The Anatomy Of The Yoruba Demon

Sometimes, trying to milk light from darkness, we saturate the body with substances harmful to its survival. Sometimes, trying to appear higher on the food chain, we mummify the psyche and have no space on the food chain. Sometimes, trying to make temporary gains, we create permanent pain in the hearts of good people. Sometimes, trying to appear intelligent and sophisticated, we project con artistry as a thing of beauty, creating a legacy of a filthy creature. Sometimes, trying to appear more advanced, we act like brutes and uncivilized lower animals, cuddling and rocking stupidity. This is the Yoruba Demon tag. The legacy of the Yoruba Demon is not the legacy anyone should be found wearing like an expensive garment. The legacy of the Yoruba Demon is not the legacy of life, happiness, joy or laughter. It takes from lives. It kills. It destroys. It is salty. Morphologically, semantically and etymologically, it bleeds every person involved. No Nigerian tribe should be placed before or after an adjective that destroys lives. Nollywood just made a Movie titled ‘Yoruba Demon’ and I wonder what they seek to achieve with that stereotype.

Who Is A Yoruba Demon?

According to the Urban dictionary, a ‘Yoruba demon is typically a young man of Yoruba(the Yoruba is a tribe predominantly found in South West Nigeria) descent who has the uncanny gift to effortlessly make ladies fall head over heels in love with him. He is naturally a gifted smooth talker and Casanova and prides himself in been able to acquire a huge followership of female admirers and side chicks. He is also gifted at absolving himself of any responsibility in his relationships. Generally, he is a seductive cock-tail of sweet and bitter. There is no going back after you date a Yoruba demon, you keep coming back for more’.

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You Don’t Look This Good And Call Yourself A Demon

Simply put, the Yoruba Demon is a player. A young man, of Yoruba descent, who toys with the heart of women, who uses them how he deems fit, who has no regard for their feelings and is only interested in his happiness. He is very selfish, a despicable human being and, in our case, is worshipped and admired for his charm and sleekness. This is a dangerous stereotype. Players have no tribe and this isn’t one of those things to be proud of. I’ve seen so many guys of Yoruba descent bragging with the tag, calling themselves Yoruba Demons and acting as though the tag edges them over other Nigerians. This has same effect as Americans and foreigners calling every email scam they receive ‘Nigerian Scam’. The name ‘Nigeria’ is soiled in the process and Nigerians are viewed and treated as criminals. We need reeducation in this country.

How Is A Yoruba Demon Created?

A Yoruba Demon is created by being every evil thing in existence with respect to romance. He is, anatomically, equipped with a smooth tongue that produces a thousand decibel of lies per second. His brain is always in mental motion, thinking and building the machineries of war. Thinking of the next method to grab that damsel and render her life useless. His brain is a gift from the Greek God of Lies, Apate, and the roman God, Mendacius. He doesn’t care of the future implication of his words but that temporary unpalatable want of his torn body and spirit. His eyes are like the eyes of Horus, he sees everything, even what is not there physically, and the damsel usually mistakes this misused gifts for care.

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His feet, always in a hurry to commit evil and because of his mastery and experience, they usually fall. They usually find out after he’s done with his shameless body-to-body experiment. He doesn’t see beyond physical needs of his victims. He doesn’t care how their lives go once he’s done with them. The anatomy of the Yoruba Demon is the anatomy of a beast. It is not good, or funny, or should be entertaining but the people are making it appear good, funny and a source of enjoyment. Sarcasm keep ruining this country and no one seem to care. Gradually, the tag is becoming a synonym for Player. Rather than say player you say Yoruba Demon. That’s like Nigeria becoming a synonym for Shithole. We need reeducation in this country.

But Why Yoruba Demon and Not Player?

Why did they personalise this evil and give it tribal connotation? Who is to blame for the name Yoruba Demon? Who is to be blamed for substituting the word ‘Player’ for Yoruba Demon? Why do some persons talk about it with joy as though it is an achievement for the tribe and shows intellectual superiority? Why should we stop it now to avoid the impending doom? What are the implications of substituting a bad word with something that should be treasured? Who started this nonsense?

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First, the psyche of an average Nigerian is messed up. The psyche of many Nigerian youths are so messed up that a dominance of evil is seen as something of tribal pride. I’ve seen some Igbo boys bragging about the skill to outsmart others for corruption purposes. I’ve seen some Hausa youths brag about the skill to easily kill anyone. And Nigerians generally agree with these senseless stereotypes. They see it as something that should be worshipped. They see it as something great and signs of superiority. Evil is beauty and trying to be good is a sign of stupidity.

