10 Weird Traditions You Won’t Believe Are Still Practiced In Africa

10 Weird Traditions You Won’t Believe Are Still Practiced In Africa
Africa is the second largest continent in the world after Asia and the home of many great people.
There are more than 1000 different rich cultures and tribes cultures with different practices that are both amazing and scary.
Before the discovery of Africa by the various colonial masters, there were many different customs and traditions that were accepted and practice in the continent that are now considered inhuman. Many of them are capable of having serious psychological and health effects on the victims or even cause their deaths.
Many of these weird practices have been countered by the Western world and Africans that have gotten exposed to the Western Education, however some are still practiced in the continent and the aim of this post is to raise awareness of different individuals on the disadvantages of these practice.
Some of the things stated are not practiced in the whole of Africa but some specific under-developed parts.

1. Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

This is the act or practice of totally or partially removing the external genitalia of young women and girls for non-medical reasons. The story of genital mutilation among the female African children still appears like a prevalent ordeal. This is one of the weird cultural practices that can still seen in many African tribes.
Its major aim is to reduce the high sexual urge in females and also eliminate the act of infidelity and cheating among African women.
This weird act has attracted the attention of many world organizations like the World Health Organization (WHO), the UNICEF and other organizations that recognize it as a violation of human rights thereby leading to the calling for its abolishment. The act has to be stopped because of its adverse psychological and health effects on the victims.
Some of its effects on the female children include acute urinary retention due to trauma, infection, damage to the anus or urethra, fistulae formation and chronic pelvic infection. It also leads to serious health implications like increased perinatal morbidity, prolonged labor and even death.
Some African countries that still practice this act include Nigeria, Chad, Djibouti, Eritrea, Somalia, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Egypt, Guinea and Mali.

2. Wife inheritance and maltreatment of widows

When a married man dies in some parts of Africa, the woman is subjected to some series of hard tasks and inhuman practices. Many of these practices violate the fundamental human rights of the women but the women are not allowed to complain. However, many of the enlightened women don’t subject themselves to these practices again and even demonstrate against them.
Some of the widowhood practices common in Africa include shaving of the women’s hairs, women banned from taking their bath for three weeks, making them to swear that they are innocent of their husbands’ death and forcing them to drink the water used in washing the corpse.
The widows are also made to wear black clothes whenever they are coming outside their houses for a period of six months (duration of the mourning period) and her neighbors will provide all her needs. After the burial, the wife might also be made to marry the immediate junior brother of the late man.
In some cases whereby the couples divorced, the widow is also not allowed to participate in the burial. This act is however frowned on by the many organizations and laws are being set up to fight against the act. African countries that still practice this act include Mozambique, Uganda, Angola, Cote d'Ivoire, Congo, Nigeria and Ghana.

3. Human sacrifice

This is the practice someone killing a fellow human being for the purpose of ritual. The humans are usually offered as a sacrifice to a deity in the belief that the Deity will in exchange give some gifts like long life, wealth, health, children or even influence to them. 
Another term used to identify this act is ‘ritual murder’ and the later term is usually used in societies were the human sacrifice is condemned. 
In countries like Malawi and Tanzania, albinos are the major victims of this injustice as they are considered curses. They are treated in disdain because they look quite different from the average African due to the color of their skin. This makes the countries hostile for them because their body parts are usually used for ritual sacrifices.
Another country that have high rate of human sacrifices is Mozambique, this is because of the belief that bald heads contain gold there making them to kidnap people with it for the purpose of ritual sacrifices. Other African countries that still practice human sacrifices include Ghana and Nigeria.

4. Blood-Water Beverage

This is practiced by the Massai Tribe of Kenya. Massai is a semi-nomadic ethnic group that occupies parts of Northern Tanzania and Southern Kenya. On special occasions like the birth of a baby, naming ceremonies, the circumcision of a child or even traditional wedding ceremonies, the Massai people celebrate by drinking cow blood.
Majority of the traditional diets eaten by the Massai people are gotten from the cattles. Another weird act that can be seen in the Massai tribe is that they are not allowed to eat beef.
They extract the oil by inserting a bamboo tube into the cows’ jugular veins and then suck the blood. However, the cows are not killed in the process because of the ban placed on cow killing.

