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Tosin Abiodun: Why Are Nigerians So Rude?

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Not quite long ago, I attended a wedding, and as a rule, I usually make sure I eat well before leaving my house to attend any body’s party. So, no matter how enticing the food looks, I am only able to fit drinks and small chops in my already full belly.

At this party, I was struck by the glaring rudeness of the guests. Guests kept ordering the wait staff around, ” Get me pe-pe soup”, “No goat meat”? ,”Why have you not served this table”, ” Why are you people so slow” ” Bring wine”, Bring glass”, Bring cutlery”, ” What is wrong with these sah-vas?”  On and on they went, complaining, gracelessly demanding this and that.

Ordering them around was not the problem, after all they were there to make guests comfortable. However, in all the demanding, no one used the word ‘Please’, which meant there was definitely no hope for any ‘ Thank Yous’.

The other day at the airport, I was scrolling through my phone to kill boredom while waiting for my luggage at the carousel, since the machine had not even been turned on. There was a fellow behind me talking loudly on his phone. Suddenly, I felt my a tap on my shoulder and without missing a beat, or ending his call,

“Sister take down this number for me”.

My head wan scatter. I turned around slowly but my usually sharp mouth didn’t have an immediate response. He called out the number and I numbly thumbed it into my phone.  Yeah. I did.

Another guy on the opposite side of the carousel watching the exchange gave me a sympathetic and amused look, he badly wanted to laugh. I was incredulous, I couldn’t believe what had just happened.  This fellow didn’t even have the courtesy to ask politely for the favour he needed. I just became an instant PA for him. When he was done and asked for the number, I held the phone to show him so he could punch it into his own phone, he nodded and walked away. I didn’t say a word to him. I was fuming but I couldn’t express it.

That was it. True life story brethren, it happened to me. I only became angry at myself after he had left because I was in shock while the whole thing was happening. I felt like I was in a trance the whole time.

The average Nigerian is quite rude and doesn’t even realize it, sometimes even proud of it.  Let me briefly give you 6 examples to show you I am not exaggerating things. Feel free to add your experiences in the comment section.

1) Lack of airplane decorum, especially on international flights. Ever witnessed a full-on fight for overhead luggage space on a Lagos- London flight for example? Usually cringeworthy & disgraceful. Remember the British Airways air hostess that got into trouble for describing Nigerian passengers? She didn’t tell any lies.

2) Looking into another person’s phone or laptop screen and laughing/ making comments about what they are reading when they clearly aren’t showing it to you. Bonus point: Flipping through someone’s photo gallery when they only showed you one photo.

3) Making comments about other people’s weight if you aren’t friends- You’ve probably heard comments like, ‘ You’ve really added o’ or  ‘You look like you’ve lost weight’.  If we aren’t close friends then it’s not a compliment, don’t assume it is.

4) Appearing uninvited to other people’s homes- some will even bring along an extra guest to come and ‘greet you’ at home- Yes it’s rude, know this now.

5) Another example of bad behaviour on flights. Eating your Iru smelling Ofada stew and Ofada rice in an enclosed capsule with 150+ other passengers of other nationalities…because you are Nigerian and you have two heads.  I know you can’t stand oyinbo food, but no matter how you look at it, it is a clear disregard for shared space.

6) General rudeness because you are paying for something. This happens in hotels, restaurants, taxis etc. Once a Nigerian is paying for something they don’t believe they still have to use the words ‘Please’ and ‘Thank you’.

Even though there are five basic words to show politeness- Please, Thank you, Sorry, Excuse me and Pardon me, as Nigerians, our true power lies in the ability to make all these nice words sound rude.

Rudeness is a Nigerian thing. It’s probably in the constitution.

Experienced any of the examples I just gave? Please share! Are you rude, or generally discourteous? Please change, thank you. Being polite won’t hurt you. I promise.

Photo Credit: Vadymvdrobot | Dreamstime

Tosin Abiodun is a communications strategist & entrepreneur. In her spare time, she writes advertising copy for small businesses. Follow her on Instagram @trulytosin.

