Life as a Nigerian

Hi guys! 😀 Been a while…again. ._. You can’t blame me, I’ve got school and besides, exams are around the corner.

That aside… So, I was feeling quite nostalgic and the thoughts of home kept swimming in :(. I don’t keep diaries, so that’s when my laptop came in handy 🙂 Someone once told me that “the most random thoughts make the best stories” Writing Typing time! ^_^

Nigeria is such a beautiful place complete with colour, diversity and culture. I love that place. Today, I’ve put together a few things that amuse me about growing up as a Nigerian. I hope you all enjoy it and think of home, especially if you’re not in Nigeria right now. And if you’re not Nigerian, this is a rare peek into the life of a Nigerian child. 🙂

Nigerians are so big on respect. They love to be respected and they teach their children to respect everyone older than they are, even if they’re just two minutes older. Please whatever you do, do NOT greet a Nigerian elder with ”hi” or  ”hello”, been there done that, it does not end well;

You: Hi aunty

Aunty: Ehn? Hi kwa? Can’t you say ‘Good Afternoon’???

There may or may not be ensuing slaps.

I believe respect is also the reason why children are not allowed to drink malt, No? Even in weddings! The servers will pass by you or give you coke, Fanta or Sprite if you’re not an adult. This is quite random, but I’ve always wondered why some Adults always put all those liquid milk (especially peak milk) into their malt :/

– No one punishes like Nigerian parents. It’s a fact. The fear of your parents is also a very good place for wisdom to start. When you have committed, your parents will call you by your full name (e.g Chideraa Marie Modupe Nicole Obi) and after a dialogue that is actually a monologue of them shouting rhetorical questions like, ”Am I your mate??” at you, they will proceed to either flog you or hit you with anything from wooden spoons (used for the making of Garri a.k.a Eba) to slippers. God bless you if their weapon breaks on your body, because then you will be beaten for the loss of the weapon. Also, do not attempt self-defense, you might destroy the weapon and like I said, that doesn’t help you. And do not try to run, they will throw things at you and catch up with you. So, don’t do it.

Also, whatever you do, do NOT respond to any accusation your Nigerian parent makes because it will be held against you.

”Why are you just coming home?? You were with that boy again abi??”

”Daddy… We just went to…”

”Shut up! Are you talking back at me??”

– Nigerian parents are the lords of sarcasm and bitter irony. When your father calls you ”my friend”, it’s never a good sign. They also have the habit of calling your name a specific number of times (they know this number) designed to instill fear and then they’ll ask-”How many times did I call you??” when you’ve done wrong. They’ll say things like –”Ask me again!” when they don’t know the answer to your question or ”oya beat me!” when you try to defend yourself against them. They’ll tell your teacher to flog you; yes, they might plead with her to flog you very well if you do wrong (I’m a living witness to this 😐 ). You might be fortunate to have parents on the other side of the spectrum who’ll come with a cane to flog your teacher after she has flogged you.

– Try not to correct your Nigerian parents, especially in English-related issues. If they’re in a good mood, they’ll laugh and say;

”Ha! It’s not my language oh!”

If they had a bad day?

”So, you now have no respect abi? Is that what they’re teaching you in that your school?”

Ignore the fact that your parent says ”Bee-yonce” as opposed to ”Bee-yon-say”. DO NOT CORRECT THEM.

– Nigerian parents are not pro-dating. They are pro-marriage. They expect to see a prospective husband or hear about someone coming to ”knock door” when you’re twenty five but they expect you to never date anyone. Well, ladies, we have our work cut out for us. We ”garra” make some magic happen!

– They were all straight ‘A’ students in their time. They hit you with the classic line of, “I always came first in my class”. You have no business failing any course.

”Mummy, I had 90% in Mathematics!”

”Ehn… Where’s the other 10%?”

Daddy interjects: In my time, I had 98% minimum!

Well, what can we do? This is why most, if not all Nigerian students do very well everywhere.

Nigerian parents do not understand the song choices of this generation. And while I don’t blame them, it hurt my feelings when my mum said that my one of my favorite Beyoncé songs, ‘Halo’ sounded like a funeral song. Despite my arguments, she still maintains her ground till today. She also thinks that most of the songs that our generation listen to these days are “Gbo-Gbo, Jim-Jim” (LOOOL. That’s basically an onomatopoeia for the ‘songs we tend to dance to in this century’ :’) ) According to her, it’s all noise *sigh. She’s probably right. They’re probably right and we’re all too starstruck to see clearly. I always tease her with some of the songs ‘they’ listened to in their time; especially this one with the lyrics, “Celebrate good times, come on!…” *moonwalks across the room* Lol, the song is catchy. You guys probably know it…or not. ( ._.)

Nigerian parents are very squeamish about saying ”I love you”. You have to say it first. Many Nigerians have never actually heard their parents say ”I love you” to them. They love you, they’re just shy. I know, it’s cute. ^.^

If you were raised in a Nigerian home, especially if you’re female, you’ll know that every morning, you should sweep the house and its environs. Basically, you clean every day like a health inspector is coming to visit. The only problem is that Nigerian mothers are stricter than the average health inspector.

