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Verbal Diarrhoea!

Glory Edozien

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verabal diaWe’ve all been there before, that rumbling feeling you get in your stomach, the cold sweats on your forehead, the look of utter panic on your face as you frantically search for the nearest lavatory and the sigh of sheer relief as you unload your business….yes we’ve all had diarrhoea!

But today, I’d like to concentrate on diarrhoea of a different kind. The type that proceeds from the lips! For the life of me I really cannot understand why people always feel the need to share their opinions, especially when not asked to do so. What ever happened to thinking before you speak? Isn’t there something to be said for the silent thought? Isn’t there some unwritten rule in society that requires we keep our mouth shut until we are asked for our opinion?

Okay, I am probably going to get slaughtered for this article, but I must be honest with you guys, Nigerians seem to be the only ones who suffer from an acute form of this disease. Yes, the French are known for their honesty and the Italians can be brutal even the South Americans can be direct. But Nigerians take the biscuit (if I may use an English phrase). I find some of the comments Nigerians make utterly mind boggling. I have so many examples of verbal diarrhoea among Nigerians that I am at a complete loss as too which particular story I should share. Here are 3 of my top choices

Example one: As part of his 70th birthday celebration, my father had invited his close friends and family to a thanksgiving Mass, at his local Catholic Church. After the mass was over, I was taking pictures of my dad as he received congratulatory messages from his friends, when one of the priests present at the occasion approached me. “Anh anh are you not Glory Edozien?”, he asked. “Yes, I am.” I replied with a smile, knowing full well I had never seen this particular priest in my entire life. “Ehen! I knew it was you” he continued as he stretched out his hand. I assumed he was attempting to shake my hand, so I stretched out mine to meet his, only for him to by pass my palm and grab the back of my arm (what we women refer to as our bingo wings!). “My goodness you have added so much weight!” he quipped as he vehemently shock my bingo wings. I stood, arm stretched out, gazing at this holy man in shock. All my close friends and family will agree that I have an acid laced tongue. The only thing that kept me and my tongue in check was the thought of God himself raining down fiery darts from heaven, if I attacked His anointed. So instead of an equally insulting retort, I smiled and said thank you, father.

Example 2: A friend of mine (Ijeoma) was at a well known club in Lagos one day when she was approached by what she described as an Igbo man with an American accent. He offered to buy her a drink, but she refused. Sensing that his charm and good looks were taking him no where, the igbo-amerciana decided that lyrics might prove a better tool for wooing my friend. So he proceeded to tell her all the things he liked about her. At first, they were the usual things- “you are very beautiful”, “I love your smile” etc. But then came the clincher. My darling do you know what I love about you the most? He asked, as he took yet another step into what was now her personal space. “No, I don’t” Ijeoma replied angrily, yet hoping he would compliment her on her slim waistline. “I love your hairyness” he replied as he stroked her sideburns. “Are you hairy in your family”? Overcome with a variety of emotions ranging from shock to total embarrassment, Ijeoma slapped his hand off her face and ran as fast as her legs could carry her.

Example 3: Another friend of mine, Isioma recently moved back from America over the Christmas holidays and as is customary with most Igbo’s was dragged kicking and screaming to her village for Christmas and New Year. As part of the Christmas festivities her parents entertained what seemed like a million and one visitors, uncle, aunties, cousins, everyone. On one such visit, Isioma’s mum called her to greet one of her aunties who she hadn’t seen in years. After the usual hugging and greetings, the aunty looked at Isioma quizzically and said. “Hia, Isioma why are you looking so black biko?” “I thought your mother said you have been in America, people in America are usually yellow haba. I had wanted to introduce you to one of Ike’s friends but you have to get a bit yellow first”. Yes! That actually happened.

