5 Most Weird Nigerian Cultural Practices and Traditions

Nigeria is a West African country with a rich cultural heritage. However, some of their cultural practices can be considered weird particularly in this modern era. As much as Nigerians might consider these practices as benign and a way of preserving cultural values and norms, people from other parts of the world may see them as outright outrageous and strange. Below is a look at 5 weird Nigerian cultural practices among the various tribes of the nation’s society.

The Magun

Despite westernization, adultery in the Nigerian society is immensely frowned upon. The punishment for such an offense may vary with each community in the country, but adultery’s punishment is never palatable. During biblical times, the punishment for such a crime was stoning to death in public. However, the result could equally be death in south-western Nigeria by a juju referred to as Magun. The Yorubas do not entertain adultery and have developed a powerful juju to deal with it. The Magun is feared by the Nigerian society and is usually placed on the body of a married woman by her husband without her being aware. Should the woman commit adultery, the male offender is placed in jeopardy by certain death through the Magun. The male perpetrator either dies in the act or afterward through some other means or by an insatiable taste. In addition, the juju does not take ignorance into consideration in that it does not matter whether the male perpetrator knew the woman was married or not.

Witch Hunting

Some people may think that witch hunting is long gone with history. This is wrong assumption since witchcraft and witch-hunting is still being practiced among the Edos of Nigeria’s middle belt. In fact, the Edo state is considered Nigeria’s center for practicing witchcraft and witch hunting. If a man or woman is suspected of practicing witchcraft, as evidenced by either strange occurrences or deaths within the immediate extended family or community, the suspect is taken to a witch doctor. However, prior to arriving at the witchdoctor’s place, he or she will be flogged, and the devil beans poured on their hair. These are a special kind of African beans known to cause intense itching. The suspect will undergo all kinds of untold torture in order to force the truth out of them, usually ending up confessing. The witchdoctor further enforces such confessions, and if the suspect is eventually found guilty of practicing witchcraft, he or she is excommunicated from the community.



In traditional Nigerian society, the issue of family inheritance is a matter of great magnitude. The will of a deceased person does not come into play, with the first male child inheriting everything. Such a child can then allocate some properties or land to his younger brothers if he so wishes. A female child or children have no say whatsoever in the traditional Nigerian society when it comes to inheritance. The first male child can excommunicate siblings and family members from the homestead if he so wishes, hence making claim to all known properties.

See Also: 5 Nigerian Marriage Customs That Scare People Away From Getting Married

The Osu Caste System

This is one of the strangest and most noticeable weird Nigerian cultural practices of the Igbo people in south-eastern Nigeria. An Osu is a person who, along with his generation, has been dedicated to an idol. It is a kind of an accursed system whereby the so-labeled Osu is discriminated against. Together with his family, an Osu is usually exempted from most of the community’s activities, and cannot marry the free-born. Should a free born go against the tradition and marry an Osu, such an individual becomes an Osu automatically. In spite of the advent of Christianity, this Osu caste system is still adhered to and quite prevalent. While some have braved the consequences and consorted with the Osu, most people tend to avoid such unions due to the social stigma and discrimination that comes with it.

The Nwaboy or Servicehood Phenomenon

Lastly on this list of the weird Nigerian cultural practices is the Nwaboy or servicehood custom which might sound strange to people from the western world, but not the case among the Igbos. The custom dates back to the biblical story of Jacob serving Laban for over a decade to marry Leah and over another decade to marry Rachel. Apparently, the Igbos believe they are Jacob’s original descendants and still practice this belief. However, instead of getting a wife, the servant or Nwaboy serves a master in return for a settlement, usually in the form of a supermarket, electronics, or a car spare part shop. In the course of this period, the servant acts as the master’s protégé to learn how to manage the business.


Chinedu Ikedieze Biography, Wife, Age, Height and Other Facts 

Chinedu Ikedieze is a Nigerian famous comic and dramatic actor who rose to fame after starring in the blockbuster movie ‘’Aki na Ukwa’’. He is...

Odunlade Adekola Biography, Did He Really Marry a Second Wife?

Odunlade Adekola is a Nigerian actor, singer, producer, and director who is regarded as the top pillar upholding the Yoruba movies in Nigeria. Recently, he...

Is Osita Iheme Married? Who Is The Wife, Here are Facts You Need To Know

Osita Iheme is a famous Nollywood actor who gained prominence after playing the role of Paw Paw in the Nigerian film, Aki na Ukwa. His...

Mike Ezuruonye Biography, Son, Wife, Daughter, Age and Other Facts 

Mike Ezuruonye rose to prominence in Nollywood for his diverse acting skills. He is celebrated as one of the finest Nigerian actors, directors, and filmmakers. For...

Richard Mofe-Damijo RMD – Bio, Children, Wife, Family, Age and Net Worth

Richard Mofe-Damijo RMD is a Nigerian famous actor, his career in Nollywood started in the late 1990s. He was also the former Commissioner for Culture...

Featured Today

20 Beautiful Pictures and Videos of Natural Hair Styles

Most people love their natural hair yet they can't do without the artificial hair. You will certainly agree with me that there is something...

University of Ilorin: School Fees, Courses, Admission and Students Portal Info

The University of Ilorin (Unilorin) is a Federal Government tertiary institution situated in Ilorin, the capital city of Kwara State, Nigeria. Established in 1975 by a decree of...

What is The Meaning of IPOB, Who is The Leader and What Are They Fighting For?

The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) was created by Nnamdi Kanu a few years ago as a breakaway group of the “compromised” Movement for the Actualisation...

Didier Drogba Age, Wife, Height, Weight, Net Worth

Through struggle and hard work, Ivorian professional footballer and legendary Chelsea Football Club striker, Didier Drogba, who is one of the most decorated players in...

Lagos State: People, Logo, Postal Code & Map

Lagos State, a region located in the southwestern geopolitical zone of Nigeria, was created on May 27, 1967, in accordance with the State Creation and...
Fact Check: We strive for accuracy and fairness, if you've found a possible error, be it factual, editorial or something that needs updating, please contact us

Read This Next