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Owo Anabo in Yoruba: The Mysterious Money you must not collect

Recently, I saw a female trader selling foodstuff, crying profusely like a baby while coming from work. I was worried and had to hang around to check what went wrong. People said she received what is called “Owo Anabo” and all the money she made that day were missing in the “local wallet” that the Yoruba called “Ò’ópò“.

I was like, come ooo. Is this thing called Owo Anabo that real???

Then I made more findings that revealed that the ritualistic trait or act is one of the evil ways, some people in Yoruba land use to earn, from where they have not invested, and it is nothing but “charm enhanced native fraud“.

Owo Anabo though unbelievable by many, is a reality in Nigerian business trading environment, commonly found where money are daily exchanged.

A colleague at work narrated an experience she had when someone bought an item at her mother’s shop, one fateful business day like that.

The said man had come to buy food items in their small grocery store, worth a thousand naira. He made sure he spent all the naira notes without collecting a change, left only for the mother to realize the money kept in drawer were missing, when they wanted to give “change” to another customer, who came just immediately after the man had left.

Owo Anabo in Nigeria

It was like a mystery.

No one came in! – They kept wondering.

Where could the money have gone to?

This was the question the family couldn’t explain for days until it happened unfortunately again from the same man and they screamed.

The man was traced but they have no evidence of the money with him, but the occurrence was everything.

Another experience I read online and fact checked while making this research, is from a man, who went to change dollar currencies to naira notes from a bureau the change guy. The supposed money was changed to N150,000 notes, with 1000 naira denomination of 100k and 500 naira denomination of 50k.

He disclosed that, while the bureau man was paying him, he first gave him 99 copies of 1000 naira making N99,000 and held 1k. The guy (that came with the dollars) counted the naira given to him twice, thinking he’s the one making mistake.

He told the man, Oga this money is not complete o.

The bureau de change man smiled, and said he knows, and only wanted to make sure he counts well, then he handed over the remaining “One thousand” note to make it 100k.

He did the exact thing for the 50k notes, hoarding a 500 naira note and later gave him back, after counting N49,500.

The guy was surprised on why he man held the two notes, but his reason was that, it is his own style of ensuring money exchanged completes because he hates anyone coming to say the money isn’t completed. He was happy and left.

He got home, only to realize that the 100k has been reduced to N32,000 in the envelope he placed it, while that of 50k is now 16k. He was shocked.

He kept wondering if the money have mistakenly fell and parts dropped. But the coincidence, of both being halved is more surprising.

He couldn’t go back because he was sure the man gave him a complete money, and going back won’t help. He had to call people and explain what happened – only to be told he had been duped with “Owo Anabo” — the last charmed notes that should not mix with other notes.

Owo Anabo in Yoruba Nigeria
Owo Anabo in Yoruba Nigeria

These are exactly how these sinister operate to defraud people. It would happen, you wouldn’t be able to explain how.

Owo Anabo is another form of ritualistic tendencies found in the native settings in Yoruba towns and cities, using Jinns or evil spirits as messengers or conveyers.

Found doing this for people, are many traditionalist, that some people called “herbalist”, but are ritualists who will do this charm for anyone who wants it at a cheap cost. Sadly, many people are subscribers for this. I see them online on Facebook nowadays.

They do the charm on a special note, one the doers spend the money and the receiver mixes with other money, the receiver is done for. The whole other money and the mixed note disappear, for the Spender’s place.

And the doer spends as he likes until he needs money again and perpetrate same evil.

There are also some Muslims Alfas called the “Alfa oni Jalabis” known to be harbingers of this evil deeds using Jinns commands or invocation, in what is better called Shirk or “Shiruu“(?).

Islamically, many Scholars in Yoruba settings believe these are realities of dark world, and are happenings for real -in fact it is common to hear prayers being said to pray against receiving this mysterious money called “Owo Anabo”, by saying “Olohun ma je won na owo Anabo fun wa oo”(May God not let anyone exchanged Owo Anabo with us).


They enjoin all Muslims to say certain Adkar (Supplications in prayers) to ward off this common misfortune one may encounter in day to day business activities.

To depict exactly what Owo Anabo is, A-list & Prolific Nollywood Actor Ibrahim Chatta played a lead role in a film called Owo Anabo along with another guy, Remi Badru. Ibrahim Chatta is the native ritualist, while the other guy is his customer. I found this out, while gathering information about this evil act. Watch here.

I found other experiences online too.. See below

Owo Anabo Experience in Nigeria
Owo Anabo Experience II

How can one prevent this?

Well, there is no special way to prevent this, or to be extra careful except you pray against it, as a believer to prevent daily business misfortune, because as much as money are exchanged, what is called Owo Anabo afflictions will continue to befall unsuspecting traders.

The other preventive method or way is to prioritize more of Cashless sales activities, using mobile cash transfers or usage of P.O.S Machines, which may stop or prevent possibilities of receiving this evil money, or at worst reduce the magnitude of loss, because bulk of your sales will be straight to your bank account and less of receiving of cash that you will gather in a safe.

Do you believe there is what is called Owo Anabo in Yoruba? Have you heard of anything similar like I shared above or you have experienced it personally, please feel free to share with us, to add to the body of knowledge.

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4 comments

  1. I believed it. A woman was almost wrecked with that evil anabo at Moro, Ife north while I was schooling.
    It was a bad experience.

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