Monday, July 06, 2009

Late to the Wazobia FM partee but so what...

My Lagos driver had Wazobia FM (95.1) (listen online live here) while I was in town these past few days. A few people have raved about it recently, so it was good to be able to have a listen.

I am hooked!

Wazobia's basic content premise is everything is in pidgin. The news is read in pidgin. The music is pidgin music. The liquid poetry of the language is utterly beguiling: playful and joyful in equal amounts. You hear words like 'jollification' and the most melodious repetition of phrases.

I had an epiphany while rolling around Lagos with Wazobia FM as my soundtrack - that pidgin really is the language that connects people in Nigeria, and as such, should really become the official language. Wazobia FM is a delightful taster of how much more integrated a society Nigeria would be, if everyone became comfortable with pidgin as official and unofficial lingua franca and did away with the starchy bow-tie regime of Mama Charlie English or the hot dog life of faking an American accent.


Gee 1:14 am  

lol...pidgin radio!
i knew sooner or later it will come.

Anonymous,  1:51 am  

Oh dear. Nigeria will become more integrated but disintegrated from the rest of world. Communicate in pidgin and partake in global trade and investment, technology and science? Such a naive and flippant idea! Nigeria/Africa is not in a position YET to change the paradigm (English as the official language of business- Mandarin and Cantonese making their case as well). Only those that reap the benefits of being a native English speaker can dare to make such statements.

Lost at The End 2:00 am  

And just what exactly is wrong with Nigerian Mama Charlie English, it's American equivalent and whatever lies before, after, and in-between the two?

Don't you think you might be sounding essentializing, in a corny sort of way.

Anonymous,  2:08 am  

better yet, why not make all the languages official, as in SA

Mike,  9:38 am  

What a ridiculous and patronising post.

Jeremy 9:46 am  

@ Mike: what a ridiculous absence of argument! You like to disagree with many of the things I say, but oftentimes, you can't be bothered to state your own position. That's intellectual laziness!

@ second anonymous. Your argument is flawed: just because a country has x as its official language has no bearing on its global competitiveness. Many countries of the world adopt formal English (for want of a better word) as their second language. Shifting to pidgin as first-language might actually help the cause - with more emphasis on teaching English in school. As it is, many Nigerians are underconfident about their spoken and written English. Assuming English is the de facto lingua franca in Nigeria doesn't map onto reality.

Moreover, Lagos State recently adopted Yoruba as its official business language. Do you now think Lagos state is closed for foreign investment? Hardly!

@ Lost - how would moving to pidgin English as an official language (I like the SA analogy) be 'essentialising'? Pidgin is what most Nigerians speak comfortably to each other, aside from their local language. It is in fact their preferred mode of communication across ethnicities and language boundaries.

Naughty Eyes 11:59 am  

@ Gee: Just for the sake of reference, some radio stations had hour-long slots for Pidgin English (news, opinions, adverts, etc) when I was growing up. Good thing the concept has blossomed into a full-fledged thing.

@ Jeremy: One other thing I like about Wazobia: their presenters' wacky hilarious nicknames and lenghty salutations they tack before such nicknames. Plus their playlist isn't packed full with the so-called "hits" you hear other stations spinning back to back. They actually play the rest of the CD.

