Self-Help For Dummies: How To Survive In the Nigerian Home

Hello and welcome. To our nigerian friends in the abroad planning to return home for summer, we say a big welcome. To those of you who are not nigerian but are also coming here for one reason or another, welcome. And to those of you who have never left the country…haven’t even see the inside of plane before, we say welcome and how fa?
We understand your various situations, and because we care, we are going to be giving you tips on how to live or continue living(for the ones that have never left) here. The Nigerian home is a very complex something, and you must possess certain skills and information if you are to enjoy your stay there. We are glad to tell you all that you might need to know, for free of course…except if you wanna pay. Dollars, pounds or even naira. We will happily accept, we’re not proud please.

That being said, we present ‘HOW TO SURVIVE IN THE NIGERIAN HOME’

FATHER: My house, my rules. Take it or leave it. If you cannot take it, better return to wherever you’re coming from. I kuku did nor force you to come here, so please do not mess up. If you mess up, I will beat you. I will beat until you cannot cry again. If you like, run and goan call police. Them sef they’ll join me in beating you. That’s just how we do things here.
Do Not touch my car. See ehn, there’s a reason why it’s called ‘MY car’. My car is like the church or mosque, it is sacred ground. And you know how you must behave when on sacred ground? I will not tell you twice. Don’t even think of touching my car. If you now decide to drive my car…ah! Better just drive that car across the ocean back to your abroad. Cos if you come back to my house, you’re dead.
I must take more meat than you. Do not argue. If you take one, I’ll take two. If you take two, I’ll take four. It is the law. You sef, are you mad? Meat that I bought with my money, you now want to eat more than me? Is that how you used to do? Ah! Kole work.

MOTHER: So you want to spend a few weeks in the Nigerian home? Oho. Okay. You want to leave Obodo Oyinbo for this our humble abode? You are welcome.
First things first. It is not possible that you will be in my house and not wash plates. A few weeks here and you will understand it. Our children here start washing plates when they’re three. Three. You will not be an exception. You must not complain while washing plates and in situations when you’re washing and I bring more plates, your face better not change…WASH THOSE PLATES.
Secondly, be prepared for when I’ll call you from wherever you are no matter how far it is for you to pass something that is next to me. You better answer happily and hope I call you more often.
Apart from washing plates, you’ll be required to wash clothes…basically, it’s anything washable. From clothes to shoes, bags, houses…ANYTHING.
I will scream your name at least fifty times a day instead of walking to where you are and speaking with you. I enjoy shouting names. That’s why most of my children have names that end in vowels. For example, ‘DAMMMMIIIIII’. Set your ears to hear me shout and be sure to answer…or else. It is important to note that anytime I’m shouting at you, and you talk back…you’re dead. I will personally kill you. I always say I brought you into this world and I can be the one to take you back out.
Finally, I enjoy restoring children to their factory settings. For this, I use my favourite slap in the whole world – ‘Igbarun’. It’s my favourite because it can be administered at any time and the effects are instantaneous. Where you fail to do all the things listed above, I promise to administer it appropriately. I will definitely slap that white skin off of you.

PIKIN: Your parents are not your mates. As funny as this may sound, it is quite noteworthy. In all ramifications, they are simply not your mates. Therefore they deserve or rather demand all forms of respect from you. So never, I repeat never, refer to your parents by their first names under no circumstance. Your father isn’t ‘Charles’ but rather sir, baba, oga, chief-chief or whatever his ‘title’ is. Likewise, the woman that struggled under harsh conditions for 9 months to bring your worthless ass into this world isn’t ‘Sade’ but rather ma, mama, madam-the-madam or her various ‘titles’. Don’t ever make the mistake of calling them by their biological names. This Is Not Yankee.
You cannot be lazy here. You cannot. They won’t let you. Your parents were raised in hardworking homes (or slave camps) so they expect you to be actively involved in house chores and running errands. Actively involved o, which means it’s basically you doing everything. Being idle in the Nigerian home is a sin. If you’re idle, someone will just goan send you to sweep the entire neighbourhood or paint all the cars in your house and estate. So friends I beseech you to get busy with some house chore today to avoid the wrath of a Nigerian mother.
Basically ehn, to survive in the Nigerian home, respect should be your watch word in everything especially when it concerns your parents. But if you still manage to mess up, just apologise like a Nigerian child. Key word: ‘Nigerian’. Don’t walk up to your Nigerian father and say “sorry pops” and walk off. If you’re fortunate, you’ll only be beaten. If you’re unfortunate, you can kiss education goodbye as the farm in your village awaits you. And the Nigerian farm is far worse than the Nigerian home, trust me.
Thank you for your time and patience. Please remember, our advice is not by force o. If you think you’re wiser than us, just do your own thing and see where it will get you:) But all in all, we hope you enjoy your stay here. See you next time.

Great Opara
Wura Fagbamiye
Olamide Davis

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