53 Comments

  1. Gbolahan

    November 20, 2017 at 1:24 pm

    You did not include making a comment on social media and another responded to your comment with loads of of abuse and curses.

  2. Maris

    November 20, 2017 at 1:24 pm

    Tosin, abeg cool down for Africa.
    We didn’t get here in one day. The moment you talk nicely and show courtesy to a waiter/ gateman etc . That is when they would show you pepper .
    You would ordinarily expect them to be grateful and react well, but it’s the opposite you will see 95% of yhe time.
    All their frustrations would be vented on you, as you will be seen as s nobody who can do nathing.
    I know if doesn’t justify our general rudeness, but na condition make crayfish bend back….

    • hmm

      November 20, 2017 at 3:08 pm

      hmmm @maris.. i actually kinda agree with you.. only from my personal experience where i made an effort to me more approachable where the avergae nierian director/manager would not.. i found that it almost gave my subordinates reasons to be blatantly disrespectful.. it didnt change who i am though.. i still maintained courtesy.. but i definitely do get what you are saying

      1
    • Girl

      November 21, 2017 at 6:16 am

      I actually experienced this. I was nice to a gate man and tried pleading with him to let a delivery man come in to my school premises because I was Ill. He refused and I started heading to the gate. On my way I met someone expecting something from the same delivery man. To cut the long story short after she finished speaking to the gateman I thought our food would be inside the gutter. Lo and behold they brought the food to our hostel. I still don’t know how to be rude yet though ?

  3. Pat

    November 20, 2017 at 1:37 pm

    Gbam! I don’t even know were to start from all u said is true and av experiend it. I will just add one more thing to your article. Making inquiry from some nigerians can be frustrating especially in business organizations such as banks, embassy (nigerian embassy’s in naija and abroad) even in restaurants. How can one plan without information. But I have observed once an oyibo person walks into this organisation the serice is different. I am sorry to say this some of us are screwed in d head. Thats why we have not experienced significant steady economic growth. Thats why slavery lasted as long as it did. My mom was telling me how her great grand mother had 9 sons and it was the men in the villaage that lead d white men to her great grand mother house and the white men took 8 of her son’s. Infact I taya for our matter. We pray like there is no tommorow from one vigil to m o mountain of fire deceiving ourselves and not changing our ways

    • Tony

      November 20, 2017 at 5:12 pm

      I could not have said it better. This rudeness is an African thing. Building excuses to be rude isn’t right. Be polite till when your courtesy is insulted. We generally love to feel very important and tend to pour personal frustrations on those we know can’t fight back. Why does this rudeness not occur to those deemed wealthy? Africans generally have lots of work to do on ourselves cause we are the architect of our troubles. We sellout each other yet bind and casts on a minute basis. Let’s rethink from individual levels and treat others how we want to be treated

  4. THE MUMMY

    November 20, 2017 at 1:53 pm

    From your name, you are nigerian, it says up there that you are a ‘fanatical lover of south african soapies’. People like you will never see anything good about this country. Continue using your left hand to describe the way to your father’s house.

    • ferrari

      November 20, 2017 at 3:40 pm

      Who even invented the yardstick to measure, pleasant or unpleasant food smells? one mans meat is another man’s poison, a flight that takes off from Nigeria ought to cater to our Nigerian meal prefrence

    • Omonaija

      November 20, 2017 at 3:53 pm

      But she no lie now. We suppose change out ways. Just like e dey pain us when d western world say our country na zoo. I will deny it for their front but i know say the negatives outshines d positives. What have we done to change it? That is d koko. The truth hurt i can u understand we need to work on our selves and country.

  5. hmm

    November 20, 2017 at 2:15 pm

    agree with what you are saying.. but that the AVERAGE nigerian is rude I think is a bit unfair..

