Four Words Nigerians Distrust

October 3, 2019

There are certain words in Nigeria that automatically get many Nigerians reacting wary when they hear it, almost like it has a different meaning than the original one. This may be because the connotation attached to them are somewhat twisted in the mind of those who react wary.

What are these words, you ask? They are simply; “excuse me”, “hello”, “please” and “thank you”.

I know. It seems really strange.

Until the day you tell a conductor “thank you” and everyone in the bus swerves towards you like…

Say what?

Or when you want to ask someone for directions, politely saying “excuse me” and they turn towards you like you’ve just insulted the life outta them

Or when you proceed to say hello to the person sitting next to you, or on the same queue, in a public area and they look at you like you are a bag lady about to steal their last gold

How about the time when you actually gist with your servicemen like they are humans and their employers give you a dirty look for what they deem as stooping so low to talk to the help.

There’s also the angle of the servicemen feeling uncomfortable when addressed politely.

If you’ve gotten these reactions countlessly it will dawn on you that you might have to explain why you’re being polite; and “just because it’s proper manners” won’t cut it. Most Nigerians feel you are out to get them when you do the right thing, but that shouldn’t stop you from having good manners.

Find Zikoko
wherever you are

Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.