twisted tales of the tokoloshe

I have always had this fascination with tokoloshes. I love the word and I love the sense of folklore and fairytale about them. I know they are more than folklore to many people, but I haven’t seen one yet. Although, apparently if you have seen one you can never say so or the tokoloshe will come back and get you. Supposedly it looks like “a very nasty teddy bear“. It is all part of the African tradition that I do not participate in but find interesting nevertheless.

In Durban I was impressed by how religiously people put their beds on bricks. I always thought that this was to prevent you being carried away in the night, like in the Madam and Eve cartoons. 


So how disturbed was I when I googled tokoloshes and found out that the reason you put your bed on bricks is because the tokoloshe has a freakishly long dick and can rape you in your sleep? My happy little fairytale bubble has been pricked (ahem).

I feel vaguely violated, much like how I felt after I discovered the truth about Father Christmas. (Apparently you are supposed to pretend he doesn’t exist or he won’t give you any presents. How set up did I feel at age 6 when my mom told me this and I realised that all along I had been receiving only her measly presents. Now that I pretend he doesn’t exist he give me loads of presents each year. Why do our parents lie to us?).

What a twisted world we live in, hey?

13 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Tamara
    Oct 10, 2008 @ 16:10:00

    Ack! Bring me the bricks! That’s so friggin scary, Po. Thanks for robbing me of my innocence (although not quite as brutally as said Tokoloshe would, apparently)!


  2. Sweets
    Oct 10, 2008 @ 16:18:00

    i thought the beds were put on bricks cause he’s short… LOL that’s really funny :)FC: father christmas… i had to tell my 9 year old son last year about FC cause he just kept on believing in him…. i felt like shit for doing it, but he was fine about it. but 6?? that’s too young to break big news like that :)


  3. Kitty Cat
    Oct 10, 2008 @ 16:42:00

    Shoo, well I’ve learnt something new about the tokoloshes too! Gross.


  4. ladyfi
    Oct 10, 2008 @ 16:56:00

    Don’t believe everything you read on Wikepedia..And Santa Claus so does exist! Doesn’t he? Don’t go bursting my bubble now…


  5. The Divine Miss M
    Oct 10, 2008 @ 17:42:00

    Omigod. Seriously.That is fucking freaky and gross.EEWWWW


  6. po
    Oct 10, 2008 @ 17:52:00

    kitty cat: I think I wish I didn’t know.ladyfi: that is true. Actually there are so many different stories about the tokoloshe i dont know what to believe. As for Santa, you have to pretend he doesnt exist or ou wont get prezzies!Miss M: I know, it disturbed me.


  7. po
    Oct 10, 2008 @ 17:54:00

    tamara: Sorry, but we need to know these things :)sweets: actually i cant remember when my parents told me, so I made up that number. I was probably 15 or something knowing how gullible i am!


  8. 6000
    Oct 10, 2008 @ 18:03:00

    Apparently, it’s got twelve ears, two of them are for listening and another two are kind of back-up ears and some of its ears are on the inside of its head and it doesn’t have any eyebrows at all, except on Saturdays and instead of a mouth it’s got four arses and it’s as big as four cats and it’s got a retractable leg so that it can leap up at you better and it lights up at night and its claws are as big as cups and for some reason, it’s got a tremendous fear of stamps and it’s got magnets on its tail so as if you’re made out of metal it can attach itself to you and when it yawns, it sounds like Liam Neeson chasing a load of hens around inside a barrel and it’s from Somalia and it’s got the Gauteng mystery killer virus.


  9. po
    Oct 10, 2008 @ 18:25:00

    6000: haha that is brilliant! But I want some coherence to my folklore. There must be some consensus on the tokoloshe.Although if you are not allowed to say when you have seen one then all the descriptions out there must be lies.its true though, every description i have read is completely different. Never read the Liam Neeson part though, maybe i should update wikipedia?


  10. 6000
    Oct 10, 2008 @ 18:48:00

    Hmm. Bits of that may have been borrowed from Dougal’s description of The Beast of Craggy Island from Father Ted.


  11. po
    Oct 10, 2008 @ 18:52:00

    I have only seen a few episodes of father ted, hehe, must look out for that one on the internet. I always had this suspicion that tokoloshes could be Irish imports, like leprochauns.


  12. sleepyjane
    Oct 14, 2008 @ 13:45:00

    OMG. I didn’t know that either. I agree with sweets – I thought it was so he couldn’t get on the bed ’cause he’s short!


  13. po
    Oct 14, 2008 @ 18:41:00

    sleepyjane: maybe they are all true, or maybe they have kids versions and adult versions


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