Author Spotlight – Robbie Cheadle: “The Story of the Tokoloshe.”

Welcome to my Author Spotlight – Guest Posts

I have started a new feature on my blog, called Author Spotlight – Guest Posts. As you can see from the image above, I am looking for themed posts about fairies, myths, and magic. If you are an interested author and would like to be featured on my blog, please click HERE to find out more.

I am proud to introduce my first guest. Her name is Robbie Cheadle, author of the Sir Chocolate books written for children. During my International Fairy Day celebration last week, Robbie and I got into a discussion about the mystical beings in Africa. I thought it was intriguing that fairies didn’t figure into their mythology. Every country, or in this case, continent, is unique in the telling of their myths and fables. Robbie has done some amazing research. She also knows my love of poetry and wrote a poem about this mythical creature called the Tokoloshe. Enjoy!

The Story of the Tokoloshe, by Robbie Cheadle

In Africa, we don’t have fairies and elves, trolls and ogres. In Africa, we have the Tokoloshe, Tikoloshe or Hili.

Image courtesy of the Daily Sun newspaper

Various legends exist with regards to the Tokoloshe. In Zulu mythology, the Tokoloshe is a dwarf-like water sprite which can become invisible by drinking water. According to a Sangoma (a colloquial term used to describe all types of Southern African traditional healers) from the North West province of South Africa, the Tokoloshe is a powerful and evil creature and is made from all sorts of things like imvovo (leftovers from traditional beer), ipapa, needles, grave soil, dolls or even water used to wash a corpse.

A Tokoloshe can appear in many forms such as a dog, cat or even a baboon. The Tokoloshe of the Zimbabweans is large, covered in fur with long talons and a bony spine reaching all the way down its back from the top of its skull. It also has glowing red eyes, emits a foul stench and speaks in a rasping voice.

Yet another explanation is that the Tokoloshe resembles a zombie, poltergeist or gremlin and was created by South African Shamans (a person who is regarded as having access to, and influence on, the world of spirits and who practices divination and healing) who have been offended by someone. This version purports to have gouged out eyes. The Tokoloshe is said to have obtained its power from a hot poker thrust into the crown of its body during creation.

The Tokoloshe may come in various shapes and forms, but all the legends agree that the Tokoloshe is called up by people of bad intention to cause trouble for someone else. This trouble can take the form of scaring children, but the Tokoloshe also has the power to cause illness or even the death of its victim. Generally, the stories claim that the Tokoloshe will climb into a sleeping couple’s bed, biting off the sleeping man’s nose and having its wicked way with the wife.

The Sangoma from the North West province said that only a powerful Sangoma can face a Tokoloshe by making a muthi (a term for traditional medicine in Southern Africa) from a certain tree found only in the middle of some rivers. According to legend, the only way to keep the Tokoloshe away at night is to put a brick beneath each leg of one’s bed. This enables people to see a Tokoloshe hiding underneath the bed before they go to bed for the night. The brick beneath the leg of the bed also protects the bed and its occupants during the night.

The Western practical explanation for the mysterious overnight deaths that were historically attributed to the Tokoloshe is that the myth stems from many years ago when cattle dung was burned for warmth in the traditional Zulu mud huts. These Zulu huts had no ventilation, and when the opening was sealed during cold weather, carbon monoxide was released from the fire and would accumulate inside the hut. Carbon monoxide is heavier than air and would, therefore, gather just above the floor level. People sleeping higher up would be less at risk of death from asphyxiation than those sleeping on the floor, and this is where the myth originates from.

Sources: Wikipedia, Daily Sun newspaper, The story of the African Tokoloshe by Shona Taboos, The Citizen newspaper



Tokoloshe is a mythical man,

Whom every African fears,

The mention of his name,

Reduces the children to tears.

His eyes are gouged out,

Yet he’ll find you in a flash,

If you make him angry,

Your things he’ll savagely smash.

He’ll climb into your bed,

Make you sleep and never wake,

So don’t forget to raise it,

There is far too much at stake.

©2017 Robbie Cheadle

About Robbie and Michael Cheadle

Robbie Cheadle was born in London in the United Kingdom. Her father died when she was three months old, and her mother immigrated to South Africa with her tiny baby girl. Robbie has lived in Johannesburg, George and Cape Town in South Africa and attended fourteen different schools. This gave her lots of opportunities to meet new people and learn lots of social skills as she was frequently “the new girl.”

Robbie is a qualified Chartered Accountant and specialises in corporate finance with a specific interest in listed entities and stock markets. Robbie has written a number of publications on listing equities and debt instruments in Africa and foreign direct investment into Africa.

Robbie is married to Terence Cheadle, and they have two lovely boys, Gregory and Michael. Michael (aged 11) is the co-author of the Sir Chocolate series of books and attends school in Johannesburg. Gregory (aged 14) is an avid reader and assists Robbie and Michael with filming and editing their YouTube videos and editing their books. Robbie is also the author of the new Silly Willy series the first of which, Silly Willy goes to Cape Town, will be available in early July 2017.

Robbie and Michael Cheadle’s books

Sir Chocolate books – currently available

The adventures of Sir Chocolate and Lady Sweet in poetry form. Michael came up with the idea of Sir Chocolate and Lady Sweet and many of the characters contained in the books when he was ten years old. His ideas were such fun that Robbie decided to turn them into little verse books for his entertainment. The book contains recipes for children to make with adult assistance.”

Buy on Amazon

Book 2 of the Sir Chocolate series: Sir Chocolate and Lady Sweet find a lost baby cookie monster. Join them on an adventure to return the baby to its mother and learn how to make some of their delicious recipes at the same time.”

