Phoney phone


When I call my friends and family in the US I often yab them about their Americanized call back messages. I am like “ abeg nkiru I no hear dis ya message o.” Of course when they speak to me they speak the same way they have always spoken…they speak like Nigerians, but once they are at work they switch on their twang and before you blink its “gonna, wanna “.

Just the other day I was speaking to a friend who works in the Us embassy about why a colleague of hers spoke with an America accent and this way her reply “ you know we work with Americans all day even I have started speaking like them unconsciously” Nne I hear you! Unconsciously? Nah! Its a choice.
I will use aunty opemipo as an example..I met her a few years ago in the UK..she moved to London when she was 18 and had lived there for almost 20 years..Yet her accent was as Nigerian as the day she left Naija. According to her “ I left Nigeria as a fully formed woman, I think its a bit silly for me to now be talking like people who were born here”. Infact the woman was just a rebel, when her husbands friends would call and ask “is tunde about?”( is tunde around) she would answer about to do what? Lol

My second example is aunty meg…This is a lady that has lived in an almost exclusively white area in Ohio, USA for the last 15 years and has worked for the state with mostly whites for almost 30yrs but the woman still her her normal naija accent with an Igbo flavour. I mean she speaks the same way with everyone one …so its not even a matter of her speaking Nigerian with Nigerian and blowing phone with Americans. The woman speaks and they all understand her clearly.

Now I am not saying you cannot blow phone oh! I mean it’s a free world, But the one wey dey vex me is when you do it with your hommies…I mean why blow phone with your sister or your folks back home?
Also if you must blow the phone , do it well! Nothing annoys more than hearing someone speak phone and its not flowing. Especially when the phone is mixed with Edo, Igbo, or Yoruba accent! I actually like how Hausa people speak when they have a slight British accent – very posh!
Now if you live in America or England and speak like your people its all good, when in rome do as the romans. However, the wan wey dey vex me too much! Are my people who after spending 6 years studying abroad return home and years later you still hear them speaking like they were born and bred in the States, or someone who was born in the UK lived there till the “ripe” young age of 5 moves back to naija and 28 years later still speaks with a full british accent. I no blame dem na we for Nigeria dey treat them like gold. My friend who lived in the states for 15years says that once she turns on her Texas twang it literally opens doors for her..” oh madam you come from overseas? Ok you can come in”.


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  1. lol..i totally feel u o…personally i find it hard switching and unswitching so i just talk normal..i…

    a good friend of mine speaks correct fo-ne but when she is with her homegirls..she no dey try that kain rubbish..she will even speak pidgin sef…lol…

    to each his own!

    hope u have sorted out your ISP issues?

  2. Lol…at the examples you gave and yes it’s disgusting when people who spend only a few years abroad start speaking like they lived their all their lives…lol @ ‘ripe age of 5’

    Any luck with the ISP?

  3. Lmao..I also do the same thing…in fact its so bad that when my friends call now they go “I can see you dey work, all this English wey you dey speak no bite ur tongue oh”…

    My reply…

    D’u get me?

    But then again, I don’t speak like a british person, I speak like I did in naija, clear enough to be understood only difference is I am most definitely not goining to speak pidgin on phone while at work…come to think of it I do speak pidgin on phone while gossiping lmao…

  4. My sista tell them! The whole fake accent syndrome annoys me with a passion no bi small! Why are we pretending to be what we are not? Rubbish.

    The other day my daughter was talking as if she put something for mouth… of course I corrected her immediately! Her defence was that her phonics teacher asked them to speak that way! Can you imagine?! Of course I made the school management know that there is nothing wrong with the way she speaks, thankfully we do not speak with a Nigerian accent, but I am proud to be a Nigerian!

  5. LOL…I think this way too…

    These days I’ve been guilty of turning on the fune when another Nigerian feels like only him or her can speak it…Usually sha, we all paraporize when we’re together…But I have a family member who fune’s to me…and its just..well…haughty…

  6. Lol. You’re funny. I have complained about this for ages now, but nothing doing. A friend told me about a man who went to Mauritius for two weeks and came back speaking like he was born and raised in the UK. (1) MAURITIUS. (2) FOR TWO WEEKS. I don’t get it, I really don’t. God bless.

