Proudly Naija For Life!

Written by NaijaEcash

Topics: Nigerian, Ramblings

Say yes to Naija!

Proudly Nigerian

Proudly Naija 4 Life

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.

18 Comments Comments For This Post I'd Love to Hear Yours!

  1. Felix says:

    It’s just a nickname for Nigeria by youths. It has not changed our name as a country.
    Felix´s last blog post ..How to add funds to a Paypal account without using a bank account

  2. NairaKbps says:

    I beg to differ. I support Prof. Akunyili on her statement to stop using Naija to refer to Nigeria. Nigeria is not Naija and Naija is not Nigeria. Whatever Naija is, let it stay as is – on the street, but it shouldn’t replace Nigeria. The same goes for any other variants: 9ja(which looks very much Nineja), Nija, Ni-ja. There is really no meaning to Naija/9ja/whatever else is there. As for its origin, please note that its our musicians/rappers who made the thing popular; using it in their lyrics, before it became a byword.

    In addition, No sir, Nigerians in diaspora don’t use it to refer to themselves. Naija is not a credible reference to any Nigerian in any part of the diaspora. In fact, to them, I think it would be derogatory. It is better to pass off as an American, a Nigerian American, an African American, and not a Naija. Can’t you see how it sounds?

    And whoever the “Nigerian youth” that thinks it cool to refer to our motherland Nigeria and her citizens as “Naija” isnt doing anybody a favor. When did a street slang become formal communication?

    Doesn’t “Proudly Nigerian for Life” sound better than “Proudly Naija for life”. Please note that its the country-concept that matters, not some language that someone cooked up as a short for something else.

    How would you say: are you a Nigerian? – are you a Naija or are you Naija? Very soon, it will become Ninja.

    I also beg to differ: Ive never come across an American who calls himself a Yankee, and takes pride in the statement. An American citizen, regardless of origin is an American citizen, not a yankee. It is derogatory, especially when you don’t say it the way its supposed to be said. They would even get angry at you. Americans living in Britain were initially called Yankee and thats where the word started from during the Word War. Later on Japanese were called Yankees. In America itself, Yankee is anyone from the North, it doesn’t refer to the default American in America.

    Whatever Prof. Akunyili is doing with her portfolio, she has made a valid statement. So please, Nigeria is not Naija.
    NairaKbps´s last blog post ..Website Review- Ten cool Joomla websites of businesses in Nigeria

    • NaijaEcash says:

      I can’t but admire the way and manner you took time to present your opinion. I must commend your mature approach. Nonetheless, I still stick to my opinion that I don’t see anything wrong with me or any other Nigerian youth referring to ourselves as Naija. By the way, what makes “Nigeria” as a word better than “Naija”? Is it because the former was coined by a white man, and the latter by some unknown black African?
      However, I totally agree that the term is not to be used in a formal situation as a substitute for Nigeria or Nigerian. I can’t imagine anyone filling the word Naija as Country of Origin instead of Nigeria.
      But then, that doesn’t mean it is derogatory! Lagosians refer to the city as Eko (the Yoruba name for part of the mainland and Island). In my childhood days, it was fun referring to ourselves as Omo’eko. Even though many of us were from another state. It was just something the little ones consider fun and a thing of pride. Our parents didn’t see any sense in an Egba child calling himself omo’eko. But they let us alone until many of us outgrew it. If the Minister of Information feel it is not a good name, she should only say so and not go to the extent of threatening to saction those who use the term.
      Well, anyone can say I am being bias, that is ok by me. Prof Akinyuli should get busy with something more beneficial for the man on the street and leave the word Naija alone! After all, one man’s meat is another’s poison! Prof will only get the name more popular with this her present stance 😉
      I say it again and again, I’m proudly Naija for life!

    • Iroko says:

      Of course, you have presented your case in a very detailed manner but it remains that we can choose to called ourselves something we feel is more Naija than something somebody thought about after a nice sweetdream, thought forget that Nigeria came from Lady Luggard the wife of Lord Luggard…Naija is not derogatory in anyway…it even shows an identity and should even be employed in the rebranding message, or what do you think?
      Iroko´s last blog post ..Blog Commenting- How To Be The First Using Google Alerts

  3. NaijaEcash says:

    Please tell professor so.

