Language encompasses every nuance of a people’s communication. Slangs that are spin-offs from the intrigues in our sociopolitical arena are the thermostat of a nation. Whether elitist or egalitarian, these ‘idioms’ drape our language like rich velvet. In examining language and tracing its use, we understand a people’s aspiration and disillusionment and unveil the evolution of culture.
Religion: God forbid!
“Mummy, I have a headache.”
“Uncle Lagbaja, I am tired.”
“God forbid; it is not your portion!”
“Aunty Chioma, I can’t finish this jollof-rice.”
“God forbid, you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you!”
“Sir, is your car covered by insurance?”
“I am covered by the bloooood of Jesus!”
“Madam, your number is not on the promotion list.”
“God forbid! All my enemies fall down and die!”
Welcome to Nigeria, religion is our mother tongue, and someone from the village is always ‘doing’ someone. Constant bedwetting, failure, and prolonged spinsterhood cannot be customary to the human condition; a spiritual force must be responsible.
“Holy Ghost faayaa!” the crowd screamed.
No, we were not taking the kingdom by force, or maybe we were. Nigeria was in a penalty shoot-out against The Netherlands. So, we held hands, and stomped, and shouted, and foamed at the mouth, and shook as though shocked by electricity, while our lips trembled from the force with which word-bullets escaped them. In other words, we prayed as if there were no Christians in The Netherlands. The gods of Okocha and Kanu Nwankwo were on our side. Nigeria won and progressed to the semi-finals of the FIFA World Youth Championship of 2005. Go to a match-viewing centre in Lagos; the Christian, Muslim, and Ifa worshipper, spiritually root for Nigeria in love-like unison.
During the finals, the gods left us and we lost. I no longer pray for Nigeria during football matches.
Dear Nigerian, Paracetamol and rest are good for headaches too. Preparation and hard work win football matches too. God bless my enemies, is a prayer too. Did this incense your religious sensibilities? Good. Dia riz God o!
Tomi Olugbemi @ poetryispeace.wordpress.com
Food: No put sand for my garri o!
When a Nigerian man heads straight home from work, you can be sure his wife observes the saying that the way to a man’s heart is through his belly. When he races through the doors without goodbyes to colleagues; when he zigs and zags through heavy traffic, undoing his tie and buttons as he leaps up to his front door—understand this: the delicious meal he is leaping towards, not only penetrates his heart but also damages the knots that hold his mind together.
And woe betide that woman who forgets that eating by the hand and sweat of a wife is an inalienable right of the Nigerian husband. If she would rather save her sweat for managing construction sites or for running her mouth loudly in court or for writing reports in cosy offices, then, a wise woman who learnt AMALA (African Man’s Absolute Loyalty Approach), on the strength of EGUSI (Executive Grant for Ultimate Seduction Internship), from Calabar campus, shall snatch the man from her.
This ‘wise’ woman’s sweat will make the man lick and suck each one of his fingers. He will smack his lips. Forgetting the wife who refused to be his minion, he will enter a mutual journey of sweats with the wise woman, until he snores into the night with narcissistic satisfaction.
Samuel Okopi @ samuelokopi.com
Time: What time is it? It’s Nigerian Time.
In 1966, the inimitable Peter Pan Enahoro, in his classic book, How to be a Nigerian, observed ruefully, “You invite a Nigerian to dinner for 8 p.m. and he has not turned up at 9 p.m. Do not give up and begin to eat. He is sure to turn up at 9:30 p.m. the next day.” Today not much has changed for the Nigerian.
Time in Nigeria is not fixed. It is a loose-limbed variable subject to the mood of the people. Watches and clocks are ornamental rather than functional. Time is fluid, adaptable, and ballpark.
If Nigerian time were an animal, it would be lazy, somnolent, and unhurried. If Nigerian time were money, the Dollars from crude oil exports would become toilet paper.
