Nigerian children are one of the most beautiful in the world. They are nurtured with dreams, fantasies and myths. They also cherish time spent with their friends and the elderly which has made them to be knowledgeable and informed irrespective of their backgrounds.
As children celebrate today, it is quite interesting that Nigerian kids from Baby Boomers to Gen Xs and Millennials, grew up to believe some myths. Most of these myths were told when children gathered at homes, schools or football fields or among their peers.
Interestingly, this digital age has moved fast with modern gadgets that Gen-Z kids played with as they grew. They might not enjoy the emotional moments of the conventional myths their elders experienced.
Below are the common myths Nigerian children inherit from their elders:
1. India beat Nigeria 100 – 1 in a football match
This mythical story has become folklore among Nigerian kids. The fairy tale was that India beat Nigeria 100 – 1 in a football match. One version said the ball turned into a lion any time Super Eagles possessed or defended the ball, making them leave it.
Another adaptation said the ball would turn to stone which made it difficult for Nigerian players to kick it. It was Thunder Balogun that surmounted the courage to score one goal for the then-Green Eagles with his magical left foot after his girlfriend shouted his name from the spectators.
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He eventually died on the pitch after scoring. Consequently, FIFA banned India from participating in competitive football to date.
2. Tiger is giving birth when it rains in sunny weather
It was a generally bequeathed myth from generation to generation that a tiger was giving birth in the jungle whenever it rained in sunny weather. This myth was so real among Nigerian children and the consciousness still lives with some of them whenever this natural phenomenon occurs.
3. Throwing one’s tooth on the roof for new one to grow
Nigerian children in the class of Baby Boomers, Gen X and Millennials were told when growing up that they should mix their removed tooth or teeth with a few stones and throw them on the roof for a new one or ones to grow.
This usually happened when children lost a tooth or teeth during any home accident or especially when boys playing football got injured and have their teeth removed.
4. That one is legitimate child when one arrives when one is subject of discussion
It was a widely circulated and acknowledged myth that one was a legitimate child of his parents when he or she appeared or arrived at a place where he or she was being discussed by people. This myth has been accommodated by Nigerian kids when growing up to be an authentic symbol that they are not bastards anytime this happened.
5. Whistling at night attract snakes to one’s home
One of the scary myths that children were told was that whistling was taboo at night. Children were blatantly rebuked or beaten when they whistle at night whether using their mouths to whistle or blowing any metal or wooden made whistle. It was a myth that whistling from 7:00 pm will wake up snakes from the bush and invite them to houses where people live.
6. Beating boys with brooms shrink their manhood
Another trembling myth was beating a boy-child with a broomstick or bunch of brooms. It is widely speculated that beating a boy with anything broom would shrink the boy’s p3nis. This myth had caused rifts among mothers and their neighbours whenever they knew their male children were beaten with brooms. Boys were conscious of this and usually protest against being beaten by brooms by their teachers or any area uncle or aunty.
7. One receives money quickly when their palms itch
One of the interesting myths shared among Nigerian children was that one would soon receive money when their palm itched. This myth usually excited children when they are playing with their peers. The myth was told by parents mostly to give hope to their kids whenever they complained that their palms were itching.
There were other ones such as receiving white patches on fingernails while singing for flying egrets among others. All these myths sometimes vary from region to region which could be in connection with cultural beliefs or traditional values.
You can add your own myth you have heard or read about as we celebrate this year’s Children’s Day.
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