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‘Is there anything like Nigerian English?’


PHOTO: Gettyimages

PHOTO: Gettyimages

Sir: I went in search of business opportunities somewhere and as a rule you need must look for the person in charge of making decisions. I asked for the general manager, but the administrative staff member of the firm asked that I come back on Wednesday at 10am as the GM was away on an official trip. I got the contact number of the staff member. On said day I called him to remind him of my appointment but she said I should “chill” as the GM was not in the office yet.

Chill? I was surprised. We didn’t go to school together, not sure if we were of the same generation but she asked me to “chill” so I “chilled.”

The other day I needed to host a show concerned with depression and sanity and so I went to a Psychiatric hospital. The Chief Medical Director asked that I be taken to a consultant to schedule a day for the taping of the show. The young male chaperon, an administrative staffer, introduced me to the consultant as “this guy is from CMD and wants to…” I cut him off, “guy?.” He apologised and said, “man.” With no “gentle.”

I discussed these encounters with a friend, a graduate of English, and he wondered why I should be bothered, because there is something called Nigerian English.

Nigerian English? Is there a Nigerian English? English is English. Igala my native language is Igala. I doubt if any serious-minded worker will last long in any organisation if he goes about asking his boss to “just chill” or addresses him as “bros”

I doubt if the unemployed would get jobs in a Fortune 1000 or 500 company by telling “Job Interviewers” to “chill.”

Simon Abah, Port Harcourt, Nigeria.

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Nigerian English
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