  4. Mama Dora is not busy enough. 🙂
    Oluniyi D. Ajao´s last blog post ..African Hip-Hop Joins Technology Revolution via new website

  5. Mcneri says:

    @nairakbps you insult all Nigerians! I am outraged by the deep sense of insecurity that defines everything you have written as a comment here. Naija is a comfortable way of referring to ourselves. What do Aussies say when they are called Aussies. What do people from the “United States of America” say when they are called “Americans” instead of “Unitedians” as @nairakbps would like. I have one little message for you. If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change. I suspect Aunty Dora wants to become a runner for the presidential post some day, so she has started by getting her name out there first (negative or positive all is publicity). I certainly bhope she does not become our own Sarah Palin, a public embarrasment to females.

  6. All i can say is that i see someone getting admitted for psychiatric issues soon. Ever since she left NAFDAC, she has TOTALLY lost it and is only pursuing her agenda instead of that of the people.
    Udegbunam Chukwudi´s last blog post ..How To Fund Your LimeExchange Payoneer MasterCard

  7. Mcneri says:

    I don vex. In short I don really vex. I have just activated Anyone who says they do not like it, let them go fly a kite. What nonesense! Abegi. I am Nigerian and I can decide to call myself or my kind whatever I like. Anyone interested in having a place to blog or post information about their NIGERIAN or NAIJA or 9JA business or needs should feel free to hop over there and register on the site for free. We are now thinking of a free email service too, so that we can email Aunty DOra and let her know that the Naija People want to be called NAIJA!

  8. NaijaEcash says:

    I thought Prof is a technocrat, but I guess I’m totally wrong. She is now a true Nigerian politician. 😉

  9. Okon says:

    Na wao! This is the first time i am hearing that someone (or some people)find something wrong in using the word “Naija” I am Nigerian and have lived abroad for the past 10 years. I do not find anything wrong at all with that word. In fact when i meet a fellow Nigerian at work (I’m a Doctor) and we want to converse in a language that our other colleagues would not understand, we speak “broken” english and we PROUDLY use the word Naija, so that those around would still not understand what we mean. We that live abroad love it. It is really sad if Prof Akunyili feels otherwise, did she try to get a feel of how the citizenry felt about that word before she opposed it?. She was my lecturer in Enugu (Pharmacology) and we loved her, but i must agree that she lost it the moment she left NAFDAC!

    • NaijaEcash says:

      Thanks for sharing your view. I guess the problem with our leader is that they are not in tune with what is happening with those they claim they are leading. Someone just wake up in the morning and decide things for the populace without deeming it fit to consult with them and ask question.
      If Prof. had conducted a little poll, she would have been in a better position to make a decision that will have positive impact on the society.
      When she started the “Rebranding Nigeria Project” I was shocked and taken aback that there was no attempt to buy-in the people participation. Instead, fund were being wasted in far away lands whereas the problem she is trying to solve is over here. I really pray that Prof. Akunyili will stop listening to those giving her bad advice. The positive reputation she earned for herself via hardwork in her days at NAFDAC is fast eroding. Each wrong step she takes is making Nigerian change their mind about her sincerity in fighting for the good of the common man.

  10. I’ve been doing business in Nigeria for years now and have never had any problems. Some of the nicest and most beautiful people on the planet. I’m very glad I found this blog!

  11. IFENE HELEN says:

    The publicity of a country can also be determined by the name,either Nigeria or Naija are all the same,infact all join because is not the name that matters but what comes out of the country,Nigeria is more of english sound,check out Naija, is more of broken and almost all average men or women uses broken to communicate,see if you no say you be confirm Nigerian like oyinbo go talk, come on raise the flag high like a real Naija Person.UP NAIJA kai the name too sweet abeg,am a proudly Naija Lady
    IFENE HELEN´s last blog post ..The Nation Today

  12. Alexd says:

    I’m very glad to read this blog. I guess the problem with our leader is that they are not in tune with what is happening with those they claim they are leading.
    Alexd´s last blog post ..Singapore Map

  13. I dn’t thk dis is an issue any 1 lik Dora shld border abt a4ta all there ar so many oda assignments left undone that she should more busy than detest Our Signature (NINJA) why would she be more concerned about that,all i know is that i don’t trust ordinary good morning emanating from a politician because if you look closely brother there is more to that, well am not concluding she is wrong neither am i saying she is right though but, anyone can think and suggest anything so to say; the remaining part is execution which is left you unless they are going to unleash enforcement agents to mandate that on us “gja4lyf” remains my signature as a Nigeria.

    Thanks my pple

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