Today twins are celebrated in Nigeria, such as the famous P Square duet. Find out why they used to get killed in the past and who stopped it.
Nigerian tribes had many traditions, but one of them took away a great number of innocent lives. The tradition to kill twins, which was stopped by Mary Mitchell Slessor. She has become an iconic person in Nigeria and one of the legends in her own land – Scotland. Let’s learn more about her striking life and ministry and enabled her to save the twin and other human lives.
Why Nigerians used to kill twins?
People in some African tribes believed twins were evil. Twins are amazing and in the past, when there was no knowledge of genetic, people did not understand them. Humans tend to defy and destroy anything they do not understand. That is why twins were viewed out of law and left in the woods to die. This tradition was stopped with the coming of Christianity.
Who stopped the killing of twins in Nigeria?
In the 19th century most churches were located on the coast line, but only few penetrated the country. This mission was undertaken by a very brave woman Mary Slessor.
She was Scottish and did not come to Africa, because she had such a good and blessed life back home.
She was raised in a poor family by an alcoholic father. For few years she worked in service, but then she decided to fully dedicate her life to the Lord and went on missions.
She made her first steps on the African land in 1876. Women were not highly esteemed and listen to even in her native land, let alone in Nigeria or Africa in general. Many of them were killed when their husbands died prematurely. They suffered great pain and injustice. How could this redheaded little woman expect to win respect of African tribe warriors and chiefs? How could she manage to do something more than just die of want or get killed by them?
She believed she was on the Royal mission for the King of kings. What was impossible for her, was possible for Him. Partnering with the Lord she managed to become one of the Nigerian national heroes. Even till this day annually ladies celebrate her by wearing clothes with her face printed on them. They sing, cook food and celebrate this brave little woman and her achievements.
The greatest work of her life was done in Okoyong, the upcountry region. This land was not welcoming missionaries and many of them have perished there in the past. After the death of her mother and sister she decided to venture there and preach the Gospel of the loving God. After 15 years she has managed to win the hearts and mind of those tribes and they have even made her the judge of the entire area.
Mary Slessor not only saved lives of many twins and other people. She prevented many wars and killings. She has also adopted many African kids. Being 55 years of age she had 7 of them living with her. She passed away at the age of 66 spending her best years in Africa, serving it for over 40 years. No other missionary was able to follow her example.
She was distinguished by her amazing courage honored by the most experienced warriors. She did not even try to bring European culture along with Gospel to Nigeria. Instead, she adopted the simple style of life of the local tribes. She wore their clothes and lived in mud huts. All she wanted to change was their perception of god. She taught them many love and life lessons and left a rich heritage of faith and peace to be shared by all.
Mary Slessor came from poor background and did not have many chances to become influential in this world. And yet she has turned into one of the greatest world makers and changers of the day. Now you know who stopped the killing of twins in Nigeria. You can get your lesson from her life and be inspired to follow her footprints and do something meaningful for others.