Top 10 Signs You’ve Been in Nigeria Too Long

Nigeria is a peculiar country and after living here for long, you will come to accept and love all its peculiarities. When you move to Nigeria, it seems so unusual, but thrilling and alive with opportunities. You marvel at its strange surroundings and its people. Being Nigerian is much more different when compared to being Mexican or American.  Several jokes abound as to how Nigerians display their unique differences when faced with similar challenges alongside citizens of other countries. When you’ve lived in Nigeria for so long, a lot about you changes. You think different, talk different and behave different. A foreign resident who has the unique traits of a Nigerian may start to wonder if he has lived in Nigeria too long.

Here are top 10 signs that you have been in Nigeria for too long:

1. You develop a sixth sense

Nigerians with sixth sense

Nigerians can smell anything fishy, especially when it has to do with a business deal. In the same manner they can recognize a good deal or an opportunity when they see one. If you try to behave like a Nigerian when you haven’t really learnt how to be one, you may end up becoming the victim. Like we say “cunny man die, cunny man bury am” and ‘cunny’ is our way of saying ‘cunning’.

2. You become a hustler


Nigerians don’t just thrive, they hustle. At any stage of our lives, whether we are awaiting admission to a higher institution or just graduating, the ‘hustle’ stays on our minds. And just in case you’re wondering, hustle in Nigeria refers to the innate struggle we have for survival and the many schemes we come up with to achieve it.

3. You are now used to Nigerian Foods

img_20130205_00164235     Photo Source: chopandquench

Nigerian foods are very delicious but most foreigners find it disgusting when they arrive. When you discover that you are now okay with Nigerian foods, in fact you eat Pounded yam and Efo riro like you are from Ekiti State, it means you have stayed too long in Nigeria and you are now a confirm ‘Naija’ person.

4. You Speak in Naija slangs


When you’ve stayed in Nigeria long enough you learn the use of slangs. We use them often times to make our conversations unintelligible to people outside of your discussion circle. Kids use them to communicate in the presence of their parents and so on. Some include ‘para’ for angry,  ‘egunje’ for bribe, ‘gbagaun’ for grammatical errors, ‘gbedu’ for music,  etc.

5. You dress uniquely, you have falling in love with ‘Ankara’

Nigerian Cultural Day in AISL

Staying in Nigeria for long affects your sense of style. We have our famous ankara, adire and the other traditional wears and most foreigners get to the various funny but beautiful combinations. For weddings, ‘aso ebis’ ( or parlance for uniform dressings at a wedding) are the order of the day and you find yourself wearing one when you are attending a Nigerian party.

 6. You get thick-skinned

Living in Nigeria over time also toughens you up. You see, hear and experience so many things that make you resilient and thick-skinned to life’s hard knocks. Eventually, situations and challenges that people struggle through become a bit of a walk-over for you. 

7. You become a go getter

go getter

Living in Nigeria is an achievement. A lot of odds are against Nigerians yet we fight to succeed. When you are used to waking up as early as 4 am just because you want to get to the office promptly, its a sign that you have been in Nigeria too long. When your mind is set on a goal and you work towards it until it is realized. Being a ‘go getter’ is evident in the spree of successful and flourishing SMEs you see in Nigeria.

8. You know how to bargain with no shame


Anyone who has lived here for long buys things uniquely when they’re in a market place. When we sell, it’s also different; Nigerians can sell ice to an Eskimo. We are good at pricing (a Nigerian parlance for bargaining), we know how to beat down the price of an item to the barest minimum. We price with no shame!

9. You attend comedy shows and laugh at Nigerian jokes


Nobody understands Nigerian jokes like Nigerians because most jokes are cracked in pidgin English and you can only understand the language when you have stayed in Nigeria for long.

10. You have a deep sense of cultural norms and traditions

A typical Nigerian upholds certain traditional ways of doing things. You become family conscious and relate well with the people you call friends. Our music is different and most Nigerians like ‘owambe’ (partying and celebration gatherings). There is respect for elders and you can tell what part of the country either by the name, appearance or accent.

Have you been in Nigeria for long? Share with us in the comment below, your experience and signs that indicate you have become a Nigerian.


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Our Readers Comments

  1. This was funny. I particularly liked the pictures and even more the baby pics. Thanks for making me laugh. I needed it today :-)

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