My Life

It’s Nigerian Independence Day! You Know You’re Nigerian If…

It’s Nigerian Independence Day, folks! WHOOT! And we are a proud people with many quirks.

You know you’re NIGERIAN if…

* The only reason you dance at Nigerian parties is to get “sprayed” money by the adults. We are the ORIGINAL “make it rain” folks.

* Your parents add “O” to the end of every sentence. “SHUTUP O!” “YES O!” “ABEG O!”

* You’ve been called an “IJOT” more times than you can count by your parents.

* You’ve gotten in trouble for giving an elder something with your left hand. Apparently, that’s disrespect.

* You gotta call all the older Nigerians you know uncle or auntie even if they are not related.

* Your parents don’t have an inside voice when they’re talking on the phone. They just straight YELL.

* You know how to operate a phone card because your parents buy them on a weekly basis.

* You’ve had a seamstress all your life and people think you’re fancy because of it.

* When Shina Peters’ Afro Juju comes on at a party, you lose your mind and drop it low!

* You know what chin chin, puff puff, or moin moin are.

* You can pick which you like better, Eba or Amala. EBA ALL THE WAY! Amala tastes like despair!

* You been scared watching the movies your parents bring from back home. Who needs horror movies when you’ve got Naija ones that are even scarier?

* There is ALWAYS white rice in your house and it’s by the sack.

* Sometimes when you eat your Mom’s food, your nose starts running from the spiciness. But you can’t help but keep eating it because it’s just that good.

* A party starts at 6 and you show up at 10, and most people are still not there yet. O_O We are ALWAYS tardy for the party.

African woman dancing gif

* You’ve been threatened by your parents into behavior when they say they’ll send you “back home.”

* You call Ramen noodles “indomie.”

* You point at something with your lips. And go MSCHEW.

* You’re mad that your clothes now smell of stock fish and stew.

* You gotta pronounce your last name 20 times for people and they still don’t get it rite!


Any of my readers fellow Naijas? WHERE YOU AT DOE??? Am I accurate?

Youre Nigerian if

Previous post

No Country for Janky Relationship Experts. EVER.

Next post

I'm Doing the 30-Day Writing Challenge. Lawd HEPMEH.


  1. detola
    October 1, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    You know you’re Naija if you look at your mum first if you’re offered something outside. Naija mums are superb side eye artists!

  2. ReBell
    October 1, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    Shina peters!!! You took it all the way back.

    Dance. Dance. Dance. and forget your sorrows! Je ka jo. Je ka jo.

    • Julia
      October 2, 2015 at 3:51 am

      Man, as soon as I read Shina Peters, I started playing that song in my head and reminiscing about how I used to break it down at parties. Afro juju, the difference is clear o!

  3. F_Mlicious
    October 1, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    You know you’re Niaja if you’ve ever been offered a clean/dirty slap for misbehaving

    • October 7, 2012 at 1:39 pm

      I’ve been offered a dirty slap, but I’m not Naija! 0__o

  4. October 1, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    DEAD on! And I haven’t heard Shina Peters in eeeooons! *takes to YouTube*

  5. Mark the Pilgrim
    October 1, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    “* You been scared watching the movies your parents bring from back home. Who needs horror movies when you’ve got Naija ones that are even scarier?”

    Hah, I’m half Ugandan and my mother (who is from the Caribbean) used to watch a lot of naija films. They used to scare me quite badly. And I’m talking about when I was a teenager, so I wasn’t exactly a little baby. Even with their less than good special effects, I’d hate the movies with witchcraft – they’d scare me senseless.

    • Mark the Pilgrim
      October 1, 2012 at 2:33 pm

      “Less than good” is an understatement actually. The SFX in the films looked like the creators had a below average knowledge of Microsoft Movie Maker and a budget barely exceeding $3.99.

      Also, Luvvie, I don’t know if you were aware of this, but a few months ago in the UK “#inanafricanhouse” was trending on Twitter. There’s a lot of overlap with your “Your know you’re Nigerian when…” points you might relate to some of them. Here are my favourites:

      -“#inanafricanhouse If they have ever watched BET with you or accidentally passed by seeing the video and say (in an African accent) OHHHH so this is the kind of thing u are watching eh?”
      – “#inanafricanhouse You can never compare yourself to American/British kids. But they will always compare you to African kids.”
      -#InAnAfricanHouse both your parents always took 1st place in class, everyone else came second
      – #InAnAfricanHouse YOLO stands for ‘Yin Oluwa Logo’ (give God glory)

  6. October 1, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    Spot on! Lol, how about when you misbehave in public and you catch your mother looking at you. You know you’re in TROUBLE when you get home.

  7. October 1, 2012 at 8:37 pm

    Present! I’m a Nigerian reader. I just discovered your blog last month. You’re hilarious.

    BTW, I absolutely loved your letter to Wyclef. That letter had me rolling.

  8. Anbonya
    October 1, 2012 at 8:40 pm

    YES for chin chin, puff puff, & moin moin!!! But how could could you forget almighty SUYA?! I stan for suya and love getting the spice mix sent straight-from-9ja so that I can make suya regularly in my apt…

    Oh, and I am HERE for my 9ja movies, anytime! *Except* for the witchy ones. #ShitScarierThanChuckyAndDemMofos

  9. shade
    October 1, 2012 at 11:08 pm

    very accurate! I mess with amala tho! but you’re right eba is better….

  10. […] Well, writing GOOD stuff for 30 days straight is gonna be the hardest thing ever. But I’ve decided to do it. I’MA DO IT, Y’ALL!!! I will do the 30-day writing challenge this month, starting yesterday with my You Know You’re Nigerian If… post. […]

  11. October 2, 2012 at 9:41 am

    yep. i’m nigerian cuz i can relate to all of that. lolol

  12. adiatc
    October 4, 2012 at 10:34 am

    I can totally relate!!

  13. Chioma Oben
    October 4, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    Omo eko here! Amala and ewedu with stew (with “fuku”) lol.You know you’re Nigerian if you ever played 10, 10.

    • Julia
      October 2, 2015 at 4:03 am

      OH. MY. GOD. My whole childhood just came bubbling up. Anyone play Piyo piyo piyo?

      • Toria
        October 2, 2015 at 3:29 pm

        I played piyo piyo piyo,piyo,tafawa balewa capital of oyo,Lagos selense Ibadan,1 yaya!

  14. Lala Rose
    October 1, 2013 at 10:57 am

    Yaaaaas! You are serving up Naija childhood realness!

  15. Sola
    October 1, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    Maaaaan know you’re Nigerian if your parents ever showed up at school and slapped you in front of ALL your friends! I’m definitely eba over Amala, but I’m iyan over everything!

  16. March 12, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    What is a dirty slap? Is there a clean slap?

  17. Jumoke
    November 6, 2014 at 1:48 pm

    Yes oooooo!!!!!!!!

  18. Honey_Dipt
    May 19, 2015 at 7:43 pm

    I grew up in a West Indian household, and later had Ghanaians marry into the family and alla dis was for true! And some of those lessons stuck, like my kids call all close family friends aunt or uncle, and my left handed aunt still switches everything to her right hand before she hands it off…… and the rice… I buy it from my local Indian market in a woven sack with handles!

  19. Vivian
    October 1, 2015 at 9:07 am

    Lol this hilarious! The left hand trouble is too much!

  20. October 1, 2015 at 2:31 pm

    I see no lies here!

  21. Amaka
    October 2, 2015 at 12:50 am

    Shina Peters! Haven’t though about that song in so long. I played it after I read this post and the nostalgia brought tears to my eyes. God bless Naija.