    I think out people are very much classist let me explain what I mean. ..we are have little regard for people we don’t consider “important”.. For example had you been dressed like a big madam that man would have tapped you that way! when people say Nigerians are respectful it’s very hard to agree because our respect comes with conditions….. We are taught to respect our elders and people in positions of power… nothing more…

    In my expérience, I’ve had instances where I would walk into companies, organisations etc etc unassumingly because that’s what my parents always did.. We don’t feel the need to loudly announce our presence..but what happens with people like us is that we will be disrespected until someone who knows who we are comes and addresses us properly…. The look of embarrassment on their faces says a lot..

    My issue is that why do I have to be the manager of this , the director of that, or the daughter of xyz before getting any polite assistance… Why do our people look down on others.. just … why do we have this “I’m better thn you” attitude…

    letsdo better

  6. bruno

    November 20, 2017 at 2:24 pm

    nigerians are very very disrespectful, mannerless and nasty beings. I don’t know why everyone is so angry, unfriendly and always in a bad mood. tufia

    2
    • hmm

      November 20, 2017 at 3:06 pm

      loool the country is stressful !!

  7. Engoz

    November 20, 2017 at 2:31 pm

    You can’t miss the rudeness even if you’re deaf and blind. I always say ‘adulthood is the license to be rude in Nigeria’. As soon as a Nigerian becomes an adult, especially an older adult, every person younger than or in a position he/she assumes to be less than him/her is in for it. According to the Nigerian training manual, respect is reserved for the elderly and not reciprocal. And they are the first to accuse others as being rude. They are the first to accuse oyibo children as being rude that their own kids are well mannered. But ‘somehow’ these oyibo children grow up to be courteous adults. Nigerian kids transition into adulthood and become rude entities. If you want a tall glass of how RUDE we are, just go to any government institution in Nigeria. This is where the arch demons of rudeness congregate.

    • hmm

      November 20, 2017 at 3:05 pm

      you are spot on engoz.. we dont really know the definition of respect.. for our people respect is ” greeting elders and people who are seen to be in higher positions.. trully trash i tell you

    • Tony

      November 20, 2017 at 5:16 pm

      Hahaah government institutions a typical place to see PhD of rudeness. U should watch Rita Dominics – The Meeting.

    • 2face

      November 20, 2017 at 5:28 pm

      Now every commenter is nice and courteous, explaining how rude Nigerians are. And you wonder where the rude Nigerians are. Are they different from the Nigerians that make comments on Bellanaija and other blogs? There’s more rudeness and dirt on our blogs’ comment sections than there are in all the public places in Nigeria put together.
      The other day someone started their comment by saying “Nigerian men are goats”. I guess that’s what being polite means for them. Today same person is here giving lectures on courtesy and rudeness.
      Truly many of us are not polite but some of us should start by changing our choice of words in the comment section before we attempt to say that any other Nigerian is rude.

    • Engoz

      November 20, 2017 at 6:44 pm

      @2face
      Sorry o I called Nigerian men goats. If they insult Nigerian women, I’ll insult them back. I go ultra-rude to people who are rude to women. No apologies. But I understand where you are coming from, so I’ll change small. Nevertheless, I did not see you cautioning the men on that thread sha. Hope to see you flying in like a witch on a broom the next time they go on rampage. Cheers ?!!!

    • Engoz

      November 20, 2017 at 6:46 pm

      And yes I’m very courteous in reality.

    • 2face

      November 20, 2017 at 8:28 pm

      Engoz,
      Recall that it was Nkem’s article about men (not Nigerian men) being threatened by intelligent women. It was not about men insulting women. It was not about Nigerian men. I felt your opening line was unnecessary. I thought about all the Nigerian men in your own life.
      I didn’t dislike the comment because it was the worst under the post. I was disappointed because I had read intelligent comments from you in the past.
      This is not the usual men/women fight. It’s about the large doses of rude and smelly comments we get on Bellanaija and how same commenters are all clean on this article that actually condemns such conduct. As if rude manners happen everywhere else but online.
      Though you owe me no explanation, it’s pleasant to see that you commenced your response to my comment with the word “sorry”. Peace!

