After spending most of our lives being policed by our comically strict parents, it tends to take young Nigerians a while for the reality of how grown we’ve become to sink in. So, in a bid to help, here are 10 defining moments that should make any Nigerian finally feel like an adult. 

1. The moment you get your first salary

You’d think landing your first post-graduate job might be enough to make you finally feel like an adult, but it doesn’t exactly feel real until you get your first salary; officially graduating from NYSC’s measly N19,800 to something that gives your ATM card a little weight. 

2. The moment your parents stop sending you monthly allowance

The end of monthly allowance feels like being sacked from a longstanding job you were never particularly good at — you knew it was coming, but it still comes as a destabilising shock. And few things say ‘welcome to adulthood’ quite like the utter lack of a safety net.

3. The first time you pay rent

Depending on how much of a baller you were prior to this, the first time you pay rent — two years upfront in some baffling cases — will probably be your account’s largest-ever debit alert. If losing all that money at once doesn’t make you feel like an adult, nothing will.

4. The first time you buy a major appliance

After years of underappreciating just how many fridges and air conditioners littered your family house growing up, having to cough up all that cash for some tiny fridge in your tiny new kitchen is an awakening of truly epic proportions. 

5. The first time you save a number as “Tunji Mechanic” or “Amos Plumber”

Having to deal with your faulty car or leaky toilet is bad enough, but the moment you save the number of that halfway decent mechanic or plumber that fixed it is when you realise that you’ll have to keep calling and paying people like this for the rest of your adult life.

6. The first time you pay for a plane ticket yourself

After years of watching your parents plan, book and pay for every trip – from the London holidays to the Port Harcourt visits – nothing opens your eyes to the reality of your newfound adulthood faster than having to handle your own damn flight.

7. The first time your parents offer you alcohol

Granted, you’ve probably already been downing dry gin long before this happens, but your adulthood will certainly feel validated when you and your parents decide to pretend the glass of red wine they just offered you will be your first-ever taste of alcohol.

8. The first time your parents ask if you want to go to church

For most Nigerians, going to church was never an option — it was as essential as breathing, meaning the result of not doing it was death. The first time, if ever, your parents go from telling to asking you about your Sunday plans, consider yourself Grown with a capital G.

9. The first time you dash your parents money

While buying legitimate birthday gifts for your parents definitely comes with a slight ‘I’m an adult’ rush, it doesn’t come close to how you’ll feel the first time you decide to turn the tables and randomly send them “something small to manage”.

10. The first time you handle your own hospital bills

Few things will shock you as much as realising all your parents probably spent on your non-malaria illnesses. Dealing with your own bill will not only have you feeling grown, but it will also have you wondering if your parents are in debt because of that one time you had typhoid.



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