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Other People’s Business

Posted by keayo on Nov 6, 2009 in Naija |

written by Lulu

Most Nigerian women (and newly immigrated Nigerian men) spend at least 50% of their free time on the phone gossiping. You may even know some Nigerian people who get jobs where they have access to a phone that they can use to maximize the time they spend gossiping. And what do they really talk about? Other people. Who fits into this category of “other people”? No one is off limits as the subject of conversation – relatives, family friends, colleagues, neighbors, other people’s babies – basically anyone who has ever interacted with this Nigerian person is fair game. There’s never a dull moment when talking to a Nigerian because there’s always something to talk about. Yes, even topics that do not and will not ever concern you are debated for hours and hours.

Whether by Text or Phone Conversation.....

Whether by Text or Phone Conversation.....

I’m pretty sure this scenario isn’t new to anyone: you’re in the room with your mom and it’s well past 7pm, which means she’s been on the phone for at least forty-five minutes by then. All of a sudden, she snaps her fingers above her head and says “I no invite am! Ee go be sey ee don hear about am from that iin friend now!” You automatically know this is an issue that, first, has nothing to do with your mother and, second, has everything to do with some lady she obviously doesn’t like. Nigerian women always dislike someone and then must promptly tell everyone that they dislike said person. But anyway, your mom continues with something like “Wetin I go say now? I no talk to am, ee just dey blow pass anyhow”, which confirms the fact that your mom didn’t even talk to this lady, but is still bitching about her anyway because her presence at the aforementioned party just pisses your mom off…! This conversation between your mom and your aunt, most likely, will go on for anywhere from 2 to 4 hours. The whole basis of this conversation is who invited this lady that your mom doesn’t like to this party that your mom didn’t host. It’s intense. If you stick around long enough, you’ll eventually hear your mom kiss her teeth and say something completely useless like “Shoo. Anyway. I no go talk.” What that means, of course, is that her 2 to 4 hours on this topic are up and it’s time to talk about why your uncle didn’t show up to this party even though he said he would.
Team Gossip

Team Gossip

In East Coast Rap, Christopher Wallace said “the sky is the limit”, in Naija gossip we go dey show am “sky no be limit for wetin you wan talk about”. If person fit talk about another person, do am, if you fit speak about another relationship… abeg, do am, if you wan yarn for person sexual preference, abeg… open your mout. Make I begin list: persons eduation, persons kids, persons pappa na mamma, persons money, persons job, anything… Go an yarn! Dis be d season for de gossipers. Anyone we no get business of der should come and celebrate this whandaful season!

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Nov 6, 2009 at 12:58 pm


ha ha ha. This is why I limit my convo with naija people. Dey talk too much jare.

Nov 6, 2009 at 12:58 pm


Abi Agbabiaka
Nov 6, 2009 at 1:12 pm

LOL!!! Sooo true.

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Nov 6, 2009 at 4:07 pm

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Nov 6, 2009 at 11:47 pm

What’s sad that this is so true…NOBODY IS OFF LIMITS….
What is funny is that the same person that your mother could be yannin’ to about someone else, will turn around and probably talk about your mother to said person…and the cycle continues!

What is even funnier is when your mother and said person are at the same function and you ask your mother why she is beefin’ with Aunty _____” and she quickly tells you to “sharrap your mouth”. She then denies there is said beef when she was just on the phone with your other aunty the night before talking maaaad greazy about her. SMH.

Once that beef is established, if you are a young child and were friends with that aunty’s kids, you might as well kiss those friendships goodbye. Somehow she will make you feel that you should have beef with her kids and even stop your father from talking to your uncle…smh again

Lulu Reply:

LOL so true about the last part! I have so many childhood friends that I don’t even see anymore because ~something happened~ with my parents and their parents which somehow forbids me from talking to them. Vicious cycle of ridiculousness lol!

Oddie M Reply:

lmao..this cracks me up so much cos this is so true…
it is sad but definitely true…OMG!

