African Superstitions, Part 1

Superstitions are held by people from every walk of life; rich, poor, smart, not so smart.  Many different people have superstitions.  My Dad will not open an umbrella inside or walk under a ladder.  I once had a British boyfriend who swore I better not step on grates in the sidewalk (I never found out why).  My Mom forbids me to go out in the cold without being bundled up for fear I will fall ill.  The list of illogical superstitions could go on.

Since I have been living in South Africa, I have heard a few new ones and I thought I should share a couple.

A good isiXhosa friend of mine recently told me the following while I looked at a picture book of her children:

Friend:  “It is a shame my children don’t look like me”

Me:  “What are you talking about?   I think they look a bit like you.”

Friend: “No Sissie, it is my fault.  You musn’t make the same mistake I did or your children wont look like you either.”

Me: “Huh?”

Friend: “It is my fault because when I was making the baby, I was enjoying myself so much, when he shot into me I closed my eyes.  You musn’t shut your eyes when he shoots, or the children will look like him.”


Another African wives tale, as told to me by another isiXhosa friend:

“You shouldn’t have sex when you are pregnant, the sperm stays in you until you have the baby and then you will be pregnant immediately again.”


… and one more from one of my lovely African friends:

Me:  “God, I have gained a lot of weight”

Friend: “Do you cook a lot sissie?”

Me: “Yeah, why?”

Friend:  “Because if you smell too much food, you will gain a lot of weight.”


2 thoughts on “African Superstitions, Part 1

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