Interview With Pepper: “Beg Yoruba People To Free Me”

March 12, 2021

Interview With… is a Zikoko weekly series that explores the weird and interesting lives of inanimate objects and non-human entities.


How does it feel to be claimed by an ethnic group when you were created to belong to nobody and everybody? In this week’s Interview With, Pepper sits with us to discuss its experience in the hands of Yoruba people.

Zikoko: It’s nice to have you here.

Pepper: I’m not sure I can say the same.

Uhm, why?

Listen, if I had my way, I would not even do this interview at all, but my agent thinks it’s important. That’s why I said let me take a short break from all my hard labour and come here.

Even now, as I’m sitting here, I can hear the anguished cry of some Yoruba people who think I have disappeared from the surface of the earth.

This is a lot to unpack.

What I have experienced in the hands of Yoruba people is a lot to unpack. That’s why I am not even bothering to unpack it again.

Okay now you have mentioned a name. We are making progress. Can you tell me what your relationship is like with Yoruba people?

We are unequally yoked, me and Yoruba people. It is a parasitic relationship.

Who is the parasite and who is the host?

I am the host, and Yorubas are the parasite. Quote me anywhere, I will stand by my words and tell anybody that I said it.

When I was created, I was made without an ethnic group in my mind. God said, “Pepper, I have made you to add flavour to the lives of the people I am about to create.”

I was made to belong to nobody and everybody.

What changed?

The Yorubas tasted me and started plotting how to make me their birthright. And given how people now associate me with them, you can see that they have succeeded.

Other ethnic groups use me with caution, almost as if they are scared of Yoruba people catching them in the act. They use me in stew, and it’s like I’m not even there at all. Only tomatoes choking me and erasing my presence. Hausas just need to make small powder out of me for suya, and they are satisfied.

But you see Yorubas? [shakes head in regret] They don’t use me to cook food. They use food to cook me.

I’m not sure I understand.

Let me ask you a question. When you want to cook noodles, what should be more?

The noodles.

Good. Let a Yoruba person cook me. N100 pepper for N50 noodles. I sometimes wonder, if you want to eat pepper, just say so. Don’t use noodles to disguise.

Can you point out a particular reason for this—

Obsession? Addiction?

Whatever you want to call it.

Frankly, I don’t know. But I think their cultural myths have a role to play in this. It is in Yorubaland I heard that anyone who does not eat pepper is a weak soul.

Ehn?

Yes oh. Apparently, they believe that they are prone to a number of ailments and maybe death if they don’t eat me. It is why most Yoruba people cannot survive in foreign countries.

They say Abuja people are addicted to cocaine. But you see Yoruba people? Pepper is like cocaine for them. Deprive them of it for three months and see how they will become something else.

Wow.

It used to bother me. A lot. But at one point I’ve just decided to surrender. I looked upon Yoruba people and thought, “Nah. These ones are beyond redemption.”

Can you point out the moment you made that decision?

Frankly, I think every moment in my life has been leading up to that final moment. Because each time I think Yoruba people can’t go any lower, they dig even deeper.

The first shocker for me when they called me and said, ‘Oya stand well. As from next month, we will be putting you inside a biscuit for small children.’ This was late in the 90s going to early 2000s.

What biscuit was that?

Pepper Snack.

I was surprised. How did the board of investors allow a Yoruba man to pitch the idea of putting me, fresh pepper, inside biscuits for young children. How?

Wow.

I thought Pepper Snack would be the end of my inclusion into branded products. Apparently, I was wrong. Almost two decades later, another Yoruba man showed his hand on the board of Minimie chin chin.

How did you feel about it?

How else was I supposed to feel? They have been putting me in chin chin unofficially. Even in puff puff and pancakes and akara. I just underestimated their ability to take it to a professional scale.

One day, a Yoruba person will blow on a global level, and it will be for an invention related to pepper. Mark my words.

Why do you say that?

As we speak right now, a Yoruba person is planning how to include me in cake.

Ehn?

I raise you this man.

Omo.

Wait, he’s not done.

Can I say the truth?

Go on.

I don’t mind the idea. Imagine red velvet cake with slices of red pepper peeking out. The taste.

Wait a minute. What’s your name?

Um, why are you asking?

Answer me first. It’s important.

Kunle. My name is Kunle.

Oh, I should have known.

That what?

You are an opp. And I was here, pouring my heart out to you.

No, wait oh.

Please. Let me go before you eat me.

[Pepper walks off in disgust].


Check back every Friday by 9am for new stories in the Interview With… series. Read older interviews here.

Zikoko Donation Banner

Help Zikoko keep making the content you love

More than ever, people are turning to Zikoko for stories that matter and content they love. But still, we, like many media organisations, are feeling the financial heat of these times. If you find us valuable, please make a contribution to help keep Zikoko zikoko-ing.

Thank you for your support.

We are also cool with Crypto.