While these stories may seem extreme to some they are everyday occurrences in the country we choose to call home-Nigeria. Random people walking up to you in the street asking you why you have so many pimples or telling you that your outfit reveals too much cleavage. It’s bloody ridiculous! Its none of your business if the person sitting beside you at a bar has black heads protruding from their corneas or if the person on the que next to you at KFC is so fat you are wondering what they are doing buying 10 buckets of chicken wings! As long as black heads aren’t infectious and the over weight person isn’t sitting on you, your opinion is not at all necessary!

Seeing as I am a scientist of sorts, I have come up with a cure for this disease. Just like diarrhoea itself can be treated with home remedies, I believe some ‘home truths’ may not go amiss in tackling acute forms of verbal diarrhoea. The first step in the cure for this disease is something my mum always said to me when I was a child running amuck in the house. It’s very simple really, but may require some practice. So if you see something out of the ordinary, a girl with a mismatched outfit, an extremely over weight person taking three turns at a dinner buffet or anyone who you believe may benefit from the latest bleaching cream your local vendor at tejuosho mixed for you, as long as it isn’t life threatening, just SHUT UP and mind your business. I am sorry if that seems a little rude but really the world would be a nicer place if we all just learnt to speak when spoken too. 

Glory is the host and executive producer of Inspire Series, the web talk show which uses the collective stories of everyday women to inspire others. She believes women are https://www.canadianmeds4u.com/category/buy-antibiotics-online/ more than hand bags, hair, make-up and other externalities and is passionate about about pursuing purpose and living above societal conformities. She is also a day dreamer, and romantic at heart who loves TV, food and family. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @inspiredbyglory and read more from her on www.inspiredbyglory.com

32 Comments

  1. Funmi

    April 1, 2010 at 12:42 am

    Hahahaha… My friend and I were just talking about this. The weight thing is a major one. I can hear them now… “Haba! Where are you growing to? And you feel ok like this?” True story… Naija sha… I think it comes from a sense of entitlement that most Nigerians have, especially the older ones. They feel like having a few years on you gives them the right to do and undo. I’m all for respecting one’s elders but sometimes meeen… Hmmm… To avoid sinning against God, I will stop there. 🙂

    By the way, the guy talking about hairiness might not have been trying to be rude. Some guys are kinky like that. One of my friends got chatted up in exactly the same way. “I like your hairiness” might have been his version of “You’re just so sexy” or whatever crap guys spew when they are trying to get laid. lol

  2. silva

    April 1, 2010 at 1:02 am

    ha ha.. i can’t count the number of times random people esp. older women have asked me to eat more and put on some weight!
    nigerians are really rude and never mind their business…
    i can go on and on about this, but i found a soln., if they are aren’t really older than me i have a handy retort, bt if they are, i just ignore them…

  3. D.O.T.M.H.

    April 1, 2010 at 2:40 am

    hm, that one of pimples is just the height. Imagine after church service where everyone is greeting and pecking and catching up then one “aunty” hugs you and asks u in (what is to me) the loudest voice ever, “ki lama se s’oro pimples e bayi?” literal translation: “what are we going to do about this ur pimples issue?”… If not for church… and my mother… mscheew!

  4. Gennyz # 1 Fan

    April 1, 2010 at 4:36 am

    Omg!!! I couldn’t agree wv dis article anymore! Jus a couple of days bk I asked my aunt if she had groundnut and in as much as I woulf hv been awfully shocked if she hadn’t answered me in the manner she did it certainly got me thinking…”What are doing with groundnut, with all these things on your face? (Being pimples) ahhhh dat means its you causing it for yourself” a part of me wanted to attack sharply and talk about hw what u eat isn’t necessarily d main reason 4 acne..buh thank d lord I knw better! Second case; my mom meets an old friend n after d usual catching up introduces me as her daughter she goes “how are your brothers n sisters my dear?” N I go “m d only one Ma” Nxt thing I hear “ahhh why nw? U dnt want others to cum n enjoy? Itz nt good o! Dnt b greedy!” N m totally lost at this point.kai!! But 4 respect ehn!! But 4 respect! Smh!loooool I jus totally wrote my own mini article..sorry Itz jus sooo good to c sum1 brng dis up 🙂

  5. Bola #1

    April 1, 2010 at 4:51 am

    pls share your retort. i get asked the same question always or poepl making sad faces becuz im skinny, really annoying

  6. yori yori

    April 1, 2010 at 5:32 am

    It is one thing to have an opinion but it is another to be so blatantly rude abt it.

