There is a pretty clear lack of diversity when it comes to the emojis we get to use on our iOS, Android and Windows devices (we’ll get into that some other time), but that doesn’t mean we can’t make do with what we have.

So here are a number of popular emojis, that can be used to give that popular Nigerian expression a little boost:

1. Mogbe


What it means: I’m in trouble. The hand on the head gesture is just the typical Nigerian histrionic we’ve come to love.

 2. Aunty!


What it means: Well, considering most Nigerians would even call a stranger ‘Aunty’,  the best way to get the person’s attention is by also raising your hand while you call out.

3. Chop Knuckle

chop knuckle

What it means: This is a Nigerian greeting that’s almost as popular, if not more, than the handshake. Plus they spread less germs.

4. Olorun Maje

Olorun maje

What it means: “God forbid.” Used when your village witches are trying to get at you.

5. Ntoo


What it means: Used to mock someone when something bad happens to them. Usually paired with a sarcastic “good for you.”

6. Dobale


What it means: “Prostrate.” Used to greet, but mostly to beg. The favorite of Nigerian police officers trying to get “something for the boys”.

7. Eja Nla

eja nla

What it means: “Big Fish.” This is a title for ‘big boys.’ Please, don’t ask me to explain why.

8. Na God

na God

What it means: Nigerians rarely like taking credit for anything. So yeah, God did it.

9. Abeg Abeg Abeg

Abeg AbegAbeg AbegAbeg Abeg


What it means: This is like our version of air quotes. Typically used between a judgmental rant for emphasis.

10. Aka Gum

Aka gum

What it means: Used to represent anyone that’s tight-fisted/greedy, or even a rich man that just doesn’t go around dashing everyone money.

11. Badoo


What it means: This is like the junior brother or first cousin to the ‘Eja Nla’ title. It means you’re a bad guy, but in a good way; if that makes sense.

12. Tuale


What it means: “Respect.” At this point you can already tell that Nigerians just love to praise and flatter, this is just another popular way. One of many.

13. Chineke!/Jesu/Jesus


What it means: I know we aren’t meant to call the Lord’s name in vain and all, but sometimes it really is the best reaction, and Nigerians aren’t exempt; in numerous languages, even.

14.  Waka/Shege


What it means: This typically means “Your father” in an insulting way of course, but depending on the context, it can go from “God punish you” to “You’re mad.”

15. Asko/ Shior


What it means: Just think of it as our version of ‘talk to the hand.’

16. Side eye/Eyeing you

Wetin - Zikoko

What it means: To show annoyance or impatience.

17. E no consine me

Waka pass - Zikoko

What it means: It’s none of my business or just passing through.


Did we miss anything? Please sound off in the comments section below.




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