Organisers bill events to start at a stated hour prompt but, don’t take the word, prompt, at face value; it is as redundant as the phrase, free gift. You would be better off taking it to mean several hours after the advertised time. This laid-back attitude is often mistaken for a lack of drive. On the contrary, Nigerians are some of the most ambitious people in the world.
Enahoro writes, “In many parts of the world, life is a mortal combat between man and ruthless Father Clock with Father Clock leading by a neck. The implacable resolve of man to battle to the bitter end with time does not attract the Nigerian.” Enahoro is a visionary.
Nkem Ivara @ thewordsmythe.wordpress.com
Music: Ti ko, ti ko-ko!
Deejays at Nigerian nightclubs have since phased out party-starter hits like, This is how we do it, by Montell Jordan, in favour of club bangers from the kings of Nigerian airwaves, Davido, D-banj, Wizkid, Phyno, Don Jazzy, Kaycee, Iyanya, Timaya, May-D, P-Squared, and . . . , the list gets longer by the minute. Nigeria’s Generation Next pledge allegiance to and comply with the instructions of their music icons. Hence, if Iyanya says all he wants is, your waist, you’d better surrender it! If Kaycee says, pull ova, get ready to be handcuffed for not twerking correctly!
Our music permeates every facet of our lives. Whether Skelewu-ing at weddings, Limpopo-ing at roadshows, and Ginger-ing at owambes, the beat and rhythm inspire listeners to do the head-bob, echo the chorus, twist their waists with mouths half-open as if bad news slapped them, squat, and wobble their thighs as though they’re trying to stifle day-old pee, while marinating in sweat.
Come on, ti ko ti ko-ko, all my ladies, chop my money, I want to be your maga, shakey bumbum!
Nigerian pidgin-pop, a brand where artists infuse pidgin into every track to gain mass appeal and to avoid being seen as stuck-up returnees trying to impress those who have zero chance of travelling in the foreseeable future, has gone global. Remember when former US secretary of state, Colin Powell, danced the yahooze with Olu Maintain on stage? Ladies and gentlemen, the revolution is underway, no need to reinvent the ‘beat’ and ‘lyrics’ of success.
Shey you want to dance? Oya scatter the ground! Ti ko ti ko-ko, ti ko ti ko-ko!
Tonwa Anthony @ thecrazynigerian.com
Football: You no sabi ball jare!
Football is the most unifying factor in Nigeria, but only when the national team plays. Switch over to European club football where allegiances hold sway, and we are a bitterly divided nation that borrows from other cultures and then overcooks it. This explains why many Lagosians are more passionate about Chelsea FC than locals from the Greater London area are. When it comes to football, Nigerian women have no qualms indulging their men. Only a brave woman schedules a romantic dinner for Saturday evening with her diehard Gunner husband, knowing that Arsenal’s match that afternoon could go either way.
Every Nigerian is a football pundit, whether they’ve ever kicked a ball or not, and coaching the Super Eagles is the most difficult job on earth. How do you face 170 million people, many of whom are convinced you do not know what you are doing? Ask Stephen Keshi!
Indeed, football is a leveler in Nigerian society. Citizens may not have ready access to good roads, electricity, or healthcare, but viewing centres, where people watch live football on giant screens for a fee, have democratized access to football like never before. The result? A thriving ‘National Conference’ during football season on Facebook and Twitter, in offices, beer parlours, sport bars, and on the streets. When football is the subject of conversation, only a fool concedes to another’s view. Football arguments inevitably end when one party walks away with a dismissive, “You no sabi ball jare!” or with the parties trading blows.
Olutola Bella @ bellanchi.wordpress.com
Politics: Na wa for our government o!
In Nigeria, politics is the lifeblood of our non-sexual interactions. I suppose it is the result of extensive upheavals in our government for the majority of our existence, first as colonies of the British Empire and then as an independent nation. We have never enjoyed sufficient stability to render us apolitical. When strangers meet at pubs in England, the weather serves as the icebreaker. In Nigeria, we say, “Na wa for our government o!” You could be sitting alone at the bar and if you say it loudly enough, two or three people within earshot will drift over to engage you.
