My sister and my niece had a bit of argument on things my sister was sure I would have done to my children as part of our ‘culture’, my niece told her mother that although she has not asked me but was positive I am a different person than my sister had in mind.
So there is this believe that a newborn baby need to be bathed with palm oil and powder in order for the baby to be perfectly clean. The reason for this is that if a child is not thoroughly cleaned the first time, such a child may develop bad body odour later in life.
To my sister’s surprise, my niece was right – I did not bathe my girls in palm oil because there is no need for such – my principle is ‘when in Rome…’ actually, my girls were only cleaned with soft cloth at the hospital and they both only got proper bath at home with mild soap and water.
And they were clean, still are.
Some of the ‘must do’ that were passed down to us were due to resources available to our predecessors, times are different now, so must we.
So I asked my sister, do you still believe in money rituals? Or that the myth of money rituals continues because we live in an environment where wicked people get away with horrible crimes? This is a topic that she and I have had so much discussion on. Almost every week another half body is found somewhere with key body organs removed, lots of Nigerians especially in the SW believe this is a case of money rituals. One could wonder, how is it possible that a lifeless body can throw up cash after some powerful juju was placed on the corpse?
We are not raised to ask such question, we are only told to believe money rituals using human body is prevalent in society. Somehow people make up colourful stories about this and we ended up suspicious of one another, and the murder crime continues.
I recently read a fantastic crime novel focussing on money rituals in Nigeria that gives me hope that there are many people out there educating the public on how to look at this case of money rituals differently, Easy Motion Tourist by Leye Adenle. I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in putting this money rituals myth to rest and treat people disappearing or corpses on road sides as serious murder crime that it is. Even though it is a fiction, I could see so many of the vivid pictures in my mind’s eye.
From simple case of hygiene such as how newborn must be cleaned to a more serious issue such as money rituals – while both are myths, the reason the society remained spellbound is the believe that we must not question or approach issues differently just because that is how it has always been. Both of these started threading long ago while traveling 50miles away from home was a big adventure – I am sure ancestors will be shifting in the afterlife now if they could see we refused to move with time.