Nigeria’s Confraternity Cults

Nigeria's Black Axe Confraternity Cult

In order to understand why people join Nigeria’s Confraternity Cults like the Black Axe Confraternity Cult, it is important to understand the origins and development of Confraternity Cult organisations like Black Axe in the context of poverty in Post-Colonial Africa.

The Origins Of Black Axe Confraternity Cult

The Black Axe Confraternity originates in Nigeria’s Benin City during the 1970s when its Parent Organisation the Neo-Black Movement of Africa was formed at the University Of Benin in July 1977.

The Neo-Black Movement of Africa from which Black Axe emerged was heavily influenced by the Militant approach of America’s Black Panther Party.

The Neo-Black Movement of Africa’s logo displayed an Axe chopping through the wrist irons of a Black Slave in Black, White and Yellow insignia colours.

Originally, the title “Black Axe’’ referred to the Quarterly University Magazine produced by the Neo-Black Movement of Africa at the University of Benin whose rhetoric promoted Pan-African Black Pride and Self-Determination.

The 9 Founding Members of the Neo-Black Movement of Africa described their approach as “Neo-Blackism” which can best be understood as a counterblast to Neo-Colonialism in the wake of the disillusionment that followed African Post-Colonial Independence in Nigeria and other African countries.

However, over the recent 30 to 40 years, it would seem that the lofty ideals of the Neo-Black Movement of Africa  have been replaced by the Criminal activities of the Black Axe.

This transition appears to have occured after the Black Axe appropriated the Pro-Black Militarist Rhetoric of Black Axe Magazine and mixed it with African Spiritualist jargon and a contemporary ‘Hustler’ ethos. 

As a result, the Black Axe Movement appears to have lost its links to the intellectual ideals of its Progenitor, The Neo-Black Movement of Africa after Black Axe began to engage in Criminal activities with its own heady propaganda mix of Ancient African Religion (Cults & Oracles) fused with a modern day ‘get rich or die trying’ philosophy.

Perhaps Political events in Nigeria were the cause of the turn of events that would lead to the formation of Black Axe after a series of Post-Independence dissapointments in the form of Military Coups and Civil Wars like the Biafra Civil War in Post-Colonial Nigeria led to Social and Polticial Unrest in the 1980s.

Ultimately, the Black Axe Movement decided its interests were best served by directing its energy at surviving the conditions of a dog-eat-dog Post-Colonial Nigeria rather than pursuing the agenda of Political reform.

As a result, Black Axe has become a global Crime syndicate operating across the world as Black Axe members routinely get investigated for Fraud, Money Laundering, Drug and Human Trafficking in South Africa, Nigeria and Europe.

Some Of The Principles & Symbols Of Black Axe

The Black Axe revers a Deity called Kurufu and the Occult Number 7.

The drink of choice for The Black Axe is called Kokoma made from 7 various ingredients including Marijuana, Kola Nuts, and Gin.

Black Axe Members also have a fraternal handshake reserved only for brothers of the Fraternity.

Its been suggested that a significant number of Afrobeats Artists are members of Black Axe and other Nigerian Confraternities which have been routinely at War with each other.


The story of Black Axe is one of how groups formed initially to resist Social and Political Oppression can be transformed into Criminal Organisations and Street Gangs similar to the Sicilian Mafia and American Gangs like the Bloods and Crips.

According to street lore, the ultimate goal for all Members of the Black Axe is to achieve Economic Influence and Power on their road to Uhuru (Freedom).

In the final analysis, the rise and origins of groups like Black Axe can be understood as an expression of the Organised Crime Gang Paradigm in the contemporary African context with its unique blend of Colonial History, Post-Colonial Poverty and indigenous African Religion all woven together into a powerful and well connected modern day Criminal Enterprise fuelled by its own unique Code of Propaganda.

Nevertheless, it can still be said that people continue to join Confraternity Cults like Nigeria’s Black Axe because they are a means of accessing a network that they believe will help empower them Economically even if this means engaging in Crime due to limited access to normal opportunities for individual development in Post-Colonial Africa as a result of the combination of the destructive effects of corrupt Governments and Neo-Colonialism in Post-Colonial Africa.