Oya E Don Do!


Do you live in normal houses? Do you guys wear clothes like us? Do you eat apples? Do you have foods like rice and stuff like that? If I go to Nigeria with you, will they use me for voodoo? If I come to Africa with you, will they serve me exclusively in calabashes alone? Do you see lions, tigers and other wild animals around your house?

Those are some of the questions I’ve been asked by some of my non-9ja friends and acquaintances.

I’m a Nigerian! A proud one, an educated one and would even wanna consider my self a strong ajepako (as in eh, I no dey form ajebo.) I’ve lived outside the country for years and I still got my accent strong- my ‘ehs’ and ‘ohs’ are a major part of my lingua sef. (Okay sorry this is not the focus here).

I basically want to vent over the fact that there is still an awful lot of people whose minds are closed to reading and finding out about other cultures apart from theirs. At the same time, there are lots of Nigerians who are not open to other cultures as well. So this issue doesn’t stop at one country border alone.

I mean even within ourselves, we frown at others’ cultures and way of life. When I was in Nigeria, some of my neighbors who are not my tribe squeeze their faces when we offer them our native meals. I will save that other aspect of shunning culture for another article. But for now, I’m out for non-9ja folks who think we all live on isolated mountains, in mud houses with lions roaming at our backyards and monkeys and baby giraffes as our pets.

When I arrived on the British Virgin Islands, I was walking through town from school one afternoon and omo, I was fully and proudly dressed in traditional outfit oh! And behold two teenagers walking towards me chatting away, immediately kept quiet when they saw me. This screaming silence was maintained till I passed them. My dear, those girls burst out laughing at me. In my mind I just laughed at them (mind you both of them are of African descent oh.)

That was my first encounter with closed minded folks. I didn’t let that trouble me. That was just the first experience. So many other jaw-dropping episodes followed. From people who didn’t think anyone in Africa spoke English, to people who blatantly told me I didn’t know my African geography, as Sri Lanka is a part of Africa. (This is not made up oh. There are people who really don’t think the internet could be their key to knowledge or even their ticket to other places around the world.)

I know I’m not the only one fed up with these silly questions. My friends in the United Kingdom and the United States tell me they have such people too jooor. So that just makes me feel like im not along in this “I-Have-No-Tolerance-For-Idiots,” battle.

Is it only the western media painting Africa in such an image? I’ve got to give credit to Nollywood big time oh! But some of the movies they present don’t do us any good oh. They leave people like me the tough and annoying task of having to explain to strangers that, most of those scenes don’t actually happen in the average Nigerian’s life. (I mean there’s witchcraft and all I mean, but there’s also a church in every blessed corner of town.)

I’m a Jaguda fan oh. My day doesn’t start without a click on jaguda. (Okay let me get to the point.) Being a journalist, I always thought, “oh why not write something and send over to the hard working guys at jaguda?” and for some reason, I always dismissed the thought oh. I’ve lived on the British Virgin Islands for five years. I mean dem get nice people here sha, but my dear, when dem begin ask you silly questions you go wan use them do football.

Im done ranting!!! Till next time.

By Ngovou Gyang

Image Source: www.scenicrunaway.com


  1. Even here in nigeria it happens oh cos I have been asked if there re food stuffs and good houses to stay in the north and wat kind of village is it weather there is lite n all that. Am from plateau state and i have heard questions like that from ma fellow Nigeria’s and it baffles me that some people who have not traveled within the country don’t know what it is like. So brother that thing na everywhere oh but continue to spread the Good word

  2. I get asked stupid question like that also, and all i can afford to give them is -____- (stale face), and tell them to go do their research. Just as their is the good and bad in the US, so is there also the good and bad in every other country. But for some reason they media only shows the bad about africa, and gives the people the impression that this is how everybody lives.

  3. A lady once said I wasn't African because I answered that I had never seen a lion when in Nigeria. At that point, I asked myself why I was wasting my breath talking to the lady….SMH

  4. WORD!!!

    i so hate d way dis fake A55 dudes think of us here in Africa. Keep Preaching the Gudnews dearie, i got ya back on dis crusade.

    i dey knack dem Akpako for my own endz too.

  5. Ngovou i see you 🙂
    someone once asked my friend and i how we got to Europe since we don't have airports in africa,and with a straight face we replied "we swam across the Atlantic ocean"
    even in Nigeria,you find this ignorance and it hurts the most..you hear people from lagos ask if there are houses in kaduna or if people live in huts..smh
    Long story short;educate yourself, broaden your horizon, goggle is your friend and its free of charge..make use of your BB for something educative..knowledge is power..this saying cannot be over emphasized.

    • i Was vexed when i wrote this article… didn't even have much time to work on proper punctuations sef.. i just wanted to get things off my head… i've been asked how i got to the BVI too… my dear my answer and yours just match… i told them i swam… lets not even talk of people who think Africa is a country… and those who ask "where Africa? is that close to Australia?".

  6. I was once asked if people live on trees in Nigeria…..told the silly lady no…..we live in noses….mtchwwwww

  7. you will be amazed at the stupidity of non-Africans, I was forced to ask one day if they were ever taught Geography. I have been assumed to be French, Somalian, Sudanese, American and most importantly South African. I told a project leader once that I am Nigerian and he asked if my language is Zulu. Africa for them is South Africa and Nigeria is generally assumed to be a state in South Africa, that is even if they know it exists. Now I am speaking of my experience in India and it is really pathetic.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here