Our political language is fairly militarised, which is unsurprising given our history. Thus, we rarely reciprocate, we retaliate, and politicians blame their detractors for everything from floods to news reports accurately portraying the government in bad light. They call enemies of the state either cowardly or dastardly, while vowing, not to leave any stone unturned in the search for bombers and kidnappers. Visitors to Nigeria, do not be alarmed when you discover that all our stones are flaccid and their stomachs point to the sky!
And in the wake of scandals, suspects are said to be fingered and these suspects in turn, flay their accusers. Meanwhile, every new half-baked policy is a panacea or palliative for the masses. The noun, masses, is never unadorned but qualified with the adjectives suffering, poor, or general. An absolutely delightful lexicon!
Rotimi Fawole @ texthelaw.com
Hustle: No condition is permanent
Repatriates and visitors to Nigeria are often blinded to the power to our industry because they are preoccupied with the failings of the nation-state. But adorning panoramic lenses makes for a compelling view of the coping mechanism within the collective psyche. The average Nigerian attempts to carry on life with poise despite his shredded dignity and applies resourcefulness and resilience, in other words, hustle, to produce an outcome that secures either a self-centered or an altruistic end.
Electrical power failures or NEPA has taken light, is a nuisance that grinds homes and businesses to a halt. The solution: generators, solar panels, rechargeable lanterns, and inverters. The common man hustles to buy one of these instead of hustling to see the day when power supply is normalized. He, as well as businessmen with briefcases full of scam, know that, no condition is permanent.
The jeeps of the rich scoff at potholes on poorly constructed roads and allow them carry on with life at a frenetic pace. The common man defies the cumbersome traffic caused by treacherous roads by biking on okada. He, as well as the activist that lambasts the government on social media, understand that no condition is permanent.
Nigerians work hard at whatever their hands find to do whether moral or amoral and adapt readily thereby stifling any clamour for change. We know that we are next in line for a miracle, our very own share of the national cake, and our hustle shall not be truncated!
Timi Yeseibo @ Livelytwist
©Timi Yeseibo 2014
©Timi Yeseibo 2014
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Timi Yeseibo and livelytwist.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
101 thoughts on “The Love Languages of Nigerians”
Spot on and educative, a good read! Keep it up, its my first foray here and I must say….I’m hooked!
I’m glad you enjoy what you’ve found so far. Sometimes we have to step back and satirize ourselves into ‘reality’ 😉
Thanks Chiamaka. Glad you enjoyed reading.
Lovely post, I enjoyed reading every line 🙂
Thank you Ifeanyi. We understand the language . . . 😉
Zambians, especially pentecostals, can also be extra spiritual. When they greet you, you respond that you are not feeling well. They rebuke you and say you should not confess ill on yourself because Jesus is the Healer. They also say you should always respond by saying “I am blessed and highly favored of the Lord.” Ah, Zambia.
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Ah, sometimes people are sincere, sincerely zealous! 🙂
I’m curious, are there other similarities, like in the area of football, time, politics, music?
Zambians, like Nigerians, just love football. Time keeping for most is a challenge to most. I think Nigerians are not any better either because I once used to go to a Nigerian church and people would saunter in long after the service had started. I am not sure about similarities in politics and music though.
Thanks for sharing. Football may be the biggest religion in Africa then 😉
I would love to steal (not steal, repeat) the image. With a linkback of course, this is a hilarious post.
Hi Tosin(?) I’m glad you found the post hilarious. You can reblog the post if you’re on WordPress. Otherwise, please don’t repeat (steal) it. Feel free to share the link so others can enjoy the post as well. Thanks!
hi Timi,.i stumbld on your blog,thanks to slow internet connection,nevertheles”all thngs work together for good”,
great read,and very lively..
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Hi Victorious, who would have thought I’d ever be grateful for slow internet connection eh? 😉
So glad it brought you here! Thanks.
