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Demystifying the Legend of ‘Mami Wata’! 37th State Presents its Informative Documentary “Lady In The Water”



It is believed that the Mami Wata is the benevolent spirit for good fortune, health, and endless riches. Some believe that  she is a jealous force for evil, unleashing trouble and wreaking havoc on those that cross her. Either way you choose to look at it, the legend of the Mami Wata is one that is intriguing and fascinating. The 37th State with its documentary “Lady In The Water”, (directed by Tolu Itegboje and produced by Bolaji Kekere-Ekun),  seeks to unravel the myth surrounding the  long-revered and long-feared legend of the water-goddess widely known as “Mami Wata”.

The documentary also acknowledges the different manifestations of the ‘lady in the water’ archetype across Africa as well as on other continents. With narrations of real-life experiences, insights and contributions from acclaimed historians including, filmmaker Tunde Kelani, Dr. Sotiris Papadoupolos, as well as Mami Wata worshippers and skeptics;  this documentary is as informative as it is entertaining.  While examining the history and spirituality of the myth, as well as the good-fortune and destruction befalling the lives of those who come across her, this documentary is quite informative.

Lady in the Water is a prelude to the 37th State short film, Nkiru, which will be released on BellaNaija  on Thursday, the 6th December 2012.

Watch Lady in the Water here:

Keep up with 37thSTATE on Twitter at @37thStateHQ.

For more information, e-mail [email protected].




  1. Person pikin

    December 3, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    How will someone say she prays to God in the morning and after that she gives her tribute to “mami water”?
    Na wa o!

  2. Vivian

    December 3, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    I really enjoyed this documentary, it was eye opening and engaged me as a viewer, I am looking forward to seeing the short story.

    I am a believer in the one true God however with that said as one of the commentators in the documentary stated, we should be proud and tolerant of our heritage, culture, mythology and folklore. If Greek mythology can have a following to the point of being part of Hollywood blockbusters and being part of every day conciousness then why should attributes from African culture not be celebrated and even revered.

    Great documentary!

  3. moxie

    December 3, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    Awesome documentary! Very informative, I am super excited to see the short film now!

  4. Gorgeous

    December 3, 2012 at 6:11 pm

    ewoooo! Intriguing documentary. Would love to see more. LMAO @ the food vendor. Orishachristian.

  5. Somebody's Pikin

    December 3, 2012 at 6:19 pm

    Wow! I actually enjoyed that! Wished it was longer

  6. jane

    December 3, 2012 at 7:56 pm

    Woow i didnt know how deep nigerian traditionalism was embedded with mami wata. Chineke ekwene ihe ojo, Jesus is the Way, the TRUTH and the life.

    • ENT

      December 3, 2012 at 8:52 pm

      It’s funny because Cameroonians are also very strong believers in the existence of the Mami Wata spirit. Hmmm… and I’ve done some research and it’s all over the world. Very interesting.

    • Dlapikin

      December 4, 2012 at 4:29 am

      37state is based in london, I don’t know if you get the idea…
      True! not only cameroonians, but togoles, beninese (?) , gabonese and congolese as well..

  7. omo yemoja

    December 3, 2012 at 9:59 pm

    The white man went to Asia and told him that his ways were savagery and that his gods were satanic. The Asian ignored him and today he is on the verge of becoming a superpower. The white man came to Africa, told us that our ways were savagery and our gods satanic and we said “yes master” and today we have nothing but poverty and strife.
    There is the Almighty and then there are gods who rule over different spheres of life. Even the dieties bow to the Almighty. But they have their powers and can be very helpful to those who turn to them. The pastors have convinced you that taking from them can lead to evil consequences and that is why you refuse to claim what is there, available to you, while you suffer in silence, those same pastors unable to offer you real assistance. While I understand that it is not fashionable to acknowledge that you believe or that you are even curious about her, anybody that is interested can find out more info about her on the internet.

    • olah

      December 6, 2012 at 3:23 pm

      Why go to the lesser when i can access The Almighty?

    • OnyeBiNaNdoChukwu

      December 7, 2012 at 10:58 am

      Omo Yemoja, thank you jare! You took the words right out of my mind. This is what frustrates me about us Nigerians and Africans. We’re so brainwashed that we’ve rejected and denied our power, our heritage. Our traditional spiritual practices are actually much closer to the original teachings of Jesus Christ and tally with the beliefs of Bhuddists, Hindus and other ancient indigenous religions that recognise the power of the Earth and other forces as lesser deities that serve mankind.
      THANK YOU VERY MUCH! We need more people like you in Nigeria.

    • Sledge

      December 10, 2012 at 12:02 pm


  8. WORD

    December 4, 2012 at 12:58 am

    wait does naija now have 37 state thought it was 36 oo is it just a brand name

    • lala

      December 4, 2012 at 4:21 am

      Oh lawdy. Hope that answers the question.

    • Dlapikin

      December 4, 2012 at 4:28 am

      37state is based in london, I don’t know if you get the idea…

    • numerouno

      December 4, 2012 at 1:20 pm

      37State Ltd is a media production company based in Lagos, Nigeria.

  9. R

    December 4, 2012 at 4:45 am

    Interesting point about being tolerant about others beliefs and the existence of other gods.
    I personally believe that lesser gods exists. There is God and there are lesser gods including Esu, Sango, Yeye, Ifa ….

    Very enlightening documentary! 37th state,keep it coming

  10. Damie

    December 5, 2012 at 9:46 am

    I have always loved mermaids. and Tunde Kelani was so right. Be tolerant of people’s beliefs and do not assume your god(s) is the only right one. Wonderful documentary. I should do more research on this.

  11. JADE

    December 6, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    I loved how they started the documentary with that story, we really should be tolerant to other people’s beliefs and not undermine anyone for their beliefs,looking forward to see the short film

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