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‘When Your Palms Itch, You Will Receive Money’, and Other African Myths

Three legged pots commonly used in Botswana. If a young woman eats out of them, she will not get married. Creative Commons image by Rach151.

Three-legged pots commonly used in Botswana. If a young woman eats out of a pot, she supposedly will not get married. Creative Commons image by Rach151.

Africans, like people elsewhere in the world, use Twitter in many ways. Sometimes it's to have a laugh at themselves. Sometimes it's to find common ground across countries and cultures. Sometimes it's both.

For example, @IGtiz, a Kenyan student, has started the #100AfricanMyths hashtag to share myths that are passed on from generation to generation in African countries, mostly orally.

Myths in Africa serve different socio-cultural needs. Parents, for instance, use myths to keep their young ones in check.

Here is a sample of some of the more hilarious African myths.

Faith Mulungi, a Ugandan radio presenter, tweeted:

@PatohShanqueels explained a common myth that went around schools where caning took place:

Do not cut your nails at night, according to @xolelwandengane in South Africa:

Flo Letoaba, a South African radio talk host, added this one to the mix:

Whistling at night can be very dangerous — supposedly:

Children were taught not to laugh at the disabled, according to @NaughtyMilz in Uganda:

An owl is a messenger of death, says @iGitz_:

Do not sweep away luck from your house, Vinnie from Kenya warned:

Myths were also used to getting children to concentrate in class:

Although the myths were from various parts of Africa, Dickens Jnr, an African American in the US state of Michigan, said that he had heard all them:

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