On a trip back from out of town with some older cousins the car had tyre issues just outside Lagos. As we pulled over to the side of the road, one of my cousins pulled me aside and said “Could it be because of this mortar that I carried?” I didn’t understand what she was on about. I hadn’t seen any mortar in the back of the car and I didn’t think the weight of the mortar was enough to do material damage to the wheels anyway. Then she said, “Well you know you’re not supposed to carry a mortar in a car without throwing a coin in it, otherwise you’ll spoil the car.” I stared at her for the longest time trying to determine if she was yanking my chain or not. She was as serious as a heart attack. When we fixed the car and got back on the road we spent the rest of the journey discussing the merits and demerits of whether the absence of the coin could have indeed somehow mysteriously affected the fact that the wheels got messed up. One word that kept popping out of my mouth was “Superstition.” They kept trying to prove to me that what I called a superstition was the stuff of legends. To me, anything that can’t be scientifically proven is myth. For example, what’s the logical explanation that if you take a string from the fabric you’re wearing and place it bang in the center of your head, your hiccups will stop? It is believed also, that if a woman is pregnant, and her legs are stretched out and you cross over those legs, the child will look like you.
Or if you’re making moin moin, just one person must make it from start to finish because the moin moin wouldn’t form.
There are some more interesting ones: When your palm itches, then money is coming… Don’t ask me from where; just go check your bank balance every time you feel the urge to scratch your palm. I’ve seen pregnant women with safety pins attached to their blouses and when asked they say it’s to ward off evil spirits. This weekend, I had fun asking some of my most cynical friends about old wives’ tales and urban legends and some of them have testified to the veracity of those things. My friend testified that EVERY time she has sneezed mysteriously she always gets a message saying someone was talking about her some where.
When we were younger, we were told that if you lost a tooth, you should take 7 smooth pebbles, turn around 7 times and hurl the tooth and pebbles right up the roof and something will happen. For the ‘aje butters’, it was more like you put the tooth under your pillow and the tooth fairy would put a gold coin in its stead.
So fact or myth? What do you guys think about superstitions? What are your most ridiculous superstitious beliefs and which ones do you swear by?
Let’s talk about it….
Have a great week ahead, keep your head up and don’t forget, there’s always a reason to smile.
Love, peace & cupcakes!
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