5. Chewa’s festival of the dead

This is practiced by the Chewa community of the Bantu tribe. The Bantu tribe comprises of hundred ethnic groups in the sub-Saharan Africa spread across the African Great Lakes to Southern Africa over the vast area of Central Africa.
The Chewa community is popularly known across Africa for its amazing agricultural practices. It is also popular because of its secret society the Nyau.
Aside the above stated facts, the Chewa community is also known for its weird way of burying their deceased. It is a custom in the tribe for the corpse to be washed in a sacred place and cleansed by slitting the throat.
Then water is squeezed out of the throat till it becomes clean and the collected water is used to cook for the whole community.

6. Sharo beating to in the Fulani tribe

This is practiced in the Fulani tribe of Benin Republic and it’s for earning a wife and respect. It is the act of a groom being flogged by the older members of the community in order to become eligible to marry his bride. It is in the hands of the bride’s family to decide if the groom will go through this series of beating called ‘Sharo’ or not and in some cases, the grooms are not so lucky as they are made to pass through it.
There is a belief in the tribe that if a man is able to endure the pains, he’ll also be able to tolerate the wife when they eventually start living together. If the groom is not strong enough to endure the pain, it might lead to the wedding being called off.

7. Traditional healing

Sickness is something that almost everyone experience sometimes and it normally calls for a visit to an experienced medical personnel. In many under-developed African countries, people prefer to visit herbalists and traditional healers whenever they are sick instead of visiting a registered hospital of or clinic. This is probably because of the low cost of being attended to by these traditional healers.
One disadvantage of depending on the traditional medicines is that many of them are based on previous testimonies and are not tested medically. They are also not hygienically produced thereby increasing the risk contaminating the sick individuals.
The traditional medicines are gotten from plants and sometimes, the whole plant is used in the manufacturing of the drugs without running lab tests to know active ingredients and the best proportions to put them.

8. Hunting down a lion without weapon in order to attain the ‘Moran’ status

This is an act in the Maasai were a man is required to attain the ‘Moran’ status in order to be respected and acknowledged. In order to achieve this, the man is instructed to go into a thick forest alone with only a sword and hunt down a monkey alone.
This is not an easy task and it requires many months of training and in some cases, the men don’t eventually return. 
However, completing the mission comes with a lot of celebration and respect.  This act is popular in the Maasai tribe of Kenya.

9. Bullfighting in Africa

Bullfighting is a physical game or contest in which a human or humans attempt to publicly subdue, immobilise, or kill a bull, usually according to a set of rules and guidelines.
Although bull fighting might not be considered weird in because it is a popular game in countries like Spain and Mexico, we included it in the list because of the way Africans abuse it. Some sources state that this particular sport originated from Africa; however you can see other countries playing it in more advanced ways.
 Unlike the Western world, adequate security measures are not taken to ensure the safety of the people engaging in this sport thereby resulting to reports of several injuries and even deaths incurred to people playing it. This game is popular among the Lunya tribe in Kenya.

10. The Wodaabe’s wife stealing night dance

The Wodaabe ethnic group is a tribe that spends most of their time in small groups travelling across the Sahel desert. They are also found in countries like Central African Republic, Nigeria, Cameroon, and Chad.
The Wodaabe is a subgroup of the Fulani ethnic group that practices a culture that is slightly different from the Fulanis. In the Wodaabe calendar, the most important date is September because it’s the period they celebrate the Gerewol, a festival that unites them after many months of trekking under the sun in search of the cattle’s food. The location of the festival is kept a secret until few days to the festival.
During the festival, the men beautify themselves with makeup and special jewelries and also dance on their toes in order to increase their height. They perform these dances to impress ladies and steal them from their husbands.
After the marriage, the man will become a hero in his clan while his bride’s family will despise him for stealing their young and pretty woman. The festival happens annually and it’s really a great occasion for the Wodaabe tribe. 
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