I first stumbled on the Mandela effect about a year ago on YouTube and it flabbergasted me. It took me back to a time when I was a little girl and I experienced something that messed me up for a long time.
What is the Mandela effect?
The Mandela effect is typically where a large number of people recall a significant event that did not actually happen or happened differently from current popular opinion and current evidence. The name, Mandela effect was given to this psychological phenomenon by Fiona Broome to explain this collective misremembering. The Mandela effect first emerged in 2010 when so many people on the internet ‘falsely’ remembered that Mandela died in prison in the 1980s. But as we know it today, Mandela was freed from prison in 1990, became the president of South Africa, then later stepped down to join the fight against AIDS when his son passed from it.
This mass misremembering of Mandela’s death, ignited other stories around the world and more people started coming up with ‘Mandela effect’ misremembering that they swear happened to them. Quick question; for those of us who have played Monopoly before, how do you remember the Monopoly man, rich uncle Pennybags? Did he or did he not wear a monocle? Recent pictures of him as well as all current evidence points to the fact that he never wore a monocle but our memories as well as the memories of millions of people around the world is that they remember him wearing a monocle.
Personally, my family and I played monopoly a lot when I was a child and I remember him wearing a monocle. Also, I asked my sisters and my mum and their first answer was that they remember him wearing a monocle as well. But this is not why I am writing this story. I can honestly say that I experienced the Mandela effect as a young girl in primary school and this messed me up for a while. I mean, that is the only explanation for why I remembered things so differently from others around me at the time.
My experience of the Mandela effect.
What happened was that one day when I was in primary school, and on holiday, I was watching the news with my dad and there was some news on Mandela, the President of South Africa. I was like wait, what? Did Mandela not die in Prison? My dad turned and looked at me like I was crazy and said, ‘What are you saying? Mandela didn’t die in prison. You’re not studying your books’. That day, I thought nothing of it and after the initial shock my parents displayed that I didn’t know this known fact, the rest of my holiday went on uneventfully.
However, my problem started when I resumed school. Suddenly, most of the things I thought I knew about my subjects, especially social studies where mostly wrong. I was mixing up dates, important events and the who was who in Nigeria. It confused me greatly because social studies was one of my favorite subjects and I loved it. But why was I getting all my facts wrong? I would argue with my friends about topics and people that I was so sure about only for them to laugh at me for being dumb. You know how mean kids are at that age, they totally embarrassed me.
It happened so often that I finally began to believe that I was dumb and I had to relearn what I knew I my heart I already knew but somehow didn’t know. The whole Incident scared me so deep that I pushed it deep into the recesses of my mind so that I could forget it. But for a long time in my childhood, I actually thought that I was a slow learner.
Fast forward to a year ago, I stumbled upon the Mandela effect and all the memories came flooding back. So, I began to piece together the experience of that childhood trauma and compare it with what everyone was saying on the internet, and it was the the first time i got an explanation for what happened to me. I know most people will read this and be like Chidinma, you have come again with your views. Already, most people I come across think i’m weird and that’s fine. But this is something I experienced and it was very real to me.
A childhood memory.
But that is not all. I remember specific incidences in my childhood; activities I did with my parents that I’m so sure were not dreams or my imagination, but my parents don’t remember them. For instance, till today, I can clearly remember that my mum and I attended an event one late afternoon at a very beautiful place that seemed like a hotel/resort (I specifically remember the chandeliers because I kept staring at them for their sheer beauty) and there were other mothers and their daughters present too. I remember clearly that we looked fabulous in our matching outfits in black and white zebra prints and people kept saying how cute I was.
But when I ask my mum about it, she doesn’t remember! and the pictures I have today show that we have a black and white outfits in flower prints. Maybe I misremembered this event but it seemed too real for it to be a dream or my imagination.
Theories that explain the Mandela effect.
Today, there are a good number of theories that explain the mandela effect. But there are two very popular ones; the theory of Alternate/Multiple Universes and the Time Travel theory.
Here, it is said that time is infinite and every ‘now’ is slightly different from all the other ‘nows’. This theory states that there is another you or/and infinite number of yous and due to a glitch in the universe, one you might switch universes with another you. There is so much speculation about parallel/ multiple universes today and if you go on you tube, you will find some interesting info on it.
The movie, The One, starring Jason Statham and Jet Lee shows this theory in interesting detail. Personally, being a spiritual person, I do not agree with this theory because while there is already evidence that time is infinite from studies done in space, there simply isn’t any spiritual evidence that there is more than one me or more than one you in the universe. But it is an interesting theory and I enjoy watching documentaries on them.
Another explanation for the Mandela effect is time travel. This theory states that due to time travel, in this case, people going back in time to alter major world events, there has resulted, a time paradox. This causes the outcome of the event to change and be both true and false at the same time, for instance, the Mandela effect, where people remember Mandela dying in prison but then, current evidence shows that he didn’t.
This theory makes more sense to me. For instance, the time in Lagos, Nigeria right now as I write this is 8:52 am on Saturday, 9th of February, 2019. I could video call my friend in New york and chat with her. Its 2:52 am in New york right now and we would both be speaking to, and seeing each other at the same time. But in reality, we are in two different continents and two different time zones, hundreds of miles away from each other. Because of this, I think that time is a continuous unending loop that can be tweaked backwards and forward.
Let’s think about it this way. The closest star to the earth is 4.22 light years
away from the earth. A light year is the distance that light travels in one year. One light year is so far away that the distance equals 5.88 trillion miles! Now imagine that we are looking at that star that is the closest to the earth right now but everything you’re seeing about that star has already happened thousands of years ago and the light/rays of the star is just now reaching you on earth to be able to see it. This is absolutely fascinating to me and I literally spend hours pouring over time travel information.
Personally, I think time travel is possible and has already been achieved if not perfected. Though, I’m no expert on these matters and I cannot say for sure, it is the only explanation that makes sense to me for the paradoxes people are experiencing around the world. I’m talking about different people from different parts of the world collectively remembering something differently.
Yes, our memories can trick us into seeing something in our minds eye that isn’t true, but what cannot trick us is the feeling that we experienced and attached to the memory. Feelings of happiness and satisfaction or sadness and anger have a way of sticking to our subconscious, that is why there are people who remember the Monopoly man wearing a monocle because there are feelings that they attached to that memory.
Maybe the Mandela effect is a hoax and millions of people around the world, including myself are just misremembering events. Still, most of us can agree that the Mandela effect is a very interesting phenomenon and hopefully, some of you will look it up after reading this post and let me know what you think in the comment section.
Cheers and have a lovely day!