Strange Habits You’ll Pick up From Living in Nigeria

Nigerians have strange habits which sometimes can be difficult for foreigners to understand. Many foreigners find some of our habits strange at the onset but after they spending quality time in Nigeria, the habits become a norm for them. It doesn’t matter if you are going to spend your vacation in Lagos or Abuja; these strange habits will always find a way to influence you.
Here are some strange habits you’ll pick up while living in Nigeria:

1. Flashing – You call people and hang up

Nigerian making a call      Photo Source: voanews

When you call someone and you cut off the line before the person picks up; Nigerians call this ‘flashing’. If you are new to Nigeria, you may believe that it is a missed call from a friend especially when you are far from the phone. It is often intentional because the caller does not have enough phone credit to call or talk and it is expected that you call them back. When you finally understand this concept of flashing, you may find yourself doing it.

2. Jubilation when electricity come on


You might have come from countries where light stands longer than the sun and when the electricity goes off, it is an emergency. In some part of Nigeria, when the electricity goes off there are hisses and moans but when the light comes on, there is this excitement and shouts. It may irritate you initially, never to worry, because soon you may find you jubilating too.

3. Lack of respect for those in authority


You walk into some places and hear people talk down the government, it does not matter how good the person in authority may be. It is something you would never stop hearing and soon, you are infected and if care is not taken, you are the person outside the street talking against the people in authority.

4. Bargaining in market places


You may pay for goods or services without bargaining when you come to Nigeria the first time. However, it does not take long for you to start haggling like Nigerians when you want to buy anything. The trader would hike the price to an unreasonable amount and it is expected that you bring this price down and it would take time to come to a compromise.

5. Shouting when making calls

Nigerians shout on phone

You arrive Nigeria speaking softly when you are making calls without the person close to you hearing what you have to say. A few days on the streets may change this habit because you may find yourself shouting or talking a little louder without realizing it. This habit can be more pronounced if you make use of a public transport system or you are on some major streets.

6. Walking bare foot in the house

You arrive some homes and find out that there are lots of shoes outside the door and soon, you may start taking out your shoes outside doors, maybe even in your own house and walk in bare feet or with your socks on for the men.

7. ‘Nauseating Love’ for the Naija police

  funny nigerian police

This is one strange habit you may not run from in Nigeria. A lot of times, you may not have an encounter to dislike the Nigeria police, but stories about them would change your orientation about them. You may leave Nigeria without having love for them because a lot of Nigerians do not like them.

8. Impatience

Impatience - orderliness

Ahh…This is a strange habit you may pick first. You would always see people who would want to cut corners on traffic, ATM terminal points, malls and even during cab queues. Most Nigerians are always in haste that they do not want orderliness. One day, you may find yourself trying to cut corners too.

9. You are ashamed to say you want to use the toilet


You find it odd talking to people that you have used the toilet because a lot of Nigerians do not think it is right to talk about that. Within a short time, you must have learnt how to whisper to receptionists to show you where the toilet is located; trying to make sure that the person around you does not hear you.

10. Conscious of strangers

You quickly pick the habit of saying little to strangers on the street. Sometimes, you may find yourself lying that you are not aware of streets that you know too well, conscious of your surroundings even when you do not need to worry about your safety. You end up suspecting a lot of people you should not suspected in the first place.


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Our Readers Comments

  1. Naija nawa ! My pple na true.

  2. some of these mention habits abt nigerian are true bt dey ar subject to change God bless naija

  3. u will find urself having to look left right and left again before u cross oneway streets, or even aboe for planes

  4. These are mostly big city habits. I grew up in Lagos and moved to New York city. Most of these habits don’t stick out in NYC. Also, if not for the violence now associated with Northern cities I will urge the author to write a different post for the North.

    Habits in Kano are different from habits in Lagos. Just as habits in Warri are also different. Nigeria is a big country with a huge population.

    Having lived around Nigeria I can confidently advise all to take generalizations with a pinch of salt.

  5. *Siblings sudenly bcome great enemies just bcouse of religious differences.
    *If d person in power is from d south, nomater how good his performance, d northernance’ll always on protest and vice-versa.

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