Spirits in Africa are refer to as those apparitional entities which form separate category of being from those described as
divinities, we distinguish them also from the ancestors. Spirit are not clearly defined, they may be anthropomorphically
conceived but they are more often than not though has powers which are almost abstract as shades or vapours which take on
human shape; the are immaterial and incorporeal beings (Idowu 173-174).
Spirits according to Africa belief are ubiquitous; there is no area of the earth, no object or creature which has no spirit of its
own or which cannot be inhabited by a spirit. In Africa, there are people who possess this ability to exude themselves and
impose upon others psychologically or by words (176).
Having discuss what spirit is in Africa, I will now narrow it down to the Idoma people of Benue state and the Zambia people.
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The Idoma people of Benue State are known for great spiritual practices which has now become a culture and way of life to
them over ages. They have so many spirit in which Ajenu and Aje (Eje) spirits are very common among them. Spirits are not
just only practices by the Idoma but it is also believe to be a tradition among the Africa and it has become a traditional religion
This work will carry two different sections.
In section one I will discuss the impact of Ajenu and Aje (Eje) Spirit among the idoma people of Benue State. While in section
two, I will examine the role of spirit in any one community in east Africa.
BRIEF UNDERSTANDING OF THE IDOMA PEOPLE
Idoma community are the second largest group of the Tiv in Benue State. The Idoma land is bouded in the North by River
Benue, on the west by the Tiv, on the South by Nsukka and Abakiliki areas repectively, people are bounded on the east by the
Igala of Kogi State.
Having taking a brief look who the Idoma people we shall however, try to in this paper discuss the impact of Ajemu Aje spirit
among the Idoma community.
NATURE OF SPIRITS
Spirits are non descript, immoral and invisible entities. This is because they do not possess material body through which they
could be seen but in order to make themselves seen far any reason or purpose.
People have however, experienced their activities and many folk stories in Africa tell of spirits described in human forms,
activities and personalities, though sometimes these descriptions are exaggerated created by the elders to teach special lessons.
Since they are invisible, these spirit are thought to be ubiquitous, so that a person is never sure where they are or are not (Mbiti 77).
Majority of people in Africa believe that spirit dwell in the woods, bush, forest, and rivers, others hold that spirits dwell in
mountains, hills, valleys and just around the village and at road functions. Spirit are in the same environmental with men. (77).
THE IMPACT OF AJENU AND AJE SPIRIT AMONG THE IDOMA COMMUNITY
In Idoma land the Aje nu spirit is known as water spirit. Ajenu, the Idoma people believe is the spirit of blessing as it is
seen blessing the people with children that is the Ajenu spirit is the giver of children.
Another role played by the Ajenu spirit is that of blessing and protection of people.the Ajenu is the earth goddess it is the god of
fertility and protection responsible for good harvest.
Ajenu according to the Idoma people, also play’s disciplinary roles and it forbids adultery, witchcraft, theft, murder among
others, it is also a taboo to till the soil during Ajenu festival. The shrine of ajenu is called “ikpaaje”.
The Aje on the other part means, soil ground etc first we said the Idoma child is, burn, grows into adulthood and gets old. Since
the child cannot live forever, he has to die. The earth then signifies where he is buried (Igbaka 49).
The aje land cult is associated with the alekwu cult usually sacrifices are offered during yam festivals and other festivals aimed
at appeasing the spirit of the land in order to have adequate rainfall. Successful hunting and abundant harvest among others
The basic role played by aje to Idoma is that, it provides spiritual insights, prayers, rituals, ceremonies sacrifices and offerings
in honour of the ancestors, though such insights dedications and devotions the adherents awareness and trust in God help to
promotes better understanding in life. This is in effect encourages the Idoma people to appreciate the traditional institutions and the value of their religious practices.
As postulated above the ajenu and aje spirits have a significant impact in the live of the people of the Idoma people of Benue
State. This spirit help in forestalling discipline and providing good harvest and among other in the lives of the people. The
impact unlike other traditional community are still felt even with the advent of Christianity.
QUESTION 2: INTRODUCTION.
Spirit in the Africa traditional religion are known to occupy a special position in the lives of the Africans, they play a special
role to the lives of the people, this paper shall engage in the task of taking a look at the role of spirit in one of the communities
in East Africa. With much focus on the Kikuyu traditional community of Kenya.
THE ROLE OF SPIRIT IN KIKUYU TRADITIONAL COMMUNITY
Just like every other community in Africa, the spirit plays a significant role in the kikuyu community of Kenya, this paper is
engaged to bring out these roles played by the spirit.
The society believed in the physical presence of all things visible and invisible. They believed that the presence of an evil spirit
brought bad failure and that the medicine man bad to bribe the spirits and to speak to it in order to appease it. This believe in
the physical presence of spirits, whether good or evil, male those spirits appear as if they were integral and active members of
the society.superstition then ceased to be merely the fear of unseen forces and became instead a deliberate ordinance of a
conflict between society and evil spirit. The bold conflict was then an expression of a private and social desire to remain in good
health and society united because the said set up required it.
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The most common and benign were the spirit ancestors or “living dead”, who mere made up of the departed members of the
family, of whom the parents were the most important. These were known as the spirits of the parents or forebearers (ngona cia
acini). To these the family gave food and drinks offering as token also clan spirits called ngoma cia moherga, who immediate
and main concern is the welfare of the nation on the level of the clan.They act or they are consulted, in a matter performing to
the behaviour and life of the clan members. Thirdly, there are a category of ancestor spirits who are concerned with age groups
and the nation as a whole, and who are known as ngoma cia rika.
The kikuyu tribe of Kenya
Making of 22% of the Kenya population, the kikuyu number about 6 million in the country. A tribe who have embraced the
western way of life. Originally farmers in the lands surroundings mount Kenya. The kikuyu live these days all over Kenya. Prior
to converting to Christianity, the kikuyu believed in a God called Ngai who lived a top mount Kenya. The Kikuyu believed
humanity had arisen from a single man (kikuyu) and women (mumbi) who had nine children that would go on to become the
kikuyu. The kikuyu traditionally practice polygamy allowing men to take multiple wives, in an interesting twist. On this
arrangement, wives, were also allowed to take male lines. The children of such affairs will become the property of the husband
and be raised as if they were his own.
We have demonstrated above the roles of spirits the kikuyu community of Kenya in east Africa, however, due to the impact of
Christianity on the African land many tend to find it difficult in identifying traditional religion of their people as people seeing
identifying with this religion are termed evil.