CNN named the Nigerian accent as the 6th sexiest accent in the world two years go.
The reason they gave was the flavour in the Nigerian English, the infusion of sounds and words from our dialects into the English language that carves up something uniquely called Nig-English.
Nig-English is not just English spiced up with words from our over-200 dialects, but also slangs, and most of these slangs are from our music. An unknown or unpopular word, once used in a hit song, can be extracted, inserted into our lingo and embraced by the young. Sometimes, it is not just words but whole lines of songs that ruled the airwaves.
Remember when the duo of D’banj and Don Jazzy came up with the word “koko?” Now it is normal to hear a Nigerian say “this is the koko of the matter.”
This year was a rich one for such words, slangs. Too many words/lines from Nigerian songs have made their way into everyday usage and they are fast becoming part of the “sexy” Nigerian language.
Here are some of the lines/words from songs that became part of everyday speech in the past year.
Folake gimme love o: This is from Tekno’s hit song, Pana. Now, it doesn’t matter whether a girl’s name is Folake or not, guys now address their partners or potential partners with the line to ask for love.
Dem say you like cassava, I get big cassava: Also from Tekno’s Pana, everybody and their daddies are bragging and claiming to have cassava sized-phalluses
This life, I cannot kill myself: A line from Sugar Boy’s Hola Hola. 2016 was a really stressful year for Nigerians and it is important to sing along with Sugar boy, because in “this life, I cannot kill myself.”
“Talk to me o Mama”: This is from Kiss Daniels, Mama: The line fit well for young couples. Before now, older women got called Mama, but after Kiss Daniels’s hit song, it became ok to address young wives and girlfriends as Mama, and this was the wedding song for the year.
“Igbo boy fresh to the socks, you know wha’m saying?” from Zoro’s ‘Ogene’.
Young adults use the lines on BBM PMs, as twitter Bio, statuses on Facebook. You don’t have to be Igbo, just replace Igbo with your tribe and you are good to go. E.g Idoma boy fresh to the socks, you know wha’m saying?
You have join bad gang! From Ajebutter and Falz’s song ‘Badgang’. It is not a really new saying. Most Nigerian children grew up hearing their parents say “shebi, you have join bad gang?” anytime they stepped out of the straight line drawn for them. Now, Ajebutter and Falz made a song out of Akam d Boy’s Bad gang instagram comedy. The only difference with the usage of this saying is that it is now being used by young people in a fun way. You see another young person with a big afro, or a nose ring and what comes next is “you have join bad gang!”
It’s our work o– From Falz’s Soft work. This line is more common with young people who are making waves, especially in new fields – not what they studied in the university, or just to describe the job they do. E.g. Hi, you are a designer? You made this dress? Yes! It’s our work o.
Who’s your Daddy?– This is from the song OmoAlhaji by Ycee. A person acting off or proud will likely hear what is wrong with you? Who’s your daddy? Or if someone is “forming” others will ask why is she forming, who is her daddy?
Fada Fada o– From Phyno’s ‘Fada Fada’ ft Olamide. The Nigerian dream is to make money, then go back to your home church and do thanksgiving. Well, Phyno provided a befitting soundtrack for it. I heard it made its debut in a Lagos church during the holidays.
No be by force to go Dubai – Davido dropped this line in response to his baby Mama scandal in the song ‘Osinachi’ with Humblesmith. One of the winners of MTN project fame, Okiemute Ighorodje tweaked the line while performing the song and sang: “No be by force to go probation” and the crowd cheered. Really, no be by force to do anything.
My bank alert na Gbagan – this one is for the big money bags, the wannabe money bags, men who want to brag. P-square made a song for their bragging sessions.
Gbedu wey dey burst brain/Oluwa ni– Recession or not, Nigerians love to party, and give thanks to God for their wealth no matter how it is gotten. Gbedu is another word for heavy sound. Gbedu wey dey burst brain – a very hot banging fun-filled sound, and for when asked how you made money or survived something, instead of the usual Na God, it has been replaced with the Yoruba version Oluwa ni- this is better said with hands and eyes open towards heaven.
No kissing bae/No touching Bae– From Patoranking’s ‘No kissing Bae’ ft Sarkodie. This one was quickly adopted by girls. It is a song to address date rape and unwanted attention, girls use the line to ward off intimacy from boys.
Who you epp– From Olamide’s who you epp- which translates to what have you done for anybody? Thus has always been a thing in Warri- the Pidgin headquarters of the country. The saying became a national one when Olamide “carried” it to Lagos.
Why you carry fire for your head– this is from the first hit single by Mayorkun of OBO house titled ‘Eleko’. A line in the song, why you carry fire for your head was addressed to a girl playing hard to get. This one was quickly adopted into everyday usage, a typical response to a person saying no to a request is now – why you carry fire for your head?
Kolewerk– Koker brought the word to limelight for non-Yoruba folks. It literally translates to it won’t work. In the song it was used to reject absurd requests from girls e.g. ATM password? Omoge Kolewerk. Now, instead of saying No to someone’s request, young Nigerians just say, kolewerk.
That’s all I can remember, add yours in the comment section and let’s have more fun.
Let’s hope this new year, our musicians cook up more lines, words, slangs to spice up our Nig-English.