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NAIJA : A MAJOR FORCE IN REBRANDING – 1

bai Edwin Eriata Oribhabor

The Honorable Minister of Information and Communication Professor Dora Akunyili recently ordered that henceforth, no one should use the name Naija in place of Nigeria. She threatened that all corporate bodies using it would be communicated to desist from doing so forthwith. Her comments and manner of delivery, reminded me of the days of the Military when orders were handed in the “top down” military fashion without full consultation between and amongst members of the Military team. As long as oga hed of stet don tok, na so i go bi. Nobodi fit tok. Then, the culture of obey bifo komplen and all manner of gra gra were commonplace. We were encouraged to du eviritin wit militri alakriti weda gud oo bad.

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SHUO! NA WAFI

bai Edwin Eriata Oribhabor

If you are a first time visitor to the Warri & Sapele areas of South South Nigeria, you will no doubt be attracted to the unique flavour of Naija Langwej formerly addressed as Nigerian Pidgin. Chances are that while you savour the Wafi yans an lingo, you may not immediately catch up or “flow” with the style of speaking there. However, like a memento, you are sure of going home with the word shuo, a trademark of the people of this area. It’s the only place in Nigeria where the word is superfluously used. Put differently, Na fo Wafi na im dem de yuz shuo yangan yangan.

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SHUO! HO! KUMA! ABI? (II)

bai Edwin Eriata Oribhabor

Words in Naija like shuo and kuma have been in popular usage for a long time in Nigeria. They are part of the numerous traditional or indigenous words that are uniquely repositioning Naija as both awa Langwej and awa identity. In comparison with words that have transformed from the English Language into Naija, they are undoubtedly giving Naija a peculiar flavour that appeals to all that come in contact with it. Apart from meeting the basic requirement of effective communication, Naija readily provides genuine conviviality for its speakers. It elicits palpable warmth that compels foreigners to always appreciate the lively disposition that has remained a selling point for Nigerians. On the contrary, if you have had the opportunity of watching our own Hon. Patrick Obahiagbon (Alias Igodomigodo) speak in the hallowed chambers of the House of Representatives (fo telivishon), you will appreciate the “strain” he undergoes in his self-imposed task of jamin grama wit grama. As a trademark of his, whenever he stands up to speak, people always look forward to high falutin words from his vast repertoire of grammatology. However, in reality, onli im no wetin im de go tru bikos grama no bi awa langwej.

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SHUO! HO! KUMA! ABI? (I)

bai Edwin Eriata Oribhabor

From numerous advertisements that are rendered in Naija Langwej in both the print and electronic media, I have no illusions in my mind that millions of Nigerians are not only reappraising their negative mindsets about the Language, but embracing it with dobul han. After formal meetings where pipul blo big big oyibo in Nigeria, majority find it convenient to use Naija Langwej to informally brek daun eviritin. Top functionaries in different fields of human endeavour speak Naija without reservations whenever they chose to because they have come to realise se na awa identity. Therefore, if asked to say something about the state of Naija Langwej today, I will simply say it’s cutting across old sentiments/barriers as well as winning high profile personalities as speakers than one would ever have imagined.

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PLENTI MAKET DE FO NAIJA (II)

bai Edwin Eriata Oribhabor

As a place where goods are bought and sold, popular markets are usually associated with all kinds of noise especially those found within and around motor-parks across the country. The growing use of loud speakers by motor park touts (agberos) in drawing the attention of passengers and in announcing different destinations can be very offensive to the ears and a major noise pollution. In continuation of this two part serial on the subject matter, we shall be looking at other meanings of maket.

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PLENTI MAKET DE FO NAIJA (I)

bai Edwin Eriata Oribhabor

In Nigeria, we have countless number of markets categorized in terms of place or items e.g. Wuse Market or Jabi Fish Market all in Abuja. While the former is a fully fledged market where one could find all sorts of items, the later is where different types of fish are sold and bought. We have approved and unapproved markets complimented by the traditional weekly/bi-weekly markets associated with different communities, the popular roadside day/night markets and all kinds of “emajensi” markets. The latter group could be found around construction sites or areas where major roads may either be in a state of disrepair or in the city centers where traffic jams build up from time to time etc.

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OKRIKA NA YU BIKO

bai Edwin Eriata Oribhabor

The challenge of transforming the country into an investor’s delight was faced headlong by our former President Chief Olusegun Obasanjo who personally travelled around the world selling the country to prospective investors. Today, our dear Minister of Information and Communication; Prof. Dora Akunyili has introduced Rebranding as a major plank of properly repositioning Nigeria and her potentially great people in the comity of nations. Thus, the new brand name for Nigeria is Great people, Great nation.

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MAI VERI HAN BAG

Bai Edwin Eriata Oribhabor

If there’s any item the woman cherishes so dearly, it’s her handbag. Its No 1 position in the various fashion collections of the woman remains unshaken (kankpe). The overwhelming importance of the GSM handset has not changed this because the safety of the handset itself lies in the handbag that houses it alongside so many smol smol tins men are hardly allowed to see.

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University of Ibadan
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Nigeria
+234 (0)8.147.616.463