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TEXT MI FO NAIJA

bai Edwin Eriata Oribhabor

In the world of GSM, the use of text messages is key for its brevity, clarity, timeliness in delivery and cost. Millions of text messages flai from ples to ples every minute. At peak periods, they jam demsef and sometimes put the networks at great risks of crashing. At yuletides, if you say “festive time” to no one in particular, you are most likely going to hear “texting time” just like in Churches all over Nigeria, where the shout of “offering time” by a “Man-of-God” is usually greeted with “blessing time” by members of the congregation. Considering our knack for spending quality time and resources on both phone calls and text messages, nobodi go tel yu se ol di GSM kompini dem fo Naija jos de hama. These days, it is fast becoming a ritual of some sort to have millions of Nigerians usher every new month with prayers and good wishes transmitted in all manner of text messages.

During the last yuletide, I received more text messages than I ever received in my entire life. While most of them were as usual well-crafted, up to the point and meaningful, some couldn’t deliver the intended messages of their senders. Others were unedited with the name(s) of the original owner(s). In addition, I also received “pirated text messages” dubbed as “un-pirated”. Irrespective of the language in which a text message was written, it remains a very important means of expressing oneself to whomever. However, some people could barely write or read text messages they receive; na big wok fo som pipul. Recently, I came in contact with a man whose text messages were usually written or read for him by one of his “Aides”. On inquiry, I discovered that; tru tru di man no sabi rait, bot i jos de du big man to kova op.

Although the art of a successful text-writing has to do with our respective educational backgrounds, it is advisable that all GSM users should take interest in it. One’s inability to write a simple text message is likened to one having a computer laptop but not being able to use it. A text message has a lot of advantages and disadvantages. As di tin de helep, na so i don kos plenti wahala fo pipul. Accordingly, a well written text message could open window of opportunities for those who know how and when to use specific words; the power behind any well-crafted text message. Interestingly, I had in the recent past, written special text messages for colleagues and friends who were desperately keen in making up wit pipul wen dem get agro wit bifo bifo.

Considering the sensitive importance of “texting” in the world of GSM, it follows therefore that one shouldn’t jump into writing and sending text messages without a full appreciation of the contents. Cognizance should be taken of the age differential between the sender and intended receiver(s) bikos text sef get im oun levul. While there are text messages that are commonly associated with the youths, we also have those that are good enough for the elderly. In this respect, one would be making a calamitous mistake to send a woz op text to an elderly one because it will be considered as noise. More of a noise if the text message was written in a language that may not have fully passed the message across to the intended receiver. Dis na simpul komunikeshon, abi?

Festive periods are special periods in the life of a people and a nation. Here is an important tip in text writing especially at this auspicious time. Never rush into writing a text because you are bound to receive several messages from which you could choose which in your opinion is the best. Ensure that any selected text message should be further edited to suit your desire. Thereafter, yu fit send amlaik se na yu rait am.

Having rated all the text messages that came my way at the last festive period, the following one in Naija emerged as the best (after editing) : “Fo dis niu ye, pipul go kari spun kolet dia blesin, som go yuz kop tek dia oun an odas go yuz plet…bot yu na tanka yu go tek pak yo oun. Blesin no get ova-doz. Na God giv yu an nobodi go fit kolet am fo yo han. Na koret niu ye fo yu an yo family fo twenti ilevun.

After sending the above text message to different people, a friend replied saying “Bros, dis na undiluted Naija. Abeg, mek yu de text mi fo Naija.

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Institute of African Studies
University of Ibadan
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