Why are cults so popular among the youths nowadays? What are the main types of cultism in Nigeria and what symbols do they have? Let’s look through the essence of each of them!
What is cultism?
It is possible that lot of people don't even know that there is a list of cults in Nigeria, which usually thrive at universities and even outside of campus. The main reasons of why some people become members of such movements are the lust for the power, riches, and prestigious status in the society.
According to the Oxford Dictionary, cultism can be described as a religious or social group whose beliefs are secret, individualistic, and esoteric. Actually, cultism involves carrying out some ritualistic practices. Usually, cultists share some common objectives and ideas. So, they are unknown to the society and also, some cult leaders' true intentions are unknown even to the members of the particular cult. So, let's summarize the main characteristics of cultism:
1) it is a spiritual or religious practice;
2) it is a secret practice;
3) it is practiced by a group of individuals;
4) its policies are unknown to the general public;
5) it has an impact on the lives of the individuals;
6) it's people have a common value.
The first cultism movement in Nigeria was called “Pyrates”. It was founded in 1952 by Nobel Prize winning author Wole Soyinka and his friends. Later they were called “Sea Dogs”. After some time, another kind of community was created. These are what we known today as “secret cults”.
Types of cultism in Nigeria and their symbols
So, let’s look through the main types of cultism in Nigeria and their symbols. Some Nigerian confraternities do not hide their symbols, while others keep them in secret and only members of that cult know what they are.
1) Pyrate Confraternity “The National Associations of Sea Dogs”
As we have already mentioned, it is controversially the first “secret cult” in the Nigerian University System. Its two main symbols are a skull, two cross-bones and an anchor. The cult's purposes are: "against expiring convention, tribalism, for humanistic ideas and partnership and knighthood."But their hay days soon ended when the Buccaneers branched out from them.
2) Buccaneers Confraternity “The National Associations of Sea Lords”
Established by the Bolaji Carew, the Buccaneers came to be very mighty and become the major rival to their mother “Pyrate Confraternity” (because they were splintered from them). In 1972, Bolaji Crew and some others were expelled from the Pyrates. A major impetus for the creation of the new confraternities was the fact that members of the new groups simply did not meet the high academic and intellectual standards set by the Seadogs, and thus considered the original organization to be elitist. Carew was the founder of the Buccaneers Confraternity or as it also called the National Associations of Sea Lords. Now you may understand why their symbols and ceremonies are so alike to the Seadogs'.
3) Black Axe
The next confraternity in Nigeria we are going to discuss today is Black Axe. Actually, this cultism community was created by neo-black students. Their major goal was the growth of a strong body to confront those black students who suppress them. The symbol of this movement is the axe. Here are some rules of this group:
- not to betray;
- not to forgive;
- not to condemn, otherwise, you have to pay for it.
The next type of cultism is called the “Aro-Mates”. It was established by three students that were once a part of the Pyrate's Community. This cult is also called the Vikings cult. Their motto and rules are the following: not to retreat even before the death and "blood in the sea", and to sing piracy songs.
Their symbol also contains an axe, to be more precise, two crossed axes and a boat.
READ ALSO: What is cultism and its effects?
5) Supreme Eiye Confraternity or Air Lords
The next one is called “Air Lords”, or “Supreme Eiye Confraternity”. It was founded by students who aspired for self-development and were dismissive to other types of cultism. Their main opinion became: "there are no enemies, and there are no friends, just a confraternity, and discipline". The symbol of this movement is the skull and crossbones.
6) Dedy Na debt
This particular cult called “Dedy Na debt”, involves the worship of the demon in an image of a mad person. They believe that their deal puts them above all the other types of cultism. All the members faithfully perform an oath.
7) Ciao-Sons or mafia based cultism
As for the Ciao-Sons ideology, its roots originated from the virtue of Italian and American mafia. Affiliated to its activity, the members invented the following rules: parties, secrets, and revenge against oppression.
8) Women's communities or female cultism
Well, women's communities, such as “Viqueens”, “Black Bra”, “the Damselalso”, and “Daughters of Jezebel” were also founded by students. By the way, their ideology is grounded on already existing men's brotherhoods. Usually, they were just girlfriends or colleagues of members of the “secret cults”.
Female cultism includes representatives of the female gender, who come together to reach their sacred goals or for other special objectives. They often meet in forests or other remote locations, make circles, sing songs and read out some spells and invocations.
As for the female cultism in Nigeria, it should be mentioned that a large number of people have affirmed that they are a part of such female gatherings and their participation in their activities.
9) Kegite club
The next one is “Kegite club”. It is one of the few movements which are still thriving nowadays. Many people consider this club as a social group. Really, in comparison to other, more invasive groups, they don't follow the principles of the wealth, power, popularity, and revenge. This one is more of a sociocultural movement, which believes that there should be no diversity. Members of this organization are very tolerant. They believe that all ethnic groups are equal, and their major rule is to stay true to themselves. However, in Nigeria there can be found individuals, who can designate it as a form of cult. All opinions have the right to exist.
In general, this group promotes a number of actions, which propagandize the regeneration of the mind, soul, and body after the tedious day. Also, their ideology has no negative consequences (such as the unreliability, fear, loss of important vital values or deterioration), as many other groups have. They aim for the improvement of individual qualities.
The symbol of this movement is close to nature and it is a green palm.
10) Supreme Vikings Confraternity
The community “Supreme Vikings Confraternity” is also known as “The Adventures” or “the De Norsemen Club of Nigeria”. It was established by a former participant of the Buccaneer confraternity. The symbol of this movement is known as SVC.
Well, as you can see, there are different types of cultism in Nigeria, and all of them have their own objectives and goals. Most of them were originated from universities and they each have their own unique way of self expression. We have shown you a list of the main cultism communities in Nigeria and their symbols. As you may guess there are many others in the country and their number continues to grow annually.