Aside being born by or married to a citizen, when an individual is a country’s resident for a number of years, he becomes a citizen. In Nigeria, if after so many years of living in the country an individual doesn’t exhibit certain attributes, that person may not be considered a full citizen of Nigeria. Nigerians and foreigners alike who live within the country can testify that Nigeria is a peculiar place full of diversity. A new comer may initially find it difficult adapting to noise, the hustle, and off course the trademarked fluctuating power supply, but after a few months, will begin to accept the country and all it has to offer.
However, after a certain number of years, depending on the area of residence, you will notice that some basic Nigerian traits are silently sneaking into your life style. Instead of ordering french fries, you will see yourself asking for banga soup. When this happens, just know that you have been around for too long, thus the behavioral exhibition. Nonetheless, it is never a bad idea to think like a Nigerian, talk like a Nigerian and love what an average Nigerian will like – these are the basic requirements to be a Nigerian. It shows that living in the most populous African nation is highly influencing and can make you exhibit the following signs as a residential citizen.
1. You Speak Naija Slang
It is either you pick up pidgin language first, then garnish it with Nigerian slang or you see yourself calling someone ‘ole’. Nigeria has over a thousand slang words and phrases which are often used in conversations and are very common on the streets. Slang is mostly spoken by bus drivers and conductors, touts and street kids and if you are usually around these set of people, you would find yourself one day using ‘ajebuta’ to describe posh people, ‘para’ in place of anger, and ‘gbedu’ for music and partying.
2. You Love Nigerian Food
With the likes of amala and ewedu, ofe akwu with uziza, ogbono soup with kpomo and shaki, what is there not to like about Nigerian food? Nigerian foods are very delicious, even though most foreigners do not see it appealing when they first arrive until they have had their first encounter with Iya Basira. After being enticed with home-made Nigerian food and you now love pounded yam more than you love fried rice just know that you have stayed too long in Nigeria and are now a confirmed citizen.
3. You Develop a Sixth Sense
Nigerians can smell anything fishy, especially when it has to do with a business deal. In the same manner, they can recognize a good deal or an opportunity when one is in sight. If you try to behave like a Nigerian when you haven’t really learnt how to be one, you may end up becoming the victim. Like we say “cunny man die, cunny man bury am” and ‘cunny’ is our way of saying ‘cunning’. Just like the Jews, the Igbo tribe is particularly known to use their sixth sense to get what they want, and if you are already using yours, it means you are a true Nigerian who is learning fast from his eastern brothers.
4. You Love to Wear Ankara
Nigerians are well-known to have a great sense of fashion, and if your staying in the country hasn’t influenced your dress sense, then you need to stay some more. Ankara is the most worn Nigerian attire for ceremonies – formal, casual and traditional. There are also the likes of adire, ashoke and agbada which most foreigners find beautiful on their skin due to its aesthetic patterns and beautiful colors. These wears are the order of the day and when you find yourself in any of them, just smile and rock your day.
5. You Become a Hustler
Every Nigerian is a hustler including the politicians. Nigerians don’t just thrive, they hustle, its part of being black and they are very good at it. At any stage of an average Nigerian’s life – ‘hustle’ is on his mind and any little opportunity that shows up will be grabbed with both hands while a non-Nigerian is still waiting for it to fall on his laps. The moment you start acting like Adrian Lester in the American Series ‘Hustle,’ just know that it is either you have a Nigerian ancestry or you are adopting one – though in a reverse way.