Anonymous,  12:02 pm  

@ Jeremy – aargh!!!
Globalisation and its accompanist, Formal English go hand in hand which is indispensable to the performance of any country in the global economy. We can go on and on about linguistic imperialism but this is the reality for now. You hit the nail on the head ‘formal English’ – not ‘pidgin’. I am sure you know the numbers of students/business people that flock to the UK to enrol in TEFL/EFL (English as a Foreign Language) courses. Further, the number of English Language teachers that travel to non-English speaking countries to teach them ‘Formal English’ is equally phenomenal. The learning world in non-English speaking countries seems intoxicated with getting a qualification in ‘Formal English. Why not?
Shifting to pidgin does not help. Why? It reinforces class divisions and does not widen opportunities to key jobs and positions especially in a society like Nigeria. Therefore, the gap between the rich and poor keeps growing. What we should be advocating is a systematic push for ‘well trained English Language teachers’. We should try to be inclusive by giving opportunities to all to learn ‘Formal English’ and then, perhaps we can begin to challenge the status quo.
There is already emphasis on teaching ‘Formal English’ in schools but it is not taught well by the qualified and non-qualified teachers and the educational system is in freefall. In fact, many Nigerian teachers – including English teachers- now undertake EFL courses! Further, in many leading private institutions for the IGCSE examinations the students take exams in a particular English Language option that is meant for countries where their first language is not English! This is because the teachers cannot deliver the syllabus effectively for these students and the schools know this. This has had huge implications for these students when they travel to further their education – English remedial classes, writing skills etc. The school grades are high but no-one is examining this issue closely.
It has to be ‘Formal English’ otherwise we are complicit in keeping the majority of the world in chains. It is the implementation not the policy that is the problem. English binds us but ‘Formal English – spoken and written’ enables us to grow and participate in the world. Adopting ‘pidgin’ English will only stem our progress so far.
Lagos State - Adopting ‘Yoruba’ as its formal business language is a political one! Many young Nigerians do not speak their ethnic/tribe (hate these terms!) fluently and there is a (real) fear that it is dying out. Lagos State is open for investment – or exploitation (debateable) - but can its citizens equally do the same outside its borders in ‘Pidgin’ English? The Chinese learnt ‘Formal English’ as a strategy for them to penetrate the world markets.
I am interested to find out the number of countries that adopt ‘Pidgin English’ or its equivalent as their first language and their ranking in the global economic system.
My hand hurts...
anonymous (1:51am)

Anonymous,  12:11 pm  

Lagos State adopting 'Yoruba' as its official business language - we all know 'eko' belongs to the Yorubas. There were rumblings in Alausa that Fashola was giving these 'Igbo' and likewise traders and business men free rein in THEIR state.

Naughty Eyes 12:15 pm  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Naughty Eyes 12:17 pm  

Oh dear, I feel I may have been too patronising myself...
Oh well...

Esther,  1:28 pm  

Jeremy, I agree with you 110% The reality is that pidgin is a language that connects a lot of Nigerians regardless of their tribe… with the level of tribal disunity in Nigeria, anything that brings people together is a good thing. Granted, many can barely speak or write English properly but I think that has a lot more to do with the failure of the education system. Also China’s official language is Chinese/ Mandarin, but has it prevented them from trading or doing business with the outside world? Definitely not!

June Olive - A Nigerian Feminist 2:09 pm  

I think the point the post was trying to make is that within Nigeria, it makes sense to have pidgin as the official language. Many so called rich people speak pidgin to their so called poor "domestic helpers" This brings both reach and poor to the same level where they are able to communicate EFFECTIVELY with one another. Pidgin as the official language does not under score the need to learn formal English. Pidgin will not be taught in schools and it will not be the ideal language for interviews, exams etc, if it is the official language. I attended a recent reading by Chimamanda Adichie of her new book and she voiced the same sentiment that pidgin should be Nigeria's official language. Arguing that an official language makes a nation less viable for investments and global business is at best short sighted and sprinkled with self depreciation for the things that make Africa, Africa or Nigeria, Nigeria and appreciation for what the western world has continuously told us is right. It is like arguing that at an international meeting in Nigeria, jollof rice or egusi should not be served because the foreigner will not eat this food because steak and potatoes is what is served in the western world. (I know this analogy is very bare bones but I do feel the need to break it down into VERY SIMPLE TERMS) There is nothing wrong in using a language that all agree is a unifier as the official language.

Anonymous,  3:25 pm  

Let's just celebrate Pidgin as the true Nija phenomenon that it is and enjoy the radio station. I'm not too sure about making it THE official language. For one thing, it'll just be 'officially' mangled Nija style. Better to not complicate matters, we already have enough problems communicating in this our beautiful country.

iGwatala 3:31 pm  

One thing Mr. Anonymous always ignores is the people for whom Pidgin is de-facto a mother tongue.

The decision to make Yoruba an official language is Lagos is not merely political. It is rational. Here's why: justice is not served when someone is tried and jailed in court without understanding the language of the law. Neither is there effective governance when the citizens do not understand the government's language. As at today, how many people who face the court in Nigeria actually understand what the judge/lawyers say? How many have to bring an interpreter to court. I do not mean the educated, upper class people alone. What of the low class illiterate population for whom English is still too far off to comprehend, but who speak Pidgin (or another local language) well? Making Pidgin (and the other languages) official allows judgements, cross-examinations, arrests etc to be done in a language accessible to the citizenry.

Let those who wanna speak English continue to do so. But let us not stop the development, nay the encouragement of a language that already serves a crucial purpose. Not everything is dependent on our need to participate in the global economy. What of giving our own people a sense of belonging?

