5 strange religious beliefs and practices across Africa

From killing Albinos to circumcising a grown boy without anaesthesia, here are strange practices still going on around Africa.

Here are five weird religious beliefs and practices still going on around Africa.

1. Killing Albinos for ritual purposes

In Malawi, Tanzania and Burundi people believe their traditional healers who say that acquiring the body parts of a human with a melanin deficiency, can assist with improving their luck, health or wealth.

2. Women bull jumping ritual, Hamer tribe

This may seem difficult but to Hamer women from the South-western Ethiopia, it’s more like a normal phase of life.

Before you can be allowed to engage in this ritual, you’ll first have to go through a series of whipping on both the back and buttocks until there are some scars that will signify that you’ve already gone through the ritual and you’re now a grown woman who is very ready for marriage.

3. Circumcision rites, Zulu tribe

Circumcision is often done on boys but as a baby. This is not the case in South Africa as Zulu teenage boys have to undergo a bizarre circumcision rite to become men.

These boys will be abducted and then taken to a secret place that can only be accessed by elderly women who bring them food and drinks. They are then covered in white dust before being allowed to use sharp blades or rocks to circumcise themselves. They end up having disfigured genitals, and some even die during the process.

The wounds are normally treated and dressed using mad or animal waste and may take four months or more to heal.

4. Magun

The Yoruba ethnic group use Magun for adulterers and most times the outcome is not palatable as the offender could lose his/her life.

The Magun is placed on a woman without her being aware of it either by her husband or his family. If she commits adultery, her lover could end up losing his life or getting stuck while in the act.

5. Reincarnation

The concept of reincarnation is found among many African tribes and is not limited to a country.

Reincarnation refers to the soul of a dead person being reborn in the body of another. There is a close relationship between birth and death in Africa.

There are no limits set to the number of possible reincarnations. It is however important for Africans to discover which ancestor is reborn in a child.


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