So recently, in a Facebook LGBT group I belong to, where conversations are frequently sparked by hot button issues and opinions fly around as diverse as any it can get here on Kito Diaries, someone posted an update about blood oaths. Growing up, I’d sometimes heard about gay men in relationships going into blood covenants as an attempt to reassure themselves of the strength of their relationships. And when I heard such stories, I laughed at the desperation and lack of a sense of security the act implies. And secondly, that a couple would resort to introducing the fear of the diabolical as a way of keeping their relationship intact just doesn’t seem to me as something two people secure with their love would do.
But hey, before I get carried away, here’s the update and some of the comments that trailed it (names of the commenters are not real). And then sound off in the comments.
Don: Okay! So this Nigerian guy that just got in here last week told me how he took a blood oath with his boyfriend a night before he departed. Unto say they will never leave each other come what may. They intend to eventually marry, even though at the moment, they can fool around with other people. They just won’t leave each other. This is a bit too extreme and weird to me. But whatever sails their boat.
Kennedy: Blood oath…is that even a thing? They can eventually separate and nothing will happen biko.
Gabriel: Hmmm, blood oath...that shit is very powerful o!
Ikenna: Kennedy, blood oaths binds even after death o. I can't try it even if a man goes to the sun for me. I can promise never to leave you, mana nke blood ahu, Chukwu aju!
Emeka: Blood oaths are some messy shit. It’s powerful and difficult to undo. People die because of it.
Bello: Nollywood rubbish!
Kennedy: Exactly! The effects of Nollywood on you people though!
Gabriel: I’m telling you, even MFM prayer warriors sweat profusely to undo it. It’s no Nollywood shit. This is reality.
Bello: Please name two people you know who did it and died within days abi hours of leaving each other. All this is superstition. You grew up with it being told to you it happens over and over again. Hearsay and stories upon stories!
Gabriel: I don’t need to know two people that did it and died. Blood covenant is certainly not something to joke with. There are lots of mysteries behind that shit. I really don’t wanna go all bible and churchy because it would be a waste of time.
Bello: By all means bring out your bible and mysteries. I'm waiting lol
Gabriel: What is the point in trying to argue that with you? As if it will in any way change what you already believe.
Bello: Bring me evidence. The drugs you take were not made by a researcher saying, ‘I just FEEL this is the compound that will work.’ We all have brains. Let's use logic more in our lives.
Emeka: Bello and Kennedy, biko you two should go do it and we'll know if it's true or not.
Uche: You that is hailing it as true, what's your basis for believing if not for them say-them say.
Emeka: Not them say-them say. Considering where I'm coming from, I've been opportune to see a case firsthand. The prayer session that night wasn't funny. The guy was at the point of death
Kennedy: Point of death because he did a blood ritual or because he was sick?
Emeka: He left the girl he did it with because he didn't like her anymore. Dude fell ill, went for many tests, nothing could be found. And then he confessed, hence the prayers. Funny enough, after the prayers, he became well like he had never been sick. Although you could see the toll the sickness took on him. Blood oaths are not trivial matters to be joked with or entered lightly.
Bello: Carry am go better hospital, them go find the cause of the illness. It’s only in Nigeria people have 'unexplainable illnesses'.
Anthony: Actually, that’s not true, Bello. There are such situations over here too. The lady I live with fell sick one time and was wasting away. Nothing was found to be her problem. Prayers were said for her, lots of praying and fasting. And then, after a prayer session with her pastor, he told her to go and that they would find out her issue. And she revisited the hospital, and indeed the problem was located. And this was after eight months since when she first fell sick.
Bello: Your mystery illness can be due to a growth or tumor that wasn't resolved (seen) by the scans that are currently available to science (science keeps improving). After eight months, it can grow to where it can be solidly detected.
Anthony: I know this. But it was not a tumor. And I'm sure Cambridge and Norwich hospitals have whatever they need to diagnose illnesses.
Bello: I didn't say it was a tumor. I was giving a scenario. Modern medicine is not perfect. I also said that in the 'science' part of my response.