  8. 3ples

    November 20, 2017 at 2:42 pm

    someone removed the 5 magic words(Please, Thank you, Sorry, Excuse me and Pardon me) from the Nigerian dictionary…. Lmao

  9. Mamamia

    November 20, 2017 at 2:44 pm

    I agree with you when you talk about courtesy as per saying please, thank you and sorry but your points on weight gain and visitations are more of a culture thing than anything else, I mean we cant all be Americans or British no matter how many years we have lived or visited. We are different, and I hope it remains so. God knows that it irritates me when my mom visits me unannounced and be like ” dear, I am in town o, hope there is food?” but these are memories I live for. Ever seen how the Italians, South Americans and Greeks act around each other? U may consider their loud nature rude and disrespectful or whatever name you please but it is their own way of doing things, and if I am honest I hate the “stone cold, uptight” life of the brits, I mean do they ever smile? I remember this one time I saw an aged woman struggling with her food trolley bag and no one gave a damn, me in my “African nature” walked up to her to help, the woman gave me the death stare and was like “no thanks!” Did she say thanks? Absolutely! Was she rude? Absolutely! Me sef carry my wahala comot. I guess the point of all my gibberish is “live and let live” that people do things a certain way don’t necessarily mean they lack courtesy.
    Nb the man you punched a no for was rude, and u should have said something to him. I know I would.

    1
    • Peaches77

      November 20, 2017 at 4:44 pm

      Agreed!

    • Cocolette

      November 20, 2017 at 5:43 pm

      Lmao! Same thing happened to me when I walked up and offered to pay for an old woman who was holding up a line at the store because of $3. The way she looked at me and declined ehn, I was like ‘Chai, who send me message’

  10. whocares

    November 20, 2017 at 3:09 pm

    lmaooooooooooooooooooooooooooo aunty take down the number. lmaoo. i am truly finished. see, leave that food bit aside. food is food. i have had to endure some nasty cheese smell and other orisisiris in the name of international food.. the international person isn’t caring about you as they eat their shit so if i fancy ofada on a long flight (hypothetically) well, you my darling are going to have to sit there and inhale the aroma. If you are nice, i might give you one spoon with saki too. .
    jokes apart, i have never been able to walk through life without being polite. I cant do it, and when i am not polite, it is mostly because I am being passive aggressive and trying to send a message. Yes, I am that lame ho that thinks withholding “please and thank you” when someone annoys me is a punishment.. in my head, i have peppered them. lool

    • Ajala & Foodie

      November 20, 2017 at 8:23 pm

      I agree on the food matter, I worked in an office with the open office floor plan where all we had were cubicles, open cubicles. So on these day something stank up the entire floor, I wish I had a pic of the floor but it is not a small floor to cover I.e over 100 cubicles and the entire floor was reeking of these terrible odor, See us looking for what this awful smell could be, but no one could figure it out. Myself and my friend were the chief head hunters, we went to what we call our break area, for our department, it is more of a snack area and where the refrigerator and microwave just a small kitchenette. One of our advising scientist, elderly Caucasian dude came to us and asked if we had been looking for what caused the smell on the floor to which we responded to the positive, the dude bursted out laughing. We were confused until my friend’s brained clicked and figured out he was the cause. She then asked what it was, it was this guy’s lunch… yes some smelly fish, stank up the entire floor and this dude thought it was hilarious. These people don’t care when they are the transgressors. When I complain that their cheese smells like cheese they tell me I am rude, and expect me to put up with it but you tell me it is also rude to have them put up with my own food smell. Abeg let us all be polite and enjoy our different cultural and ethnic meals and it’s smells

  11. abby

    November 20, 2017 at 3:16 pm

    eating strong smelly food in the office gaan gaan for goodness sake! when there is a cafeteria!! That is what i am dealing with now! I have almost finish pressing my perfume because the whole place stinks!!!God will Judge!