Dunni,  3:33 pm  

Mike..thank you for speaking the truth..what patronising garbage.

Pleased you like pidgin Mr. Whiteman Sir but why don't you export said idea to your own country, unless you've failed to notice the presence of broken english there - mba no, my error its only broken when its not an English person speaking it.

Pidgin is great, english is the national language, move on, and stop playing wise white man.

Anonymous,  5:33 pm  

I have never posted before.
@ June Olive - I disagree that pidgin means that the poor and rich can communicate effectively. This is only a short term exchange as we know who holds REAL power in that relationship. At best, I find it patronising when it’s been done. When it happens it is to show that the well spoken English Nigerian speaker has to stoop to new low to achieve something. My personal viewpoint is that this has nothing to do with the west telling us what is right. If you do not serve Nigerian food at an international function then there is a self-esteem issue at stake - that I think is the real problem. Look at the Chinese and the Indians! They speak their national language and learn formal English (for business purposes) - they co-exist but they place a higher value on their culture and Formal English is strictly business!
I liked the example that anonymous 1:51 gave regarding the Chinese. They learnt Formal English to enhance their country by exporting and importing various skills, knowledge and labour. Now people are rushing to learn Chinese and Mandarin. Even in Nigerian private schools! Now many people are rushing to learn these languages. Use the dominant language to enhance your reach and then begin your own ascension.
Also, you mentioned that people will not speak ‘Pidgin’ in formal engagements/environments. Dead wrong. Have interviewed people in the UK where they have engaged the panel in slang – you get me? Old habits die hard and the older you get the harder they are to break.
@igwatala? - vast majority of citizens don't understand the formal language. Why make Formal English the national language and not engage the citizens? It is a sinister ploy to keep democracy out of the reach of the masses but solely for the elites. We need to participate in the global economy as we are inextricably linked or we will lack further behind. Engagement rather than isolation is the key. A sense of belonging should be one of the main priorities of the government but in Nigeria it suits many of our Leaders if we are divided. What/who is this Nigeria that we are seeking /clinging desperately to?
What do I know? Did not envisage Ofada rice going mainstream. Viva La Revolución!
You people here will never go for A United States of Africa - Xenophones

Mike,  6:30 pm  

Jeremy, your post is pure intellectual fancy and to me did not merit any more than an indication of my impression of the post. Others have taken the time to make the arguments and I am sure you will be able to easily identify those with which I align myself.

Yes I often like to disagree with you. Is that a crime? Of all the blogs I visit you are the least interactive with your readership. I have addressed real issues on your blog, such as the little publicised decline in water resources and its likely disastrous effects on Nigeria within the next 20 years - yet this elicits no response. This is a real issue - not some flight of fancy.

No I do not feel obliged to substantiate my disagreement with you. It's a blog - thats all it is, get over yourself ffs. Abeg!

Jeremy 6:44 pm  

iGwatala has made some excellent points that I’d like to echo and amplify. There is some truly odd thinking going on here. The reality that we really need to get to grips with is that many Nigerians have only a grasp of formal English and feel under-confident both speaking and listening to it, and are even less confident trying to write in formal English.

Maybe things were a little different ten or twenty years ago when there was still an effective tertiary system and the BBC World Service was more widely available, maybe not…

Whatever arguments in favour of Nigerians speaking global English need to start with the reality that the lingua franca is pidgin. There is nothing romantic or patronising about this, it is simply how things are. Therefore, pidgin really needs to be accepted as an official language (I like the idea of there being several as in South Africa). Part of the enduring post-colonial gulf between state and society operates through language, and people feeling the state talks in an alien tongue. Accepting pidgin as a valid language of official communications would therefore enhance and empower citizens in the court and in other public institutions and have a powerful democratising effect.

Now, the issue of educating Nigerians to be competent in international English is an entirely separate one. It would require a huge focus on improving standards in the classroom in Nigeria, beginning with educating teachers on pronunciation, basic grammar etc.

The argument that suggests that pidgin should not be spoken because it interferes with the ability to speak international English (which seems to be what many people are implying) is in this respect parallel to the argument that has led many Nigerian parents to not speak whatever local language they bring to the household to their children (both in Nigeria and the diaspora). It deprives their children of a cultural inheritance that is rightfully theirs and helps dilute their sense of identity and belonging to a distinct culture.
Anyone who knows anything about linguistics knows that children who grow up in multi-linguistic homes tend to have higher levels of language competence in later life.

