The “Evil Eye” is a cast or glance at someone that may inflict harm, suffering or some form of bad luck on their lives. You know how you don’t share an important milestone or major win because you fear it’s all going to get jinxed? Well, the jinxing bit might have something to do with this “evil eye”. You know what’s even weirder? The ”looker” doesn’t have to lift an arm to cause a chain of possibly catastrophic events. God, abeg.  

People who choose to keep their private lives away from the internet might be on to something sha.

Evil Eye on Social Media: Nigerians Share Their Experiences

We had a chat with some Nigerians, and their Evil Eye experiences are chilling, to say the least.

“My sister’s baby cries every time I post her picture on WhatsApp”Funmi*, 28

I was always posting pictures of my niece when my twin sister put to bed, and I started to notice a funny pattern: Every time I posted my niece’s picture, she would cry throughout the night without sleeping. My sister would always call me crying and saying she doesn’t know why the baby is throwing a tantrum. I started feeling weird because it happened only on the days I posted her pictures on WhatsApp. I remember posting her picture again to confirm my suspicion after noticing the pattern. It happened again and that was when I decided to pray about it. At first, I kept it to myself, but I eventually told my sister.

“My hair falls out whenever people compliment it” Fareeda*, 26

I have long and full hair. Anytime people see it they keep “awwwnnning” over it. But I started to notice that I lose a lot of my hair whenever that happened, especially when I was in secondary school. Anything people admired about the hair would be affected. My hairline, the healthy scalp, the length, the fullness… Large chunks of my hair would literally fall out.

“We had a nasty fight after I posted his picture on his birthday”

Fikayo*, 29

I once posted my boyfriend’s pictures to celebrate his birthday. Afterwards, we had a nasty fight that almost led to a breakup. Mind you, this is a relationship of about three years. I remember sharing the pictures, and people I’d not spoken to in years started texting me that day, some I didn’t even have their numbers anymore. Before then, I’d only posted his picture online once.

“I started having dreams that put my babe in bad light” — Oyin*, 28

I remember one Sunday afternoon when my boo stood up as a single in church because there was no category for “in a relationship.” I made a fuss about it on my WhatsApp status and someone sent A DM saying she knew my relationship wasn’t going to last because I was rubbing him in everyone’s face even when we weren’t married.

I was livid, but before I knew it, I started having dreams that put my babe in a bad light, and all I could think about was wanting to break up. Naturally, I’ve found that keeping things to myself before they happen makes them happen.

“Posted about my new job, and it was the beginning of the end” —  Latoye*, 31

I’d been working at this cool place for months but kept it private because I wasn’t ready to share it with anyone. It wasn’t even because I thought about jinxing it or anything; I just wanted to put in the work before making an announcement.

The day I eventually shared the news on Twitter and WhatsApp, there was this weird presence I felt around me. The congratulatory messages poured in and some people even reposted. I got to work the next morning, and let’s just say it was the beginning of an end. Was making silly mistakes that were actually detrimental to the business. Long story short, my contract was terminated. I have a new job now, and only my family members know.

“The company terminated her appointment after sponsoring the family visa and paying for flight”  —  Dotun*, 28

My sister-in-law got a job in the Netherlands in March 2022. The company sponsored visas for her, her husband and their child. They were expecting her arrival in July and had even paid for their flight. By the end of June 2022, the visas were ready. Out of excitement, my sis-in-law she posted her testimony on her WhatsApp status, and two days later, the company called to inform her they don’t need her services anymore. Her flight was cancelled on July 1, 2022. She’s just recovering from the effect it had on her mental health. Thank God her husband had not resigned from his job.

*Names have been changed for the sake of anonymity.

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Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.