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Don’t Call Me ‘Aje Butter’, Call me Chikaodinaka Oduah!

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I no sabi twist ma lips and tongue to say “ogogoro” or “kakaraka.” Pidgin bin no dey around me where dem born me, when I bin dey grow. So you fit think say I no be your average Naija but I still dey try sha. And the only reason when I fit translate dis message na because my person dey around me wey dey tell me wetin I go write. Na so we see am.

For socio-linguistic reciprocation, I must translate that to the familiar dialect- the twang of American southern English—that I grew up speaking. Here it goes… Ah dunno haaoh tuh cun torn’t mah lips an ben’ ma tung tuh s’ayee werdz l’ike “ogogoro” or “kakaraka.” Pij en, wel ah ges in’t jes wud’n uh r’ow ‘n mee gr’owe en up an so you ma’ee en ter pruht dat tuh meen ahm nod un averug Nahgerean but hey ahs ‘till try en d own lee ree zun ahm aye bull tuh cun vay this ah dee uhs en this meh sej rite now iz bih cuz ma fren will ungly tranz lated ma thots en tuh pij en an thay ‘er yuh hah’v ih.

Let me switch back to standard American English, because I need to speak the truth and I need you to understand it: I grew up in America. But my name is not aje butter.

In fact, I’m not even “aje butter,” at all. Many of us foreign-based Nigerians are not even “aje butter.” Our lifestyles may seem elaborate or luxuriously pleasant, but compared to the average city-based Nigerian, we share similar experiences, none less inferior than the other.

Every morning, wafting through my house in scented waves, was not, akara, Milo, pap nor agege bread or yam and egg, but it was the syrupy aromas of toaster strudel, Kix cereal, buttermilk biscuits and peach flavored oatmeal. Their names may sound great to your ears but they are not as tasty as fried plantains.

And during snack time, you probably munched on cabin biscuits or kpekere or bole and groundnuts. Me? I nibbled the semisweet chocolate morsels baked into Chips Ahoy cookies, broke the half sheets of honey graham crackers just to hear the crackling snap.

Where I grew up Bingo, like Ludo is a game, but where you grew up, Bingo is a dog.

I may not have played uga on Nnamdi Azikiwe road, but I’ve jumped in hopscotch boxes drawn on the sidewalk along Martin Luther King Jr. Street. And when my body ached from the exhausting rituals of childish pleasures, my mom gave me Tylenol, not Panadol.

With my sisters curled up with me on the couch on Friday nights, I giggled and gurgled at Steve Urkel in “Family Matters,” while you threw your head back in joyous laughter watching Zebrudaya in “New Masquerade.”

I’ve never been to Lekki beach, but I’ve been to Lake Lanier’s beach, drifting on the water in an inflatable float ring while sitting atop my father’s lap. Never ending fun in the sun, you understand.

And no schoolteacher of mine has ever lashed me. If they were to try they would have seen “Sheneneh” come out of me. Who’s “Sheneneh?” You had to have watched the TV sitcom “Martin” to understand. Who’s “Boy Alinco,” anyway? I guessed I would have had to have watched “Papa Ajasco” to understand.
But I didn’t.

Just like I didn’t taste well water growing up. I do better with tap, or better yet, distilled…reverse osmosis, please.

And guess what? I’m not taller than you even though I did not carry water pails on top of my head and gulping the refreshing coolness of palm wine, were experiences I’d only read about, heard about, thought about…..sleeping under the rounded shadow of Stone Mountain in metro Atlanta.

But even in metropolitan Atlanta, the omnipresence of Nigerian culture defined everything I knew. Because there, as a little girl, I’d play, chase, tease and tickle my peers running around egusi soup-scented parlors where the voice of the late Osita Osadebe would croon from vinyl records and rectangle-shaped cassette tapes and gele-wearing mommas would move with polyester trouser wearing fathers, rocking their hips together in steady undulations called dance.

My growth into teenage-hood led me to long hours of solitude in my bedroom, lost in the revolutionary philosophies of Fela Anikulapo Kuti. The first track I’d ever heard from him, handed to me by the jovial Liberian janitor I had befriended in my high school, blew my mind. For real. “Authority Stealing.” I had asked myself who this jungle man was. Later I had imagined what it would have been like to be wife Number 28.

