Njinyi (he who is everywhere) In African mythology (Bamum of Cameroon), creator god who allowed death to take human life. Njinyi created humans healthy and strong but discovered that in time they died. So he went to Death and asked him if he were responsible for killing people. Death said people really wanted to die, and he would prove it to Njinyi. They went to a roadside, and Njinyi hid behind a tree while Death sat underneath it. Soon an old slave passed by, mumbling to himself, “I wish I had never been born. It’s better to be dead.” No sooner had the words left his mouth than he fell down dead. Next came an old woman, complaining of her sad lot and wishing she were dead. As soon as she uttered the words, she fell down dead. “Look,” said Death to Njinyi, “people want to die. They call me.” So Njinyi left, sad that humankind choose death instead of life.
From the Encyclopedia of World Mythology and Legend, Third Edition – Written by Anthony S. Mercatante & James R. Dow– Copyright © 2009 by Anthony S. Mercatante