It’s well past midnight, I’m reading this and almost waking my babies up with my laughter.
This is so spot on.
“I’m reading this blog because I can’t sleep.”
“God forbid. He giveth his beloved sleep. You will sleep by Holy Ghost fayaaaaa!”
Lol@ “God forbid. He giveth his beloved sleep. You will sleep by Holy Ghost fayaaaaa!” 🙂
Religion is our mother tongue!
This was such a great read; the pieces on Religion and Time resonated most with me. I tend to be very realistic, and this is fine except it can stop you from dreaming big, or it can make you dwell on the negative. So, I find it reassuring at times to have my mom tell me in that way only a Nigerian can that “God forbid!” this or that. 😀
Religion and time! But, I think people usually come early to church right? 🙂
It’s good that your mom balances you out. In Nigeria, we need a healthy dose of realism to balance religion, the kind that causes us to be the change we are looking for instead of waiting for a saviour from heaven 🙂
I really loved this! Interestingly, I could relate to each one of the love languages. I even got to pick up a childhood memory via the book ‘How To Be A Nigerian’, a gift my favourite cousin had sent to me while he lived and studied in Lagos; one I held dear and read over and over again. That part made me smile.
I’ve been gone from the blogosphere for so long but just know I’ve been reading your posts and will be back soon 🙂
Hi, I haven’t ‘seen’ you in a while! How have you been?
Could you relate because you speak the same love language in The Gambia? I know Nigerian time is also an African thing, and we love football on the continent. Religion? Food? Politics? Hustle? Music? Come to think of it, when I read other African blogs, I find similar sentiments 🙂
I’m glad that Nkem brought pleasant memories from your childhood to the fore. I’ll have to get a hold of Peter Enahoro’s book. Can’t believe I haven’t read it yet 😦
Two heads are definitely better than one but when you have seven over-imaginative heads then you will know diariz God…..in the Nigerian way.
I’m in stitches because of your comment. The love languages of Nigerians, an absolutely delightful lexicon! Thanks Tito. 😀
It’s always a pleasure to read your writings.
hmmmn, that’s all I can say. You guys really ‘hashed’ out these love languages for real and as you rightly say, religion is the cloak which people hide under. If only we would pull off the veil and see it for what it really is. Rather than practice the right thing, we tend to get carried away by other things that are even secondary to our salvation.
As for music…lol, NO comment!
It is well with Nigeria.
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Lol, I could do another blog post on, “It is well.” 😀 But I understand the spirit of your words. Many of us want to see things change. Can we create a ripple effect as we do our bit?
Music? Ha ha ha!
You made me pause and think about Nigeria again. It’s easy to live and think inside your personal bubble without giving any though to the true state of the nation. This piece right here is for the books. I hope I come across it again 30 years from now and breathe a sigh of relief because of how improved Nigerian mindsets are. I hope that’s not me hoping for too much.
Kudos to all the writers.
I like the language that makes us uniquely Nigerian, but like you, I hope the state of the nation improves, which translates as you said, to improved mindsets. If we keep doing the same things, we should not expect different results, even though dia riz God o!
Remember the time thing in Liberia, Timi. I couldn’t quite adjust, so I set meetings a couple of hours before I wanted them to happen. 🙂 Second, I’ve never had jollof-rice I couldn’t finish. Third, I don’t think God takes sides on football, or even war, as far as that goes. –Curt
Yes Curt, it’s also called African time. I’ve heard similar stories from friends who come from west, east & south Africa. I’m not sure if north Africa observes African time. I like jollof-rice too! We tend to take the religion thing too far. As Tomi said, it is our mother tongue! There are so many tales, I guess we could each have written subheadings like, “it’s not my portion,” “by God’s grace,” etc 😀
I have to wonder about the deep connection to religion. In Liberia, Christianity was often mixed with more traditional religions. The person attending church on Sunday morning might be out sacrificing a chicken in the afternoon. –Curt
Lol, the same holds true in Nigeria, where Christianity (churchianity) & Islam are the ‘official’ religions, and traditional religion is the ‘unofficial’ religion. 🙂
It would seem that with modernization, traditional religious (and cultural) practices went out of fashion, but people still believed in the potency of such practices. What do I know, maybe I’m wrong.
