Faeries and Folklore Podcast

The Faeries and Folklore Podcast by Ronel: Tokoloshe #podcast #faeries #folklore

Episode 120: Dark Fae: Tokoloshe

The folklore of the tokoloshe in a nutshell, translated to Afrikaans, and how I reimagined it for my writing.

Written and narrated by Ronel Janse van Vuuren.

Copyright 2024 Ronel Janse van Vuuren — All rights reserved.

Learn more about the tokoloshe in folklore here.

Get the transcript here.

Learn more about the author and her writing here.

Music: Secrets by David Fesliyan (FesliyanStudios.com) and Dramatic Heartbeat by FesliyanStudios.com


You’re listening to the Faeries and Folklore podcast by Ronel.

I’m dark fantasy author Ronel Janse van Vuuren. With over a decade of digging around in dusty folklore books, researching creatures of imagination that ignited my curiosity, I’m here to share the folklore in a nutshell and how I reimagined it for my writing in an origin of the fae.

This is the Faeries and Folklore podcast.

Hi, I’m your host Ronel Janse van Vuuren. You can just call me Ronel. In today’s episode, we’re continuing our exploration of the fae realm.

This episode is brought to you by my Dark Court Sisters book series. Available in ebook, paperback and audiobook. Three sisters. Three destinies. Three ways to destroy the world. Go to ronelthemythmaker.com/darkcourtsistersseries for more.

You can now support my time in producing the podcast (researching, writing and everything else involved) by buying me a coffee. This can be a once-off thing, or you can buy me coffee again in the future at your discretion. Go to buymeacoffee.com/ronel to support me.

We’re continuing our exploration of Dark Fae.

Today’s Faery: Tokoloshe

Folklore in a Nutshell by Ronel

I had to laugh while doing research for this creature, as so many people who aren’t South African post articles, reels and podcast episodes about it – but cannot pronounce “Tokoloshe” or “Xhosa”, or even understand the culture of fear behind it.

As shown in the various newspaper clippings in the blog post, the reality of the Tokoloshe is enough to be taken seriously by journalists – even if it’s in the type of newspapers that also post other things that should be taken with a grain of salt. But then, most mainstream news should be double-checked for facts anyway.

There are different aspects to the Tokoloshe, though it usually only attacks at night. There is the bogeyman, who is used to frighten children, much the way the domestic workers at nursery schools I attended told us that if we weren’t good, the Tokoloshe would get us. As a bogeyman, the Tokoloshe is a short, hairy creature out to cause nightmares while hiding under your bed – which is one reason to lift your bed up on bricks (at least two in height) to deter it from entering your mind as it’s such a short creature and won’t be able to reach. It can also be invisible. As a monster sent by a Sangoma – or witch doctor – who created it, the Tokoloshe is blamed for everything from nightmares, bad luck, misfortune such as illness or death, and sexual assault. Usually, when its sent after a person purposely, it is made of jealousy or anger, and that is why it enacts worse crimes than when it is merely a creature wandering the earth. And though it appears much the same as in its bogeyman form, apparently it has a huge shlong and is filled with lust and will either act much like an incubus – which was in a previous post – or will cause such terror in its victim that the person will die and not just be unable to have children in the future.

Only a sangoma, using some muti or magic, can rid one of a tokoloshe.

And though a lot of slapstick comedy surrounds the tokoloshe – see the comedy strips and video clips in the blog post – the fear surrounding this creature is real, tangible in the air when you speak to those who believe this creature is real and that they are being tormented by it, and could even be the scapegoat for real, human predators preying on the vulnerable and innocent as one of the movie clips in the modern culture section in the blog post shows.

The tokoloshe is a figure of mischief, malicious actions, and inappropriate sexual aggression. Whether real, or just something used to protect the victim when seeking help, it’s alive and well in South Africa.

And now for my interpretation of the fae in an Origin of the Fae: Tokeloshe

The tokoloshe is a type of goblin created by a witch or other magic user with dark intentions. Though it exists in the Dark Realm, it doesn’t walk freely in the mortal realm. Though it isn’t clear how they are created, they do resemble goblins as they are short with pointed ears, and supposedly hairy. They can be invisible at will to everyone except the one who summoned/created them. Though they are usually connected to nightmares and the way to protect oneself from that is to raise your bed on bricks, they are also the henchman of the one who summoned them and thus can do any mischief or malicious deed the magic user wants them to. The only way to protect yourself against the haunting of the tokoloshe is to plant lavender outside your windows and doors, bury iron outside your house, and to burn sage in the room your wish to sleep in. Only a powerful magic user can banish the tokoloshe to the realm it came from.

As a little bonus, let’s look at this faery translated to Afrikaans: tokkelossie

I hope that you’ve enjoyed this episode of the faeries and folklore podcast and that you’ve learned something new about faeries.

Remember that you can get a transcript of this episode in the description. If you’re new to the podcast, why not go and grab your free copy of Unseen, the second book in the Faery Tales series, on my website ronelthemythmaker.com? Loads of folklore, magic and danger await! Take care!

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You can now support my time in producing the podcast (researching, writing and everything else involved) by buying me a coffee. This can be a once-off thing, or you can buy me coffee again in the future at your discretion.

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image credit https://pixabay.com/illustrations/ai-generated-fairy-wings-magic-8121013/

No-one writes about the fae like Ronel Janse van Vuuren.

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