Truth Tuesday: Please Drop The Fake Accent


I barely landed in Murtala Mohamed Airport, Lagos when I noticed something very interesting. Everyone and their mama dey blow fone` (Fone` is a slang for foreign accent… In most cases British or American). British accents galore… American join…Jamo accent sef. I’m sure if you listen well well u’ll hear Chinko and Arabian accent too. Look around tho, and all you see is strong Naija faces. I brushed it off as “maybe nah airport runs”… nothing spoil.

I get in the car of my cousin, and I turn on the radio and with the exception of Wazobia FM, all other radio stations just dey scatter fone` dey go. Naija Artists too sef dey scatter the thing. As days went by friends and well-wishers dey blow fone` dey go. I just tire.

Like I know people wey never cross Cotonou enter Benin republic for their life wey dey blow yankee accent pass the people wey dem born for obodo oyibo. What is really up with the fake accents for real? It’s pretty damn annoying especially when you know it’s forced. What is wrong with your regular naija accent? Or is it too local for u? Abi you dey form chasis person. I mean “warra heck man… I need some poraroes and some warer mehn.” LOL.

Seems like the folks outside Naija are the ones that are trying hard to speak pidgin and keep it down to earth and some (not all) folks in naija are blowing the fone by force. No be by force to have foreign accent o.

Oh yeah, just because you went to Jand or Yankee on vacation for 2 months, or you went to Dubai to go and shop doesn’t mean you should come back and be blowing fone` like say tomorrow no dey. I’m sorry, but 1-2 months vacation can NEVER EVER change your accent… Ever!!!

I do understand situations where someone has lived abroad for years, maybe for school or grew up there, and came back to Naija and is just used to pronouncing certain words in an accent. Those folks are excused, but those of you that went to Accra and came back and claim to be abroad, please spare that nonsense gist for someone that cares ehn tortoise wey get time ehn… we don’t believe you.

That’s the summary of my gist for today’s Truth Tuesday. Drop the fake accent; whether it’s Yankee, Jand, Jamo, Liberian, Chinese, Arabic or South African. It’s not you, and we know your passport has no stamps. Thank You and Holla at us on the next Truth Tuesday.

Oh yeah… Drop your comments. If you feel like I’m tripping let me hear it, and if agree with me, then drop one too, let’s laugh together. 😀

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this column “Truth Tuesday” does not express the views of but rather the views of the particular individual writing the article. Thanks.


  1. Aribaba thank you for this wonderful write up.Abeg help me tell all those people wey the form fake accent especially radio personalities make them stop.Some of the no even sabi speak good grammatical correct english.Like on radio presenter wey just the blow wrong english with british accent i laugh until i wan die.ABEG MAKE WE SPEAK GOOD ENGLISH WITH OUR 9JA ACCENT.

  2. I can always tell an article that you have written (even before checking the author) just by the real LOL that I do when reading them. Good one!

  3. I feel u o! I've been here for over 8 years and some of my friends who have never left Nigeria sound more American than i do and infact even tease me about my lack of fone skills. It annoys me to hear them speak cos it's so fake and i cannot stand it. Makes absolutely no sense.

  4. Okay i just gotta say that i haven't even read it, but i'm already laughing. I shall be back to comment properly.

    • Done reading. Haha, you're killing me Aribaba..

      Real talk, short, sweet and on point! I love it….

      I agree per the switch in roles about naijas abroad trying "extra hard" to keep it real and some naijas at home doing the opposite. It's quite funny, annoying, and sad. Oh well..

      Now off to drink some warer mehn. Don't hate!

      I love truth Tuesdays:)

  5. My goodness, that is one of the most annoying things i have experienced since returning here. me sef i speak the native language and try my hand at pidgin and most (not all) the people around me will be speaking all this fone and i’m just like, it really isnt that serious. besides, you know when it is fake so it is more annoying than anything else. you are right about the radio stations too! its like if popular culture is even doing it, why won’t people want to emulate it? but seriously, the realest thing people can do is just speak the way you know how, all the fone nonsense just makes you look fake but it is so wide-spread in naija now, i don’t know the chances of it changing anytime soon unfortunately!

  6. Nice one Aribaba…I’m laffing my head off here….these days u can easily miss ur flight within naija o cos the flight announcers are at it as well.u can barely hear a word as they try to fake an accent and stress their R’s…pls tell me is dere an ‘R’ in the word ‘FLIGHT’?cos wot I hear at the airport sounds like ‘FLIGHRT’.Cool FM and RYTHM 93.7 can be so irritating to the ears at times.I always wish I could call in and ask them to shut up and let the music play.I think Nigerians should just be real.Good english is about correct pronunciation and getting our tenses right not a fake accent.

  7. this is a very good write up. It pays to be natural than being who u're not. i'M usually excited to speak pigin when ever I'm back home, and eat eba with my bare paw, but folks won't let me be. they even ask ya wat kind of yankee guy are u that does everything or say everything a typical Nigerian says!!! so I just tell them ' it pays to be natural'

  8. lol…true talk! like cmon u av an accent…who r u fooling?? especially when the guys fresh from naija wanna yan me with fake yankee accents…cmon nice

  9. SOOOOO true, this is what annoyed me the most when I was recently in 9ja. As in turn on the tv, radio station everything them wan fake accent dey go. The british one is the most common, soo annoyying.

