I was on my own “jejely” trying to buy kebab, popularly known as “suya” in Nigeria, and thinking of how best to spice my dinner, when one young man just breezed in from nowhere and with a peculiar accent, uttered “Why does you let my heart broke like this” . I turned to the person that shot me at the back with missiles of words and found him well dressed and obviously talking to his girlfriend or “toastee”. He also stopped by for kebab.
I thought I had heard it all but he shot another missile by saying “Sweet-sweet, talked to me naa. What has I done wrong?”
I couldn’t get angry, neither could I laugh. In fact, I reflected deeply on the situation and tried to absolve him from blame. I placed the blame on his teachers (assuming he is educated), as well as the bad educational standards in Nigeria.
Later on, I started thinking and came to the realisation that almost all Nigerian men, whether educated or not, woo girls in “Queens English”. It is rare to see a Nigerian man woo a lady in Pidgin or in any of the local languages. This is true, at least, in my experience and based on what I have observed so far. Although I must acknowledge that there are a few exceptions. So my question then is this: what is actually wrong in wooing a lady in the language you are most comfortable with, especially those who speak English only as a second language?
I couldn’t come up with a clear answer because even in cities, towns and villages where everyone speaks the same language, you observe this trend as well. So there is no justification on the grounds of communication. What then could be the reason behind this recourse to English when wooing ladies? Is it just a standard? If it is, who started it? Why do those who are not competent in the English language try to force themselves to speak it when wooing ladies? Even ladies that are not competent in English force themselves to speak it, just to appear modern and acceptable. What happened to our native Yoruba, Hausa, Igbo, Urhobo/Isoko, Pidgin, Efik, etc, when communicating with those of the opposite gender that we develop romantic proclivities for?
I need some responses to further enlighten me on this issue. Let us all discuss.
Ibadan! what are your thoughts?