In my world of literature, Cyprian Ekwensi– positioned neatly between the pages of my paperback copy of Jagua Nana— followed me to my graduate university campus in Chicago. His company I sought after exhausting hours of student reportorial work.

And when I wasn’t working, I was probably dancing. No! I can’t compete with atilogwu dancers, but I sure did try. With bangles tied around my hips and cloth propped on my waist, I winded with all the grace I could muster while performing with Nigerian dance groups at one function after another.

But despite all that, muffled snickers and insinuating chuckles, still await me when I assert my “Nigerian-ness” in the midst of Nigerians. In the absence of my presence, I’ve come to expect comments like, “She’s not really Nigerian.” I’ve even come across snide remarks like, “so she thinks she is a Nigerian because she dey wear gele?” and “how can this one be Nigerian with oyinbo accent?” I remember when an acquaintance of mine told me to pronounce “Yoruba,” again, just so he could hear me say, “Your oo bah.”

But lo and behold, I am the definition of myself, empowered to reject any such characterization put upon me, because in the end, it’s not about you. It’s about us.

We’ve got to come to a realization that an army of foreign-based Nigerians with oyinbo accents is making its way back to the motherland…millions strong.

After an 80 percent change from the 1990 U.S. census, more than 164,000 residents of Nigerian heritage were recorded in the 2000 census (the 2010 U.S. census, scaled down to a 10-item questionnaire did not provide nationality specific options for identification). We account for 19 percent of the black African immigrant population in the U.S.

With an estimated 154,000 British Nigerians, reported in 2009 from the Office for National Statistics of the United Kingdom, and a growing presence in Canada, Malaysia, Brazil, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, the Middle East and South Africa, Nigerians abroad have emerged as a generation, with its own cultural paradigm.

But the point of all these stats and figures simply proves that we are a force to be reckoned with and when we come home, for those who will make it, we don’t want to be scorned, frowned upon or envied.

Because we have already been scorned, frowned upon and envied in those foreign places where just the sound of our Nigerian names can provoke a cacophonous eruption of laughter from classmates and neighborhood children. Don’t blame us for modifying our names; throughout my adolescence, I placed my middle name “Sandra” before my first name, “Chika,” because I was tired of being called, “Chaka,” “Chuka,” Chicken,” and “Cheetah.”

So when I come home, please don’t call me “Aje Butter.” Call me Chikaodinaka Oduah.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________
Chika Oduah is a journalist who resides in New York City. Follow her on Twitter: @chikaoduah

56 Comments

  1. alexie

    October 5, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    *Yayyyy* 1st at last,hehehehe

  2. Ginika

    October 5, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    Dont know what to make of this article, still trying to understand the tone in which it was written in…

    • Rolake

      October 5, 2012 at 1:50 pm

      Toh, thank you o. Are we supposed to fell sorry for her, that she had an easier or different life, ehya, poor u, poor aje butter you. I work with some foreign nysc corpers, so I know exactly where this is coming from. My dear, people can’t relate to you at all, from the way you speak, and your different life expereince. Abi, how do you yarn with someone who doest know what UP NEPA means, refuelling generator, going to Yaba market, or soaking garri with groundnut, or pomo, shaki, or danfo or molue. The classic half and half identity crisis, foreign raised nigerian kids have. Nether here nor there.
      They are not accepted as Nigerian, because they didnt grow up here, and they are also not accepted as American or British, or Irish, or Canadian, or whatever. Cos, no matter what, being born or raised abroad, where it really counts, they will remind you well, that you are not one of them.When their country of birth or upbringing, has shown them the truth that hey no matter what, you are not one of us, then they try as much as they can to belong somewhere, then stretch out their hands to their mostly ignored nigerian heritage. Emphasis on mostly ignored, only to be shocked/outraged, about not being openly received by Nigerians too, then articles like this are written. Madam, abeg sort out your own identity o, its not someone else’s problem.

    • R

      October 5, 2012 at 6:46 pm

      O wow a namesake

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      October 5, 2012 at 2:18 pm

      I know, right? I’m having similar thoughts about it… I get her ultimate point but I’m not sure I appreciate how she gets there.

