Sayings you grow up with in an African household.

Who do you think you are?

1. Who do you think you are? The very first question, others will follow in quick succession.

2. If ………. says you should put your hands inside fire, will you do so? This is the question you get anytime you try to shift the blame to someone else or give the excuse that it is somebody else that made you do what you are accused of.

If Naijapikin says youn should put your hand .....

If Naijapikin says you should put your hand …..

3. What kind of child is this? I heard this so much it stuck and could not resist using it as this blog’s title

4. Is it smelling or not? (Standing menacingly over your head and holding a cane under your nose).blog

If you say it’s smelling, you are doomed, if you say it’s not smelling you are still doomed, either way you can’t escape punishment.

5. Go and ‘stood down’. To do this means to face downwards balancing on one leg and a finger.

6. If I slap you, you will hear wen/count stars

me chonu

Me chonu means shut up

7. Me chonu! It means shut up in Igbo language. This was a favourite of my father’s despitethe fact that he was not Igbo

8. I work for my money you know?

9. If I pounce on you, your mouth will refuse food.

10. When I was young I used to walk …….. miles. (Insert the number of miles in the space provided)

england lady

England Lady

11. England lady.  This is used to bring you back to reality when you are all dressed up and are ‘feeling fresh’ with yourself

12. I always came first in class. Or if the parent wanted to be a bit honest , you would hear”I always got a unit position” . We used to wonder who got the remaining positions since it seemed that every one of them came first or got unit position

13.Just wait till I tell your father. This is the blackmail often used by mothers.

14. You are in hot soup !

15. Fem ? Your response? Fem ! This is backed up with the ‘holding lips’ gesture.

16. Olodo. Now we all know what odo means, it means zero, so olodo is the owner of zero. This is reserved for end of term when results are brought home and you have performed below expectation. It is also used when you do not seem to be grasping things fast enough.

17. Those children that got high scores do they have two heads ? Of course the answer is ‘No’ so if you say so, you will be punished because you have one head just like those other children and if you should say yes, that they have two heads, you will be seriously dealt with for telling a lie, so either way, you are doomed.

18.Paddy Odenson or Mrs Odenson depending on your gender. Ode means idiot or stupid, to call you paddy Odenson or Mrs Odenson is like adding jest to punishment if you get what I mean.

18. You want to pump tyre? To pump tyre means to carry out the up and down movement similar to the one made when using the manual bicycle pump. Men, I pumped a lot of tyres o !

19.Whatisall that katikati? Katikati has several meanings ranging from tantrum throwing, and all sorts of unruly behaviour or what can be interpreted as nonsense’ by our parents themselves

20. Eleya e, o di ile oko. This was reserved for the females among us. I t means literally, we will see how you will cope when you are grown up and married.

21. Gbe mi! means swallow it. It is used to hush you up when tears become uncontrollable and you are about to burst out in tears.

22. Add your own

If this post does not send you down memory lane, nothing can.Which of them is peculiar to your household?


You know you have ‘entered one chance’

My captors though much older now.

Naija has her own slangs or language if I may call it that, ‘One Chance’ is a slang that has become popular and it in a nutshell means a situation in which a person is captured, kidnapped etc and becomes helpless and at the mercy of his abductors who would  do with the victim whatever they wish and these could range from hypnotism in aid of robbery and other related crimes, and the captor is usually in control and calls the shots and the captive would in his own interest do as he is told.

Now does it not make sense to liken ‘One chance’ to parenting or rather the situation/status of being a parent, the only difference is that your captors are not criminals, but every other thing is the same.

As a parent, you know that feeling you get. You are convinced that you have entered one chance and the worse thing is that you do not want to retrace your steps, you do not want to seek any help, in your view things are just perfect the way they are, you do not want to change anything, you are enjoying your one chance situation.

I entered my very own one chance on Christmas day of a particular year. When I looked into the eyes of my captor,


Who would not fall for such a sweet captor?

joy immeasurable filled my heart and since then I have been hooked, I will not have it any other way. Two years later, as if that was not enough, my captor called for reinforcement and I was now at the mercy of two captors and as if that was still not enough, almost three more years down the line yet more reinforcement came and I knew I was in it big time, I was eating right in my captors’ palms

and I am still yet to find any course for regret.