The irony in all this of course is that most Nigerians adore pidgin, whether Wafi or Bafi or otherwise. Nigerian comedy is grounded in the language of Warri. Nigerians feel more at home in pidgin oftentimes
than they do in any other language.

Its precisely why setting up Wazobia is such a smart move to make. I fully anticipate the growth of pidgin upwards into the middle class as a result of people coming to consciously value the language that binds people together, across their differences. It is just a joy to read and listen to..

Anonymous,  6:49 pm  

Once we have successfully articulated complex legal principles in Pidgin, then your helper, your driver and dare I say 90% of the politicians in power in Nigeria today will develop a full understanding of their constitutional rights and moral obligations to others and the society as a whole.

Jeremy, you just might be on to something :D

Can we also get Google in Pidgin please....and Wiki maybe?

Jeremy 6:50 pm  

Mike - I dont see why pidgin as an official language is 'intellectual fancy' at all. If you were better attuned to what's going on in Nigerian media comms, you'd see that pidgin is going that way anyway. Whether or not the government actually formally recognises pidgin, the reality is that effective mass-communication depends on it, and government comms people know this as well as anyone else.

The idea that language and power are not 'real issues' and that water scarcity is simply reveals your biases and interests and nothing else.

If there were to be an effective campaign on water conservation, or anti-desertification measures, the language would have to be pidgin!

Mike,  8:29 pm  

the water resources issue requires immediate action to prepare for the projected decline in rainfall over the next 20 years to a point where agriculture in northern Nigerian will not be sustainable. Pidgin English is not necessary to solve this problem, good governance and management is. When faced with an issue of survival I am strongly biased in favour of the water resources issue rather than making pidgin a national language. I believe any sensible person would be.

Your statement that the language used to communicate these issues to the public would be pidgin is complete and utter nonsense and demonstrates an underlying ignorance of the country in which you live.

Anonymous,  8:40 pm  

You cannot speak pidgin if your mouth is very dry

Anonymous,  8:44 pm  

lots of posh nigerian youngsters like myself cough cough cannot speak pidgin now
i can only speak yoruba and nigerian english.

Adeleke Adesanya 9:21 pm  

I guess those bashing Jeremy on this post somehow consider it an insult that often our best pronounced English, on radio and television, is a poor imitation of the Queen's version. I'll be frank, sometimes I can't even understand the accents that they (broadcasters) affect. I am told that they had to learn that accent at school!

Pidgin, on the other hand comes naturally. True, we were schooled to consider it inferior, and so many of us still have the school boy mentality. Remember, until Babs Fafunwa became Education Minister, even local languages were considered inferior. Student were flogged or fined for speaking local dialects in class!

Pidgin is not just deficient English. It is the result of our creativity in dealing with ourselves over the past century. Giving it a place in our national life is actually coming to terms with reality. It will also be a giant step necessary in turning this geographical expression into a nation. Imagine the President giving a State of Nation address in Pidgin English. I bet you millions of Nigerians will hear the president speak for the very first time.

Interestingly, people in business are paying more than lip service to Pidgin English, if you reckon with the number of adverts using it to communicate. There was a time when you could say that pidgin was used to sell to only the lower economic classes. Nowadays, I think, not anymore. Someday, government will follow. Once they get rid of the high school mentality.

Jeremy 10:18 pm  

Mike - you are getting your thoughts all jumbled up. Perhaps you should stick to staring down dry wells.

Only teasing.

Seriously, when you are arguing with someone, its a nice idea to not get the other person's line of reasoning wrong. You say "Pidgin English is not necessary to solve this problem, good governance and management is."

Where on earth did I imply that pidgin English will solve the imminent water crisis? What I did say was:

"If there were to be an effective campaign on water conservation, or anti-desertification measures, the language would have to be pidgin!"

What you take to be hard lump bang your head against it issues, such as water resources are of course significant. The point is, the government and other actors involved in the solution process know well enough that the best way to get mass mobilisation around the solution is in pidgin.

Adeleke - bless you bros. People have all kinds of conscious or unconscious class-based snobbery around pidgin, whereas the reality is that anything that needs to be said can be said with laser accuracy in pidgin.

Anonymous,  12:05 am  

Quickly get out the rulers! Jeremy and Mike - who is first to be measured? Who is your money on?