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Really enjoyed learning about Nigerian culture through the language. You are so right that words can be such portals into a people. You made me think of the expressions that are part of my Filipina upbringing. So often what we here about certain countries is through the headlines – which reveal so little about the people.
I’m glad you enjoyed learning about Nigerian culture through this post. It can be hard to convey in writing the nuances in the way people communicate. I like to think that to truly speak a language, one must understand the culture. To ‘get’ the culture, one cannot live on the fringes of society. But if we managed to paint a picture in your mind, then we’ve done well.
The meaning behind your Filipina expressions and how they’ve evolved over time, as you said, reveal so much more about the people. I enjoy oral history peppered with humour and told by indigenes 🙂
What a fun and clever peek into Nigerian people, beliefs and culture. Thanks for the funtastic journey. 🙂
Thanks for hopping on my train and enjoying the ride 😀
runaway humor 🙂
Hmm, AMALA (African Man’s Absolute Loyalty Approach)’. Great stuff! I have had a good time so far and would be back.
#onelove…in Tubaba’s voice!
Ha ha! AMALA – that’s Samuel Okopi’s interpretation of our love language for you! 🙂
It brings me pleasure when you have a good time on Livelytwist. Looking forward to your return, Mojisola.
Reblogged this on Out Of My Head and commented:
This post reminds me of How To Be A Nigerian by Peter Enahoro. (It’s even mentioned in the post). I read the book such a long time ago, I can’t even remember but I think I read it at my Grandpa’s house.
The post is spot on
Nigerian “language” keeps evolving 😀
Glad you enjoyed it enough to reblog.
“The average Nigerian attempts to carry on life with poise despite his shredded dignity and applies resourcefulness and resilience, in other words, hustle, to produce an outcome that secures either a self-centered or an altruistic end.”
I love that “shredded dignity” and then carries on to produce something good. This is the problem of the West reporting on Africa in general….mostly negative stuff.
Your comment reminds me of Chimamanda Adichie’s Danger of a Single Story talk. Indeed most people seem to be familiar with negative stories from the African continent, thanks to the media. But, there are several programmes on the BBC and CNN that highlight other happenings on the continent, mostly positive.
Nigerians “hustle.” It can be a positive or negative thing. It is my hope that we will hustle to establish a working democracy and do away with all our “detractors.” 🙂
Yes, some of been big detractors there.
This “package” for sure will loosen the taut expression and boot wrinkles out the window. At first, I doubted the survey that said “Nigerians are the happiest people on Earth.” Now? It’s a different story. In the midst of our problems, we always find an angle for laughter.
Nice selection of stories, btw.
“In the midst of our problems, we always find an angle for laughter.” 🙂
Laughter is good. If introspection follows and leads to right actions, even better.
Ahhhhhhhhh! May God forgive you for this, Timi! This is what happens when 7 over-imaginative, BIG KIDS come to play. Adults CANNOT come up with stuff like this! We need a museum for this post. LOL 😀
I was on a very popular Nigerian blog last week reading a post about how doctors extracted over 200 teeth from a young man’s mouth in India. Then one of the responses read, “my dear, it’s all these gods/idols they worship. There is only one God o.”
Case closed. lol 😀
Lol@ museum, I like it when big kids play!
“There is only one God o.” Now that’s taking it to another dimension 😀
Very ‘hot climate culture’-esque. Sounds a little like Brazil too. However, Brazilians show up earlier then the next day – hahaha. Football here is like a national religion. Don’t even get me started on the political state. I’ll just have a hissy fit if I do.
Thanks for the humorous post Timi.
