Throughout the region of Southern Africa, tower myths abound. The building and destruction of towers represents the "folly of human presumptuousness" according to Willis in Mythology: An Illustrated Guide. He offers the interpretation that these stories "serve as a warning to the perils of overambitiousness". Following are two African myths from the Luba people of the Kasai province of Zaire.
At the beginning of time, the village of human beings and the High God was the same. Tired of their noisy quarrels, the High God sent human beings to earth. They suffered from hunger, cold, sickness, and death. A diviner told them to return to the sky to regain immortality. The human beings begin building a wooden tower. When they reached the sky, they loudly beat a drum and played a flute to announce their success and called the others on earth to follow. The High God became angry. He destroyed the tower sending the builders to their death.
Another Luba myth tells of the struggle between Nkongolo and Prince Kalala Ilunga.
Prince Kalala escaped from a pit trap devised by Nkongolo, the cruel Rainbow King. Nkongolo tried many times, using various tactics, to lure Kalala back into his power. Nkongolo sent men to cross the river to kidnap Kalala, but the waters rose up and drowned his men. Nkongolo tried to build the causeway of stone, but the stones resisted his tools. Finally, he ordered a great tower to be built. From the top, he would be able to see into Kalala’s country. After the tower’s completion, Nkongolo commanded the diviner Majibu and a man known as Mungedi to climb to the top of the tower and call the fugitive prince back. Using his magical powers, Majibu leapt into the space and landed in the country of Prince Kalala, where he helped Kalala fight his enemy. The tower collapsed killing Mungedi and the followers of the Rainbow King.
Willis, R. Ed., Mythology: An Illustrated Guide, Barnes & Noble Books, New York, 1998.