Will you pick a bag containing a million naira and return it to its owner? If your answer is yes, you are a fool and not ready to progress in life. That’s how much growth we have here. This stinks around. That’s why in Nigeria when we want to say how good a sports player is, we say instead ‘that guy is bad’. Instead of saying the boy is very intelligent, we say ‘the boy na winch‘. This is the well where the Yoruba youths who started this Yoruba Demon nonsense are drawing from. Now other tribes have joined them and we have a stereotype of gargantuan proportion staring at us. Making every Yoruba man suspect is the next stage. No one should be proud of that.

Why We Should Stop It Now

The tag and its meaning is not something good and not healthy for the tribe and country. It is like calling criminals, Igbo Devils. It is like calling murderers Hausa Satanists. Taking pride in it is a symbol of retardation. Something is definitely wrong with some of us. A man who destroys an innocent human being should be ashamed of himself. Crimes and immoral acts are not tribal and the attempt at equating any immoral act with tribal connotations creates deeper problem for that tribe and the people. It erroneously gives off the notion that Yoruba men are not faithful or have any sense of responsibility. It gives off the notion that Yoruba men are not worthy to be called men and shouldn’t be dated or married by a human being who wants peace. It promotes the idea that Yoruba men only care about themselves. It also creates a barrier between tribes in Nigeria in sex and relationship issues. Why would anyone take pride in such a thing? Why would anyone see that as a bragging or intellectual tool and sign of superiority?

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Stereotypes do not let us experience rational thought. It gives the brain of the man possessing it a shortcut and gradually, because the brain is wired to harp on shortcuts, a dangerous bias is built and the subject of that stereotype suffers. You may be having fun now and enjoying your new name but gradually, the idea that all Yoruba men are Yoruba Demons will sell and you, the Yoruba boy, projecting the bias and tarnishing yourself, will become a victim. Gradually, the Nigerian people will buy the idea(like they bought other false ideas) that the Yoruba men in the country are genetically wayward and promiscuous. You know the implication of such a dangerous mindset? Chaos for everyone. Both the holder of the stereotype and the one the stereotype is meant for suffers bad relationship and this can even translate to a national conflict. So, stop that nonsense. The fact that it got into a dictionary should be a thing of worry and something should be done about that. There is no pride in this thing. There’s nothing to be proud of here. You are proud of it only because you are messed up in the head.

Admit it is wrong and shouldn’t be celebrated or have any attribute worthy of keeping. If you can’t celebrate players and murderers of the heart you shouldn’t smile when anyone shares that on your timeline too. Admit that crimes and immorality have no root in tribalism or nationalism. Whatever you are, you simply became so, mostly, through the choices you made and your tribe has nothing to do with your personal decisions. No particular type of evil, or even goodness, is inherent in any tribe. Where you find yourself and the decisions you take have a huge bearing on your personality. Personality is not genetic. Stop seeing goodness in evil and confusing wickedness, heart breakers, criminals, demons, etc., for sophistication. It is from that mindset that poorly thought tags like the Yoruba Demon come from. Finally, preach against it. We already have enough deadly stereotypes in this country among tribes and we can’t use more. Thank you as you comply.

About Poet 171 Articles
I am Rey Alaetuo, a conscious Poet and health care professional living in Owerri, Nigeria. I am an exponent of humanism and a vigilant Poet. I am deeply interested in the propagation of positive human values and behaviour.


  1. When Tobi Bakre, big muscles, beard gang and a track record of being a ladies’ man on his side, went into the Big Brother Naija House, most people who knew or had heard of him expected much from the young banker; that he would be this edition’s resident Yoruba demon. The term “Yoruba Demon” is one of those expressions that has come to mean more than their literal connotations; that obvious simple reference to a tribe and evil spirits. It refers to the idea of a very desirable Yoruba man, who exudes confidence, charm, finesse and has a way with the ladies. In a show like Big Brother Naija, there’s always room for a Yoruba demon.

  2. You did a great job Rey. I think the problem is the danger of the single story. I once dated an Igbo guy who was very loving and kind hearted. And so,if anyone should ask me about Igbo guys in general,I would always tell them about how good they are. But it’s wrong,because there are good and bad guys in every tribe yeah?
    A friend of mine told me just last week Saturday to stay off Edo guys because they are ‘very useless’ ,when I asked why,then she explained to me the reason she has that notion.
    Her ex(an Edo guy) was very controlling,arrogant and violent! She had to end the relationship quick because of the way the guy treated her. So if anyone should ask her about Edo guys,well you already know the answer yeah?
    So,I think we should all ditch the mentality of the single story. We will all thrive better that way.

    • Exactly. These stereotypes weren’t built in one day. They are the result of people repeating a single story as the only story.

      No matter the ill treatment I receive from a person of other tribe I wouldn’t buy that. I was in Benue State when an Idoma guy told me the Idomas are bad people.

      And because he is an Idoma the people around were shocked I disagreed with him. We ended with some lecture on the science of genetics.

      Morality is not tribally distributed. I think all these feeds into the power of repetition. It doesn’t have to be true to be believe if it is constantly repeated. What births it? Like you said, the single story narrative.

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