Aha, there are similarities. We have Brazilian Quarters in Lagos, Nigeria, where the descendants of African slaves from Brazil settled when they returned. But also, as you point out, “hot climate culture’-esque,” those of us from tropical climates, and even Mediterranean climates, seem to have ‘pepper’ flowing in our veins 😀
@Football here is like a national religion, what is it about 22 men and a ball? 😉
Glad you enjoyed reading.
Reblogged this on Coily Head of Hair.
This article is right on point (forgive my street diction). Combining the message in an underlying taste of humour. Reminds me of when I was sick and was like, “Mummy, I need medicine, I’m sick” and her friends were like, “No, don’t say that. You’re STRONG”. As if I’ll need medicine if I was strong. Nice piece
Thanks Christopher. I like to think that the underlying taste of humour makes the message easier to swallow. 🙂
Perhaps people struggle with finding the balance between acknowledging what they feel & saying what they believe? Needing medicine is not a ‘bad’ thing, not to me anyway . . .
Reblogged this on qUiRkYtImS and commented:
Today’s post is a repost from the lovely, intelligent, “i wish I had her brain” Timi Yesibo. You are a blessing to many(even those who are too shy to let you know)
Click the subscribe button and you’ll be glad you did.
Sir, is your car covered by insurance?
I am covered by the blood of Jesus! Read on to find out more 🙂
Aw Timi, you are too kind with your words. I’m glad you enjoyed this piece enough to reblog. Some fantastic writers did all the heavy lifting 🙂
Yes o, we are all “covered” 😀
Haha! This was so funny. God forbids everything. 😦
Lol, well at least your comment isn’t forbidden! 🙂
Absolutely loved all these entries! I’m a sucker for intelligent thinking juxtaposed against brilliant prose, and each one of these entries lavishly gratifies my expectations. I in particular loved the entries on “Religion” and “Football,” but heck, I’m being redundant, both of those are interchangeable as religion in Nigeria anyway! 🙂
Thanks Joseph, I’m glad you enjoyed reading. Religion colours everything Nigerians do, doesn’t it? Tomi sums it nicely, “Someone is always ‘doing’ someone!” 🙂
I use paracetamol, dislike Amala, hate Nigerian pop music, don’t watch the Super Eagles, am not interested in the national cake; yet I’d be lying if I said this doesn’t get me as a Nigerian.
Brilliant collabo, great writing by the contributors.
” . . . yet I’d be lying if I said this doesn’t get me as a Nigerian.” Our language cannot be taught, it must be caught. Something about our shared experience, something about not living on the fringes of society.
Ah ah, so you don’t like ti ko, ti ko-ko? Not even a little? 😀
Thank you Ife. I also enjoyed reading what the writers brought to the table.
If by ‘ti ko, ti ko-ko” you mean that thing we used to do before slapping our hands red, then yes, I used to like that; anything else and I’m lost like a Parisian in Isale Eko.
Ife, Parisian in Isale Eko, by ‘ti ko, ti ko-ko,” Tonwa means the basic beat that accompanies Nigerian Pidgin-pop 😀 I find myself doing the head-bob when I listen 🙂
See ehn, my ignorance in matters like Nigerian Pidgin-pop is real. Lemme just keep my mouth shut and go bob my head to something too.
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Omg!!! This is just wow!!! Don’t even know where to start commenting. Una, chop knuckle 👊👊👊
*PS Timi, I refuse to beef you o, you didn’t inform a brother: #chaiiiiii *
Lol, it’s always a good idea to start at the beginning 🙂
@beef, #chaiiiiii, abeg no vex o!
YOU ARE VERY CURRECT. IT IRRITATES ME how we tend to blend every thing to religion
Ah, religion, the cloak under which we hide 🙂
Hahahaha! Oh how i love my people and my country Nigeria. Here, every body is an expert in everything.. In the end, ‘There is GOD.’
Emeka, your “expert” summary of the situation . . . how apt! 😀
Different aspects of our lives told through different lenses. Yet, a common, distinctive thread runs through each narrative: Nigerianess; an attribute that is so hard to define but so easy to recognize, and one we have all come to love and cherish, in spite of all. Well done Timi, for the initiative, and thanks for the opportunity to be part of this.
