The etymological meaning of metaphysics, holds that metaphysics is derived from the Greek words Meta-Ta-Physika meaning “after physics” or transcending the physical.
It is therefore a philosophical outlook which tries to reach a more comprehensive, all-embracing, totalistic view of reality without neglecting the unique place of individual things in the holism of reality.
From G.O. Ozumba, et al:
African metaphysics should be seen as the African way of perceiving, interpreting and making meaning out of interactions, among beings, and reality in general. It is the totality of the African’s perception of reality. African metaphysics will therefore include systematization of as African perspective as it relation to being and existence. This will embrace the holistic conception of reality with its appurtenance of relations, qualities, characterizations, being and its subtleties universals, particular, ideas, minds, culture, logic, moral, theories and presuppositions.
Metaphysics seeks to ignore the differences betweeen the individual thing, and focus merely on that which they have in common.
The Ibos, the Yoruba’s of Nigeria and the Akans of Ghana have their views of human personality. There exist some differences. In Igbo metaphysics, we have three component parts of human person namely Ahu (body) Mkpuruobi (soul) and Mmuo (spirit). for the Igbo, a man is simultaneously a physical and spiritual entity. However, it is his spirited dimension that is eternal. In the Akan conception of personality, we witness three variants of this conception-dualist, trichotomist and “pentachotomist” positions. We have the Nipadua (body), the Okra (soul), Sunsum (spirit), Ntoro (character from father), Mogya (character from mother). Yoruba tradition Oludumare (supreme being) followed by dieties that collectively represent mankind and nature.
The religious beliefs of the Dogon are enormously complex and knowledge of them varies greatly within Dogon society. Dogon religion is defined primarily through the worship of the ancestors and the spirits whom they encountered as they slowly migrated from their obscure ancestral homelands to the Bandiagara cliffs. According to their traditions, the star Sirius has a companion star which is invisible to the human eye. This companion star has a 50 year elliptical orbit around the visible Sirius and is extremely heavy. It also rotates on its axis. According to their oral traditions, a race people from the Sirius system called the Nommos visited Earth thousands of years ago.
Being is a generic term which represents all existing things. The Africans conceive every thing as being. There is nothing that exists that is taken lightly. The belief is that there is reason for whatever is. Though man may not immediately know why a thing is created, but they all serve a purpose. Being is therefore conceived as the whole range of, existent things. The Africans have a hierarchy of being with God at the apex followed by the ancestors, then, we have totems or emblems of hereditary relationship followed by other spirits that are manipulated in the sorcery, witchcraft or magic of certain ends. These are represented at times as charms and amulets, then, we have man and finally, animal and plants as occupying the lowest level.
In Africa, esoteric and occult knowledge is maintained and kept private by secret soceities, such as the Poro, that initiates local adolescents in this knowledge in extended collective rituals.