The deep roots that West African culture and its associated mythologies have in the Black African diaspora of the Americas has resulted in numerous references made to them in Black American popular culture over time, with a definite increase in such references within the last decade. Black American popular culture undisputedly occupies the vanguard position in most of American popular cultural expression, itself a significant driver of global popular culture. It is safe to say, then, that the spotlight on what the African continent has to offer is getting brighter and will only continue to do so. This goes beyond…


Divination refers to the process of using a standardized ritual, which is itself part of a larger system of knowledge, to seek knowledge or insight from highly trained specialists about past, current or future events, usually for the purpose of decision making or to solve a problem in the present.[i] Divination, as a cultural or social practice, and the systems in which it occurs is common to all human cultures and remains an important means by which cultural knowledge is generated and preserved. Divination, in the purest sense of the word, is a more complex endeavor than fortune telling with…


Marvin returned to Yaoundé two days after Robert was discharged from the hospital. Robert drove him to the Garanti bus park and lingered until the bus was ready to take off. He hugged his brother close and tight, promising to visit him as soon as possible.

“Just make sure you’re completely healed before you come,” Marvin teased gruffly. “I don’t have a car to carry your half dead body to the hospital again.”

This earned him a playful shove which he laughed off. Robert watched the bus disappear into Douala’s early afternoon traffic before driving home. To his surprise, Tatiana…


A sharp gust of icy cold wind jolted Michael out of his trance. As his vision refocused on the snow-covered figurines of Mary, Joseph, Baby Jesus, The Three Wise Men, and an assortment of farm animals which made up Holy Name Cathedral’s elaborate creche, the sounds of the city and other people who had also stopped on the street to look at the display drifted into his consciousness as if from a faraway realm. He squinted at the bright lights, wondering if the church just set up the display. He couldn’t remember seeing it when he walked past this spot…


They are asking for you.

Sonia ignored the iMessage from her brother and continued watching the college volleyball game on her iPad. A few minutes later, the door opened, and Junior slipped into the room. He stood by the door and watched her silently until she scooted over to make space for him to sit on the bed next to her.

“They want to tell you goodbye before they leave. You didn’t even come and say hello when they arrived.”

She continued ignoring him.

“Why are you angry with them? They are just being nice.”

“I don’t care,” Sonia muttered…


For years and years, the woman named Apai tried unsuccessfully to have a baby. Every year, she and her husband Soong prayed for children and gave offerings from the best parts of their harvest to the Mapa’in, the Spirits of the Rivers and Seas who gave women children. Still, Apai didn’t ever get pregnant. Full of faith and knowing she had done nothing to incur the disfavor of the Mapa’in, Apai made her offerings consistently and was always ready to help women of the village with their children as the Mapa’in required of all women who made devotions to them…


It happened during dinner with my then partner, his father and his brother. We were seated in a busy family restaurant munching on fries and sipping beers while waiting for our meals to arrive. In the meantime, we continued a discussion about Cameroonian culture which we had begun at home. I was telling them about the food people in Cameroon eat, naturally starting with achu since it is the signature traditional meal of people from my village, Bafanji. I described the process of boiling cocoyams (taro) and using a wooden mortar and pestle to pound the tubers into the achu…


Ngondo is an annual festival of the Sawa people who are mostly located in the Littoral and Southwest regions of Cameroon. It is an example of a large scale event which combines a religious ceremony with other activities. Ngondo is special among Cameroonian traditional practices because it does not have antecedents in an antiquity so far off it is mythical. While there are several accounts of its origins, documented sources and Sawa oral tradition almost universally place the origin of Ngondo activities in the 1800s. In one account, it came out of a meeting convened in 1830 by Ngando a…


The practice of acknowledging and venerating ancestors is a key aspect of ritual and ceremonial practices in most traditional Cameroonian societies. The understanding that the dead continue to interact with and influence the living in ways that can be beneficial or harmful is a commonly held belief. This is in the context of the world view that all existence is one coherent whole under the aegis of multiple lesser spirits or deities and a supreme being or deity which is the animating force of life. In many cases, ancestors take on the role of intercessor between this supreme being and…


Where do all things and we who contemplate them come from? Over the course of time, this question has been asked and answered by people all over the world who witness the rising and setting sun and the multitude of phenomena in between, including the existence of their own selves. Answers to the question have ultimately attributed the existence of all things to some active all-encompassing creative/generative principle, whether expressed in creationist myths with an omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient entity or group of entities, or in scientific theories such as the sequence of phenomena proceeding from the Big Bang. The idea…

Mythological Africans

Exploring African mythologies, spiritualities and cultures

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store