  10. Hahaha, you are definitely not tripping. I think it's pretty damn ridiculous…all man just be doing the most with the fake accents and all. I heard that everybody in Naija has a British accent. I tend to laugh at clowns like this like…ummm you aren't fooling anybody sha. I remember how back in the day, folks would jand for one summer and come back with the conkest accent. Odikwa very risky!

  11. Lol…after two weeks of vacation in yankee….’with’ becomes ‘wif’ ,’isn’t’ becomes ‘innit,….lol…I had a friend who combined her fone with H-factor….it was so hilarious

  12. Okay now, first I just stumbled onto this site and secondly… Fear catch me small when I went home in Dec and whenever people speak to me they speak with a twang and me being me (which can be good and bad) was speaking the English I know. My biggest kwams was the must-to-have brazillian weave and ray-bans.I have norrin agaisnt them BUT mehn it was a case of you have to have it.

    • I am telling you!. As in, my cousing was totally bugging telling me to buy her $500 brazillian hair. I had to lay down to her that even me no dey use pass $50 hair and as far as i am concerned it looks the same!

  13. Ive been out of Naija for 11 years and i still no get accent…..
    For some people we just cant change, for many they adopt the accent in no time…
    but for person wey don dey warri or where u dey in Naija your whole life, come dey form "fone", abeg check urself o!!!!! lol!!!!!
    I gara and i wana….. u are who you are, its mostly what we take in we exude as humans and if u exude fakeness dat means say inside empty be dat,…..

    Great article…
    Carry go….

  14. Its so true. You know warra mean? as in, you know???
    Fakers are trully scattered all over Naija true true. I remember calling a friend of mine back home n blowing d usual hausa we wer used to n she went, u never start to de blow fone? n to add salt to injury i insisted eba n egusi was still my best. I bet she was so disappointed as i guessed i was on speaker phone for all her friends to hear her special friend from jand blowing it. As for me, i can't be bothered. There is nothing special here. I am an african. I am black. I am proud and i am so chungs….. 🙂

    • I went home and some acquaintances said I was razz to still be speaking "regularly". Why in the name of tongue twisters will I be talking to you in Naija and twisting my tongue speaking fone.

  15. I just love this topic.might i add that fone is predominant among nigerian females as regards to their male counterparts(i’m female too)…Personally i’ve made up my mind to speak clean clear audible english,it really doesn’t have to have an accent,it’s just for me to speak well. It’s even more irritating when certain words are gotten wrong like adding the “r’s” where there’re not supposed to be, and “th’s” when it’s meant to be pronounced with a straight T!!!has anyone noticed how LOUD these fone speaking species are when they want to talk? I’m sick of the fake lifestyle myself and the writer couldn’t have expressed this better.fake fone is Irritating nonsense for people suffering from severe inferiority complex…

      • my problem though is when I was home talking my regular accent and also in Yoruba, people were acting like i was a bush girl. When i brought out my british accent the boys took notice and started chatting. So unfortunately girls are a product of their environment.

  16. Wasere omo mi! omo you score A+ for this article. I can't stand Cool FM and the leauge of fakers. just cos you watch one yankee movie therefore you suppose get fone? within one sentence from a cool fm presenter, you will hear a some, yankee, jand, irish and jamo, all combined to form an unholy abomination of a sound. and if i hear one more person say "innit" i will drive home, put my timbs on, come back and stomp that person out.

  17. Warra you all falking abourt?y’all gotta cool it mehn…..really nice article u got there…the one wey tire me pass na d radio stations, i’ll talk correctly spoken english anyday over fone…

  18. When conversing with your friends there is no need for pretense, but the thing I've noticed in Naija is if you don't speak with fone people don't respect you. I went to the bank and was speaking in my regular accent, nobody was looking my side, when I returned another day blowing fone, levels changed for me.
    That was my experience sha.

  19. lmao. Am cracking up like crazy. ” you dey form CHASIS person”. not heard dat in a while. Airport own is small… If you want to see it at its highest level, go to marquee on friday night…lol

  20. I actually empathize with the radio commentators. They speak with ‘fone’ cause they want to appear polished. That is the reality in Nigeria today, all of you might not realize that this influx of Nigerians moving abroad for college and coming back to live in Nigeria has caused the locals to start to ‘step up their game’. I agree this is mild self denigration. There is nothing wrong with regular Naija accent, but having an H-factor or very strong igbo accent is NOT sexy at all!!

  21. Who ever wrote this article got down,..meaning they did an awesome job at shedding light on an annoying subject. I totally feel you,…totally!

    I grew up in the states, Atlanta, Georgia to be exact so of course I not only have an American accent, but a southern drawl. When I meet other Ghanaians or Africans they first try to impress me with the slang that they learned on t.v., I can tell the accent is clearly forced,…I mean I do speak the our Ghanaian language or Pidgeon back so they can feel comfortable speaking in their regular natural accent.

