Say yes to Naija!
Nigerian Entrepreneurs is proudly Naija for life and so are many Naija youths online! I was quite surprised that the honorable minister of information of Nigeria has left her serious assignment and is now focusing on use of language! “Stop using Naija to refer to Nigeria!” says Prof. Dorothy Akinyuli. “You can’t dictate to us, what words to use to refer to ourselves” say Nigerian Youth! You can read the angry reaction of Nigerian Youths at various Nigerian online community boards.
What is the Meaning of Naija, 9ja?
9ja, Naija etc are slangs that the Nigerian youth proudly use to refer to our motherland Nigeria and her citizens. The word as I learnt originated from Nigerians in diaspora who started using it to refer to themselves as citizens of Nigeria living in foreign land. The words to the user symbolizes patriotism, solidarity, pride in belonging to the country with the largest population of blacks!
The words were never coined by strangers, so it can’t be said that the terms are derogatry. There is no single evidence to show that the words Naija or 9ja is meant to make caricature of Nigeria or her citizens. It is quite unfortunate that our leaders are so far from the people that they don’t even understand our language anymore. If the word Naija is derogatory, why will several Nigeian webmasters (including yours sincerely) use it in their domain name! Nobody identify himself with derogatory words, people only use words they consider will add value to their personality.
Professor, your wish is only your wish, not ours! If the british sometimes refer to themself as britons, brits the Americans refers to themself as Yankee, the Australians refer to themself as Aussie or Oz and we call South Africa S.A then there is nothing wrong with Nigerian youths calling themselves Naija, 9ja. So we say yes to Naija! We remain Proudly Naija 4 Life!
Professor Akinyuli has been a woman I admire, but of recent, she seems to be loosing focus on what her real assignment is. Personally, I think she is handling a wrong portfolio. Her prior assignment was much more fitting and she was able to shine like a star. Since her portfolio was changed, she has not been able to do much to impress the populace. Whoever, advised our former president to change her portfolio did not mean well for Nigerians.
Open Letter to Professor Akinyuli
Prof., I’m not a politician, neither do I like writing about politics, but this time around, I proudly join the Nigerian youth online to say no to you. We love the words Naija and 9ja that we use to refer to ourselves. It was not coined by a foreigner, so it is never derogatory. If you don’t understand why we use it in place of the word Nigeria, you should ask us and not assume. Mind you, Naija has never replaced the word Nigeria, it only compliments it.
“Madam Dora, no make me vex, abeg! If I vex you no go lik’am. Instead wey u for identify wit d youth, you they fight us! I no understand you self. Shey people dey call you Dora and you no sue dem to court! You even dey lik’am as the thing they make you feel better pass your fullname! Who tell you say the thing wey Lord Luggard call us better pass wetin we dey call ourselves! I beg leave us alone. If you ready to learn, go ask Governor Fashola why in dey talk say, Eko o ni baje o!“
If you are a Naija online, please cast your vote for the continuous use of the word Naija by dropping a comment here. Cheers.