On a serious note, I do not identify with pidgin at all. Was not educated in Nigeria but here now. I am not comfortable with this slang at all. I think Pidgin is like me speaking yorubanenglish and my mum telling to stop before 'I butcher the dialect'. Speak it well or don't.
Am I a snob? Maybe.Just think slang like texting contributes to low levels of spelling/grammar. Was in Warri and went to a comedy show where they spoke 'pidgin'. I did not feel left out when people laughed etc because I knew that there was more than connected us as a nation than just 'pidgin'. Don't see how pidgin can bind us when Formal English has not. What about people like me who dont speak it? Will we forced out and/or marginalised to conform to this imagined nation building exercise? Would rather learn local dialects than pidgin.
Pidgin and Formal English target different social classes. Advertisers are only targetting the masses as they spend less but there are more of them. Credit crunch made them shift their marketing strategy.

Was at the airport and saw a Chinese man go up to ask a Nigerian man a question in pidgin. The Nigerian man shrugged and the Chinese said 'you no understand, no English, you no be Nigerian? The Nigerian man answered 'What gives you the right to come up and talk to me like that?'
BTW, I am beginning to sense resentment towards returnees...

dapxin 1:14 am  

Interesting poser Jeremy.

I am too sleepy to think, but I am gonna leave the live-stream up all night, and it does sound good once I bumped it up to 96khz with ffdshow.

Finally something from 9ija, to save me from the oyinbo-repete of the coolfm livestream.

we ll see

dapxin 1:17 am  

btw, never mind all the teacher wey dey teach us nonsense already.

the fact remains, no one teaches one pidgin; As such, even my grandmother understood it, once you pafuka the thing to her level.

try tell her that to her in english.

I need sleep. out

Anonymous,  3:31 am  

i find it disheartening that any nigerian would suggest english remain the official language. a system where all the languages are made official is the ideal, like in SA. it will remove the inherent power issues in the colonial english and the power issues in "wazobia".

Opium,  3:52 am  

You may find it interesting to note that in India legal documents are drawn up in the language that applies to the specific region (e.g. Gujarati, Hindi, Bengali, Urdu) and then translated to English. I remember the shock of an Indian colleague upon finding out that legal documents in Nigeria were not first drafted in the applicable local language before being translated to English. The same applies in China, Germany, Italy, and many other European countries all legal docs are drafted in the national language with a corresponding English translation. The binding provisions of the agreement are always in the national language.

That said, good luck drafting an agreement in pidgin.

PS. My point is that spoken English though the language of international commerce is not a pre-requisite to entry. If there's money to be made, investors will learn your language.

Post PS. In my limited experience, even those Nigerians that do speak 'proper' English don't speak it properly (i.e. don't get me started on the rampart mis-use of the word "would") so as the song goes 'kini big deal?'.

iGwatala 11:14 am  

Live from the Pidgin English conference in Ibadan:

Fact#1. Over 75 million people in Nigeria speak Nigerian Pidgin as a second language.

Fact #2. Over 3.5 million people speak it as a first language.

Fact#3. Nigerian Pidgin is the pidgin with the largest and growing number of speakers all over the world. (Arguable)

Anonymous,  12:28 pm  


Anonymous,  12:34 pm  

I'm upper middle class Yoruba, partly raised in Nigeria, now live in the UK with kids. I was never encouraged to speak pidgin as it was more a class thing, language of the drivers, servants, etc. But guess what, my kids are UK born & bred, do not speak Yoruba, but understand pidgin having been to Lagos during their school holidays. Now, i'm starting to speak in pidgin and i'm loving it, as it means that my kids and i can joke in pidgin & English, and more importantly they can understand Nigerians irrespective of whether they are Hausa, Ibo, Efik or Ijaw. Let's all learn pidgin.

Anonymous,  1:45 pm  

@12:34 -Let's all learn pidgin! I find your post patronising. I am an upper class Yoruba girl educated in England myself. Let's be realistic. To you, pidgin is exotic (to be kind), you are not stigimatised by it. You can revert to English at key points. if we all learn pidgin it still will not bind us - Igbo, yoruba, hausa, driver etc. It is economics sweetheart - how much do you have in your wallet? What creates that access? Quality education and a high level of spoken/ written English.
Pidgin speakers are being exploited by advertisers, musicians (stealing their subculture) etc

Anonymous,  2:24 pm  

Why Pidgin? Why not make it compulsory for everyone to learn the three main languages? At least, the three main languages are AFRICAN.