Kingsley Oparaeke
Nov 8, 2009 at 9:48 am

Yup, other folk’s business spread faster than a disease in the Nigerian community. The Nigerian community is so close nit in America that you have no idea who knows you and what they may know about you. If you tell anybody something followed by “by they way, you can’t tell ANYBODY this”, that is translated to “just tell one other person that’s close to you”. It’s as if folks don’t realize the small degree of separation there is in the Nigerian Community, the information can easily come back around full circle. If you are a Nigerian reading this right now, I can bet you either know me, know someone that knows me or know someone that claims they know me. You probably know everyone that has commented on this site with less than 3 degrees of separation.

Nov 8, 2009 at 10:54 pm

Wow, this topic hit close to home. It’s so crazy. My mom was talking about how at her workplace, this woman seen this other woman’s daughter at the gas station working. They were talking about her and mocking and such. And Im like, what is the big deal? What about it who cares? its bull. Everyone gossips, but when Nigerian Gossips its the ENNND of the world!

Nov 9, 2009 at 8:44 pm

Kingsley opareke, i dont know u o..but ur name sounds familiar..haha.. cos u said that everyone in here kinda know each other, and i am giving u a befitting reply capable of a naija.

anywayz… do y’all recall this one..naija will tell u ..”u kind of look familiar.. are u the son of.. or the daughter of..” or
“u sound familiar, do u know me?” if you answer no, they will continue “so what are u studyn now? cos me i got a masters in bla bla… and i am currently in London getting my PhD in bla bla..” they are giving you information incase you decide to talk about them later.. just as they plan to talk about u when they get home.. o boi…

Vic Reply:

I honestly don’t know if Nigerian women could survive without gossiping. I feel like it is a part of their livelihood. They talk about family, friends, people at work…doesn’t matter. And it is so tru about Nigerians always trying to figure out if they know you. Once you tell a Nigerian your name, you see that look in their eyes like they are trying to figure out if they know that last name or not.
Grace: Hello, my name is Grace
Nigerian woman: Grace what?
Grace: Grace Chima
Nigerian woman: Chima…..chima……where are you from?
Grace: Houston
Nigerian woman: Is you fatha Emmanuel?
Grace: Yes

Mercedes Reply:

lols that’s funny
“Nigerian woman: Chima…..chima……where are you from?
Grace: Houston
Nigerian woman: Is you fatha Emmanuel?
Grace: Yes” haha
Nigerians are funny people oo. Gosh, I love my country!!

Mercedes Reply:

Do Nigerians really do that…trying to find out if they know you by asking you questions? wow

Nov 10, 2009 at 11:54 pm

I’m not even going to start on my mom and her gossip topics. She says she doesn’t like going to parties, but when she gets there it’s a freakin gossip fest! She’ll smile in some ladies face (which she just told everyone at her table she doesn’t like) and act like they

It’s hella embarrassing, actually, when she talks about someone I know right in front of them, but not within audible distance..and I just have to walk away.

Her phone convos..Lord help us all..smh..I’m done. This will go on forever..

Nov 18, 2009 at 7:57 am

They also love talking about how ugly someone is, or how fat a person has gotten or how bad their acne is. The same person talking is likely to have pockmarks and weigh 250 lbs. They are so critical of other people sometimes.

Dec 1, 2009 at 8:18 am


No one is off limits oh, when it comes to naija. whether na persin wey u just kokoma see for the first time today, or your best friend. All is fair game.
Nigerian phone convo lasts for hours on end. Word!

What don’t they criticize, clothes, looks, MAKEUP, size, height, shoes, even your significant other….

Apr 5, 2010 at 9:47 am


Aug 18, 2010 at 3:19 pm

Man. Its like you can read my thoughts. This one colleague of mine spends 2 hours on the phone at work talking to everyone about everything.Now he using a VOIP on his own laptop and he has another 3 mobile phones . Those things ring all day. All I can pick up are the names of the folk is cutting to shreds.


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