OPINION

What Being A Nigerian Means By Ayodeji Lious

Being a Nigerian is a bitter sweet experience. There are certain things only a Nigerian will understand. Like when you say ‘Chai’, ‘Nawa’ and ‘abeg’. It has been very difficult for me as a linguist to translate these phrases into the English Language and even when I tried, I lost the flavor and the colloquial meaning these phrases move along with, thereby ruining all the fun. However, being a Nigerian doesn’t only has to do with our unique phrases that honestly can’t be truly translated into any language without dropping some certain juicy elements of the phrases. Being a Nigerian is tough for some, and most tough for others. There are so many things that are just “Nigerian”

It is hard to explain or even relate to if you are not Nigerian or if you haven’t been to Nigeria. Nigerians are strong people. We are smart people. We make things happen and because we are a country with some many diverts cultures and tribes, we are very competent in all areas, at least the areas we focus on. Personally I find no shame in being Nigerian. I am glad I am Nigerian, because being Nigerian itself throws you into certain conditions and situations that is tough and you just have to survive. How can you survive when there isn’t electricity in your area for a month? How can you manage to get that education you so crave despite all the expenses involved? How do you reply that mail immediately when you don’t even have access to internet or when you do, the internet is a cry for help?  How do get a job in a receding economy with the shout all over the country about unemployment? How do you get your boss to stick to the appointment contract even when you get the job? How do you ascertain that the business you are about to invest in isn’t scam? How do you deal with getting a food on your table? These situations are not palatable but this is the reality of a typical Nigerian.

It is also noteworthy to mention that this is not the reality of some Nigerians. For some people, being a Nigerian isn’t hard, it isn’t tough. We are a very rich country but the wealth isn’t rightly or evenly distributed. That however isn’t the purpose of this article. The purpose is to name things that are just so “Nigerian”

I have come to realize that it is Nigerian thing to say that you have no money or that there is no money out there. I am not of the opinion that Nigerians are lying by saying this or that there is actually money out there (on the streets) my point is Nigerians have a way of downzoning everything. Perhaps this state of lack has being our reality for so long, we have adapted it into our thing. It is also noteworthy to mention that being a Nigerian isn’t a function of the government in regime. The situation of the economic might go from bad to worse under a government but being a Nigerian isn’t affected by this factor. A Nigerian will be a Nigerian regardless.

So what are the things that are so “Nigerian?”

It is a Nigerian thing to say you are broke just so that your friends or family won’t bother to ask you for financial assistance.

It is a Nigerian thing to look broke just so your neighbor won’t feel intimidated about not having.

Being religious is so a Nigerian thing, the funny thing is most Nigerians are not even really committed to the religion but it’s just right to a religious person, we believe it makes us “good people”

It is a Nigerian thing to hold very high class and expensive parties. Nigerians hardly do parties on a low scale. It is only truly a party when everything is high class and everywhere is filled up.

It is a Nigerian thing to complain about the state of the economy and insult our political leaders and generally have a good laugh about everything wrong with the government.

It is a Nigerian thing to bother only abut yourself while in Nigeria and appreciate Nigerians when you meet them outside the country.

It is a Nigerian thing to constantly want to leave the country, if you haven’t travelled out, you haven’t made it. If you have anything from overseas, it’s definitely original.

It is Nigerian to say exactly opposite of what you think or to say what you feel people want to hear.

Mostly importantly, being Nigerian mean you have to be smart, wise, fast and sharp

Ayodeji Lious

Twitter @_FrauLious

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