      “Every morning, wafting through my house in scented waves, was not, akara, Milo, pap nor agege bread or yam and egg…”
      “And during snack time, you probably munched on cabin biscuits or kpekere or bole and groundnuts”
      “Where I grew up Bingo, like Ludo is a game, but where you grew up, Bingo is a dog”
      “…while you threw your head back in joyous laughter watching Zebrudaya in “New Masquerade” ”

      And so the generalizations continue in similar vein… What in the heck??? I’m sorry I have to do this, Chikaodinaka, but once your article gets posted, it’s open season for criticism. I don’t identify with any of these statements pasted above (well, maybe apart from the last one, “New Masquerade” was hilarious). And I grew up in the homeland, just about spent most of my life there until 5 years ago.

      So exactly where do you get off assuming your fledgling behind off about lifestyles of people who live there, while in the same breath, turning around to warn everyone that you’re nobody’s ajebutter?

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      October 5, 2012 at 4:26 pm

      My comment above was a direct response to Ginika’s…

    • Rolake

      October 5, 2012 at 4:42 pm

      fee*

  3. nems

    October 5, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    Great Post!! OMG this is so true. Throughly enjoyed reading this.

    http://www.anemistyle.blogspot.com

  4. Funmi

    October 5, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    Erm, may I ask what the point of this article is? I kept reading, and reading, and thinking, what is she up about? Everywhere you go, you will find people who don’t understand you, because you dont share similar backgrounds or upbringing. So why the pity me, or righteous indignation rant? Abeg, park well jare. Seriously BN, a lot of your articles, come from people who live abroad, or work abroad, or met abroad, or people with middle class/rich man’s pikin problem. Abeg, please give us more articles that represent Naija, and I mean authentic Naija. All this foreigness, or may I say fakeness, is beginning to tire me. I know BN comes across as a posh, not the run of the mill 9ja blog, but you can still be origo naija, without being razz. Give us an article about the struggles of living in Ipaja, and commuting to VI, and still managing to look fly at work, or eating out at pepersoup joints, or the buka at the side of the street (you know that amala, and ewedu, or pounded yam and egusi, from Iya Sikira, with dirty surroundings, but the food is awesome. Even the food articles, are all hoity toity’s, not the nigerian food we grew up to love. Stories about schooling in 9ja, federal, state or model college boarding houses, I dont know, something. You can still be refined and sophisticated, without losing your identity as a Nigerian. All this in between, you nigerian, but pretending to be oyinbo. If you like don’t post this, na una sabi. At least you guys still got ot read it.

  5. Opsi

    October 5, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    Very nice write up.

  6. 'Alex'andyRaH!

    October 5, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    Wow Wow Wow! wonderful piece Chika…I ll kip it in mind not to call u aje butter lolzz..but on a ciwious note i applaud ur write up…verii interesting piece.

    • neon

      October 5, 2012 at 6:30 pm

      what in heavens name is ciwious????

  7. Neka

    October 5, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    i agree with Ginika; i can’t really grasp the essence of this article. it surely isn’t clear what shes passing across. this isnt a new phenomenon-nigerians in the diaspora. and im not sure they’re necessarily referred to as ajebutter.

  8. Suzy

    October 5, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    Wonderfully put. Well said Ms Chikaodinaka Oduah

  9. Evagreen

    October 5, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    Chaka sorry Chika you no be aje butter at all

  10. yummymummy

    October 5, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    Lol;Yeap this is common with Nigerians in diaspora….Nigerians born here are often called by other Nigerian counterparts*innit** >>

    With this article Chuka knows a lot about Nigeria…Is this the same Chuka that interviewed D’banj on sahara reporters,remember the video..Lol..If so good job babes.

  11. Kanife, Ejike

    October 5, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    Yea, I did ask you to try a English with a Nigerian nay, Igbo accent. But u did surprise me by outdancing me to Onyeka Onwenu’s beats…and I was a good dancer. Nice one Chika. Anybody wey call you ajebo don miss road.

  12. Joshua

    October 5, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    Well said Chika.

