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Delta Big Boy: 10 Experiences that Made you Happy Growing up Nigerian ? #InternationalDayOfHappiness

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It’s International Day of Happiness today, March 20th, the United Nations fixed date set aside “to inspire, mobilize, and advance the global happiness movement,” an indication that the world is intentionally and aggressively focusing on mental health. I want to send some happiness your way today and I hope it gets to you and achieves its purpose.

Growing up Nigerian is one of the best experiences in the world – not like I’ve ever grown up American or European or Caribbean or Middle-Eastern, but in my heart of hearts, I believe it’s such a wonderful experience compared to others mentioned above. Argue with your ancestors.

Today, I want to reveal the experiences that caused us happiness growing up Nigerian. Majority of you will be able to relate to this post, some of you may not, but just take it as an opportunity to learn something about being Nigerian.

Opening an Ice Cream Pack and Actually Finding Ice Cream in It

This also goes for beverages. In a Nigerian home, nothing goes to waste. When your clothes are worn, they turn to rags, plastics bags with which items where placed in at the grocery store are kept at home again, to be used to take other things out, or at most, turn to waste disposal equipment.

So, when you finish your beverage or an ice cream, the pack is used for other things, namely: storage of seasoning, salt, or pepper; storage of foods in the freezer; or kept safely in the cupboard for an unknown use later in life. Imagine the happiness that comes with opening an ice cream pack and actually find ice cream in it. It feels like it’s Christmas!

Christmas Cloth is Ready before December

Christmas is a big deal in Nigeria! It’s not even because we are highly religious, after all, there are virtually equal number of Christians and Muslims in the country. It’s about celebration! Maybe because it signals the end of the year. Whatever! We just want to celebrate, and celebrate some more because we are celebrating.

Anyway, for children, wearing Christmas Cloth is one of the major highlights of that day. The depression that comes with not having a Christmas Cloth while other children have theirs, I don’t think anyone can explain it. But once the Cloth arrives, and before December? The rest of the year is made! You’re sure to pass that first term examinations.

When your Aunt or Uncle visits and Calls you Aside

This one can be tricky, because they may be calling to lash out at you for something wrong you did that your parents had told them about. But for the sake of International Day of Happiness, we are focusing on the good, because our mental health is important.

So, when uncles or aunties call you aside at a family ceremony or meeting, it may just be that they want to “dash” you money. Once it looks like this is why they are calling you, at that moment, your are in heaven, on earth until your parents discover and call you aside too to tell you why they should hold it for you so that you don’t overspend. Then they throw in the “I’ve been using it to take care of you” card when you ask for it later. The end!

 

Report Card Rewards

Talking about passing examinations, do you know the overflowing happiness and joy mixed with pride that takes over you when you come first in class, and you know well that your reward is at home? Two pieces of meat, extra food, a bottle of soda to go with your meal, more money in your pocket, and being used as a point of POSITIVE reference for other children in the compound or street, these are some of the things you can get for coming first in class. You finally have two heads.

The Glucose After Inter House Sports Activity

Sporting activities are good for the body, the general feel good vibes they give off is also healthy for the mind. So, inter house sport time is a wonderful period in Nigerian schools. It’s playful, fun-filled and devoid of classes and or tests; how else can you define paradise? The icing on the cake will be the glucose you get immediately after an activity, especially races. Those of you who had no intention of representing your house but participated in the race just to get glucose you know yourselves, let me not disgrace you on (Inter) National TV weblog.

When you Find out your Mathematics Teacher is Indisposed

… and you have his test that morning, in first period. The way you march to your class, after Assembly, with vigour and joy, ehn! Nigeria’s quarter guard has nothing on you!

Mathematics is one of the most dreaded subjects in this country. Is it that it’s too difficult, or that the teachers are not making it easy? We should talk about this someday. Anyway, shout out to the people that can’t relate because mathematics is a walk in the park for them. I’m talking about people like yours truly.

Don’t hate, “tap into grace and anointing”.

When your Siblings fight for you, Literally!

Bullying is such a terrible thing, and sadly, it’s worldwide. But when the bully is bullied, how do you feel? Inexplicable, right? Better experienced than narrated. Imagine being beaten in school, and you go home to report (the incident) to your older ones and they storm the school the next day to teach the bully a lesson. Bruh! You’ll have all your organs jumping in ecstasy.