Buy on Amazon

A greedy snail damages the flower fields and the fondant bees are in danger of starving. Join Sir Chocolate on an adventure to find the fruit drop fairies who have magic healing powers and discover how to make some of his favourite foods on the way.”

Buy on Amazon

Here’s where else you can find Robbie:

Robbie Cheadle – Amazon Author


Twitter: Robbie Cheadle @bakeandwrite

Facebook: Robbie Cheadle




Thanks for stopping by. <3

About Colleen M. Chesebro

Colleen M. Chesebro is an American Novelist & Poet who loves writing paranormal fantasy and magical realism, cross-genre fiction, syllabic poetry, and creative nonfiction. She loves all things magical which may mean that she could be experiencing her second childhood—or not. That part of her life hasn’t been fully decided yet. A few years ago, a mystical experience led her to renew her passion for writing and storytelling. These days she resides in the fantasy realm of the Faery Writer where she writes the magical poetry and stories that the fairy nymphs whisper to her in her dreams. Colleen won the “Little and Laugh” Flash Fiction Contest sponsored by the Carrot Ranch Literary Community on November 2017, and in 2018, she won first place for the “Twisted Travel” category. Colleen lives in Arizona with her husband. When she is not writing, Colleen enjoys spending time with her husband. She also loves gardening, reading, and crocheting old-fashioned doilies into works of art. Learn more about Colleen on
Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Pingback: Fairies, Myths, & Magic Author Guest Posts Available for 2018 | Colleen Chesebro✨The Fairy Whisperer✨

  2. Hi Robbie and Colleen!
    I love this post! It tossed me back nearly half a century to When I lived in South Africa. I was about 14 when my dad brought home a puppy. He was a bulldog/alsatian mix, and, as he was obviously going to grow up to be a terror, we named him Tokoloshe!

  3. Marvelous post, Colleen and Robbie. And a bit of folklore with which I was completely unfamiliar. Mega hugs.

  4. Great research on the was a wonderful read

  5. Hi Colleen,
    I consider Robbie a friend. She certainly is a supportive community member. She was recently nominated at the Bloggers Bash. Now I know why. Impressive! Thanks for letting me learn more information about this amazing woman and her literature.

    • You are so welcome, Janice. She is an especially talented lady. I’m so glad you stopped by to read her story of the Tokoloshe. This is my new feature. I’m glad to support my fellow authors.

  6. I don’t know how I missed Robbie’s story of the tokoloshe, thankfully now found it! … yes, much feared here in South Africa. And perfectly true about the bricks under the bed ..

  7. Not a nice guy at all. Thanks, Robbie and Colleen for the great post. 🙂 — Suzanne

  8. What a lovely idea Colleen to have featured authors talking about the magical and mysical fairy world.
    I had never heard of a tokoloshe before but it sounds horrendous to say the least! It was fascinating reading and finsihed off beautifuly with Robbie’s poem! 🙂

  9. Hi Colleen and Robbie❣️What a fascinating post! I’ve never heard of a tokoloshe. Robbie did a great job with the information. I love this idea!👏😁

  10. Fantastic to see Robbie here Colleen. I read part of the story and because it’s after midnight and I’m a scaredy cat, I’ll come back and read the rest in daylight, lol. <3

  11. It’s amazing how many myths and superstitions can be done away with when modern science is applied.

  12. How cool, Colleen! I love Robbie’s blog! I like this new feature and hope to see more magic in the world. I had never heard of this Tokoloshe! Reminds me of the Chupacapra from Mexico!

  13. That was fascinating–about the Tokoloshe. I love these myths.

  14. Fascinating, and such a lovely piece of poetry to share. Thank you, Robbie!
    Many thanks, Colleen, for sharing this treat. 🙂

  15. A fascinating post about a brilliant creature I have never heard anything about. Thoroughly enjoyable and eye opening. Thanks Robbie and Colleen. Shared on Social Media

  16. Another monster I have just learnt about. Nice description of the Tokoloshe and poem warning about it and one explanation, carbon monoxide, for it.

  17. Fascinating! I believe I dated his cousin at one time…

  18. I love folklore, myth and urban legends, yet had never heard of the Tokoloshe. A great introduction to a fearsome creature. It’s wonderful to see Robbie and her books showcased here. What an intriguing way to spotlight authors!

  19. Fascinating! I was unaware of those stories. The Tokoloshe does sound rather scary.

  20. I’ve met Robbie through her wonderful blog, her stories, and her cakes. What a fabulous story! Thank you for the feature, Colleen.

  21. wow, I loved this post and it will make my nightly looking under the bed ritual all the more serious, well you never know. xxx

  22. Reblogged this on firefly465 and commented:
    A wonderful post by Robbie Cheadle about the Tokoloshe on

  23. Great idea for promoting authors Colleen. Fantastic read and detail from Robbie about the Tokoloshe.

  24. Excellent, Colleen. Congrats Robbie.

  25. What a great legend and a wonderful poem to accentuate the myth. I loved the explanation as well. Always a pleasure to read Robbie’s work.

  26. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    For lovers of fairies and other mythical creatures, Robbie Cheadle shares the story of the Tokoloshe…. fascinating and not to be read at bedtime…..

  27. This is such a wonderful idea, Colleen. I am really looking forward to reading about the mythical creatures of the world. Thank you for featuring the Tokoloshe as your first magical creature.

  28. Reblogged this on Robbie's inspiration and commented:
    Thank you Colleen Chesebro – Fairy Whisperer for sharing my story and poem about the Tokoloshe. I am very excited to be part of your new series about mythical creatures and legends.

    • Robbie, I so pleased to have you as a guest. I loved learning more about you and the myths present in African culture. Your books look amazing and would make the best gifts for birthdays or other holidays. It was a pleasure having you. <3

  29. Great post! I love Robbie’s blog and her Sir Chocolate books are great!

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.