Signs that you have entered one chance, now this would depend on the age of your captors:

1. You commence by looking forward to poop, yes poop, and telephone conversations will go like :

Has she pooped yet?

Yes at last she has o!

Great, plenty or little?  And the conversation will go and on.

I have also gladly had to hold apart one of my captors bum cheeks to aid easier movement of poop occasionally in serious cases of constipation. And we ( Naijadad and I) have one more than one occasion celebrated poop after we have had to wait for it for some time..

2. You will breast feed anywhere anytime if your captor asks for it, the days of covering your breasts are over ( although you can still wear your coste) Coste is the slang for pushup bra

2. You change your diet, you find yourself eating leftovers of cereals especially weetabix, ogi (local corn meal /pap) and watered or salivary biscuits and snacks ( one of my captors was in fact an expert in stuffing these things in your mouth promptly when she was done with it).

2. You have gladly traded in your French manicure fingernails for nice and sensible nails that will not scratch your captors bum-bum when changing diapers.

3.sometimesyou have had to go low-cut on your hairstyle

Bye-bye Peruvian hair, welcome beautiful low-cut

instead of your usual one million braids, Brazilian, Monrovian hair, because you cannot bear to part with your abductors for the long time needed to have such hairstyles done.

4. Too much sleep has given into a few hours staggered sleep time( I used to ask my mum how I would wake up if my baby was crying because then I could sleep for a whole weekend without even rolling over or visiting the restroom, and she would tell me not to worry, that when the time comes, I would wake up.) when they grow older you will become their alarm clocks and also stay up through the night with them when they are studying so that they don’t sneak back to sleep.

5. When you go clothes shopping, you usually end up in the children’s section despite all your resolve not to.

6. You do not mind doing anko ( anko means to dress alike) especially when you sew native dresses( I was so good at this that admiring passersby would ask if my captors were twins and I would reply that we were triplets, I being the third person),

7. Your favorite TV shows are cartoons and you do not mind watching Dora the explorer, Thomas the tank engine, Bob the builder, Fifi the flower pot girl, Tweenies, Tikabela, The fimbles etc back to back and later all the Disney series. And when you visit the cinemas, it’s not with the girls or with the boys but with your captors, and they would usually determine what to see.( Naijadad with all his shakara has watched Tangled at a cinema and he confessed that he enjoyed it)

8. The older your captors get, your focus shifts from spending your money on buggies,

diapers, preschool and day care to school fees and foreign school trips. ( I beg our captors to take it easy on Naijadad o, because all these school foreign trips with payment made in dollars can set somebody back)

9. There is nothing you look forward to like the moment your captors walk in the door when they get back from school. back from sch

10. Your captors birthday celebrations are the high points of your life and they require a lot of planning and management to ensure nothing goes wrong.



T1’s black and white painting of Nelson Mandela adorning the reception of her school, my friend had to pose with me in the photo otherwise I would not be ‘her friend’ again


T2 was the queen of Blue House, see levels..


T3 took part in the South African Dance in celebration of the life of Nelson Mandela.

11. Your captors achievements no matter how little are very very worthy of celebration and you would go on the social media to ‘loud’ it and whoever does not ‘like’ them becomes your enemy for life.

10. Your best moments are when you spend time with your captors and so you look forward to family holiday trips and the fancier the better, after all would n’t these  holidays have been very boring without the company of your captors? 

Holiday, after holiday, after holiday, Splash Landings Hotel.

Exotic holiday, among the Masai Mara people of Kenya

11. You will do anything for your captors, you know it, they know it and they know you know it. You will kill, you will maim if you need to. I have done things that I ordinarily would not do because of my captors, I have jumped the queue, I have ‘begged’ for ‘party packs’ I have been Spiderman

Naijamum was Spiderman

and T3 has been Mickey mouse

T3 was Mickey Mouse

I have made friends with some fellows that I ordinarily would not have, because of them, and they still tell me, “mummy you are too strict, that’s why you don’t have many friends”.

Happy mothers day to all those mothers who have entered one chance.

Sorry this post is a few days late but then everyday is mothers day since we don’t ever go on vacation from mothering.

Me, I know I have entered one chance, what about you?