Parents do this too. I remember when a neighbour’s child was flogged by her teacher and she had serious injuries on her palm and fingers. Once the mother, who is also a senior flogger, saw the injuries, she knew that was beyond normal. She went back to the school, that afternoon. Well, the principal and other teachers had to save the perpetrator’s life back locking him in a class in the topmost floor. I heard the woman attacked him, albeit from the spiritual angle. End of story.

When your School Mother/Father is From a Wealthy Home 

This needs no explanation. First, you know how money is respected in these parts. The gain is not just that you’ll always have virtually all you need, but that you can’t be bullied by anyone because even bullies bow at the mercy of money, some teachers too.

When your Older Siblings Take you Out with their Friends

The happiness is not because of where they are going to, but because you are rolling with “big people”. Even if your own is to just sip Zobo and listen to their conversation. It’s better than not being there.

Eating your Piece of Meat after Saving it Since the Beginning of the Meal

Ask Nigerians why they reserve their piece of meat, they don’t know, we don’t know rather. See, we value our protein because it is always in small quantity in our meals. Dodo (Fried plantain) can never be more than the rice, Moi Moi is never enough, the Akara (bean cake) can never be compared to the pap in terms of size.

So, maybe that’s why the piece of meat is reserved for the end. As a matter of fact, it shows a lack of home training if you finish your piece of meat before you finish your food. One guy said it’s the crown of glory you get for surmounting your mountainous food.

Photo Credit: Instagram – @daniel.vintage

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Phew! I’m done. Your turn. What made you happy growing up Nigerian?

6 Comments

  1. Lol

    March 20, 2018 at 4:40 pm

    Aww I loved this!

  2. Marsala

    March 20, 2018 at 6:06 pm

    Love this! Brings back memories. Editor please update the title to “growing up in Nigeria circa 90s, 80s and the decades before”.

  3. Akpeno

    March 20, 2018 at 9:17 pm

    😛

  4. omomo

    March 21, 2018 at 10:36 am

    i loved the family gathering after christmas church service …food galore playing with siblings and other kids etc

  5. whocares

    March 21, 2018 at 2:35 pm

    LMAOOOOOOO I think its actually bad teachers that made us hate maths sooo much. Right now, i can’t do simple mental arithmetic like 25 x 6 without a pen and paper or a calculator- but, i LOVE reading about theoretical mathematics- The Music of the Primes is actually one of the most fascinating books I have read, and I always go back to it.. does it give me a headache? YES! do i love it? HELLS yes- ok my maths bellyaching aside(it pains me cos with the right tutoring i could have been a maths genius sha). Mateeeee, you missed out the following;
    – Xmas chicken, or meat and fried rice; xmas was basically when you could eat without censoring
    – if you went to boarding school, then you know Sunday lunch was always “lit” (ie one degree less tasteless and disastrous compared to the weekly meals)
    – whenever your family gets that rich visitor that buys soft drinks for everyone; or even when your parents buy it for visitors and have to give you cos they will just look cheap if they don’t. loool
    – fan yogurt after school (i used to envy those kids that had drivers or their parents come to pick them cos they got it on the regular) our househelp who picked me up did not play that buy a kid fan yogurt game o. lool. drink lukewarm water from your waterbottle until you get home
    -water bottle- the joy and surprise of just having a water bottle full of ribena (*gasp* no mama you din’t)
    – staying home at primary school late because well they took too long to come and pick you up.. so you get to play and be on the swings etc for as LONG as you wanted
    – going out to play with the other neighbourhood kids because life was simpler then- ten ten, police and thief, suwe, even the cheeky mummy and daddy lmaoo.
    – was it just my household but yam and egg was exclusively sunday breakfast; and dodo with rice on sundays too.
    Really i could go on. lool. can anyone tell how nostalgic i am?

  6. whocares

    March 21, 2018 at 2:36 pm

    waiiiiit. i forgot- cabin biscuit, okin, shortcake, ekono gowan, baba dudu, gogo, fanta chapman, sisi pelebe, that coconuty thing that was all sugar also,

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