At work, I am the only black person and it is big big grammar all day; At home, my neighbors are oyinbo worse still they are not really English and I am sure they are practicing their English on me, always speaking to me when I am clearly not in the mood and asking me to interpret complex words.
I have made acquaintance with a few Nigerians here but they are all from the East and I have been banned from speaking pidgin to them (which would have been a bit better) apparently my pidgin English is nothing to write home about and I hurt their ears (that is what they say o). Personally I think say I fit get C4 in broken English for GCE easily biko, well I dey chill for them for now (sample, you can score me that one), so oyinbo galore continues.On this particular day, I pick the phone to speak to my brother and the conversation goes
30+: "Hello ewo lo se" (" which ones")
Brother: "Hello sis, not much men, how wuz your day" (with his British accent, I know he is not posing, like me he can speak with British accent as well as Nigerian accent, you will never know whether na true or false, lol)
30+: "Se dan dan no ki o so oyinbo ni" ("Is it by force to speak English")
Brother: "Ehn, what are you saying don’t we normally speak English" (
30+: "Ani o so Yoruba" ("I said speak our language")
Brother: (Laughs) "What’s happening do you think SSS is listening to our conversation, don’t worry you are the least suspect when it comes to terrorism" (referring to latest happenings in
By now I was frustrated, I know we were made to speak English growing up and you got into trouble for speaking vernacular, but e don do now even the Queen has no game on me when it comes to English Command
30+: "Ani mo fe so Yoruba, oyinbo ti fe yi mi lori" ("Speak our language, English is attempting to turn my head")
Brother: "You should have said that now" (psssst, the guy is still speaking English)
I dropped the phone before he could finish, I was upset. Na wa for me o 30+, I must be stressed out.
I am convinced, I usually think in my language and it is stressful expending too much energy converting the thoughts to words I speak. Whatever it is, it’s getting to me and I want to scream in my mother tongue "E ko ara yin da si egbe kan pelu oyinbo lojojumo jo".
I mean what can be as sweet as my mother tongue, it is only in my language that one word will mean a thousand things. It is only in my language that people will be discussing and you will think they are fighting. It is only in my language that you yell like a crazy person just to say hello to an old friend, it is only in my language that you can say a person is "not well" ("O gbadun") and they will retort that you are mad ("Were ni e", the Were with emphasis) both parties shouting yet laughing and slapping each other on the back as if they just won a jackpot.
To buttress my point see my live evidence below, even the Oyinbo is jisoroing my language….I rest my case.