    I understand the whole "Assimilation" aspect, but you said it best in your article, friend just be your self,'s not that serious.

    On a random note,..Shout Out to the Young African Leaders Conference taking place February 26th in Atlanta, Ga:-)

    Tin-Tin Afeku

    • Tin-Tin that conference was banging networking-wise so I heard! I'm bummed I missed out (school! Ick!)! Like you, I have thing southern drawl thing now (been in TX and TN for the past 8 yrs) yet I can SCATTA the pidgin like say tomorrow no dey!

      Listening to me and my Naija friends one would thing we just hopped off the boat heading out of Warri (I'm Isoko & Mwaghavul) but the way these Naija peeps will just be forming JESUS! E.g. my bestie growing up always fone-ed when we reconnected and I checked the hell out of her when she started that rubbish. Her fone of choice is an underdone British thing with "dahh-LEENs" & "Whor-NEEs" thrown in! But she knows now to stop doing that crap!

      Y'all tripping! It ain't that crucial! Blow d English with accent wey God give you! Even my southern drawl sef get k-leg! The only way you go take know say I don dey south tey-tey na when I mistake blow some kain funky-funky pidgin-southern fusions dem like, "Y'all don carry my pants go cleaners?" ROFL!

  22. we are talking bout fakers here and everyone’s having a laugh,,,have u noticed dat everyone here claims to be out of naija and pissed bout d fonee tingy,,,my guess is half of u commentiers are fakers and liars who are also a product oif dis topic’s discrimination….real

  23. Looooooooool! I totally agree with the radio and tv station presenters tongue twisting and shit, but if I have to be honest, when I was in PH in Dec, I didnt really encounter many ppl (in my immediate circle and beyond) who were fone-ing. Maybe cuz they know i'd have yabbed the hell out of them!

  24. I am proudly Naija anytime anywhere. In my parents house we all speak without an accent woe betide any of us to blow fone for my mum or dad. I love to speak my pidgin english and all when i have the opportunity. Nigerian people here in Yankee especially those born here can speak like a Nigerian. It is sad that those home want to form where forming no dey. We should not loose our culture and all. I hate when i am chatting with folks back home and they are trying to form for me. I love my Nigerian food and do not joke with it. The value of something is not known till you don't have it again. That fresh Akara that we snub back home to Mr. Biggs we think is for poor people. @jay ekeke i understand why you feel that most people here are claiming abroad…but the truth is that we are more likely to be on Naija based website than those in Nigeria. it is a connection we do not want loose.

  25. I tink ds whole fone stuff boils down 2 d i want 2 belong syndrome we xperience on a daily basis. D brazillian hair, blackberry U no, as in yeah instead of yes, i wana shit and i nid warer to flush d toilet. Lolsss i tink dey shud go n watch d film ”JENIFA” Nice n rib cracking. Kudos 2 writer of ds article.

  26. This made me laugh but it's too true! I'm headed home this summer sha so any person wey mistake bring that backyard grammar will receive my patented, "Awwww…tsk! -pats person's head- look at you trying so hard to belong!" Ofone!

    -Self esteem is not held in high esteem.

  27. Dis thing called ‘foné’ is some bullshit..Pronunciation matters a lot..I kinda wonder whether d peeps speakin dat ‘foné’ shit feel comfortable tightenin their teeth n rollin their tongues just tryna say sumfin n in d end spoilin d beauty of dat word..If u can’t speak well,go back 2 sec skul or speak d pidgin u knw..

  28. Ok the article had me rolling. But to play devil's advocate, I feel it all depends where you land when you leave naija (Yankee, Jand, e.t.c), for whatever reason…..when you land in a location where you dont get speak with your naija accent becos for instance ; lack of other nigerians…..and seems like everyother word you pronounce with the best of your abilities comes with a "could you repeat that?" or "I didnt get what you said?" even though you are clearly speaking english. Overtime it just sticks.
    But this does not pertain to those that watch a foreign movie, or go on a vacay or visit for 2 months and all of a sudden "tawk a certain way" (southern drawl)
    The most comical offenders to me are the aunties & uncles……..Case in point, a request of from an Aunt "Nunu, can you pooray a bor-rule of woorah in the fridge for me", this happened recently. I almost lost it.

    But overall funny read!!!

  29. I school abroad, and hearing my friends speakin in forced accents gets me off BIG TIME!!! I mean, I understand adopting the accent for the indigenes n some of the foreigners, cos they won't understand a word U say in Ur natural 9ja accent, but nothing irritates me more than meeting a fellow 9ja, and even knowing our background, tries to speak to me in an accent, even when I speak in Pidgin or my native tongue. I mean, these people so wanna be like us, and we r trying to be like them? I mean, most of them think we r cool, and they LOVE our Pidgin English. They wish they can speak like us, and all U see is Nigerians twisting their tongues at each other. Hearing that word "innit" makes me want to fold my fist on the speaker's jaw. They just say it randomly, and at inopportune places in a sentence. AAAARGH!!!
    Thanks for putting this up jorr…U too much!!!


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