What will mussa not see at the gate? You just needed to do one of their don’ts and gbaaammm! you received a slap from grandma or grandpa. The don’ts we’re just too many. At times I used to think they didn’t enjoy their youthful age that was why they were bugging mine.

It was commonplace to hear my grandma say if I did something, the effects will come back to me in no time. There were times I was tempted to believe because she spoke them with so much conviction and seriousness. I of all people cannot tell an elderly woman she is/was lying. It looked so disrespect. So, I am right to say we believed these myths out of respect .

Let’s mention some of those myths our grandparents told us when we were younger

You invite the devil when you whistle at night

There was this day my grandma was singing at night and when I answered the chorus while whistling, she shut me up immediately with an attempt to slap me. “Don’t you know children don’t whistle in the night? You are inviting the devil. I am still waiting to wait for the devil until today to come and catch me. 

The devil takes away your voice when crying at night

Then it didn’t end there. She succeeded to give me the slap. When I started crying, as usual, grandma held my mouth tight with her right hand, struggling so hard for my mouth to shut up. But the usual Eduke wouldn’t stop crying. Then she said, “Devil di take any man whey ei di cry ei voice go for night…” Then, I looked left, right, up and down in that dark room and decided to stay quiet. I knew it was an attempt to make me shut up but I had no option but to stop. 

The village juju records everything you say about it and the penalty is flogging.

We sat beside the 3 stone fireside, looking after the fresh meat my dad brought home from hunting. We had to wait for the water in it to get dry before storing it in the house. As if we planned it, my younger brothers brought up a discussion about the village juju.

You won’t believe what my grandma said. She said the juju was recording everything we were saying and it will flog us the next time he was invoked in the village. Till date, my younger brothers and I are waiting for it to tell us what we said and the flogging. It’s not like it hasn’t appeared many times in the village too. It has but has not reminded us of what we said, neither has it called our names. 

 Walking under the drizzling rain or gathering the plum seeds of everyone after meals will make you grow

That same night, when the water dried from the “bush meat”, we had to take it to the room for proper preservation in a big bowl. The rain was drizzling and felt so cold on our bodies. You know Nah, village kitchens are always far from the living room. You have to move some steps before reaching the parlour.

Grandma said we should walk in the rain. Her excuse was that it will make us grow. Who were we to deny it? We walked, not run under the rain that evening to the parlour and it is a norm we have been telling our younger ones too.

That reminds me while eating plum and banana that evening, she invited my tin younger brother to pick all the plum seeds and throw in the farm under the guise that it will make him grow fat and big. Chaiiiii, I wash hand give these old people.

First, it would have sounded disrespectful if he refused to do it. Secondly, who was he to doubt it when an elderly woman, someone who has lived for more than 3 decades said so? Francis is still tin toll today with no signs of him growing fat.

The cry of a cat at night means someone is about to die

As we went to bed that night, 30mins later, grandma heard the cry of a cat at her window that night. She couldn’t pretend she didn’t hear and just sleep. After several failed attempts to drive it with her shhhhhh sound, she finally picked a stick and opened the door to drive it. The cat went and came back too. She finally slept at 2 AM after the thing pitied her and went away. 

When she woke up the next day, she asked everyone if they heard the ill omen messenger crying the previous night. My mom, dad and herself concluded someone was about to die and they kept their ears to the ground.

As I write this eeeerrr, I still believe what she said that morning. I can’t get some of these things off my mind. They are already in my subconscious. But why didn’t she think the cat was hungry hurt and needed attention? Africans!

Other superstitious beliefs contributed by Facebook Developers Circle: Buea community members

If you swallow a seed, it could be orange,  pawpaw, grape, lemon etc, it will grow on your head and out of your ears. It can be prevented if you allow someone to give you a knock on your head.

Grandma said if I look at the moon, I will see a woman splitting wood with a baby on her back. So, If you split firewood on Sunday you will go to the moon like the lady in the moon.

I was also told if you eat from the cooking spoon you will have a sore throat. That same act can give you saggy breast.

 If you kill a lizard, you’ll have”korobo” (head without hair)

You remove a pot from the fire while it is open when you die, your mouth will remain open.

If you eat from the pot, you’re going to be very fat.

 You suffer from sickness during pregnancy if your mom knows about it first.

 You dance salsa with a bottle of beer on your head and lights goes off, you’ll stammer for life. Hahahahhaah

Passing through the window all the time, grandma says will transform you into a thief.

When u pick money, spit on it..if the spit produces bubbles, then it’s ritualists’ money.

 If someone bites you, rub the area with fowl dung and the person’s teeth will be as black as the fowl dung.

Same way if a person excretes on your farm. Burn the shit with hot fire a and his anus will burn too.

If a teacher beats you, take part of his cane to an ant hill, it will make his hands become swollen

 It shows signs of blessing when a bird excretes on you.

 Money was coming your way if you mistakenly wore your dress with the backside out. Moreover, an itchy palm meant you will have money. If your right eye is kicking den money is coming

A pregnant woman who throws dirty water at night carelessly will give birth to a baby with disabilities.

When you (a boy) finish peeing, you must spit and cross the pee else, stomach ache.

If you bite your tongue when eating, it means it was delicious or someone is calling your name somewhere.

 If the lines in your palms shape like M, you will become a rich man.

Killing a spider at night is like killing your mom.

 If you tied any stuff you wanted to throw, you’re tying your life

Someone slapping your head, is a sign him/her stealing your intelligence.

Putting your school bag on the floor meant you’ll become dull.

If a bat hits your head you’ll go mad. Likewise, if someone hit the Bible on your head. This also applies to when you sit on your father’s chair.

 If someone puts his school bag on top of yours, you’ll never surpass him in life.

If a bat slaps you, you will become deaf

If someone crosses over your legs, you will not grow taller unless the person crosses back. They also told us your child will resemble the person who crossed over your legs.

When walking and you see a goat tied somewhere, you don’t cross over the rope without stepping on it with both legs first

 If a man crosses over egusi peelings he will be infertile.

 If your name is in list B common entrance you will go to technical school

If you pass under a ladder leaned to a wall, it’s bad luck throughout the day unless you cross over again.

If your tooth happens to come out and you do not throw it on the roof(zinc) of your house and run around the house for a number of times, the tooth will remain like that(another one will not grow).

 You will be short If you cover a basket on your head.

 If you sew at night… You will sew up one eye of your baby when you give birth the child would have one eye

 If you bury beans behind the goalposts of the opposing football team, you can score them easily.

⁩ Massage a baby’s leg with the bone of a monkey so the child can walk fast.

We were told that when you point at a grave if you don’t bite the tips of your fingers (all 10), you will follow the person in the grave/ they’ll come and take you too.

I still have some of these beliefs in my subconscious. Whenever I feel like doing some of these things, their effects reflect back to me so quickly and I have no option than to let go.

What did grandma or grandpa tell you when you were younger? The comments section is open for your contributions

Author

Hi, I am Eduke. I am a village girl. I'll love to share my journey with you hoping you share yours too with me.

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