  7. Gennyz # 1 Fan

    April 1, 2010 at 6:49 am

    Omg!!! i jus experienced this a few daez back!!! i asked my aunty if she had some groundnut and even though i would have been awfully shocked if she answered my question any differently than the manner in which she did it still sorta got to me! she goes”what are you using groundnut for with all these things on your face? (the things being my pimples) then she goes on to say “ahhhhh that means you are the one causing it for yourself!” she exclaimed with a semi-disgusted look on her face….a part of me wanted to snap and argue that acne wasn’t always necessarily caused by the kind of food eaten, but thank the Lord i knew better than to do that! Ok second case….My mom meets an old friend and after the usual “catching up” introduces me as her daughter, the woman goes “how are your brothers and sisters?” and i’m like”i’m the only child Ma” with an expression of utter surprise on her face she quickly says “ahn ahn why now?? you want to enjoy everything alone? my dear dnt be greedy o!! itz nt good!” i just stood there and stared at her in disbelief….but 4 respect ehn!! but 4 respect!!! kai! Thank God momma raised me right! lol…Ewo!!! i hv written a mini article here o!! sorry but it just feels sooooo good to see someone bring up something that i can totally relate too :)….Naij adults sha dy jus go about chatting breeze sumtimes….Smh!

  8. Akpevwe

    April 1, 2010 at 10:12 am

    I have been a victim too of the mentality of not just people older than you but people of your age; Imagine someone telling you that you are shrinking or that you’re too stubborn because you refuse to take their wrong opinions …I am a very blunt person and I usually am too angry to care if they are older than me or not. I respond appropriately in a manner that is painful but won’t cut across as rude. No need bottling up and killing the person in my mind…

  9. amaris

    April 1, 2010 at 11:34 am

    hehehehehe!!! hilarious!!!
    yep ..thatz what you get from the breed of people called nigerians!!!
    I get it all the time , and see it happening around me all the time…beilieve me..the number of times i have had to bite down really hard on my tongue…to stop myself from literrally spitting into someone’s face!!!!
    its a small miracle ..ive still got a tongue!
    and its not only older people…even the younger ill mannered twerps…make silly comments…usually OMG you have added so much weight!!! Na wa oh…are you bleaching ?…etc
    Absolutely ZERO decorum.mind your flipping business!!

  10. miz thang

    April 1, 2010 at 1:45 pm

    gennyz #1 fan, i can so totali relate wiv the only child incident….its hapnd to me 2…lol. I felt lyk dissin the person in question but thank God momma raised me well 2……arggghh!! There r jst sum peeps that mst jst talk …ishh!!

  11. Aisha

    April 1, 2010 at 4:40 pm

    It is so very true and sad.
    I was at a shop sometime ago and bumped into this guy whom i had not seen in a while. I actually saw him first and approached him to exchange pleasantries.
    Lo and behold, he blurted “chai! you have really added so much weight oh. In short, this is a disaster”!
    And this dude moves aroud with a very putrid and dedicated body odour!
    I simply politely excused myself from his presence.
    He then had the guts to ask for my friendship on facebook.Of course, i did not honour his request and promptly deleted his number from my phone.

    People are just plain horrible and stupid, not refining thier thoughts or words before spilling it out thier mouths.

    It’s a shame and a pity.

  12. eyina

    April 1, 2010 at 5:32 pm

    Talking to my Mom last weekend on the phone, one auntie visiting her wanted to say hi (i called from abroad). The next thing i heard after the greetings:” Send me one of your picture.Did you finally put on some weight?”
    I cut off the line…Nonsense!!!

