4 strange sexual traditions that are still practised in Africa

Africa is filled with a lot of interesting, fascinating and sometimes unimaginable things that one cannot process.

4 strange sexual traditions that are still practised in Africa

Where customs like Female Genital Mutilation in Ghana is no longer as common as they used to be, certain rituals have refused to go away.

Here are four strange sexual traditions that are still practised in Africa:

Virginity testing

Locally known as Umhlanga, virginity testing is a popular tradition in South Africa, especially among the Zulu ethnic group who reside mainly in KwaZulu Natal province.


The actual testing is done in an isolated room using bare hands. The girl, who is being tested lay down on her back with her legs wide open.

The tester then opens her vagina with both hands and looks inside, apparently to see the girl's hymen is intact. If all is well, the girl is given a virginity certificate.

Sexual cleansing

This popular custom is practised in rural Malawi, Zambia, Kenya, and other African countries. Locally referred to as "Kusasa Fumbi," it involves a woman having unprotected sex with a man called a "hyena."


This person could be a professional male sex worker, a selected future husband, a widow's brother-in-law or someone paid by the woman's family.

It is carried out on three separate occasions - when a girl gets her first menstrual period when a married woman loses her husband, or after an abortion.

The traditional custom is meant to help girls become good wives.

Potency Test


Carried out by the Banyankole tribe in Uganda is a practice similar to the virginity test. Unlike the latter carried out women, this is done before marriage on the groom.

It requires an aunt of the bride to confirming the potency of the husband to be by actually having sex with him. The bride and groom are only allowed to consummate their marriage if he passes the test.

The test might also include the aunts watching or listening as the newlyweds have sexual intercourse.

Wife stealing


This is an annual ritual practised by the Wodaabe tribe, a subgroup of the Fulani ethnic group.

Here, women are allowed to have as many husbands as they wish. They are required to pick their preferred mates from a group of men who put on a spectacular mating dance hoping to be selected.

Women can have sex with any mate as she pleases before finally settling on the right one.


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