According to an online dictionary, myths can be described as a traditional story, especially one concerning the early history of people or explaining a natural or social phenomenon and typically involving supernatural beings or events.
In Nigeria, myths are usually told to children by elders in order to scare them or make them strongly believe in something too weird to be true. However, no one can ascertain if these myths are false but with age and wisdom, one realizes these things might not be true after all
Below is a list of myths which have scared many Nigerians over the years:
1. When your hand itches, it means money is coming:
Till date, many still believe this is true because it works for them. For some people, there is a fear that if you itch too much, it means the money will never come and there is a promise the more you itch, the higher the amount.
2. When it is sunny and rainy at the same time, a lion is giving birth:
Many people have created wild imaginations about this myth but according to science, it is called sun shower which comes as a result of accompanying winds blowing the raindrops to an area where they are no clouds.
3. When a boy touches a girl, she will get pregnant:
Everyone was told this and by now, we know the reason. We also know the exact words they meant but could not say.
4. When someone walks over a pregnant woman, there is a high possibility that the child might turn out to be a look-alike:
Apparently, there is an obsession with walking over someone and this could probably explain why someone looks like us at the other end of the country.
5. Whistling at nights invites demons:
Legend has it that whistling is an invitation for the spirits. Different tribes have accounts of people who have whistled and have in turn been met by evil spirits, snakes, occult members or even found themselves in strange places.
6. Beating a boy with a broom or turning stick will shrink his manhood:
Some Nigerians believe if you beat a boy with a broom or turning stick (Omorogun) it would shrink the size of his manhood. As a remedy, if a boy has been beaten with a broom, he would have to beat the same person seven times with a broom.
One of the most popular Nigerian myths is the one told about the Yorubas, where the dead are expected to return to their family in the form of a newborn baby. For example, a boy that was given birth to immediately after his grandfather or father will be named, Babatunde (Meaning father returns). There is also a belief that if a person dies young, their ghost can go to another town and live there as if they were not dead, even getting married and having children over there.