  13. Toyin Olaleye

    October 5, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    Omg! I loved this write up. Thank you so much for writing this. Its so frustrating to be a Nigerian who grew up in America and have other Nigerians call you Aje Butter. Most of us in other countries still live the Nigerian culture to the fullest, we are just fortunate to be doing it where there is 24/7 electricity.

    Thank Chika. Well written!

  14. icanrelate

    October 5, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    Lovely I can so relate well done well written well said! I can soooootrelate.

  15. cathy

    October 5, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    awww really nice, feeling this piece lol

  16. som-t

    October 5, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    Sure enjoyed ds article…..

  17. zoomzoomzoom

    October 5, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    Beautiful write-up Chikaodinaka!

  18. Princess

    October 5, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    Oh! Please anyone who is privilege is called an aje butter. U go 2 covenant uni, an ekpoma student will call u aje butter. When u see ur age mate hawking gala and u wind down ur ac car 2 buy gala from her and she calls u age butter, tell God thank u because that could have been u. Enjoy ur age butterness, and try and make a change that would draw the line closer between aje butters and aje pakos. Ps. It’s not because u grew up abroad that makes pole call u ajebutter

  19. doyinspeaks

    October 5, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    I’m so proud of you, Chika! You have so eloquently placed into words our shared experience in growing up “Nigerian African American”… I understand that some of the readers may not be able to relate however the last couple of paragraphs in this article is a poignant revelation as to how many of us in the diaspora negotiate our African identities and its authenticity….BRAVO! Chika!

  20. Concerned Native

    October 5, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    good one chika. For those who do not understand and are asking if you are to feel sorry for her, no, she is merely asking for your respect as a nigerian, and not as an ajebutter.

  21. Naveah

    October 5, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    i had a friend get offended when i said that there were two type of naija people – there is naija and then there is naija-naija. naija is you have the name but no experience of what it is to be nigerian and then naija-naija is a person who has lived that nigerian way of life and like someone said, you know what UP NEPA is, you have been the one person sitting across the Okada engine so your mom can ride on the back with your baby sister in the middle, you have used pin to hold your slipper together, you know how to start fire with firewood then had to squat, squint one eye and blow it with your breath if you can’t find the fan, you have used sand to scrub the pot so the silver will show again with the heel of your hand, you have swept the back yard with local broom, you have made local broom with palm frond, you know how hard it is to wash towel by hand, you have made starch in school as part of home ec…hell, you know what home ec is!LOL!

    don’t get offended, ms. chika…you are an apple and I am an orange…we are two different things but we are both called fruits, abi? You are a different variety of Nigeria from me, don’t apologize for yourself because I am most certainly NOT apologizing for myself. I have met several people like yourself who like to come off defensive as if someone is walking around asking you to detail your Nigeria heritage, nobody wan see your dna o nne. If you are so proud of being Naija why would you chose to replace Chika with Sandra? When people mispronounce your name, you could use that as a teachable moment to let them know that your name means It Is In The Hands of God. You chose to act inferior and replace your name with what is more agreeable to the Westerners, meanwhile you will tie your tongue around Schwierbutowicz, Schwarzenegger , Frankenheimer, Brockwalthaler, right? Meanwhile, you get mad that you are called “aje butter”…well, nne if you don’t want to be ajeboh then don’t act like one! Park well, joh! all the tings you dey yan sef na like persin wey go school to LEARN how to be Nigerian and to bring it home to you baby girl you don’t sound no different than my white husband.

  22. dontmention

    October 5, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    This article is way to stereotypical Bc what I gather is that she thinks Bc I grew up here, I had a less than priviledged lifestyle. And honey, we don’t call you guys things that you guys don’t want and may be you are different but most of you aren’t. I have met nigerians who bluntly told me they were Americans Bc they were born here. What do would you make of that? Unanticipated dat denying their origins? N when they finally realise dat talking like the Americans wouldn’t get them accepted by Americans, they start trying to belong where they had bluntly denied association. Maybe if you stop presenting yourself with so much ignorance and stop trying to make people inferior because you were born abroad. You don’t don’t any better than us Bc of your birthplace

  23. Zeze

    October 5, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    Almost stopped reading half way, glad i finished though.

