From now on call me Adaego. I have changed my ethnic group; I’m no longer Yoruba but Igbo.
Ahah, one can’t even be in the country for at least a month without being harassed about not being able to speak the native language. Everywhere I go they expect me to speak Yoruba. It’s either they say ‘soni Yoruba’ (say it in Yoruba) or they say ‘I won’t be speaking English to you, better learn Yoruba’ There is one aunty i avoid like a plague because she just likes to embarrass somebody.
I got my hair relaxed today and the person doing my hair was speaking to me in Yoruba, but I didn’t respond. She went on to tell her colleagues in Yoruba that it seems like I’m from abroad and I can’t speak my language (they assumed I was Yoruba because hubby spoke to them in Yoruba). They were now saying, all those people from overseas it’s not good that they can’t speak their native language; they will just buy and sell her before her very eyes.
As I was listening to them I didn’t say a word, I pretended that I didn’t hear a thing, under the dyer I was already doing google translate from English to Igbo. It was time to go , I paid my money and told them I’m not from overseas I am actually Igbo. They were shocked, they began to beg, oh sister please biko we didn’t mean it in any bad way. I didn’t want to converse with them because I didn’t want to forget what I had crammed for my head. I just responded with Daalu nwee omaricha ubochi (Bye have a nice day)
It really is annoying; there is nothing in Yoruba that you won’t say that I can’t understand. I can actually string along some sentences together but when I talk they will laugh at me and tell me not to murder the language. When I respond in English they will tell me to respond in Yoruba…. So what am I to do?
It’s not like every child in Nigeria knows how to speak their Native language; I have some friends who have lived in Nigeria all their life they can’t even understand their language, talk less of speak it. At least me I’m trying, I’m willing to learn the language. The people who make fun of those who can’t speak their native language need to be stopped. It doesn’t make me less human being or Nigerian if I can’t speak my local language.