    • Manny

      November 21, 2017 at 12:09 am

      pressing your perfume is rude. some of us have allergies

  12. Miss Elejo wewe

    November 20, 2017 at 3:36 pm

    Its the sun and lack of infrastructure. Nothing works

  13. Liz

    November 20, 2017 at 4:23 pm

    It took my moving to Ghana a couple of years ago to realize how blunt in speech & thoughtless in manners I have been most of my adult life. Ghanaians are generally mannerly people in their everyday life. It was here that I learned that a grown-up can greet an obviously younger person and it’s ok; no one sees it as awkward. Ghanaians use PLEASE freely even when greeting in English: Please, Good morning; Please, how are you; Please, thank you…..
    Being that culture evolves, I hope the Nigerian culture learns & acquires this beautiful Ghanaian trait and that Ghanaians do not loose this precious heritage on the altar of expediency.

    • hmm

      November 20, 2017 at 4:46 pm

      forget it.. Nigerians cannot greet someone who is younger.. hian!!! the way the looked at me like i have two heads when i greeted.. smh… my dad does it all the time.. greets everyone and they are so confused as to why he is greeting them.. lool

  14. Ife Love

    November 20, 2017 at 4:26 pm

    The rudeness can be cringe-worthy. I remember when I went to computer village to fix my system and a guy spoke to me like I was his slave, I gave it to him right there.
    While I was Waiting for the dude fixing my system, this other guy from the next shop said something to me and I wasn’t so sure what he said so I said “pardon, what did you say?” The next thing this guy asked was why I asked him what he said without greeting him. O boy! I was amused and I had to ask him if he greeted me before asking his question. Only for him to say to say that shebi, a woman is supposed to serve a man and that I was rude for not greeting him before asking what he said. By the time, I explained the concept of his relationship with his wife and his communication/relationship with someone who isn’t his wife, he was so tongue-tied that he could only stare endlessly.

    1
    • hmm

      November 20, 2017 at 4:44 pm

      loooool.. imagine….. very terrible trait

  15. Bowl

    November 20, 2017 at 4:38 pm

    Nigerians are rude through and the through. Nigerian leaders are rude .
    Nigerian parents are rude . Nigerians respect only class and privilege!
    Hunger ( insatiable poverty : my mother calls it spiritual poverty ) drives everything in Nigeria. So when you come bearing politeness and smiles before the low class girl behind the counter, a premeditated emotional slap lands on your face from her. Why ? You are forming upper class ,something she so wants but is not ! You might escape this if you have a visible certificate of privilege like coming out from a new expensive car, a barge of your pedigree, if you are expensively dressed etc .
    I think the problem started when we left humanity behind in our quest for ” class ” . The class we so often want to identify with does not have the face of humanity but that of oppression. Our leaders and elites are so guilty of this !
    We need another orientation to move away from here.
    I have noticed this rudeness is worse in some localities . You can visit Nnewi and Uyo sometimes. Believe me , it seems the rudeness thing seemed to be particularly concentrated in these towns !

  16. Bowl

    November 20, 2017 at 4:39 pm

    BN post my comment! Ah, ah

  17. nwa nna

    November 20, 2017 at 4:51 pm

    From my personal experience Nigerians can be rude and abrasive for no reason.

    I have personally had to check them on different occasions, whenever I have checked them for their uncouth behavior they just stand there staring like a deer caught in a headlight.

  18. TrueTalk

    November 20, 2017 at 6:29 pm

    I am glad that lady made the comment about living in Ghana. Don’t tar all Africans with one brush. Many Africans are polite, Nigeria is unique.

  19. Candy

    November 20, 2017 at 7:02 pm

    To be honest, most times people need to travel out to understand the difference between what is respectful and what is not. Environment and society have a vital role to play in all these. I have lived in the UK for about 8 years now, and I sing please, sorry and thank you like songs. Before then, there wasn’t something like that, probabley sorry when you offend someone or thanks to the elders around after eating. That’s why sometimes I cut these people (Nigerians) some slack. Man they say is a product of his environment. Most of them are not aware of all these courtesies.

