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William Ifeanyi Moore: A Phenomenological Investigation into the Concept of the ‘Yoruba Demon’



dreamstime_l_46269751Anyone familiar with the work of German philosopher, Hegel, will be no stranger to the word ‘phenomenology’. For those of you that have a life, it’s geek-speak from studying perception from the first-person point of view; something men often wish women would do and women wish men would do too. That way we can see the world through each other’s eyes and just maybe there would be a spell of peace in the battle of the sexes.

Following my debut appearance in the classic all white Yoruba boy swag, complete with my fila (cap), feeling fly and dapper; I was met with a barrage of memes. If your nose has been in the Internet, I’m sure you remember that wedding photo with a row of guys standing with the celebrant in the middle. My personal favorite meme was one captured ‘This is how they celebrate a Nigerian man after breaking his 500th heart’.

It was all good fun, but juxtaposed with all the other Yoruba-boy memes, I had to apply some philosophical thought to this matter. Last time I checked, girls in the East weren’t exactly celebrating their men for profound loyalty. In the North, with polygamy still acceptable cultural practice, the notion of loyalty has an entirely different meaning. And even here in the South, this incident of Yoruba demonry seems particular to only Lagos, where the Yoruba big boys dwell. This led me to only one conclusion, metropolitan problems.

Every metropolitan city is by default a romantic city. Now calm down, I am not exactly comparing Lagos to Paris, New York or London. But in a sense, the hunger for romantic connections is just as powerful in all these cities, because busy cities can be very lonely leaving us feeling almost invisible in the midst of all that is going on. The idea of having someone we can count on through all the madness, a trusted partner for a break out of the manic traffic and demanding schedules. We can’t help but crave escape. Automatically, this makes the weight of expectation in any dating scenario higher than normal. You don’t have to be a psychologist to figure out that disappointment is directly proportional to expectation. Heartbreak is just the romantic term for romantic disappointment.

Given that women are the gatekeepers of sex and men are the gatekeepers of commitment, it is only normal that women try to play whatever card they have to get men committed and men try whatever we can to get sex out of women. When it comes to commitment for men, the sheer demand women come with makes us rather relaxed about the matter. If a guy really wanted a committed relationship, he could get it any day, so why be in a rush? It’s not like we have a ticking biological clock to worry about. The same is true for sex with women, the sheer demand men want it in, makes it lose value to females. If a girl wanted a different man a week, it is hardly an issue.

Unfortunately for women, the pretense of commitment is probably the strongest currency when bargaining for sex, and this is exactly what the average Lagos boy leverage on. If it was socially acceptable for a guys to just demand for no-string attached sex to every girl they wanted, there would actually be no need to play the demon card. Unfortunately, unlike other metropolitan cities, like London, where there is even a term for casual relationships ‘linking’, Lagos women in the majority remain opposed to the idea of rampant sexual relationships and so the men ‘adapt’ with faking commitment.

Please do keep in mind that this isn’t an appeal for anyone to change their lifestyle or values; just a modest analysis of what has become a cultural stereotype in these parts. I hope you enjoyed it 🙂

Photo Credit: Dreamstime

William Ifeanyi Moore is an MPharm graduate from the University of Portsmouth, UK. His true passion is in novels and poetry but he cheats on them with movies, plays, and music. He believes sacrifice and compromise is the bedrock of any healthy relationship. His debut novel Lonely Roads is out on 10/12/2015. Blog: Twitter: @willifmoore Instagram: willifmoore


  1. A Real Nigerian

    January 27, 2016 at 12:37 pm

    “I am not exactly
    comparing Lagos to Paris, New York or London.”
    Yes, please tell them. These lame, entitled Lagosians everywhere seem to think life begins and ends in Lagos.
    Your city is average.
    There is nothing special about Lagos or being a Lagosian.
    And that shit Yoruba demon meme was created by self-indulgent yoruba boys who think it’s cool to be a shitty lover.
    Nothing to see here.

