by Oluwatoowo Onifade

Different people believe in different things. Especially in Nigeria, there is always a belief for every situation that happens. Some of these beliefs are weird and even unbelievable. But they all have origin and most times, they originated to prevent people from going into error. 

In this article, I shared 14 out of the numerous weird beliefs in a Nigerian home. Check them out and see if you can relate.

Some of the Weird Beliefs in Nigerian Homes

  1. The Right Hand Rule

In every part of Nigeria, it is a sign of disrespect and rudeness to collect, give or greet someone else with a left hand. Imagine a gathering of older people and you extend a left hand to one of them, just know you are about to listen to the talk of your whole life. It’s only if you are left-handed or have no right arm, that you are exempted from this weird belief.

  1. Walking Over Someone

This here too, is a weird belief I find very funny. As a kid, I would scream my voice out to anyone who tries to walk over my legs, why? Because I don’t want my child to look like that person- what a strange belief!

Nigerians believe that if you walk over someone, especially a pregnant woman, the child will look like you. How? Are you the father? Are you related? What a superstition. These days, when I see kids do what I have done, I just laugh at them knowing they will understand soonest.

  1.  Magun (Thunderbolt)

Just like in many other countries, Nigeria has no tolerance or allowance for adultery. Both its cultural standards and faith standards are against it. Magun is however particular to the Yorubas.

It is a magical instrument that is placed on a married woman without her consent. It could be that the husband placed it on her or the husband’s family or any other concerned fellow.

If such a married woman continues in her promiscuity, the person she is having an affair with could either get stuck in the act or could die. Some of the strange beliefs about Magun is that it is of different types with different outcomes, some could get stuck in the act, some could start barking, some could start to somersault, and some would start to crave water or something else in a very superstitious manner, and all other types.

Read also: Pros and Cons of being a Last-born in a Nigerian Family. 

  1. Whistling

This strange belief is so weird. It is believed that when you whistle, you are whistling away your fortunes in life. There is a reasonable explanation though. It is believed that evil spirits communicate by whistling to each other( how that was propounded, I have no idea), such that when you whistle, it seems to the evil spirits as though you are beckoning them and as a result, they come in carrying along all sorts of misfortunes.

  1. Spitting on the floor

As a kid, I was so scared of this strange belief that I was affected by the fear in my mind. Nigerians have a strange belief that if you spit on the ground and especially if you do not rub it off with your foot, you are bound to have a sore throat. Growing up, I have come to realize that this weird belief is to ensure a good social appearance and cleanliness.

How do you go about spitting everywhere, it can be pissing. As an adult, I realize some of the times I thought I had a sore throat as a kid was a facade because of the weird belief I was holding on to.

Read also: A trip down Memory Lane, 10 books Nigerians born in the 80s and 90s will remember. 

  1. Widowhood Rites

Just as Magun (Thunderbolt) is particular to the Yorubas, widowhood rite superstitions are common to the Igbo community. When a man dies, his wife is expected to prove her innocence in the death of her husband. Notwithstanding the pain, trauma, or state of mind the wife of the deceased is in, she is required to be involved in some weird beliefs that are expected to prove her innocence.

Such strange beliefs include that she has to drink the water with which the corpse was bathed, she has to shave off her hair, etc.

  1. First Sales 

This belief is a strong one in our trading sector. The importance placed on the first sale of the day is so magnanimous. The superstition includes that if you give your first sale of the day out on credit, it’s very grave ill luck you’re beckoning on. 

It is common amongst the Yorubas and some parts of the South East. It is a weird business mentality. It spans the mindset that if your first buyer buys a lot or buys a little and pays with a high currency, you are bound to make good sales that day.

Read also: 10 Unexpected things that scare Nigerians to the Bone.

  1. A girl will become pregnant if a boy touches her 

I can boast that every Nigerian kid was told this. I believe by now, we know why this superstition exists and what it means.

  1.  Hitting your left leg on a stone

It is a very strange belief that says if you should hit your left leg on a stone, it is a bad omen and you should just return home to avoid bad luck.

  1. Picking money on the floor

This weird belief stemmed from the money ritual tactics of then. It is believed that if you pick money on the road, you would transform into a tuber of yam, a goat, or something else that the ritualist will use. 

  1. Flogging someone with a broom 

In Yoruba culture, people who are possessed are beaten with a broom. During festivals too, girls usually are beaten with brooms if they are thought to have spiritual problems. There is also this weird belief about beating a boy child with a broom also. It is believed that if you beat a boy child with a broom, it makes him impotent, and to regain potency, he has to be beaten with the broom again, seven times- suffering.

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  1. Black Color

I find black to be a very beautiful color but in my country, black is associated with anything evil. It is also the mourning color so If you are all dressed in black, people might ask you if you’re mourning it tell you’re inviting evil to befall you. Due to the evil associated with black, I can assure you you do not want to come across a black cat in the middle of the night or a black dog. The superstition will haunt you such that you might not get over the picture for days and you are sure to get scared especially if you have your subconscious drowned in this weird belief.

  1. Eating anything that has fallen to the ground

It is believed that if any of your meal falls to the ground, you should not pick it up to eat it again because the devil already ate it. You eating it will make the devil enter you. This weird belief is to ensure cleanliness and hygiene in kids.

  1.  Lions giving birth 

When rainfall and sunshine happen at the same time , it means a lion is giving birth. How does the labor of a lioness affect the weather? What a superstition! 


These and many more like it are some of the strange beliefs found in a typical Nigerian home. I believe some were brought to your remembrance as you read through this. It’s all part of the fun and joy of childhood and no doubt when you think about them now, a smile shows up on your face.

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About Author

Avatar of Oluwatoowo Onifade
Oluwatoowo Onifade
I am Oluwatoowo Onifade
A graduate of English Language from Obafemi Awolowo University.
I am a content writer, fashion designer and a baker.
Belief- learning never ends. You can learn from anywhere, anytime and from anyone.
My hobbies are arithmetics and reading.

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