  20. Frank

    November 20, 2017 at 7:18 pm

    You couldn’t have said it any better. Nigerians really are rude. I see this all the time. I remember a flight i was on, going to Nigeria. The flight from Atlanta to Dubai was smooth sailing. Until I got on the connecting flight from Dubai to Lagos. One young guy who thought he was the shit was so rude and disrespectful to the flight attendant, to the point I had to call him out and told him that if the flight was turned back to Dubai because of him, he would have a problem with me. Or the other time i was flying back to the US and this “chief” wanted to cut the line in front of me. I told both him and the immigration officials that I was not gonna allow that, that if the “chief” was so important he should have taken 1st class. Coming to form VIP in economy class. Nig Plsssss. Not on my watch. Most Nigerians not all are really rude, always feeling/smelling their own shit.

  21. Ajala & Foodie

    November 20, 2017 at 8:01 pm

    The problem I have with articles like this and the comments that follow is how everyone complains but no one is guilty of the same offense. If the average Nigerian like the author said is rude, then who are these “average Nigerians”??? They are not ghosts from the sky, it is you and me. O yea you see people already justifying why we may come across rude I.e people will take you for granted, forgetting that the subordinate, the gateman is thinking the same thing and the cycle remains. You see it on here, people claiming they “hate” people they do not know, then come on topics like this and claim Nigerians are rude like they are exempted.

    You see people resort to insults and plain meanness because someone states an opposing view and somehow other people are the rude ones. We are good at playing victim and shifting blame.

    The truth is I have been a victim but more importantly a perpetrator of “rudeness”. A perpetrator because I subscribed to the wrong school of thought that, it was how to garner respect I.e not be taking for granted. I have however, since come to realize that that is not true and until I do something to stop that cycle, I remain part of the problem and therefore have no right to complain about “the average Nigerian and her rudeness”. So yes I choose to be polite regardless of whom I am dealing with. Let me note here politeness and familiarity are not one and the same, you can be polite without coming across as being familiar or trying to be. Familiarity, they say builds contempt. Before we accuse people of being rude we need to check ourselves and make sure we are being polite most of the time regardless of when, where or who we are dealing with.

    • john

      November 20, 2017 at 8:48 pm

      @Ajala $ foodie I think we have clashed in the past..but for some reason unknown to me ..I kinda hold u in high regard.

    • hmm

      November 21, 2017 at 7:43 am

      very well said Ajala.. we have all been guilty… but more impotantly every country has their faults and flaws// this rudeness thing is more common in ore places than we think.. esspecially in Africa.. ive had to travel quite frequently around the continent.. and have had to live in 3 African countries for 6 months to a year each.. what i ofund is that in tourist areas people tend to be more friendly.. but the moment you are no longer a tourist, or you arent in a tourist-ish cty.. it becomes a problem… people are quite rude.. i have also found that in Nairobi people can be lil rude.. although not in the office tho.. i have had a few instances in certain offices.. but maan walking around on a day to day, people arent always polite… i have also found that in SA people arent polite to you if you seem different, foreign, or lesser.. its one of those things.. even homeless people have the audacity to ridicule you for appearing foreign. i can tell you more personal stories.. i think the reason why i am particular about the nigerian rudeness is because nigeria is home & because others are doing it doesnt make it ok

  22. Loool

    November 20, 2017 at 8:12 pm

    We all agree that Nigerians are rude. The question is what do we do about this? How do we change things? What is each of us doing in our own little corner to change this attitude? It is easy to list out problems but really the focus should be on solutions imho.

  23. john

    November 20, 2017 at 8:41 pm

    Rude Nigerians complainig that Nigerians are rude …smh..continue deceiving una selves… if u want to know who are those “so called” rude Nigerians ..take a look at the mirror…. That is how Nigerians also complain about corruption and tribalism but everyone is that same thing they complain about… I bet if u meet this people commenting and complaining about rude Nigerians offline..they are the worst set of people u can encounter with their over- flated ego and so called delusional ,classy and posh behaviour looking down on their so called perceived razz, lesser, on elightened Nigerians.