    • chichi

      January 27, 2016 at 1:00 pm

      Ha ha tell them oh! But actually I love Lagos, and hate it, love hate relationship actually which is the same for all the cities mentioned. But on to the matter, these memes I concluded can only be created by Yoruba men and as funny as they are, some of them, most of the time I think its an excuse to let others (woman) know that if you get this demon behaviour don’t be surprised as I’m Yoruba after all. And some men will play up to this, its not serious just fun and games but I know for a fact there are immature men out there using these social media stereotypes to their advantage and getting away with it. Of course it will never be cool for a woman to be seen in the same light. Sigh!

    • TheRealist

      January 28, 2016 at 5:00 pm

      @A Real Nigerian, just as every NYer believes that life begins and ends in Manhattan (and perhas parts of Brooklyn). Loving your city is like loving your spouse or partner – you hang around them long enough and all you see is the good while the bad becomes ephermeral (a little price you pay for the joy). That Lagos elicits incredibly passion (even hatred sometimes) is what makes it such a great city – its certainly not the architecture.

    • Ikenna

      January 30, 2016 at 12:29 pm

      Perfect ?.

    • Ikenna

      January 30, 2016 at 12:30 pm

      Perfect ?..

  2. whocares

    January 27, 2016 at 1:25 pm

    you had me at phenomenology 🙂 I have been seeing this yoruba demon thing on bella naija and wondered what it meant and where it came from but I never bothered to google until now. So its a real thing? I know I am late but this is what happens when you don’t have any other social media besides fb. So, I googled and LMAOOOO the memes are HILARIOUS!!! LOOOL. Yoruba demonry. loool
    look at this guys: – says you can be looking at one girl and impregnating another. lmaoo. seriously how late am I?
    But I agree with your analysis actually. It makes sense. It’s the same thing everyone keeps saying though. All the glitters is not gold. You see that guy turnting up and down the street, the flashy one whose game is too smooth and too good? he is not take home to mama husband type.. They rarely are. We all know that. So, give the shy, slightly unattractive guy a chance and leave the flashy guys to their things. This isn’t new, its dating 101 for the smart ladies. Unless you are down for the games and you are young and want to have fun as well- then by all means pooch the cooch and carry go. If you want a proper relationship however, look outside your own head and really see people for who they are. No one has time to turn to Apostle on top man matter. Who has time to be carrying holy water up and down to be exorcising olosho men?

    • Chioma

      January 27, 2016 at 4:31 pm


      I’ve been curious about this whole “Yoruba demon” too. I just googled it, I don’t even know what to think of it whether to make light of it or take it serious. I know it’s suppose to be a joke but this is how crazy stereotypes starts. All I know is, demon( women too, not just men) come from every walk of life. Finding the right spouse depends on what individual is looking for. You receive what you put out sometimes. There’s nothing that I hate in someone than giving excuses for their bad character. I’m not perfect but I try to be accountable for my actions. Anyway, Yoruba demon or not, I married a good Yoruba man or is it I married a good man who happen to be Yoruba. So, I can’t relate to this Yoruba demon .

    • Di

      January 28, 2016 at 2:04 am

      Never been burnt by any but from the stories I hear, even the shy and unattractive ones join the demon matter. The stereotype of Yoruba men unlike other Naija men is the SUDDEN superficial show of marriage interest backed by his in-genuine family chanting ‘iyawo mi’. ??? This I’ve heard from my non-Nigerian friends.
      I always have a good experience with Yoruba men, they pamper & spend extravagantly on me, even though it’s a strategy that leaves them utterly disappointed. All my yoruba male friends are good, though I’ve never been in a relationship with one and never intend to, I recommend/matchmake them with others.
      Any other stereotypes people?? CalabarCupids, IgboAngels, HausaHotness????

  3. Swizzey

    January 27, 2016 at 1:41 pm

    I have a question though!…Does a Yoruba “demon” retire from his “activities” after he gets married?

    • jide

      January 27, 2016 at 3:13 pm

      They rarely do.

