In the Western World the superstition is especially stronger with 13th considered an unlucky date when all things can go awry.
In a bid to calm down spooked ‘believers’ many High Rise apartments and even lifts don’t indicate number 13th, the floor is either skipped or a different number used in its place.
So deep is the fear of Friday the 13th also has an official term: paraskevidekatriaphobia.
In Africa, while the ‘13th is an unlucky number’ believe is not as strong other superstitions are rife.
Some of them are funny, some of them are nerve-racking, some dangerous to the point it can cause death but all of them goes to show insight into the local culture, customs, and history.
In certain parts of Africa such as Malawi, Tanzania, and Mozambique, people with albinism are targeted and killed with their body parts harvested and used for rituals since it is believed they can attract wealth.
In Rwanda, women are discouraged from eating goat meat, due to the belief that it could cause them to grow a beard.
In almost all Kenyan tribes Owl is associated with bad omen so if one spots an owl it is believed someone will soon die. It is believed that shooing the owl away after seeing it by throwing salt or fire will help to counteract the upcoming misery.
Here are just a few Kenyan superstitions to mull over this Friday the 13th.
- When you are in a room with a group of people and you mention someone and that person a few seconds later walks in it is believed he/she will have a longer life to live – Somali Superstition.
- When your right eye twitches it means you will see someone that you haven’t seen in a long time – Somali Superstition.
- When your left palm hitches it means money will come in when your right palm hitches it means you will give out money – Somali superstition.
- If you sweep your house at night it means you are chasing away your blessings – Luhya superstition
- If someone dies in Luhya culture it is believed they must have their last walk that is by doing the things they used to like when they were still alive in order to appease to their spirits.
- If you come across a cat while walking you must turn back and go back home or else risk bad omen -Kikuyu superstition.
- If you circle a Mugumo tree seven times you will automatically change your gender from being a man to a woman and vice versa – Kikuyu superstition.
- In Kikuyu tribe it is believed if someone cuts down a Mugumo tree they will instantly attract bad omen while if a Mugumo tree naturally fells down it portends a change of leadership.
- If fireflies enter your house at night you will soon have visitors – Kipsigis superstition.
- 10 is considered a bad luck number in Kikuyu community so members of the community never utter the number even when counting. While counting instead of saying number 10 they instead say 9 full. While paying dowry it is a big no to ever take any item in tens.
- If you look at yourself in the mirror at night you will attract bad luck – Rabai superstition.
- If you run to your house in the evening when the house is setting you will run mad – Swahili superstition.
- If you beat a girl/woman with a broom they will lack dowry – Swahili superstition