Tola, that’s it, isn’t it, that distinctive thread – “Nigerianess; an attribute that is so hard to define but so easy to recognize, and one we have all come to love and cherish, in spite of all.”
Hung out with a group that was 70% Nigerian and watched them display Nigerianess – dominate the conversation for two hours with tales from Nigerian ‘moonlight.’ These Nigerians in diaspora who claimed to have washed their hands off Nigeria, talking with passion about Nigeria, in spite of it all 🙂
I enjoyed working on this with you, learning about Arsenal, “gunner”, Chelsea, Eagles . . . Kai, I no sabi ball jare! 😉
Reblogged this on Samuel Okopi and commented:
This is Nigeria. City of dreams. Landscape of strange, paradoxical happenings.
This is Nigeria. Through the words of seven writers. Come drink of our words, and in doing so, surrender to the emotions that take over you.
Nigeria . . . landscape of paradoxical . . . hmmm!
Hahaha. Lovely mix here! Glad to have been part of this, Timi.
Tomi, you won’t kill me with laugh o.
“Sir, is your car covered by insurance?”
“I am covered by the bloooood of Jesus!”
Hahaha. Even though this illustration shouldn’t be surprising, it still seemed to jump out of nowhere, shocking out hearty laughter from me. Naija!
“If Nigerian time were an animal, it would be lazy, somnolent, and unhurried. If Nigerian time were money, the Dollars from crude oil exports would become toilet paper.”
“Time in Nigeria is not fixed. It is a loose-limbed variable subject to the mood of the people. Watches and clocks are ornamental rather than functional. Time is fluid, adaptable, and ballpark.”
Chai, Nkem, nice one! Lovely lines, brilliant style. Loved how this made me think.
Tonwa, you know, I was with a friend the other day reminiscing about the times when music from the west completely dominated Nigerian airwaves and clubs. Even church services weren’t left out. But how time flies, draping the present with much change.
“…many Lagosians are more passionate about Chelsea FC than locals from the Greater London area are.”
“Every Nigerian is a football pundit, whether they’ve ever kicked a ball or not, and coaching the Super Eagles is the most difficult job on earth. How do you face 170 million people, many of whom are convinced you do not know what you are doing? Ask Stephen Keshi!”
Olutola, apt! Your piece brought memories. I remember those days in school. By the borehole in the hostel, in class, at the community market … everywhere–boys never stopped talking about football! And oh! Did their fists and facial expressions not participate effectively!
“In Nigeria, politics is the lifeblood of our non-sexual interactions”
Rotimi, I love this line! Talk about a real topic sentence…hahahaa. And you had to make me laugh some more with “…do not be alarmed when you discover that all our stones are flaccid and their stomachs point to the sky!” abi? Nice one.
“Electrical power failures or NEPA has taken light, is a nuisance that grinds homes and businesses to a halt.”
Timi, this made me laugh. But it made me brood, too. Ah, the hustlers’ life.
Love the graphics!
Samuel it was ‘funtastic’ having you on board. This collabo taught me so much. Despite the fact that deadline for submissions fell on World Cup Finals weekend, you guys did your best to avoid Nigerian time, with some submitting a couple of days after 🙂
The professionalism that the team displayed, each one putting in their best and being gracious with the edits and re-edits, there is hope for Naija o!
Lol @Tomi, why do people drag out the “blooood” in blood of Jesus? 😀
@Nkem, made me think about the militarization of time- one o’clock “prompt” and yet no one is on time!
@Tonwa, taught me how to “scatter the ground” skelewu style! 😀
@Tola lectured me about football, he filled in my knowledge gaps 🙂
@Rotimi, when he contests elections, I’m voting for him!
You, Samuel, you know how we went back and forth over amala, egusi, and everything in between before I “loved” it in the end 😉
@graphics, thanks man!