  13. Uzo

    April 1, 2010 at 6:59 pm

    I couldn’t agree more. Nigerians are the same world over. I went for a christening in Ireland and before the church service the lady sitting beside me whispered to me ‘How come you are not wearing any makeup to hide this your pimples?’. I was gobsmacked! I have never seen this girl in my life and yes she couldn’t have been more than 28years. I replied politely (with my husband watching in utter disbelief) ‘My skin is sensitive’. Not backing down, she whispered again ‘Come outside let me make you up, I am a Mary Kay consultant and our products are ideal for sensitive skin’. This time I looked her squarely in the face and said ‘No Thank you’. Imagine the cheek!!! What a way to do business!!!

  14. sweetie

    April 1, 2010 at 9:27 pm

    OMG ; ROFLMAO soooooo freaking true

  15. sweetie

    April 1, 2010 at 9:37 pm

    lmao!!!!!! what???? crase people plenty this world sha, very good that she slapped his stupid hands off her face

  16. Tomisn

    April 1, 2010 at 10:23 pm

    LOOOL..this is soo true…but unlike other pple here, i like the fact that nigerians are like that jare….this is the only country where pple won’t always sugar coat things….even if they have to be blatantly rude about it……the other day an old family friend that we hadn’t seen in 10 yrs came to visit…one of the first things my mom sed was’ ahn ahn, see . u r soo fat now. and ur husband is still looking the same’ i was shocked and i told my mom that and she didn’t understand why i was sooo shoccked. even the woman was like’ i know shey, i have rili added weight’…….guess that the naija thing….u shuld be able to take insults and criticisms without bursting into tears like some of my oyinbo friends..lol
    i heart Naija joh!!!!

  17. bubbles

    April 1, 2010 at 11:00 pm

    LMAO at the last story!

  18. Banke

    April 1, 2010 at 11:06 pm

    LOL!

    I was at a wedding the other day, I was sitting beside some guy and was enjoying the service, smiling when the couple were exchanging their wedding vows, when the guy next to me said “Ah ah sister don’t worry your own man will soon come”
    I was like “What? Thank you I’m already married!”

    He said “Ah sorry, you look so beautiful but you are sitting alone”

    Me: *Hiss* My husband is joining me at the reception.

  19. silva

    April 2, 2010 at 3:13 am

    okay. once in school, i was standing with my friends and one of my coursemates (dat i neva talked to) walked over and after talking for a while, she turned to me as if seeing me for the 1st time and said, ‘ah, oma, dis your slimness are u sure u r ok? are u sick or are u goin through smtin emotional?”
    Mehn! i was so pissed, bt i just calmly lookd at her and said, ‘mehn, dis your face sha, the pimples don turn am to sandpaper’…
    she walked away and neva tried dat stunt again…

  20. silva

    April 2, 2010 at 3:16 am

    or smtimes, wen some women tell me to eat and put on weight, i just say, ‘it’s my nature’ and walk away…bt wen its an aunt or family friend, wetin i go do… ntin..

  21. silva

    April 2, 2010 at 3:22 am

    does he think dat your husband would be following u everywhere?

  22. silva

    April 2, 2010 at 3:24 am

    i meant did he think?

  23. luvlife

    April 2, 2010 at 3:09 pm

    I am so glad someone finally decided to write about this. It used to be funny when my friends and I sit down and recall several run-ins with Nigerians suffering from verbal diarrhoea, but now, it’s simply ridiculous. Just two weeks ago, I was at my in-law’s house for movie night on a Friday. My in-law happens to Pastor a church and I had met a certain girl there the previous Sunday. Our exchange then was limited to hello-hi-welcome-have-a-wonderful-week end of discussion. On this particular Friday, I literally had my first meal of the day at 8:45pm before going to watch the movie. To enjoy the movie, I had with me a juicy treat of cantaloupes only for me to hear someone exclaim “this girl you eat too much oh! ah for someone with a good body like yours you want to spoil it with food.” Let me mention here that I am petite and weigh (at last weigh in) 92lbs and have only just completed a month of “waiting” (RCCG). My fork was suspended in the air for a good number of seconds and even afterwards I could only muster “I thank God for my good body.” The nerve of the girl and she very nearly ruined the movie for me. I later found out that she’s notorious for fights. Verbal diarrhoea in the church kwa? It now requires spiritual remedies because the average Nigerian’s sense of self-importance or entitlement is becoming “unbecoming.”

