My mentor once illustrated this: “If you buy a brand new car, with all its sophistications and simply refuse to drive it, instead park it in the garage and adore it every morning. One year later try driving the car and see if it will respond.” The moral here is that nothing left to inaction retains its value. Rather, it degenerates in quality and ability to give satisfaction.
This is even readily applicable to our lives as people. Try sitting down and sleeping for one year, doing nothing but nothing, and see after the 52 weeks you would be better or worse. Of course you know the answer and I need not overbear the issue. Whatever is left to inaction gets worse. This is my fear for the Niger Delta crisis.
What we see today is the evidence of a long standing acrimony which has been gradually swelling from the inside and now is at the stage of implosion. After implosion comes explosion (at least to satisfy the beauty of literary usage), and we are sitting here watching the threat of another regional conflict arise. Africa has already suffered the severe consequences of regional conflicts that have sprung into national conflicts, with cross border implications.
We remember clearly how the war in Liberia started from a little corner of the country, before becoming a nationwide battle. Subsequently, it spill over into Sierra Leone and today we have witnessed one of the most brutal form of civil wars the world has ever known. Have we also forgotten the Congo War, or the Ivorian one? The men who excite the emotions of these wars suffer no loss, but the innocent people seeking for bread and water to sustain their already impoverished lives bear the grunt of such conflicts.
Ethnic conflicts usually start when perception of oppression one side grows, and usually incited by the ideologies of one man or a group of men. The Niger-Delta is not exclusive to these trends with the area already wallowing in the pond of perceived discrimination, oppression, exploitation, degradation, and underdevelopment. Surely also many have risen up to fuel the fire of the misgivings already existing in the people of the area. Yet our leadership is lumbering like a drunken man from the beer chamber on the issue of resolving the conflict quickly.
We know the demands of these young and restless men and we cannot deny the fact that their grudges are justified. This is not a time to discuss whether they are adopting the right approach or not, for a hungry man cannot be counseled on dignity. We should not forget that the lives of people will waste if this issue is not grabbed b y the horns.
Nigeria should not assume we are absolutely impervious to civil wars, for they are usually subtle in their origins; hence leadership adopts a passive watch. But with the series of provoking comments the rebel leaders of the region have been making of late, and the slimy approach of the oil companies to deal with the issue, we may be heading down the ugly road of rare-return.
Now oil companies and rich politicians are probably going to patronize the Nigerian Package, which are amoured vehicles made for the conflict region by Texas Armoring Corporation. So it seems to me that there are still many trying to work their way around the situation rather than dealing with.
I am not a prophet of doom, but a voice of voice of one calling in the wilderness. Nigeria must be extremely careful in handling the situation in the Delta. As the cautionary statement on some packaging goes, this issue should read:
WARNING!!!! NIGER-DELTA INSIDE: HANDLE WITH CARE (FRAGILE)!!!!
Of recent I have become more naijacentric in my thinking. Someone asked me if I am not engaged in ‘stinking thinking’ as (I hate to admit) characterized by some Nigerians. I boldly refuse! I am tired of wringing in the apron strings of a deep subservience to a mental imperialism that still obtains even in my generation, to the effect that we cannot even be uniquely identified by certain words assorbed into international conversations.
The French have so guarded their language jealously and imputed some words in even the English conversations. A word like ‘precis’ is a French word that is tolerable in even English writings. The Spanish word ‘Loco’ has also been accepted into usage. Several other languages including Japanese and Chinese have some words borrowed into accepted use as a universal word. I ask myself, what is Africa‘s own contribution to global conversation? There are some local words uniquely created by Nigerians. I try to ensure I use them when conversing even with non-Nigerians so as to impress on others that we have some colour to our palaver.
This note is an attempt to cheer within us certain words that we use in Nigeria, which have gained common understanding across different cultures in the country. I reckon that if we learn to celebrate our own, with time, considerng the vast influence Nigerians have globally, our locally invented lexis will be globally appreciated. This list is by no means exhaustive, but just to outline as much as I can remember and I expect you to also contribute those words which you know. So let’s begin……. I hope you find this interesting. Please do make corrections where you think I went off point. Ha ha ha.
1. Naija: a local variation for Nigeria
2. Obodo: an local word for village which has become widely used such as Obodo Oyinbo.
3. Oyinbo: A youruba word for Caucasians
4. Kpafuka: to spoil something. I heard a friend of mine coin another word from this – ‘Kpafucate’, used when a person dies. Eg. The old man don kpafucate.
5. Owambe: used to refer to partying.
6. Wahala: used to refer to much troubles.
7. Tufiakwa: used to exclaim a spitting action. Can also mean ‘God forbid’.
8. Isho: a sort of subtle deception.
9. Chilax: a concactenation of ‘Chill’ and ‘Relax’.
10. Bam: used to refer to something in a good state.
11. Kampe: similar to the word above, but usually used when referring to a persons’ wellbeing
12. Gbosa!: an exclamation of some action such as Hurray!
13. Egunje: a bribe.
14. Fisi or Jara: an extra portion added to a purchase.
15. Efizzy: used to refer to some form of special effects.
16. Jand: a local word for England.
17. Konk: used to refer to the hardness of a thing. Also used to refer to a hard knock on the head.
16. Chook: to pierce with a sharp object.
18. Jam: to meet someone.
19. Nack. A local word for knock. Also has a very obscene usage( don’t ask me).
20. Shakara or Yanga: meaning to pose or make a showoff.
21. Lepa: a very slim person. Another word could be ‘Lenge’.
22. Orobo: a fat person. Some even say ‘Orobolicious’.
23. Gorimakpa: a well shaven head, without any hair left.
24. Mess: to release fowl air from the outlet behnd a person.
25. Bomful: a local word for Buffoon.
26. Ogo: the projection back head.
27. Akpola: a heavy shoe with a massive sole.
28. Sisi: a young woman very current in fashion.
29. Timedify: a word widely used among the Efiks referring to scattering something.
30. 404: used in reference to Dog meat.
31. Wack: to eat. ‘Wackis’ also means food.
32. Kabu Kabu: means a Taxi.
33. Danfo: a commercial mini bus.
34. Okada: a commercial motorcycle.
35. Akanawan Baby: An Efik word for an old woman still trying to be sexy.
36. Aje-Butter: a spoilt child or one raised in affluence.
37. Aje-Kpako: one raised in hard circumstances.
38. How far: What’s up.
39. Kolomental: an insane person.
40. Magomago: a form of cheating.
41. Expo: any form of leakage or aid for exam malpractice.
42. Fashi or Bone: to forget about somethng, or treat as insignificant.
43. Orijo: a local term for original.
44. Sawdust: a secondary school term for Garri. Some call it Garrium-Sulphide.
45. Tie-fling: a word used for a wrap of shit in a nylon bag in the absence of toilet facilities. Usually in some remote secondary school.
46. Jabo: to abandon a person.
47. Badoski: a person really skilled at his profession; good or bad.
48. Paddy or Pally: a pal or close friend or associate.
49. Pepper: used in reference to money.
50. Shaks: referring to hard drinks.
51. Lailai: never.
52. yarn: to talk aimlessly.
53. Okpas: a nonsensical talk.
Oya, make una write una own…me I don tire before I yarn okpas… ha ha ha!