Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Na wetin you do when wahala dey?

Pondering the perplexity of my personal palava
Leaves me wandering in worry at the wicked wahala;
I can dwell in despair or huff and say "Haba!"
But I tire for that one,
I go leave am for my Father.

-Chidinma Ogbuaku aka Naija American Girl

Friday, August 27, 2010

Internet Romance

When it comes to relationships and such,  I'm pretty old-fashioned. I believe in the guy being the one to initiate things in the beginning; I believe in abstaining from sex until marriage. I believe in getting to know someone on a face-to-face basis, letting the relationship grow to a point of maturity where both people involved feel very comfortable around each other.  My old-fashionedness has served me pretty well: I've been able to avoid most of the heartaches and pitfalls that plague the average young lady my

As a condition of my old-fashionedness, I do not believe in online dating. At all. I don't mind having conversations with someone I don't know online. That's cool because you can make contacts in places you've never been to and learn interesting new things. But when a guy online wants to be more than friends, I'm always skeptical. Its hard enough getting to know someone you see often, let alone someone you never see. It's cliche, but people can be whoever they want to be on the Internet, so you never know who you're really talking to. It's one thing when someone you know and love moves away and you use the Internet to keep in contact. But developing love over the Internet???? I don't think it's possible. You can't love someone you don't know, and you can't really know anyone on an Internet basis alone.  It's fine if you initially meet someone on the Internet, but  you need that face-to-face contact to really know who you're dealing with. And for me, if someone lives too far away, we needn't start anything on the Internet cause the face-to-face thing probably won't happen, ya digg? :)

I'm suspicious when a guy (and he's usually African, Naija almost always) comes at me with flowery babblings of how he sees a potential for love that will shake the mountains (or some nonsense like that) between us. I'm like, "What? You like my pictures and that's why you think we should get married?" Hahaha... No, I have stopped dignifing their messages with a response because honestly, it always leads to a pointless debate that can never change my mind. Neither do I degrade them with rude comebacks because they're still humans beings and I will always respect that. But do they really think they're going to make me fall in love over the computer screen so that in a few months time I'm typing, "Yes, baby. I love you so much too; let's get married"???? Hahahahaha... Yeah right! Get the heck outta here!

 And especially when it comes to African guys, and especially those that live in their respective countries, I always think they're after one thing: GREEN CARD!!!! Lol... It may or may not be true, but I'd rather not take my chances.

You may wonder why I decided to write on this topic, me: the Naija American Girl who never talks about relationships or anything even remotely related. If you go to the Facebook page I have for my blog, you'll see why:  http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=25716412#!/pages/Naija-American-Girl/216419493860?ref=ts.  This dude was bold! He posted his own on my wall instead of sending me a message like the others. He had me choking with laughter!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Native Attire

When I was growing up, you couldn't catch me dead in traditional Nigerian clothes. I don't know what it was: the pattern of the clothes, the contrast between them and the American clothes I wore everday, or the oversized styles my mom would sew for us. Either way, I never wanted to wear native attire. It's not like my mom wanted us to wear them to American events. It would only be when we were going to some Naija event or our old Redeemed church that she would want us to wear native, once in a while. But with so few options and so much struggle, we rarely did.

Over the years though, a transformation happened. I think it started in the 9th grade when we had to do a project on an African or Asian country, and I of course rushed to sign up to do Nigeria. The day of the presentation I wore one of my mom's big robes and the headscarf to match.

Since then I've worn traditional clothes to fashion shows, presentations at school, and Naija events. Most of the clothes are big on me because they're my mom's. But I've really come to appreciate the beauty of traditional Naija/African clothes. Before the year is out I want to get some dresses and skirts made so I can be styling and profiling in native gear that fits me really well.... Hehehehe..... ;)


Monday, August 16, 2010

Nigerian names in America

My friend posted this as a note on Facebook. It made me laugh, so I though I should share it. :) By the way, I agree with the writer.

Oh yes, I'm on the case of the Nigerians in my neck of the woods. Why not? They keep on giving me reasons to write about them. My goodness, they never cease to amaze me. This group of Nigerians are very clever in many respects even when it comes to abbreviating their fine and meaningful Nigerian names to English names in an effort to avoid identification as a Nigerian or simply to avoid been asked to pronounce their names over and over by their American host. Most Nigerians with long native [first] names know exactly what I'm talking about. Sometimes, it takes several minutes before our American friends could pronounce our names and given the fact that some do not have the time nor the patience to guide these Americans through the pronounciation of their names, they resort to very un-orthodox English abbreviations which invariably eliminates the fine meaning of their names.