    • Iya Eko

      January 27, 2016 at 3:14 pm

      Retire ke? Nooooo! That is graduation sturves. Those ones are “Arch Demons”.

    • Nuna

      January 27, 2016 at 4:14 pm


    • Bobosteke & Lara Bian

      January 27, 2016 at 4:57 pm


    • Dr. N

      January 28, 2016 at 9:23 am


  4. Ama

    January 27, 2016 at 1:42 pm

    Nicely written. Some people make reading soooo easy!

  5. Theurbanegirl

    January 27, 2016 at 1:52 pm

    lol! Yes I remember the picture you made your debut, I think banky was in it too not sure. Enjoyed reading xx

  6. Ngozi

    January 27, 2016 at 1:56 pm

    Everyday I thank God for my father who instilled a great sense of dignity in me, sent me to good schools and even bought a car for me in Uni not because he was so rich guess he could have spent extra at owambes but he chose to make those sacrifices. Secondly, I became a born again Christian at age 13. Thanks to those pastors who came to preach at FGGC Sagamu, a school full of so many many beautiful girls of all shades you could ever think of yet they kept their integrity. Somehow my experiences made me see things differently. Self control and keeping your body have therefore taken precedence over societal pressure. You don’t have to be led by feelings, life is not all about sex. Get responsible, where are you going in life? Can you actually be a good example morally? Can your younger siblings or non siblings make good choices because you counseled them? what’s your destiny? Do you want to fulfill it or destroy it. Nothing is new, sex has been an issue since forever but are you going to empower it and let it have dominion over you or delay gratification till marriage no matter how wierd that sounds in 2016. Guess what it doesn’t matter if the eminent personalities you respect indulge in casual sex, dare to be different. I have never regretted putting my body under control.

    • Babe

      January 27, 2016 at 5:24 pm

      Yaay shaggy girls keep repping. Proud Shaggy girl here. Reading your comment was actually uplifting.

    • TheRealist

      January 28, 2016 at 5:09 pm

      @Ngozi, abegi it’s not either-or. One can enjoy sex and still set and achieve great goals – but to each her own.


      May 21, 2016 at 5:41 pm

      Igbo angel

  7. dem poison you?

    January 27, 2016 at 2:11 pm

    My Own question is that if the Yoruba guys are demons, what do you keep going to look for in them? There must be a wow factor about them for you to have agreed to date them, and they inturn show you a demon aspect of them.

    If you never go for them, they wont break your heart. What do you see in them that makes you continue going to them. If you didnt date them, they wont show you the demon side in them (so to say)

    Did they poison you, use juju on you or charm you? What is it about them that makes you lose your sense of reasoning all at once and fall for them?

    Lagos Girl syndrome.

    Y’all will never learn. You are not satisfied with your emeka container guy wey no dey dey around you everytime but too busy for business and making money

    You aint satisfied with your hausa guy wey no dey club or party like a yoruba guy.

    Now you get yoruba guy who can lie for africa (since it is the sweet talks you like-you no go sit with your boring guy), you get yoruba guy wey fit club, take you to cinema, buy you all you like, pamper you, get into your pants….but has someone else. Now you want commitment but the guy isn’t ready you now shouting demon

    Till ladies start getting it right and going for the right set of people to date, heart break will never cease to happen. You know dat wowing guy you like, ehn anything you see for there, na your cup of baileys and ginger tea

  8. Jade

    January 27, 2016 at 2:20 pm

    If there’s Yoruba demon, there’s Igbo, Ijaw, oyibo demon. Unfaithful men, come in all tribe, shape and form. If yoruba men are thinking these memes are something to be proud of excusing their bad behavior. I’m here to break the bubble, theres nothing funny about it. The nonsense some men put women through is appalling and I don’t find it funny at all. I’m still fresh from a breakup, the demon wasn’t yoruba. Infact, I was thinking of dating yoruba men exclusively because my sister and close friend who are married to yoruba men. I know these men closely and always admire them especially my bro in law. I might have to change my mind now, maybe they are even “yoruba demon” in the memes. It’s hard to find that right man you are compatible with and will remain faithful/committed in general.