  24. missA

    October 5, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    I cnt relate to that Nigerian in that post… I basically had your kind of childhood just in a different place… I guess what you did was juxtapose a very basic Nigerian childhood against your not so basic American childhood cos im sure if u’d been talking bout cornbread.. now that would be a very basic american kid’s childhood and it will be good basis for comparison.
    Anyways… I do get your point. That you lived in America doesnt make you any less Nigerian. Goodluck on changing the mindset of a few million people…and i mean that with all my heart.

  25. Rolake

    October 5, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    feel*

  26. Blackknight

    October 5, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    I concur. There is definitely no difference between the Chika that was born in Nigeria and the Chika born abroad.Both pass the same life experience though it may be in different environment.Her point is that being born abroad does not take away the same experience as someone who is born local.
    Unfortunately Chika, not everybody will share your point of view. Why? Because they are not there with you and have failed to understand that it’s al the same process, though in different ways.

  27. Emeka Odekpe

    October 5, 2012 at 5:52 pm

    Sorry for being rude here BUT if you cant understand the message the young Nigerian America is passing accross, then you’re the real “AJEBUTER” she’s reffering to. No apologies!

  28. X factor

    October 5, 2012 at 6:14 pm

    Wooooowww…..Excellent write up…………………
    @ all shallow haters, this write has just intelligently submitted a deep subject for social discourse…….Get smart when reading topics with contextual insight , life is not all about hating

  29. PJ

    October 5, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    OMGosh!!!!! this is exactly almost what i go through……

  30. RolandRoss II

    October 5, 2012 at 6:39 pm

    Dear Chika, I won’t call you AjeButter….. That you grew up eating waffles and pancakes with syrup or watching Family Matters (like say NTA no show am) doesn’t make you an AjeButter… That I had to use a generator and you had constant electricity doesn’t make you an AjeButter…. That I saw AreaBoys and not Bloods&Crips doesn’t make you AjeButter…. That I was pulled over for “fire extinguisher” and you were for being black doesn’t make you AjeButter….. It takes more than having a passport other than the InfamousGreen to qualify as an AjeButter…. It takes more than eating chicken to qualify as an AjeButter… Mental Slavery is still endemic, with many believing anything foreign is better…. Many try to feign American and British accents with poor grammatical structure and consider that superior to what’s native… Abi una hear Wole Soyinka or Kofi Annan sounding like that??? Oh and O Ye, who do not want to be referred to as AjeButters, do you return to the MotherLand and act like you are cut from a more refined cloth than the “natives”…. Don’t worry, it’ll take a lot for you to be termed AjeButters…. P.S: My middle name’s Chike so I also had my fair share of the ChickenJokes (right here in Nigeria)

    • Lola

      October 6, 2012 at 9:32 pm

      Well said, you are right abeg. Grew up in Nig, watched all the shows she mentioned because there is something called DSTV, there is no difference, children are the same around the world except for cultural differences, from her story, it sound like she is from the ghetto, being born in another country is not a privilege, it simply life.

  31. chinco

    October 5, 2012 at 6:52 pm

    Oooookayyyy!!! So whats the point of the write up? I agree with mz socially awkward. Whats with the generalization, not every *NG* who has lived in Nigeria identifies with ur ‘papa ajasco and cabin biscuit’ cliches.

  32. Ms T

    October 5, 2012 at 7:24 pm

    Last i checked Nigerians born & bred here r also referred to as “ajebo”. Isn’t it a term used to describe pampered/ rich people. I think the term u’re looking for is………….

  33. Sbaby

    October 5, 2012 at 7:44 pm

    Yay my gurl chika well done

  34. Ready

    October 5, 2012 at 8:14 pm

    I like this piece..it might seem like elevating relatively mundane experiences to important ones to some people, but in reality, much like racism and prejudice, this bothers some people everyday. And frankly, it’s a pleasantly different piece on BN; recently, things have been…blehh.
    For those criticizing because of her Naija generalizations, c’mon, it’s glaring that they’re necessary. I mean, not all Naija kids growing up in America or elsewhere in Diaspora grew up like her. I’m glad it was brought up…many of us are quick to exclude people based on some random thing. If they calll themselves American, it’s “Ohh, with a name like Salewa?” Then they hear the accent or see hesitation to try booli, and it’s “You’re not really Nigerian.” I think as long as people want to be identified a certain way and are trying to understand/live it with no harm intended, no judgment is necessary.

