The Nigeria of today isn’t the Nigeria of yesterday. Things have changed, and people are changing, so naturally, there are new rules for it all, and we’ve got you covered.

Friends and lovers: The to-do’s and not to-do’s

“Nawa o, you just forgot about me.” is not an appropriate conversation starter

Especially if the person you’re talking to is your friend that just resurfaced and you don’t know if they were going through it.

You can only ghost your friends twice over the phone. After that, they need prior notice.

We understand that you might not feel like answering phone calls or responding to text messages, but after the second ghosting period, you’ll have to start sending little notices to your friends, you don’t have to tell them why, they just need to know you’ll be unavailable for a bit, so they’re not worrying too much.

They haven’t done it to me…

Is a terrible reason to not hold a friend accountable for their bad behaviour. It might not be you today, but that’s why we love tomorrow.

Ask your famous friends for consent before taking a selfie

No matter how memorable the day has been, don’t randomly shoulder-rub them into your Instagram story.  

If you’re sleeping with them…

Doesn’t matter if they fit into your social safety net or if their genitals are the only thing you’re attracted to. If you’re exchanging body fluids, you’re morally obligated to be kind to them.

Get better at texting people back on time

“I am not a great texter” is a razz and lame excuse. Unless you’re genuinely busy or going through something, and even then, a quick explanation would go a long way.

It’s okay to hold bad texters accountable

But accountability is all it should be, not a revenge plot. Ask for context and avoid gaslighting them, the goal here is kindness.

Don’t be shocked when your hoe-ass friends take reductive jokes about their very active sex-life personally.

If they’re not laughing, then it’s not funny, grow up.

They’re happy for you and your new relationship/marriage, but please don’t start moving funny

By funny, we mean dishing out unsolicited relationship advice, setting them up with your partner’s unemployed friend, or saying things like, “You’re not married so you won’t understand.”

If the outing’s been planned ahead, then you can only cancel the week before.

If it’s an emergency, then you can send a quick text. If it isn’t, then you should tell them beforehand, so they can find someone else to go out with or not bother leaving their house at all.

You don’t have to buy everything they’re selling

Times are hard, inflation is inflating, and all your friends have most likely started a business and are selling something. You don’t have to buy everything they’re selling if you absolutely can’t, but you should still support them – spread the word, share their posts, help their business in any way you can – just make sure they know you’re there for them.

Sometimes, secrets between partners are good

Especially if it’s the one your friend just told you about the current state of their sex life or the STI they just tested positive for. If your friend just told you about the hottest only-women party happening on Sunday sha, then it’s not a secret and you should definitely share the news.

Don’t wake up your significant other

Staring at them and committing every part of their face to memory is fine, but waking them up because you just can’t understand how they’re asleep when the person of their dreams is awake is bad.

Ghosting is fine 

It’s okay to ghost people after one date, but once you ghost, don’t come back. It’s rude and tacky, amongst other things.

Under no circumstances should you comment on anybody’s weight or look

No, it doesn’t matter if you think the comment is positive, like, “You’ve lost a lot of weight. How did you do it?”. Whatever comment or “compliment” you might have about the shape of their nose, or curve of their waist, just swallow it like eba.

You get one shot…

To tell your friend their significant other rubs you the wrong way, and they need to reassess the entire relationship. It might backfire sha, so best of luck. 

There is a right time for a break up

These are days that aren’t holidays, birthdays, or general milestone events. If you break up with people on these days and they go around dragging your name through the dirt, just know you deserve it.

Outside and others: The guide

Don’t say, “Ahahn, you don’t remember me?”

If you’ve met someone and they clearly don’t remember your name.

Don’t make fun of people’s names

Also, it’s absolutely fine to ask how to say someone’s name.

Life isn’t an English class

If someone makes a mistake while speaking and you understand what they meant to say, keep shut.

If someone asks, “How are you?” the only appropriate response is “Fine”

Unless they’re your therapist or they’ve used the “A problem shared is a problem half solved” line with you. If not, keep your stories to yourself.

Say it with your chest, or keep shut

If you must fire shots like John Wick, you’re going to need to do it with your chest.

If you’re curious about their sexual orientation

Don’t be, you’re likely just profiling their look, and don’t discuss your best guesses with strangers either. 

But, on the off chance that you must know or die

Ask for pronouns and nothing but pronouns. But most preferably, just mind your business. 