So let's take a look at some of these names whose abbreviations I have heard over the years and which have been adopted by some of the Nigerians in my neck of the woods. I am sure you have heard them too:

1. Babatunde---------Barry. This means the Jazz legend, Barry White, is actually Babatunde White.
2. Adebayo----------Baylor. Come on, now. Is Bayo so difficult that we have to adopt "Baylor" as its abbreviation?
3. Chukwuemeka---------Mickey. Could you imagine, Lt. Col. Mickey Odumegwu Ojukwu? Or Disney cartoon character called Chuwkuemeka Mouse?
4. Tamunoami-------Amy. Why abbrievate such a beautiful name?
5. Adenike-------Nikki.
6. Nwankwo-------Wanny. Could you imagine, the football commentator shouting at the top of his lungs, "O' Wanny Kanu has just scored for Nigeria." "Wanny who?", fans would ask.
7. Kayode-------Karl. So Karl Marx was actually Kayode Marx.
8. Taiwo-------Tyrone. God help us on this one.
. Oladele------Dale. Oladele sounds sweeter, doesn't it?
10. Oladapo-----Daps. He must have gone off the deep end when he adopted this abbreviation. What happened to "Dapo"?
11. Tijani-------Tikki. Get used to Tikki Babangida of the Super Eagles.
12. Abdullahi--------Abby. Hmmmmmm.
13. Olusegun-------Lushia. President Lushia Matthew Aremu Obasanjo of Nigeria. Interesting.
14. Uchenna-----Cheney. Vice President Dick Uchenna of the US. So a Nigerian is VP of the US. Very good.
15. Chinyere-------Chimerie. How about "Chichi?"
16. Seye----------Shawn. It might as well be "Shenaynay".
17. Adebanjo-------Baggy. What a laugh.
18. Garba----------Gary. Why not just call it garri as in eba?
19. Haruna------Harry. This is not far-fetched, but isn't Haruna a unique and sweet sounding name than Harry? There must be a 100 million Harrys in this world why add another?
20. Tamunokuru----------Kerry. Now, this name means, "God's power." The abbrievation, "Kerry", has done injustice to it.
21. Ipalibo------Libby. O sweet heavens, what is happening to Nigerians?
22. Tonye ------Toni for female and Tony for male. Hmmmm, why not just leave it as it is?
23. Ikechukwu-------Ike as in "Ike Turner."
24. Yetunde------Yetty. Oh Lord.
25. Omorodey-----------------------Moe. What "Moe"?
26. Ajike------Jake. What then is the short version of Jacob? "Jike"?
27. Oluwole------------Wally. Whatever happened to Wole like in Wole Soyinka?
28. Ronke--------------Ronice. Is Ronke really difficult to pronounce? Even for Americans?
29. Olufemi------------------Lulu. Give me a break.
30. Osazee--------------------Zigi. I'm dying of laughter.
31. Olatunde-----------------Larry. Am I hearing right? Larry for Olatunde?
32. Tohan-----------------------Tobby. Sounds like the name of a family dog back in the 80s...
33. Yinka------------------------Kiki. Please, let me hear something. What "kiki"?
34. Eberechi--------------------------Bebe. Don't underestimate the creativity of Nigerians.
35. Ngozi-------------------------Goslet. I am shaking my head on this one. Mine! Mine!!.Mine!!
36. Uzomah---------Zouk. Isn't that a type music that originated in the Caribbean?
37. Kehinde----------Kelly for women and Kenny for men. What then is the abbreviation for Kenneth?
38. Modupe----------------------Molly. "Molly" as an abbreviation for this beautiful and sexy name? If you ask me I would its takes the appeal right out of it.
39. Tamunoboma-----------Boomer. Why don't we just call them "Boomerang"?
And last but not least...
40. Rotimi-------Tim. What an insult to such a fine and enchanting name.

Hey, friends, if you are one of those fortunate to have a Nigerian first name, I say leave it the way it is or abbreviate it to something meaningful like "Femi" for "Olufemi", "Ana" for "Adanna", "Ugo" for "Ugochukwu" or "Emeka" for "Chukwuemeka", etc, and let others learn how to pronounce it. Afterall, if they can pronounce with ease jaw-breaking Polish and other names like the name of the head basketball coach of Duke University, Mike "Chef-Chef-Ski", something like that or the general who led the Gulf war, Norman Shwa-something or movie star and husband of Maria Shriver, Arnold Sh..., you know the rest, why not yours. This might be the only identity you have, a reflection of your culture, value and meaning. So I say, don't let them take the easy way out. Let them pronounce it and pronounce it right. They owe you that much. YEAH!!!