  35. feisty chic

    October 5, 2012 at 8:19 pm

    the essence of her write up for those not seeing it is that after all the hassles one gets aboard from being an immigrant, or Nigerian or African, its good to come home and be recognized as part of the country not snickered at as different again. i understand where she is coming from cos i did the exact same thing to cousins of mine who grew up in the UK. and living abroad myself now, I’ve come to realize how cruel it must have seemed to them when they came back and their own sort of rejected them. after all they try as much as possible to represent the Nigerian community over here and then they come home and people treat them like they are from another country. and truth be told there will soon be a strong crop of white Nigerians all over the world and i wonder what will happen to them when they come home.

  36. Vivian

    October 5, 2012 at 8:36 pm

    Very good writing skills but like other previous comments, I don’t sense any honesty. I was raised in Nigeria and have only been in the US for about 5 years and I know the difference between a true born and bred Nigerian-American and someone like me who just came here, has learned the American ways but is still Nigerian to the core. You are probably like me so just quit lying and making up stuff trying to get sympathy. You know the Nigerian culture just too well from your write-up to have been raised here. And may I point out that most Nigerian-Americans here do feel they are better than the people back home. Yes, they do feel they are ajebutters. When I was in school, I was put off by how they were quick to deny being Nigerian saying things like I am “ORIGINALLY” from Nigeria but I am really from Brooklyn. They are quick to mock our accents and those of their parents and find it easier to make friends with akatas.

  37. Tee

    October 5, 2012 at 9:16 pm

    I’m quite displeased with some of the comments here. The exact reasons why the author has written this piece is what is potrayed in some of these comments- discrimination. Just because she did not grow up in Nig does not make her any less Nigerian. Accept her for who she is and not where she did or did not grow up. That’s very unfair. Chika, whenever you do return to  Nig, please be yourself and don’t let such comments/remarks get to you.

  38. OmoMakun

    October 5, 2012 at 10:22 pm

    Chika, i totally get you. Ignore the criticisms, they are bound to happen anyways. Most ppl may not understand where you’re coming from but kudos for telling your story.

  39. molarah

    October 5, 2012 at 11:26 pm

    Life always comes with its labels. Interestingly enough, you may be ‘aje butter’ to some people but you are ‘aje pako’ to others. There are just as many people who did not have access to the privileges you had while growing up that are ten times more privileged than you. That’s life – go figure. Interesting read though.

  40. Kemo

    October 6, 2012 at 4:47 am

    smh..we are very sorry to commenters that we are not Nigerian enough..mschew..i have no words.

  41. HMMM

    October 6, 2012 at 6:52 am

    ….Dunno what to make of this, but in a weird way, this article annoys me

  42. Pd

    October 6, 2012 at 6:58 am

    What is wrong with the word aje butter? Me am pako oooo……but I like peeps calling me aje butter….for der mind…..chika aje butter no be insult na….no vex …Biko….ma binu ….up chika!

  43. Let them say

    October 6, 2012 at 11:34 pm

    @ Rolake, who told they are not accepted where they were born and who says they aren’t accepted in Nigeria, their motherland. Most of them still come back home with their degrees & rolled tongues and hold top roles in the high profile companies while most original Nigerians like you claim to be are still wandering the street looking for work. You better stop being better towards them, so that you can focus on what you set your heart to achieve. Typical of a bitter Nigerian!

    • Rolake

      October 9, 2012 at 10:11 am

      Wow, so you have just assumed that i am wondering the streets, looking for work. You obviously cant read. The part that I wrote, foreign nysc corpers at my office, totally alluded you. Please, who is the bitter nigerian now? So, because I dont worship those that come from outside the country, like you obviously do, I must be bitter. Like you obviously do too, you think foreign is better. Irrespective of expereince. Abeg go sitdon, and continue your hero worshipping of people from abroad, sell your soul to them if you like, or offer ot be their maid or driver, you obviously look up to them.

