A lot of Africans are super superstitious–even in the face of civilisation and all the associated forms of enlightenment. This is a continent where religion occupies an important part of the inhabitants’ lives, and with religion comes all manner of beliefs, including the fundamentally absurd conception that witches and wizards meddle with the affairs of human beings.
The same continent, though largely obsolete in its ideas, has a new generation of people racing to catch up with the less superstitious world where people’s only idea or interaction with mythological figures like witches and wizards is in Harry Potter.
Sandwiched in between the many antediluvian beliefs and the rejection of these beliefs by contemporary knowledge is the struggling well-connected new generation of Africans–those distance has not been able to substantially curtailed their admiration for the lives of Hollywood stars and those who in general aspire to adopt the libertarian lifestyle those in the west live.
Connected to the bigger fast moving world through social media, this new generation of Africans have not only been exposed to what seems like a beautiful life of others, unrestrained by dogmatism–they are embracing a lot of them, such as taking bare bump photos when pregnant which they share on social media with friends.
Whether these sort of photos are attractive or meaningful is something I wouldn’t want to delve into as it borders on subjectiveness– a matter of individual preference. But what I find perplexing, somewhat pathetic is the fact that many of the Africans who find the whole bare baby bump photos beautiful and worthy of taking, including our celebrities, are still haunted by many or one of the numerous superstitions surrounding pregnancy.
And as such, they may be happily taking these photos but doing so in fear–in that, many take these photos when pregnant and for the fear of what the eyes of others can do to their pregnancies, they hide them. Eventually, when they’ve safely delivered, they throw the photos online, to show friends how beautiful their pregnancy was.
Across the pond, the “convention” of bare baby bump photos is totally different–people who take these photos do not have to wait, because of a fear of a night visit by a witch or wizard before releasing them. They mostly go ahead to put the photos out there, while still carrying their babies.
We’ve seen several baby bump photos of Kim Kardashian, Kelly Rowland and others during their pregnancy. It’s reasonable to say that, they surely have no respect for the numerous pregnancy-and-many eyes superstitions.
In Ghana, we’ve recently seen bare baby bump photos of Kafui Danku, Menaye Donkor, Mona aka Hajia4Real and others. But these people only served us with the photos after they had given birth–a clear indication that, despite the desire to embrace this growing pregnancy photos culture, the fear borne out of superstition lingers on.
It’s beautiful to share a journey with those you care about but it seems even the tenacity of the new generation of Africans to catch up with the free societies of the west is not enough to quench the fire of superstition.
If you must do it, do it RIGHT!