I hail from Nigeria and the magic in Nigeria is something that goes deeper than what the eyes can see... it's a kind of magic you can feel. My hope is that with my content here on Vocal, I will be able to give you lot a little dose of that Nigerian magic ever so frequently. So bookmark my page, look out for my content, and by all means, say hello and please tip. I'm a writer in Nigeria, you don't know how much your tips mean to me. Thank you!
After a long long LONG time (sorry by the way), here are numbers five through one of my "10 Crazy Nigerian Myths" list. Numbers ten through six can be found here.
Inachalo River & The Inachalo Fish
All the way in Kogi state is a river called "Inachalo River" which legend has it, is cursed.
Any fish that is caught from the Inachalo River can never cook. No matter how long it is boiled, no matter how much it is fried, the Inachalo fish will always be raw. In fact, people today who live in that area say that the fishes that swim in that river are not your usual tilapia, igagu (local fish), or catfish like normal fresh water rivers would have. According to them, the Inachalo fish "look terrible and nobody ever catches it."
Crazy right? Well, that's not all. According to legend, if a person were to be injured by the bones of the Inachalo fish, the injury will never heal.
Legend has it that during a war a long time ago, humans turned into these fish and escaped into the Inachalo river, hence why the Inachalo fish are so supernatural.
The Evil Passenger
This is a Nigerian legend that is lesser known but is creepy all the same.
As the legend goes, a traveler was driving down a highway one afternoon when he suddenly saw a nun at the side of the street, signaling him to stop.
Alerted and sympathetic, the innocent traveler stopped and asked the woman to hop in to his vehicle.
Not long into the journey, the traveler began to ask the nun questions about who she was, where she was going, and her life.
The nun stayed mute. The traveler continually asked but the nun said nothing in reply.
Getting worried, the traveler asked her again, “Who are you?”, to which the woman finally replied to him saying that she was a nun who was murdered by her townspeople.
Scared and in shock, the traveler urged the woman to come down from his vehicle, but the nun refused.
Legend has it that the traveler was killed that day, and up until this day, the nun roams the streets, highways, and bushes looking for her next capture.
This story has alternate versions with prostitutes, school girls, and other types of people hence why I titled it “The Evil Passenger” instead of "The Evil Nun."
Legend has it that once upon a time, there lived a very nice secondary school teacher. She was famous not for her good looks, but for the high-heel shoes she constantly wore to school. The "koi koi koi" sound of her heels coined her the name "Lady Koi Koi" and she was adored throughout the school.
The clouds turned grey and the story went grim when Lady Koi Koi was involved in an automobile accident. According to the legend, it was not natural and the beautiful teacher was framed and killed by some jealous staff and students in the boarding school.
Lady Koi Koi turned vicious and swore to get revenge for her untimely death by attacking students in boarding schools. According to legend, her presence is known by the distinct "koi koi koi" sound of her heels every time she walks into a new boarding house, and students are warned to stay in their rooms and close to friends and loved ones whenever they hear such.
Lady Koi Koi still lives on according to urban legend, the question is: where would she be "koi-ng" to next!
Miscellaneous Myths (10 - 6)
For numbers two and one, I will be telling you about myths that do not necessarily have stories attached to them. These are just practices and beliefs in certain communities, a lot of which are still practiced today. I'll do five here, and another five for Number 1. Hold tight!
- 10. In some parts of Nigeria, you are only allowed to walk into a room where someone died, backwards. Violators of this rule risk getting slapped by angry spirits.
- 9. It's forbidden to pick wild cherry early in the evening because the spirits love playing by the cherry trees and most times, they congregate under the cherry trees at evenings.
- 8. In some Yoruba lands, pregnant women are not allowed to go close to corpses.
- 7. In some parts of Nigeria, you are not to lift babies high in the air at night or during the early evenings because it is believed that spirits fly at that time.
- 6. If you hit someone with a knife by mistake, you must stab the knife on the ground immediately.
Miscellaneous Myths (5 - 1)
- 5. In some parts of Igbo land, it is forbidden to sleep with your legs facing the door because only spirits sleep this way.
- 4. You shouldn't go to some streams after 6 PM and 5 AM. If you must, then when u get to the stream, you must clap and wait for some minutes before going any further. This is because the water spirits might be playing and your clapping is meant to inform them of your presence so they have time to disappear.
- 3. In some parts, it is taboo to sweep and pack dirt at night.
- 2. In some villages, you can't kill a snake because the snakes (Eke Njaba) are the owners of the land. If they enter your home, you must offer them food and treat them as a guest. Once they're done, you must then remove them with a stick.
- 1. Myths of bleeding trees, which are trees which bleed real blood are common in multiple parts of Nigeria like Ota, Ogun State and Okrika, Rivers State.
That concludes the end of this two-part list. I hope you find them interesting. I'm going to try to post more often. There's so many rituals, traditions, stories, folklore that you just have to hear about from Nigeria. Nigerian folklore is a distinct kind of magic, I'm here to charm you!
Please don't forget to share. Please don't forget to tip. It all goes such a long way. Thank you so much for reading.
Until next time...