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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

in Africa.

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.




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.



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).


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.




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.



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.

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