What makes one Nigerian?
The movie “Concussion” got me thinking. It takes more than an accent to be Nigerian. Though not to throw shade at the Naija accent which was ranked the fifth sexiest accent in the world by CNN. There is actually more to being a Nigerian than the accent.
This piece is an ode to that innate “Nigerianness”. Many Nigerians may not appreciate the following traits but they do.
Ability to smile whilst suffering
This trait is unique to Nigerians. Nigerians are happy despite many hardships. The ability to suffer and smile is a big part of being Nigerian. For instance, John hasn’t had power supply in three months; John is on social media, deriving pleasure in “yabbing” PHCN for his plight.
The daily lingo in Nigeria is littered with numerous slangs which may confuse non-Nigerians but adds flavour, spice and richness to spoken English. Words and Phrases like “shebi”, “abi”, “maka why”, “ole way”, “fa”, “yab” , “Naija” and many others are commonplace. This sentence “shebi you promised to show up” is as much a party of our identity as the green-white-green flag.
The love and defence of Jollof rice
As Apple pie is to the USA, so is the Jollof rice to Nigeria. Nigerians may not know who invented Jollof rice but they have taken full ownership of this delicacy. Not only do Nigerians love jollof rice, they always rush to defend the honour and dignity of the Nigerian jollof rice should it be required. If you doubt this factual statement: go on Twitter, throw shade at Jollof rice. And prepare for world war three because Nigerians will come for you. This piece would never be complete without the mention of the King of Jollof rice, “the Party Jollof rice”. No Nigerian event is complete without it.
Ingenuity and Creativity
Nigerians are taking over the entertainment scene with their creativity and talent. Dances like “shoki” and “yahoozee” have taken the world by storm. The Nigerian creative spirit gets a bad rap and needs more positive publicity. Speaking of bad raps, who remembers Farouk who stuffed money in his “Sokoto” cap to avoid suspicion?
The average Nigerian wears religion like a second skin. Religion is so ingrained in the collective Nigerian psyche that almost every sentence references the divine. A simple “how are things?” will elicit the following reply: “It is well (In Jesus’ name/ Insha Allah)” depending on religious affiliation.