A playful dive into childhood fantasies and the myth busting memories

By Esther Muhozi
On 29 January 2024 at 11:00

Ah, the whimsical world of childhood, where myths weren’t just stories but secrets that shaped our very existence. Let’s take a trip down memory lane and unravel the bizarre tales that, like mischievous puppeteers, were enveloped in a tapestry of myths woven by our elders, myths designed to mold our character and guide our actions. These tales, passed down from generation to generation.

One such myth, ingrained in my childhood by my father, was the cautionary tale of not pointing a finger at a pumpkin, for fear it would rot. Absurd as it may sound now, back then, we treated pumpkins as if they held some mystical power, pretending not to have seen it when one crossed its path in the garden.

These seemingly trivial beliefs had a peculiar way of influencing our choices and interactions.

Then there were the gender-bending whispers. Girls, apparently, were forbidden from whistling, especially after sunset, as if the night air was a snake summoning hotline

Such notions, though seemingly harmless, seeped into the fabric of our daily lives, subtly shaping our behaviors and perceptions.

Reflecting on my foray into the world of religious diversity, I recall an incident at a Catholic church where I partook in the holy communion.

In our village, the ritual was exclusive to Catholics, and the rumor circulated that consuming the Eucharistic bread without being a member of the faith would result in one’s home being set ablaze.

Fueled by curiosity, I defied the myth, only to find my house standing as solid as ever upon my return. It became a source of hearty laughter.

There’s an intriguing story surrounding the locally known wooden mortar, referred to as "ISEKURU." This tool is commonly used for pounding a variety of foods, particularly cassava leaves, in Rwanda and neighboring countries.

Boys were warned that sitting in this tool would transform them into girls. The absurdity of such beliefs is now apparent, but in our formative years, they played a role in shaping our understanding of societal norms.

As we unpack these whimsical tales from our past, it’s not just about debunking myths; it’s a journey into the quirky, absurd, and downright hilarious side of our childhood.

These myths weren’t just cautionary tales; they were the spice that flavored our growing years, adding a pinch of the fantastical to our reality. So, let’s raise a glass to the myths that made us, the stories that shaped us, and the laughter that echoes through the corridors of our nostalgic minds. Cheers to a childhood filled with fantastical fables and the colorful characters we’ve become!

This tool is commonly used for pounding a variety of foods, particularly cassava leaves.