Some Cameroonians, sellers especially, believe that piercing bank notes will prevent them from vanishing mysteriously. “Some people will hand you bewitched money. If you add it to your other bank notes, you could very well have all your money disappear,” attests Marie Paule Abena, seller at the Mfoundi market, in Yaoundé.
One of her pairs added: “By piercing the notes, the pin’s iron nullifies all kinds of magic used to bewitch them. That way, the person who wish to steal your money would have missed his or her shot”.
This is not done just by sellers. Some elderly people also think it prevents money from vanishing into thin air. “Young people think we are crazy to pierce money but they don’t know that it really protects. I have always done it and my money does not disappear. Too bad for those that don’t do it,” says Mrs Mbei, a 60-year old living in Yaoundé.