Bello: I mean, really, what next will we hear? Witches flying at night to torment the cheating boyfriend? Someone 'stealing' the guy's manhood in public by touching? Do you know there are people who believe homosexual intercourse is a 'blood covenant' that will cause your life to be stagnated one way or the other? Going by what you’re saying, isn't that plausible? Though I guess you will feel that's bull crap because you have sex with men.
Gabriel: Bello, by all means go ahead with it o! If you’re able to live through it, then I’ll have blood covenants with as many men I can lay my hands on as possible lol.
Bello: Just answer my question. It’s very simple. Is this my own theory also not true? Abi are you uncomfortable?
Gabriel: Well it’s true though, not just the gay sex. Premarital sex in general, but it’s different, because in the case of blood covenant, an oath is taken. Promises are made to be kept.
Kennedy: Nothing will happen, guys. If you were a bad boy in school, you would remember that school cults do blood oaths to initiate their members who will eventually decide to quit and run away. Nothing happens to them. Or will you tell me that the ones for relationships are stronger?
Bello: Love own is stronger oh, haven't you heard?
Don: My childhood friend's sister is a nutcase today because she betrayed a guy she had a blood oath with. No prayer house or hospital could get her right again.
Bello: My dear, if they carry am go proper mental health facility, them go trace the cause. Schizophrenia has many causes, none are blood oaths.
Don: If you say so, doc.
Kennedy: Don, what is wrong with her? She ran mad? Or became sick? What exactly?
Don: She has been misbehaving since then. Not totally mad as to be on the streets, but she's not totally normal. Eventually, she couldn't get married again.
Bello: Let me use facts and illustrate. Throughout human history, people have employed this "god of the gaps" type of reasoning: whenever we come across something we do not understand, attribute it to a supernatural force. Even if strange things always occurred with blood oaths (and that's not remotely true), I am content because every entity that has been on that list has ultimately been shown to have a thoroughly naturalistic origin and explanation. Night and day, the nature of the moon and stars, the cycles of the seasons, the cause of diseases, the motions of the planets, the weather, the source of disasters such as earthquakes – we now know that ALL these things and many more are natural phenomena, with no gap-dwelling gods needed to explain them.
Kennedy: Except homophobia, we still don't know where that one came from. Oh wait, we do! From religion! *sigh*
Bello: Lol! Yeye!
Junior: See superstition here sha. The crazy things people believe are shocking.
Bello: Let them come out and say it. They should just reply my previous question about homosexual intercourse, that’s my own, so that we can all agree that we are doing demonic covenants every day.
Junior: That the brightness of our destinies reduces every time we lust over a passing bloke.
Brian: Do they really have to do blood oath (Eww, by d way) to stay committed in relationships? Because in the end, when you want to leave, you won’t, instead you’ll stay because of the fear of what will happen if you leave. And that to me is nonsense!
Don: Yes, that's the shitty part of it. You feel unnecessarily obligated even when you don't want to.
Phil: Personally, I can go the extra mile of doing a blood oath for a guy if we’ve dated for about five years and there have been no buts in the relationship. Sadly, the possibility of me dating that sort of guy is zero.
James: That’s just no point for having a blood oath.
Phil: If he fucking loves me, why won’t I go the extra mile? But as I said, such kinds of people only exist in films.
Uche: You're going by the definition then that blood oaths are the ultimate acts of commitment, eh?
Phil: As a guy with weird Benin roots, yes.
Uche: smh. Okay.
James: Superstition flying upandan*sips blood*
Don: The point of this post was not about it being superstition or not. I don't know why everyone is trying to point that out.
Bello: You gave a 'testimony' of someone your friend knows who went mad because of a blood oath.
Don: She's still there at their house. When next I'm around, you can come to Mbaise and see her and hear from the horse's mouth. Lol. Her case is a popular one.
Bello: Good. Then answer my question that I posted up.
Don: Na JAMB?
Bello: That was so deep that I almost drowned.
James: The post is about believing that rubbing blood-stained fingers together can make your relationship last, isn’t it?
Don: And because you feel it is superstition, you feel others don't believe in it?
James: My opinion? I think it is horse shit. *sips blood*