Donation Close
Zikoko Logo

Complete Your Commitment

Donation confirm

Your Contribution is confirmed! Amount

Kunle Ologunro

Join The Conversation

Bring a friend.

You'll like this

February 25, 2021

Frank*, 27, and Gabriel*, 30, have been together for five years. For today’s Love Life, they talk about navigating an open relationship, dealing with homophobia and their future plans. What is your earliest memory of each other? Frank: LMAO. I remember he introduced me to the pop band, London Grammar. We first met on the […]

Watch

Now on Zikoko

April 11, 2021

Today’s Man Like is Andy Obuoforibo, a 40-year-old politician and product manager. He tells us about how his father’s warmth and work ethic taught him the real meaning of masculinity, how his mother’s foray into politics influenced him to participate in politics and why he supports the LGBTQ+ movement as a Nigerian politician. When did […]

April 11, 2021

See ehn, nobody is a hundred percent “normal” and being weird can be cool or creepy depending on how you look at it. Let’s not argue sha. Take this quiz for a little moment of truth. QUIZ: How Rude Are You? Are you polite abi everybody should getawt? Take the quiz and we’ll tell you.

April 10, 2021

With almost two years of being in existence, Sex Life has grown while staying true to its goal of exploring the sex lives of Nigerians. In the last one year and five months since Sex Life was created, we’ve spoken to about eighty Nigerians who are at different places in their lives, with different orintentations, […]

prayer house
April 10, 2021

As told to Mariam I travelled to Ilorin for an exam last week and on the bus, I rode in, I met Yoma*. Somehow the conversation of faith came up, and she told me she didn’t subscribe to the Christianity practised in churches. When I asked why, this is what she told me: I grew […]

Recommended Quizzes

June 14, 2020

Have you ever been with someone so horrible that you swore to never date again? Yes? Well, do you know that one or more of your exes probably feels the same way about you? You never thought about that, huh? Thankfully, this quiz is here to let you know just how much of a hassle […]

November 4, 2019

After successfully predicting when y’all are getting married (please, email any complaints to noneofourbusiness@nayousabi.com), we are back to tell you how much is currently in your account. How, you might ask? By using your taste in Nollywood, of course. Shhh. No questions. Just take it already:

November 1, 2019

Twitter is buzzing right now, bringing a new conversation to the concept of cool vs not-so-cool, especially in relationships. If you’ve been thinking about how much of a red flag you are, why don’t you let this quiz help you decide once and for all?

More from Inside Life

April 10, 2021

With almost two years of being in existence, Sex Life has grown while staying true to its goal of exploring the sex lives of Nigerians. In the last one year and five months since Sex Life was created, we’ve spoken to about eighty Nigerians who are at different places in their lives, with different orintentations, […]

April 9, 2021

You’re at a job interview, answering all the questions and feeling yourself when the one person that hasn’t spoken throughout the meeting suddenly asks, “Why should we hire you?” If you’ve ever been in this situation and you didn’t know what to say, we’re sorry we didn’t write this earlier. Here are some of the […]

April 9, 2021

If you have ever considered getting into spoken word poetry and you did not know how to go about it, we are here for you. Just remember us when you blow. 1) Use burial music There is no spoken word performance without proper burial music. You might try to switch it up and use church […]

April 9, 2021

Burner accounts are all the rave. Almost everyone has one but what is the appeal of a burner twitter account? Why are they so popular? We decided to ask a few Nigerians who own burner accounts why they own one and the answers are absolutely fascinating. Chukwuemeka, 23.Having a burner is scary because I know […]

7 Skills Conductors Have That Everyone Needs
April 8, 2021

Honestly, the don’t teach people how to be a conductor in school because you’d be unstoppable, a potential super villan and you might even unlock hidden parts of your brain. We decided to share this knowledge because you deserve. 1. Ridiculous parkour skills You know how conductors hop on and off buses at anytime? Imagine […]

April 8, 2021

The talking stage is the period of getting to know someone with the hope of it becoming serious. If you’ve been in one too many talking stages, and you’ve had enough, then this article is for you. Here are a few tips on how to escape the talking stage.  1.Tell them straight up that you […]

Watch

Trending Videos

Zikoko Originals

December 14, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
November 2, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
October 26, 2020
A collection of videos documenting some of the events of the EndSARS protests.
June 22, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
June 22, 2020
Hacked is an interesting new series by Zikoko made up of fictional but hilarious chat conversations.
June 4, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
June 2, 2020
Quickie is a video series where everyone featured gets only one minute to rant, review or do absolutely anything.
May 14, 2020
Isolation Diary is a Zikoko series that showcases what isolation is like for one young Nigerian working from home due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
March 12, 2020
Life is already hard. Deciding where to eat and get the best lifestyle experiences, isn't something you should stress about. Let VRSUS do that for you.

Z! Stacks

Here's a rabbit hole of stories to lose yourself in:

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