Whoever invented the word “literal” must’ve been thinking about Nigerian mums because why do they take everything so literally? Add religion to the mix, and it’s all over.

You: I’m dead tired.

Your mum:

Odds are you’ve never imagined how your mum would react to the concept of spirit animals. But Zikoko’s mind works in mysterious ways, so we did it for you, and this is what it’d look like.

It’s a typical Thursday evening, and everyone is gathered around the TV

Only this time, Daddy isn’t around to force everyone to watch the news. Your sibling somehow convinced Mummy to let everyone watch Nat Geo Wild instead of Zee World. How they did it, you don’t know.

And then it happens

The TV narrator describes how monkeys exhibit traits of intelligence and mischief far higher than their “animal” status, and you open your mouth to say the abominable: “Monkeys are so smart. I really think they’re my spirit animal”.

Mummy looks at you to be sure she’s not hearing things

Mummy: Monkey is your spirit animal? What does that one mean?

You: It’s just a saying o. Like a spirit that guides or protects someone. Most times, it just describes the characteristics that someone shares with the animal.

Mummy, silently looking at you

Wondering where she went wrong


The moment you knew you fucked up

Mummy finally finds her voice

Mummy: So, Sola, I brought you up in the way of the Lord so you can wake up one day and decide it’s spiritual animal you want to be doing?

You: Mummy, it’s spirit…

Mummy: Will you shut up! I’m talking, and you’re talking? Somebody save me. So you want to be a monkey, Sola? Ọbọ!

Meanwhile, your siblings

Mummy (already in tears): Where have I gone wrong with these children? We’re still praying against spirit husbands and wives, and now, there are spiritual animals? Sola, of everything in this world to be, you want to be a monkey.


Mummy: So you can’t say the Lion of Judah is your spirit animal. It’s monkey? Ah. Your father will hear this. In fact, everyone in this house is going for deliverance. The devil is in my home.

You: But, mummy, it was just a joke.

Mummy: That’s how the devil’s work starts. Today, it’s pressing phone. Tomorrow, it’s spiritual animal. And before I know it, you people will start drawing tattoo.

She faces your siblings

Mummy: What are you laughing at? Will you stand up and enter the room? All of you should better go and sleep because tomorrow morning is meeting us at pastor’s house. All of you will explain where this witchcraft started.

Everyone escapes into their rooms, grateful to have been released

Mummy won’t be sleeping, of course. She’ll spend all night praying against spiritual animals, all the while muttering under her breath: 

“I didn’t kill my mother. These children will not kill me.”

NEXT READ: Just Imagine: You Got to Read the Diary of a Nigerian Mother



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