    • Mz Titilitious

      January 27, 2016 at 3:41 pm

      tell them oooo smh….

    • Ikido

      January 27, 2016 at 4:43 pm

      “Mz Titilitious” ….as in Tities tities? aka “Endowed”? 🙂


    January 27, 2016 at 3:35 pm

    all ethnics cheat…………. but d yoruba demon thing is real……….. most young guys (18-38)nowadays r f-boys in my own opinion,…………. sad but true…… no excuses for yoruba men oooo, u guys should be ashamed of urselves because of all these memes….. lol………. m yoruba thou!!!!!

  10. The Real Yoruba Demon

    January 27, 2016 at 4:30 pm

    Break the bubble!!! Hahaha. The way people can feel so important online eh. Burst it let us see. I’mma be a Yoruba demon for life, and Jade, show me your true name, and in less than two weeks I’ll be sliding in happily to wetness and greatness.

    • miini

      January 27, 2016 at 11:19 pm

      Very silly comment and deeply saddening for that matter. It’s pple like u dt give men a bad name. Wd have given up on d men of this generation if not that I know a few good ones. I feel sad for the women that have to deal with d likes of u, thank God for the ‘salvation of my soul’. Tufia!

  11. Jagbajantis

    January 27, 2016 at 4:38 pm

    There is nothing new about ridiculous and belittling stereotypical titles given based on ethnicity.

    Today it is Yoruba Demon (as if any human being can claim to be angel)

    In yester years it was: Igbo Trader
    Edo Harlot
    “Calabar” husband-snatcher
    Hausa Ignoramus
    Urhobo Wayo

  12. Nahum

    January 27, 2016 at 4:43 pm

    @Swizzey: Why do you think Yoruba women are tough nails? The demonry they have to deal with in marriage no be for here.

  13. Tobi

    January 27, 2016 at 5:00 pm

    I thought the yoruba demon was that black scary looking creature in old yourba films. Now I know better.

  14. .....just saying

    January 27, 2016 at 6:09 pm

    Na only man and woman matter this one dey always writes. Sheesh.

  15. jade

    January 27, 2016 at 11:33 pm

    @real yoruba demon

    You are an idiot. Goodluck to choosing to destroy your own life. I don’t know who in their right mind will want to claim such dirty/low life. Get lost quickly

  16. Nkechi

    February 1, 2016 at 4:11 pm

    @Realist I’d rather be among the gorgeous and successful crew achieving great goals yet maintaining the ability to keep their bodies under control, that to me is more superior because they have a wholesome life. I cannot get over this Caucasian (She is my example on purpose because some just assume that self control is a cultural concept) from a wealthy family. She is drop dead gorgeous, educated and successful. When I saw her fiancé, my jaw dropped. Her parents lost their virginity as teenagers before they embraced a new life but trained her up to honour her maker with her body. She is getting married in March to another pure guy. Therefore. it is a matter of choice but I’d rather have it whole. Some people may not understand the negative impact of sleeping around until they are 80, don’t be deceived by the often long wait period before the seeds you have sown become fruits, don’t be deceived by the fancy clothes that cover all manner of diseases ,remember patients sign confidentiality agreements. Finally, please don’t come up on aunty Bella lamenting on how you have to deal with an incurable diseases or trust issues in your marriage.

  17. toks

    April 29, 2016 at 4:25 pm

    me thinking. core yoruba families don’t really what their sons marrying other tribes. so the guy might really not be out to break a heart but after the initial rush, the sound warning comes back to him and off he goes.

    plus the elite yorubas compared to the igbos are more knowledge inclined as opposed to business. when your default is business, you hardly have time to flex, cos there is always a thing or two to be sorted out. but when you’re all about getting schooled, getting a job, you tend to have more time in your hands, hence more flexing and unfortunately, more time for women your parents won’t approve of (with more hearts left with cracks).

    I’m yoruba, i’m no demon. looking forward to an igbo etc wify!!!

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