Never use your phone mid-conversation

Unless it’s a quick call or life-threatening notification, five seconds is the longest you can randomly be on your phone – without courtesy – while someone is actively talking to you. 

When you invite your introvert friends to places where they don’t know anybody else

Their good time is solely dependent on you. Yes, you will have to babysit them into turning TF up.

The “they could be your sister, daughter, or mother” line doesn’t cut it anymore

It honestly never even cut it in the first place, but now no one really cares to hear how you’d only respect a woman because they’re somehow related to you.

Don’t address women as “females.”, especially if you’re going to say something like, “the men and the females”

That’s the quickest way to say you don’t respect women because what does that even mean?

Never ask anyone what their job is.

Unless, of course, you have a job you think they can do. If not, then don’t.

Keep your hands to yourself

Unless it’s a case of someone’s safety. If not, keep your hands away from backs, arms, elbows, and other body parts. 

Everyone doesn’t have to play the game just because you want to

No Ndubisi, they don’t want to spin the bottle just so you can dare Femi to put his hand down their top for five seconds.

For group dinners, one person pays the bill at the restaurant

Everyone else has two days to refund the gracious angel, no buts or what-ifs. 

If you don’t like it, then don’t watch it

There are a shit ton of content that identifies with your beliefs, you don’t get to watch or listen to media in the public domain, and complain about things like nudity, or sexual orientations. If you don’t like it, don’t expose yourself to it.

No partners means no partners

When your friends say no partners, do not sneak your partner into the shindig and expect them to be fine with it.

It’s your event, you can love it as much as you want.

 As long as you aren’t demanding too much from your friends, and by too much, we mean asking them to drop an outrageous amount of money for aso-ebi they might only wear once.

If your friend is celebrating a milestone, DON’T arrive late

 If you feel like you might show up late, text someone that’s already there and not the celebrant.

Don’t stare into your phone when you’re out. 

If you do that you might as well have just stayed at home.

It’s okay to leave

If the situation isn’t serving you in any way, it’s perfectly fine to bounce. And if you’re there with a group of friends you can always explain to them later.

You can stare at loud babies for a maximum of 10 seconds at a time

Yes, the coco felons are loud and love to cause a scene, but please don’t stare for too long, the parents are already embarrassed enough as is.

If your friend says text me when you get home, then text them when you get home

Don’t make them worry about your wellbeing.

It’s perfectly fine to still wear a mask and keep your hand sanitiser with you 

If anyone questions you, look them in the eye for three minutes, they’re not the only ones that can try to make someone feel uncomfortable. 

If you plan a party and invite people that have beef, let them know

This way they can decide if they want to show up or not, and your party doesn’t turn into a gidigbo affair.

For group camp-outs and road trips,

Planners owe new members of the friend group a heads-up on what to expect

It’s okay, if you’re the leader of a ragtag group of misfits who live wild and alternative, but don’t randomly spring bad music, drugs, or orgies on the new friends without giving them the option to opt out if that’s not their cup of tea.

Unless of course, you’re a cult leader, in which case, carry on, I guess?

Vibe-check the motive

If you’re invited to an after-party/group hang/road trip with a new friend or an old friend you haven’t seen in a while, ask many questions, and only go if you feel their answers pass your vibe check. 

Don’t be the complainer

“We didn’t set out when we planned to.” “I forgot to my power bank.” or “Why didn’t you pack extra everything like Inspector gadget”. Please, just shut up and live in the moment.

Capitalism: Don’ts. We’re serious, don’t do it

It’s not okay to email, text, or DM anyone after work hours 

They most likely won’t respond, and now there you are, slightly guilty at the possibility of waking someone up for something that could have waited till the next workday.

 If you see your colleague outside, greet them warmly but quickly.

Also, don’t show up at work the next day and tell everyone what you saw them doing.

If you follow your employees on their socials, don’t comment on their posts or use it against them,

Especially if it’s Twitter, or you guys just aren’t cool like that. 

Don’t follow the people you work with on socials without their permission

If you do, you just might get blocked, and then you’ll get offended and start sulking.

Generally, avoid promising anything career-advancement related

If you’re asked, be honest, concise but polite about your access and influence levels on the corporate ladder. But if you must offer to contract a gig, make an e-intro or pass a resumé forward, don’t go back on your word or gaslight the person into thinking they’re disturbing your life when they follow up.

Don’t be shocked when broke friends take jokes about their financial status personally

Once again, If they are not laughing, then it’s not funny. Grow up.

Additional rules by: Toye Sokunbi



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