Anonymous,  2:34 pm  

Fair comment. Yes I do have the "opt out" option and though pidgin may appear exotic, the fact going by previous posts is that the majority choose to speak in pidgin. Surely this is how language evolves. I am neither a linguist nor an anthropologist, but can learning pidgin be a bad thing? Sorry, my earlier post sounded like I was patronising, I was only trying to make a point, after all my English is not perfect!

Sandrine 2:52 pm  

These are my thoughts:
*If a language is spoken by so many people,why couldn't it be the official language?
*Is there a reason preventing business to be conducted in both languages? In Miami,for example,voting ballots are in English,Spanish and Creole.
*Just because a language has evolved from another does not make it less of a language.What about Yiddish and Creole?
*Please stop the oyinbo white man name calling.I believe Jeremy has proven himself to like Nigeria and its culture ten times over.Yes he was not born here, yes he's white.Get over it already and move on.
*there should not be a conflict between trying to be competitive worldwide and keeping a common cultural bound because the two are independant.
Have a good day everybody.

Anonymous,  3:19 pm  

As an efik man I find the three main languages a terrible option. It'd only divide us further and ignores the beauty that is our diversity. All languages should be official as in SA. However pidgin as the main language is something I have no problem with. Afrikaans creole and various other languages are given prominence but are corruptions of other languages. Afrikaans is just Dutch pidgin

Anonymous,  3:38 pm  

In Nigeria, we do not embrace nor celebrate diversity. Personally, I find this very odd in a nation that is culturally and lingustically diverse. As a capitalist (albeit one with a conscience), I am shocked that someone has not looked the options of translating key texts etc into regional dialects.
@Sandrine - Jeremy may share our empathy and love Nigeria but is not Nigerian legally (no passport). Before, you all start my partner is oyinbo. Even so, when I have terrible period pain and my boyf tries his best to be supportive but he just cannot understand what I am going through. To put it bluntly, his anatomy gets in the way!

a different anonymous,  4:01 pm  

@Anonymous 3.38 If you would just stop making Jeremy the subject of this conversation!

The period pain is also not a very apt analogy because we know that most of the drugs for women issues were invented by men. Their anatomies never seem to get in the way at those times of invention, does it?

Abiola,  4:20 pm  

Interesting discussion. Was browsing late last night and came across this thread. Strangely enough, I had this same discussion last week with a friend and I was against pidgin being the national language. Having read all the comments I am not sure anymore. However, I do know more than I did last week; so thank you everybody.

I see fellow educators have raised certain concerns about schools/teachers that I have noticed as well...

posh anon (lol o),  4:33 pm  

ps lol the national language of germany is german hello, why should their legal documents be drafted in english first? to my knowledge india has a bunch of national languages wheres nigeria's official language is engilsh jeez, so why shouldn't documents be drafted in english first. I went to Ibadan and noticed some signs were in yoruba, cool I thought but I was still thankful for the english signage.

I suppose I am a snob but can we at least agitate for nigerian english to be recognized as its own form of english, accent included so anytime I go to MMA, I can understand what that lady is saying or the MTN and GLO ladies for that matter lol. Then agitate for a better form of government, so everyone can learn nigerian english

As for pidgin, its bad english and I for one do not want bad english or bad hausa as my national language. Do you not cringe when you hear in america 'we was going to mall; what is you doing; i would have went anyway' Is it not a sign of failure of the public school system, when these children go to school and come out still ignorant of the rules of grammar?

ps.I don't care if afrikaans is pidgin dutch, I'm not south african.

naijablog rocks,  4:38 pm  

Damn, Jeremy, why can't you just say ,"I listened to Wazobia FM and it was cool".


Now you've got all the Upper upper class Yoruba returnees knickers in a twist. And Mike is like, "Listen Jeremy, I don't care what you think about Pidgin and Wazobia FM - You better start doing sumthin' about that water, or else....."

Great stuff.

Sandrine 1:30 pm  

@anon 3:38
I agree with you that some experiences can not be shared, skin color or giving birth are some examples. However we are not talking about "what it means to be black" here, but about language.
Like Jeremy,I live in a country I was not born in and like Jeremy, my spouse is a different color than me.
However I have been here long enough that when I speak about politics or language,people do not throw my nationality to my face.
And when I speak about braiding my daughters' hair, I have been doing enough times that women do not throw my color to my face.
Jeremy deserves the same respect.
And on another note, diversity is waht makes the richness of life.
@posh anon 4:33
Pidgin is not bad English, it is a language just like Creole is not bad French. Like it or not languages evolve and sometimes they birth new ones.
Take care

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