African Mythology

The Gods and Spirits of Africa


Maasai, Kikuyu and Kamba Creator God

Vacation-loving God of Creation

Creator God. He created the Sky and the Earth, and made animals, plants and stones. And also mountains.

He took extra care with the mountains. These are the Godly equivalent of short-term accommodation during flying visits — and Ngai does like to make the occasional business trip to Earth to see how things are going. That’s why mountains tend to be breathtakingly beautiful with fabulous scenic views.

The snow-speckled Mount Kenya, originally known as Kirinyaga, was his first port of call after the world was created. Looking down upon the Earth, he decided it needed very careful handling. So he summoned one of those strange roaming animals with opposable thumbs to the top of the mountain, blessed him, gave him the name Gikuyu, and told him he’d got the job.

Along with his wife Mumbi, Gikuyu founded the mountainside nation which is named after him, while Ngai zoomed off into the sky for an extended vacation — leaving strict orders not to be disturbed under any circumstances.

Unfortunately the new nation got off to an embarrassing start; Gikuyu and Mumbi discovered they could not produce male offspring. With nine daughters and counting, they decided to risk a quick prayer to Ngai for help. As he’d envisaged a nation somewhat larger than eleven people, Ngai dispatched nine husbands to jump-start the population.

Since then, Ngai has remained in semi-aloof mode. He still hates to be disturbed, but will answer emergency calls if absolutely necessary.

Meanwhile, the Maasi people appear to worship the same God, but have a somewhat different version of events. See our entries on Engai and Naiteru-kop.

Ngai Facts and Figures

Name: Ngai
Pronunciation: Coming soon
Alternative names:

Gender: Male
Type: God
Area or people: Maasai, Kikuyu (aka Gikuyu) and Kamba (aka Wakamba) of Kenya
Celebration or Feast Day: Unknown at present

In charge of: Creating
Area of expertise: Creation

Good/Evil Rating: GOOD, quite approachable
Popularity index: 9568

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Article last revised on November 03, 2018 by Rowan Allen.
Editors: Peter J. Allen, Chas Saunders

References: Coming soon.

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