  44. kathy

    October 8, 2012 at 11:16 am

    im sorry but i lived in nigeria ande my childhood was beautiful. i watched family matters,sound of music and loved grease cant remember a time in my life we didnt have cable so cartoons were available 6am-9pm. i ate cereal evry morning and had a pack of “assorted biscuit” and three crowns orange juicebox to sch everyday. we jumped rope when der was no electricity it allowed us bond as siblings,we went to ‘WHISPERING PALMS’ weekends and enjoyed monopoly,ludo and card games. i grew up in OJOTA nt evn ur precious LEKKI. my name is ARIKE OLAITAN and im proudly “AJE BUTTA”!!!!! my middle name is Katherine and i rarely use it.HISS.the same way you wont like to b generalised with the nigerians lost abroad pls dnt ever believe that because we didnt grow up in obodo oyinbo we had a less fortunate childhood.

  45. Gloryfied

    October 18, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    I don’t understand why some people insist on being so closed minded. To be honest, as I read the article I found myself wondering what exactly the point of it was but at least by the time I got to the end I realized what she was driving at so all you haters need to go to sleep. She may have seemed to be stereotyping but she did not grow up in Nigeria so the only reference she could make to a Nigerian childhood was probably that of the friend that she said was around her telling her how to write the pidgin. Was she supposed to go interview every Nigerian child and write all their experiences here? I can certainly identify with her POV. I am a Nigerian through and through. Although I have been in the U.S. for a long time now I still consider myself to be ONLY Naija and whoever doesn’t like it can go kiss a live transformer. I realize that to Americans I am African and to Nigerians I am American but I don’t care. Still, I had to get to a point in my life before I could develop that backbone. She clearly said that when she was YOUNGER she used to answer Sandra. SHE WAS A CHILD!!! Whether you all like it or not BN is not only for Nigerians in NGR it is for people EVERYWHERE so not only issues happening in NGR will be discussed. If you don’t like the article, just keep clicking until you find one you like. Or did Chika send you a personal invite that you must read hers? I appreciate the fact that she was bold enough to put herself out there. That alone deserves some respect. I just visited Naija and I met people there who have never left the country and yet were trying so hard to look un-Nigerian. In my opinion it’s their loss. Chika is the opposite, she CAN choose to identify with only America because she IS at least American by birth but she chooses to embrace Nigeria. Let us try to pull each other up and not be nasty. She didn’t ask for your pity. She was simply sharing her experience.
    Na wa oh!! Like a bucket full of crabs! TCHIEEEEEEEEEEEW!!

  46. SUREW

    October 22, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    GLORYFIED, I couldn’t have said it better. Nonsense, is it only live transformer? Please jump off the River Niger bridge while you are at it. She expressed true emotions and she is not alone. There is nothing wrong with this article. She wasn’t trying to make herself look better than anyone. I can relate to her, I grew up watching Tales by moonlight and co. But Now kids in 9ja get to watch XFactor & the like. 9ja has changed a lot from the way it was 20 years ago. Chika great write up.

  47. B!

    March 6, 2013 at 9:19 pm

    I do remember a saying that you shouldn’t bother explaining anything to people because they will only hear what they want to hear… but I’ll give it a go anyways.
    I think I should first of all say that the first few comments from Mz Socially Awkward and some others were actually quite ignorant. As i read the comments it was obvious that there was no effort to understand the article. But I’ll get to the point now.

    Her article in summary is saying this;
    ” I don’t look down on you for having lived in Nigeria all your life. .Why do you feel the need to put me down or try to humiliate me because I’m “aje butter” as you call it? Why do you feel the need to make me feel like less of a Nigerian? I can learn from you, and you can learn from me. Is it so difficult to look past my upbringing and see the talented writer, the potential friend, the fellow music- lover? I want to be known for myself , not my background or my experiences. End of! ”

    So to all those who didn’t understand the article ; You’re welcome.

  48. Dera Mobutu Okorie

    September 1, 2015 at 11:29 pm

    really dunno what to say, but you write wella wella. #exceptional

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