LEGENDS AND LORE

Presenting the illustrious and illusive jini of the Kenyan Coast. Now, given it isn’t necessarily fair to assume such a creature is only ever encountered with coastal communities, mostly in the port city (some accounts have come across such a marvel many times elsewhere in the country).

Jini (plural: majini) is the Swahili word meaning ‘spirit’, as is loosely understood. Now, this legend and urban legend entails a mythological beast whose main attribute entails mainly its selectivity because encounters are only ever for a very select few. And said encounters can occur anywhere, whether in public on a busy street or at the beach by oneself.

This creature’s main quality concerns the fact that it seems to prey on the human mind, delving its victim into a subjective suggestive state. Though some accounts have been notably during lucidity. Now, locals at the Kenyan coast believe that a plague by such a creature almost always has to be cause for malcontent. It is also believed that they inhabit (mainly) at the Kenyan coast, just off the edge of the unseen continental shelf deepening into the Indian Ocean. 

This is why to any visitors at the coast, locals always make it a point to advise them not to stray too far from the crowd in the water for fear of being dragged off into the ocean to their deaths (for apparently most people from inland Kenya, visiting, may not know how to swim). And people, just file the mysterious death under:

“Alibebwa na majini” or drowning

And usually, their bodies rarely get found, which explains the injection of such a myth. However, on most accounts, people have reported majini taking on a human form.

On one such account in Mombasa, a man who worked at the beach was so mesmerized by a woman that he took her home, and the next morning he awoke naked on top of a coconut tree with the woman having disappeared. This, along with other accounts usually entailing mysterious vanishings are the trademark of the myth and urban legend of the jini at the Kenyan coast. Encounters are usually non-fatal, as they usually appear as a haunting figure to vex and plague one’s sanity.

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