their shadows.
6. Collecting rainwater from the rooftop with your hand could kill you
Children were told this myth about the thunder and lightning striking anyone who collected water with his hands from the rooftop. Most families put out bowls and buckets to fetch water from the rooftop when it starts to rain. Most children enjoy playing in the rain and collecting water from the rooftop with their curved palms is their idea of perfect fun. This myth however made most children shiver at the thought of being killed while doing so.
7. Whistling at night brings in snakes
Many of us still believe in this myth. Whistling at night makes your house opened to snakes as they would crawl in at the sound of your whistle. Children were also warned to avoid blowing whistle in the night for the same reason.
8. Seeing the sun when it is raining means the lion is giving birth
Most people believed this myth so much they still say it as adults. Seeing the sun shine at the same time when the rain falls is overwhelming. The best interpretation for this then was that the lion was giving birth.
9. Sleeping with legs on the wall means you are a witch
Many sleep in different positions; having a bed put up beside a wall may prompt most people to want to put their legs on the wall. Being caught in this position by anyone means you are a witch. And worse still, you have gone to attend meeting with your witchcraft members.
10. Singing to the egret would make your nails white
The egret is the bird often seen when cattle herds drive their cows around. Most children believe singing a song to the egret would make your nails have white spot in them. This myth was so believed, children would leave their playing ground to sing to the egrets so they could have whiter nails.