We should do something together again soon. Thanks for flying with me!
If I ever go to Nigeria, I may feel like I’ve been there already thanks to you. Hilarious take on the human condition, filtered through your own cultural lens.
Nigerians are friendly and welcoming, you’ll have a good time, but don’t fall for the “hustle” 🙂
There are similarities in the human condition across countries and continents. I guess Americans have their own version of “Na wa for our government o!” which is basically pointing fingers at the government for everything wrong in society 🙂
Thanks for commiserating with us as we take wobbly steps towards mature nationhood.
This mirrors us, near-perfectly. (erase ‘near’ pls).
The piece owes its brilliance to the rich, ingenious mix of varied minds (collabo) doing it their own way, yet harmoniously – and quite humorously I must say.
And how’s your rest coming, Timi?
Hi Bunmi, now you know I wasn’t really resting, I was working on this collabo and other stuff.
I also like what each write brought to the table – their own take on the Naija experience, which resonates with all of us because we’re doing life together. Who says Nigerians can’t harmonize and take advantage of synergy? Thanks Bunmi!
Reblogged this on ThE cRaZy NiGeRiAn and commented:
A must-read; with a host of great bloggers and a special appearance from the numero uno Crazy Nigerian 🙂
Ha ha ha, Jollof, it was fun flying with you. Now I know more about Nigerian pidgin-pop than I did before – developed a mini crush on Davido and his dimples (cute!), and as for that man that wants to be my maga . . . ti ko, ti ko-ko! 😀
This is so interesting, Timi! I am sure men all over the world have their varied interests that don’t always ‘make sense’ to me! I seem to really be able to talk to women, in lines and everywhere I go, but there are sometimes, even then, that a woman will look at me askance, wondering what I am talking about! Thanks for the picture of the male Nigerian’s brain, it made me chuckle about the time thing. I love Andy Griffith and Brad Paisley’s song, “Waiting on a Woman.” My Dad was pretty patient and I remember his exclaiming as my Mom came down the stairs, (often) “Now there’s a woman worth waiting for!” Smiles, Robin
Language can be funny – the way we’re wired to speak and understand and all the other ways we communicate. Your dad scores high in my book, patience is still a virtue.
Ah the time thing . . . remember it if you ever visit Nigeria 🙂
I have not traveled for years, very far. I was very fortunate in my youth, to go to Portugal and Spain, along with Mexico. These were all before I was 22, with high school clubs and then, with my husband we would go to Lake Erie to see my parents. That is the direction I head, now more often than not, to see my Mom. Someday,… if I get to Nigeria, I will remember the ‘time thing!’ Smiles, Robin
Haha. Excellent, just excellent. Samuel killed me with ‘AMALA (African Man’s Absolute Loyalty Approach)’. Great stuff!
Lol, Tomi it was fun doing this together 🙂
Samuel and I went back and forth several times because I couldn’t see “food,” only male chauvinism in his post! But that is a common language in Nigeria. I think things are changing . . . slowly
Haha. I see what you mean. Things are indeed changing on that front. it’s about time it happened, don’t you think? A female president or governor in the not so distant future will be good.
A female president or governor . . . hmmm, let’s hope she won’t have to worry about AMALA & EGUSI 😉
haha! let’s hope so 🙂
Reblogged this on I Write To Escape and commented:
Nigerian satire at its absolute best.
Chai! We didn’t incense too many religious sensibilities . . . God forbid! 😉
Haha! we probably did. People are practising the spiritual act of self control :D.
Holy Ghost faayaa! 😀 😀 😀
“Dear Nigerian, Paracetamol and rest are good for headaches too.
Preparation and hard work win football matches too. God bless my
enemies, is a prayer too.” I love this. This is a good piece Timi, funny too..
Ha ha Ife, glad you do. Perhaps Tomi meant to ‘shock’ the religion out of people 🙂
So funny all your pieces, abi indeed dearis god oh!
Marie, dia riz God o! 😉
The language of a people, so telling . . .