  24. john

    November 20, 2017 at 8:42 pm

    non- elightened

  25. Theresa

    November 21, 2017 at 12:06 am

    I thought I was the only one appalled at the lack of manners and etiquette that some Nigerians display in public. Let’s begin with parties; common sense would tell you to eat before you leave home. They come to these parties and behave like scavengers who have not had a meal in months. The words Please, and Thank you have eluded their vocabulary and so for anyone to expect better has a long wait. The attitude is if you know you could not afford to have a party, why have one. They would sink to the lowest of low for food.
    I have been to gatherings where it was assumed that I was a non- Nigerian and the women felt it justified to rain insults, imagine the shock when I about leave, I responded in the language they assume I did not know. I let them know how uncouth and mannerless they were to start raining insult on someone not knowing if they understood or not. Apologies were said but not accepted because it should never have occurred in the first place.
    This younger generation coming up need etiquette classes. It should be mandatory.

  26. Ngozi Onyeabor

    November 21, 2017 at 1:26 am

    Hi Tosin,

    Nice to meet you. I 100% understand where you are coming from. But this is primarily a cultural thing, being evaluated through the western eye.

    As a mixed person, my struggle to process the ostracisation I experienced from both Africans and westerners growing up taught me some important cultural patterns. Africans are generally more blunt, honest and direct, while westerners are more polite, comported, and restrained. To an outsider Africans may appear rude or aggressive. To an outsider westerners may appear insincere or dishonest.

    Africans immediately comment on my pimples or my weight to my face, which is rude but honest, while westerners can meet a man with no arms and completely pretend they don’t notice, which is polite, but they are withholding their genuine thoughts. In some cases a Westerner who did not comment on my appearance to my face might comment on my appearance to someone else in my absence.

    Reciprocally, I have generally found Africans to be perfectly okay with me being blunt and asking invasive questions, while westerners are generally taken aback or offended when I do this. When I use Western politeness in African settings it seems to almost irritate Africans, who want me to speak up or take more food etc. Probably you could have bluntly said no to the man who demanded you take down the number, and I bet he would have immediately sought out someone else with little reaction to you. Bluntness and territorialness are more likely to feel offensive to those who feel uncomfortable being blunt and territorial back.

    Yes, some African behaviors are genuinely rude and childish, and I suspect these arise from scarcity mentality and PTSD, borne of our relatively recent collective traumas. These behaviors are not acceptable and we should work on them.

    But many of the examples you describe here, and many examples given by others who have made the same statement as you that Africans are rude, are just cultural differences. I find relief in knowing the true opinions of my African friends and family who bluntly express them to me, even though I initially found them jarring. The people who more frequently surprise me with explosions of annoyance are westerners, because they tend to bottle opinions in. On the other hand if I want to wear a swimsuit without every damn party attendee asking how I got my scars, I will swim with westerners over Africans any day.

    It’s very important to me to have made this point here because our minds are also sometimes colonized. Our ways of doing things are not always compatible with others’ ways of doing things but our ways are valid and beautiful.

    Thanks for reading my essay lol

    Ngozi

  27. D

    November 21, 2017 at 2:31 am

    I got curved by a senior colleague after greeting others he said he won’t greet me cause am a junior colleague to my face, so when he was informed that I schooled abroad Oga was like ” Ehn so you schooled abroad ” I just ignored him cause his idea of showing superiority only reduced him to a mere child.
    One time while waiting for connecting flight to naija was chatting with a lady and the dude sitting beside her asked “so you are from which state” I replied him “I don’t know you” if you want to put mouth in our conversation start by introducing yourself.

  28. Lola

    November 21, 2017 at 2:52 am

    Hmmm, I had to learn the hard way when I had to live in another country. Things and attitudes I thought were the norm was not, people thought I was crazy.I had to unlearn my bad manners. There is hope as I assume kids are thought to act nicely now.

