Traditional Nigerian Riddles



A question intentionally phrased to require ingenuity in ascertaining its answer. Riddles are puzzling statements, descriptions designed to make a person use his/her creative ingenuity.


In traditional African communities especially in Nigeria, riddles cracking are a form of family entertainment, with the children sitting around the elder in the family during moonlight plays. There is so much fun and laughter associated with this form of family entertainment.
In Nigeria, riddles asking and cracking is an art form which are passed down from generations to generation.

In Bini kingdom there is a format always used when its time for riddles. The leader or the person posing the riddle starts with the word:
"Gbirro"

And the persons waiting to give the answer responds:
"Aloo"

Below are some Bini riddles;

I fuofua, I vbe mween iri nofua vbe uhunwhun mwen
I am white and I have a white tread on my head

Emwin ore, ime khin, I ma he ka ededemwende
I am something, I have never got dried

Emwin ore, ime khin, I gie ameve gha ladian vbe aro emwan
I am something, I bring tears out of peoples eyes

Emwin sekeseke nee I sonno ogie
something filthy but does not irritate a chief

Ivbiye nii bi itiro
two things of same mother that used kohl to darken the eyelids

Emwin no lao eze no ma gbe ame
something that entered the river without splashing water

There are some other riddles, which are just a word or meaningless phrase, but the answers to the riddles brings out the meaning:

Riddle: Vughuvughu
Ans: ukpokpo I see so (a long stick or pole cannot get to the sky)

Riddle: Sakuen
Ans: Igban I so okhokho (thorn does not prick the chicken)

Riddle: Sigheke sigheke
Ans: Ede ne ewe biee ovbi ere ke khian (the new born goat start walking the day it gets down from the mother's womb)

Riddle: Fiakpu
Ans: ughughunmwun I rrua eni (stumps cannot knock down an elephant)

In all, as a form of entertainment, Riddle posing have no age restriction as every member of the community can partake.

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