Nigerian weddings are the greatest! Food and dance! The problem is that it starts two to three hours later and to be an MC you have to be a proficient ‘apologist’ to apologize constantly and promise to set the guests free on time. Another problem is that people will probably fight about food and drinks. And insult those serving and accuse them of enormous partiality. You also have to bring a gift or forget about receiving a “soh-veh-niah” (souvenir).

We invented spraying money on the couple while they dance happily. And then we dance on the naira notes.

At a Nigerian event, it is most likely that you’ll be unable to see in front of you, thanks to the many gele-wearing women.


”I’ll use the money to feed you. Who pays your school fees??”

They will even make you wash dishes and clothes when you have a dishwasher and washing machine. Do you want your husband to send you home? No? Ehen, wash.

Hot chocolate like ‘Milo’ is called ”tea”. In Nigeria, you hardly see anyone who drinks tea. They may have tea in their cupboard but 70-80% of the time, it remains unused. Meanwhile in the U.K it’s like a daily ritual for the citizens. I still don’t drink it, regardless *shrugs*

Visitors show up without calling and eat all the food in your house and leave a mountain of unwashed dishes. At least, it’s not as bad as family that comes to stay for a week and stay a year.

And now, some final fun facts;

– In Nigeria, an average road side seller of ‘Gala’ runs faster than Usain Bolt.

– Witches in Nollywood movies are a thousand times scarier than Freddy from ‘Friday the 13th’ or Chucky from ‘Child’s play’

– Nollywood movies induced the fear of cats in me 😦 According to the movies, cats are all evil. That’s probably the reason why MOST Nigerians dislike cats and start “binding and casting in the name of Jesus” when they see one.

– Nigerians are accustomed to doubling words, e.g; ‘follow follow’: A person who follows the crowd. ‘Chop Chop’: Someone who loves to eat. ‘Kata Kata’: Basically trouble of massive proportions.

– We rename objects; T-shirt = Polo. Hair packer = A hair band of some sort that you use to ‘pack your hair’ :/(otherwise known as a scrunchy).

– Nigerian breakfasts are the greatest. They range from akara, bread and akamu a.k.a pap to yam porridge. They’ll have you either sleepy all day or extra fortified depending on the kind of person you are.

– Eating Garri and egusi, oha or any other soup your mother prepared for lunch is a daily ritual in typical Nigerian homes.

DO NOT expect to see Ice-cream in the ice-cream containers left in your freezers/refridgerators. Half of the time, it’s just soup stored in there. -_-

-No one makes declarations like Nigerians;

”The devil is a liar!” can be a declaration, confirmation or question.

”Jesus is Lord!” or “Blood of Jesus!” comes in handy in times of profound shock.

– A Nigerian child is everyone’s child. Your mother can call your neighbors to beat you. Yes. Or they’ll just come on their own. This is why everyone both related and unrelated to you is your ‘aunty’ or ‘uncle’.

I love Nigeria. I love my parents and all Nigerian parents and every time I see other children who weren’t raised properly, I’m grateful to my parents for teaching me courtesy, respect, self-sacrifice and patience. Appreciate your parents! They love you.

P.S – I would love to hear your funny experiences growing up as a Nigerian and maybe we can have a reader’s edition. That’s if anyone gets to read this at all. ._. Don’t be shy, leave a comment! 🙂 x


12 thoughts on “Life as a Nigerian

  1. LOOOOOOL I’m still dying at the Malt thing. And hairpacker isn’t an actual word? Well damnn.. ( ._.) LMAO I loveee this! Too funny and accurate!!!!! Like this is actually my life!

    1. Lmaoo, I never understood it myself. Lol and I only recently found out that hair packer was called a scrunchy :/ I’ve always called it a hair band. *shrug* Lool! Naij parents are the best mehn. And Thanks Mizzle!! 🙂

  2. it’s so similar to what happens to every single thing u talked about. go ask for malt at a visitor’s house or somewhere.. the look you will receive? hm

  3. Cracked up reading the whole post… nicely written… also very nostalgic for me as I haven’t seen my family in almost a year and can remember everything you said… an some others too, like:
    -being promised an ass whooping in advance
    -mom/dad keeping money given to me by visitors (in his/her “bank”)…voicemail things 🙂
    -Reserving the drumstick for daddy
    -calling anything tomato and chilli based “stew” and any other thing “soup”
    -millions of “lesson teachers”!

    … but these (plus others) have molded me into a strong respecting and respectable person today. I love my Nigerian upbringing… and my kids better get ready 🙂

    1. LOOL! Omg, yes! If you give them your money, that’s the end. Hahaha, I won’t even bother to remind them of my punishment. I’d be happy if they actually forgot. Our children are definitely gonna learn. Lol, thanks for sharing! 😀 xx

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s