  29. Sardof

    March 15, 2018 at 7:56 pm

    Nigerians motherf—ers, regardless the gender.
    I am assisting them in customer service and I am praying all the time, that they won’t call me.
    They don’t know how to speak properly.
    They are f—n cheap.

    During eating f—ing apple they can call and also with the apple in their f—ing mouth they will keep f—ing your brain

  30. Alex

    October 12, 2018 at 10:44 pm

    Hi everyone. I am sharing few episodes that recently I had to face… before I start let me tell you I have recently shifted from Ghana to Nigeria…and I am neither Nigerian not Ghanian.
    1. My driver…a young man of 30s keeps on passing comment to other drivers on road for the mistakes they do. He himself do same things like breaking the line on road, rash driving, unnecessary honking.
    Same like him I have seen many people driving same way and will start fighting on mid road.
    I do control him but still he is same whenever he gets chance.
    Fyip my 5 months old (new car) has been bumped, scratches 6 times.
    2. While passing through an industrial area road, one of gentle man got angry on us. Reason … As per him we should not be passing through that road as his truck was turning. Ok boss I can wait on side you pass first…but no!!! That gentle man started hitting my car as he felt my driver was trying to be oversmart as he is driving a WHITE MAN,s car. Trust me my driver was not at fault..not at all.

    3. Just today evening while coming back , traffic was there slow but moving a tricycle taxi passenger on our side suddenly started hitting my car. We both were surprised what happened, as we were following the traffic line.
    man started shouting saying he is from force, why we are not giving him way to pass, and let me tell you he was on wrong side.
    Again as per him my driver is wrong and disrespectful as he (my driver) is driving an WHITEMAN,s car. Forget my driver even I got furious because I knew it was only him who was at fault.

    4. In my office one of my nigerian colleague (an educated female.. senior manager) wrote very offending emails to me (although using big corporate words). This was repeated 3rd time and this time I replied her in her language and filed complaint to HR. Since then she is not talking to me.

    5. One of other female colleague came asking for wrong favours, when I said NO as it was not correct as per our office policy and ethics. She started showing her resentment as she thought my NO was Insult to her.

    Let me tell you there have been some good guestures also but many times I have seen people here give RESPECT to power and position. Saying please and request you is seemed as next person is weak.

    I spent 3 years in Ghana and also enough time in Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya (7 years) but never had to face such things.

    I m not being judgemental but today’s episode of government official person,s rude behaviour made me search “why Nigerian act Rude so often”.

    Please I don’t have any intention to show any disrespect to any one but I m just trying to find out why so …..

    Date 12th October 2018
    Lagos,

  31. Alex

    October 13, 2018 at 1:09 pm

    resentment as she thought my NO was Insult to her.

    Let me tell you there have been some good guestures also but many times I have seen people here give RESPECT to power and position. Saying please and request you is seemed as next person is weak.

    I spent 3 years in Ghana and also enough time in Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya (7 years) but never had to face such things.

    I m not being judgemental but today’s episode of government official person,s rude behaviour made me search “why Nigerian act Rude so often”.

    Please I don’t have any intention to show any disrespect to any one but I m just trying to find out why so …..

  32. Debbie

    November 9, 2018 at 3:03 pm

    I was shopping in Macy’s NYC downtown location. I was SHOCKED at how utterly rude the Nigerian women wee. They yelled out their demands to bring shoes in a certain size….I NEVER once heard please, thank you….Their conduct was so reprehensible that I looked this up.

  33. Eliminator

    March 18, 2019 at 11:37 pm

    I work with one and she is rude and mean to the core. But with others she acts like she is an angel from heaven it’s really crazy seeing her go from angelic to down right nasty and abusive. And she also thinks she is always right and everyone else is wrong. She does not agree to disagree. This woman told me that an egg McMuffin that I have been eating over 30 years has no meat on it. And then she backs it up with saying that she has been buying it for many years and the ones I go to just don’t know to leave the meat off. Stupidity at its finest.

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