  24. chayo

    April 3, 2010 at 4:43 am

    ah…so true…that’s how this girl I went to high school together with commented on my facebook picture saying “you have added so much weight o, please stop eating whatever you are eating before you spoil your beautiful body”. Let me mention that the last time she saw me, I was 16 and everyone called me chicken legs. I cannot be chicken legs forever..I refuse to be chicken legs forever. Not that its any of their business. Even when my mom came to the states and I went to pick her up from the airport, I hadn’t seen her in a year, and the first thing she started yelling, “O my God, what happened to you, see your this, see your that…in front of the whole world. grrr…I’m going home this year, and I am ready for their bull crap, if they don’t want to get insulted, they better leave me and my 145 lbs body alone…mchewww

  25. toni

    April 3, 2010 at 8:48 am

    lol true talk.after being away for 11 years i was totally clueless about this and forgot how rude and tactless some nigerian people can be i was not prepared. this one random girl kept up to me at the galleria and said “sista pull your shirt down”. my top WAS supposed to hit mid-torso so wasnt shit wrong with it…u could see the small of my back..she kept coming back and bugging me i ignored her. after she felt like she’d been ignored enough she proceeded to actually touch me and do it for me…i was beyond shocked.

    or when this old dude damn near started a riot when i wore shorts to yaba, unilag to visit my childhood homies calling me all kinds of bitches and hoes it was embarrasing. people calling me ashewo and shit.

  26. Nma

    April 3, 2010 at 5:59 pm

    gosh, U r right on! I was just wondering about this same topic this week! Just this past wednesday in Church, this “brother” walked up to me and asked me; “what happened to ur fine face nah??” I gave him this stank look, and then he said; “no, i just no wan pimple to spoil this ur fine face u know”….I told him; “why not ask my sebaceous gland dude!”…..Thank God we were in Church, bcos i was…chai, infact!
    Mind u this same dude has asked me this same question a while back too. hisssssss!

    And yea, the constant harrassment from peeps everytime u go to naija… “ahhh you are so fat now, u better stop before u spoil ur shape!”……”ah, why did u cut ur hair, it does not fit u”… The thing taya me mehn…so barbaric!

  27. Bola #1

    April 4, 2010 at 5:53 am

    Lol, thanks Silva 🙂

  28. caroline

    April 5, 2010 at 1:35 pm

    lool people will never close their so call mouth. na wahoooooo

  29. caroline

    April 5, 2010 at 1:41 pm

    the other day i went to a sisters hen night. i was introduced to a fellow naij.i politely sed oh hi nice to meet you. i followed on by asking what part of naij she was from. she ask of mine and as soon as i replied she squirted out “isnt that where they do witch craft” everyone burst out laughing.she followed on to ask how long i have been in uk for. as soon as i replied she sed “oh cos u sound like u came here last year”. i asked her how long shes live in the uk for she replied” i have lived in america for 10 years and uk for a while”. this is someone with no trace of american accent in her speech only the naija accent she came with.

  30. duchess419

    April 6, 2010 at 9:47 am

    the stories are funny sha, but oh so true o. thanks for sharing all, truth be told, am sure this is an african ting all over ehn.

  31. Steve

    April 15, 2010 at 8:42 pm

    LOL I Love it!. So my favorite example is…2. Strokin’ the sideburns while saying it is creepy but funny hahaha

  32. Tomisn

    April 21, 2010 at 5:20 am

    lool…eyaa. u should have known outfits like that aren’t completely accepted in Naija. People,especially the elderly, won’t see you as a responsible person with outfits like that. A midriff top? Ha!
    sorry for the embarrasment sha.

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