Have you been told creepy stories in your childhood? Check out some of the creepy myths and legends of Africa in the article!
Africa is the continent with a long history and the African folklore is rich with its stories, monsters and tales. There are many African myths and legends that can make you tremble in the night.
Here are some of the creepiest and the most interesting of them!
In an Angolan folktale, the explanation of death is following: heartbroken after the death of his favorite wife Muhungu, Chief Kitamba ordered his people not to speak and not to eat until she could be brought back to life. The headmen of the tribe asked a medicine man to fetch the queen from Kalunga (the world of the dead). The medicine man ordered all the people of the village to wash themselves with infused herbs and shortly afterwards, descended into the land of the dead with his son.
Following a road, the man soon met the queen.
She showed him Kalunga-ngombe, the lord of the underworld, and explained that he expects everyone in the end. She also pointed to a shadowy figure in chains—the spirit of Chief Kitamba, who was destined to die soon. Giving him a funerary bracelet as proof of their meeting, the told him that no one who entered Kalunga could ever leave and that he shouldn’t eat any of the food or speak of Kitamba’s impending death. Otherwise, he and his son would both be forced to stay in the underworld. Then she sent them back. When he returned, he showed the chief with the bracelet, and the chief confirmed that it really was a bracelet of his wife.
The Mysterious Queen of Sheba
The Queen of Sheba is known from many various sources, including the Bible and the Quran. We do not know whether she was a queen regent or a queen consort. Her full name isn’t ever mentioned, but most scholars believe her kingdom may have been in the region of Ethiopia. The royal family of Ethiopia is believed to be the direct descendants of the child born to the queen and King Solomon. In their legends, the queen is named Makeda.
The story goes that the king invited Makeda to a ceremonial feast where spicy food was deliberately served. The queen asked Solomon to swear he wouldn’t force himself on her, as she was staying the night. He said he wouldn’t take anything from her if she didn’t take anything from him. Unfortunately, she got thirsty during the night, woke up, and reached for some water that was placed close to her bed. The king appeared, reminding her of her promise, as water was the most esteemed of all earthly possessions. The queen took the water and drank it, so setting the king free of his promise.
The evil ghosts of Kikuyu
One of the most famous African legend comes from a Kikuyu tribe of Mount Kenya. A person's spirit can be a cruel thing. After death this spirit, ‘Ngoma’, becomes an evil ghost, and if the person was murdered the Ngoma will pursue the one who murdered him until the murderer comes out of hiding and gives himself up to police forces!
Life after death
One of the most popular African stories is told about Yoruba tribe of Nigeria, where people are expected to return to the clan as a newborn baby, and the child can be determined by its resemblance to the original person. A boy that resembles his paternal grandfather will be named Babatunde (‘father returns’), the female equivalent being Yetunde (‘Mother returns’).
During the dying process, a person's spirit can also visit relatives to inform them of the impending death which they will feel even from a great distance as a cold presence. Most strange, however, is their belief that if a person dies young, their ghost can go to another town and live there as if they were not dead, even marrying a living woman who would not realize he was already dead!