  7. this whole phone thing depends on your location,background,choice etc!!!it is different for people in dufferent ways!!!I have a sister who came here(yankee) when she was 17 and she didnt really mix with nigerians where she was as there were none and because of that she developed an American accent and now she’s lived here for 16 yrs and when she talks to me she tries hard to sound as nigerian as she can be but you can still hear little hints of phoney here and there…

    I have a cousin who moved to England at age 12 and is 28 now and she does not have d british accent only when she is speaking to d oyibo pple…

    I have some very very close friends here in yankee ..Trust me they do not front or anything but they have american accents esp with some certain words!!!

    SO i think it all depends on your setting and what not!!!off course if someone who was born and bred in 9ja moved to yankee and they are speaking phone you may still hear some hints of igbo,yourba accent but that doesnt mean they are faking d whole thing!!!it all depends jare!!

    I have a cousin who never lived outside 9ja and she has an American accent/British and vietnamese sef!!silly abi?

    With your friend who speaks phoney becos she works with americans in now that is absurd..because she hasnt been removed from her Nigerian environment and is not surrounded by an ALL AMERICAN world…she just spends couple hours with d really???does she not go home to Nigerians,does she still not go to d market,go to a Nigerian church?

    As for me i only speak phoney at work sometimes i forget and speak 9ja english and they start saying “uhn?” dem no understand me o!!!i swear its wahala trying to talk American jare however they are some words that i cant pronounce d 9ja way again even if i tried hard to!!words like Water(wata),better(beta),biased(BiaaZed).Curtain (Cotane) ..u dig?LOL

    But seriously this whole phoney dont matter!!anyone is free to speak the way they please

  8. I used to try so hard to get rid of my Nigerian accent but now I just don’t care. I don’t care who’s there, I’ll speak any language I want.

    I think it’s possible that the way pple around u speak affect the way one speaks also. I got to the US in my mid-teens and at that age it was so easy to be impressed by the simplest stuff plus I was having problems at sch with pple claiming they didn’t understand me so I kinda adopted the “cool” way to speak.

  9. But on the real, ppl leaving in Nigeria, r the ones who promote this whole fone thing. When my friends come homw on holidays, they have attested severally, how doors literally open and service speeds up when they “switch” on their foreign accents.

    But the one wey dey pain me pass na person wey travel from Owerri to Lagos, come back come det blow fone, dat i can’t fit to understood!

  10. Kontry pple,

    why una dey vex na? Like on blogger here said, to each his own abi?

    “Twisting mouth” like my peeps and I call it no dey easy.. mouth dey quick pain u, so if u no mind then go ahead on… if u no wan hear wetin d person dey yarn, hang up ur phone…

    LMAO @ talking to your friends from naija and they’re like i c ur at work… cos u no fit switch..seriously sha, it gets annoying when u see siblings that grew up in 9ja but relocated abroad, blowing “fune” for themselves but if that’s what their in to, then i say “do u”!!

  11. There’s a blogger who addressed this issue not too long ago. When I read his take,I was laughing. As I read yours, I am laughing as well. Especially the lady that asked what her hubby was about to do. lol!!!!

    Anyway, I believe that people need to adapt and make slight modifications when they have to deal with others. Adopting the speech pattern of the land in which you live is a survival tactic. Imagine if you didn’t? You would operate from a disadvantage. That doesn’t mean one should completely shun who they are just to conform. Mere small adjustments are all one needs.

    And, when you get to hang out with fellow Naija folks, you can let lose, be loud, and jovial, speaking your native tongue or pidgin with abandon. Basically, I understand were the ‘fune’ speaking folks are coming from. I just don’t understand the ones that completely change their name and never speak their native tongue, at all.

    Thanks for swinging by my side. I hope all is well with you, your hubby, the boys and your little girl.

  12. my friend too tell me that they know when I am on the phone with my Nigerian fiance…cos I speak different when I am talking with him…I only do this so that we understand each other.

  13. Well, all I can say, is that it’s catchy. When my friend in-laws (from Nigeria) came and we hung out with them for weeks…next thing you know I was talking and making sounds/grunts like them. I thought it was funny.

  14. haha I agree with SD, it can turn into a survival tactic, I remember when we moved, and my bro was about 12/13, typical lagos boy and he said “Tief” instead of “Th”ief, and the yab that they yabbed him that day. I really dont know how I sound, I sound like myself, and my lil sister talks just like me. I’ve given up trying to sound Nigerian, though I love my pidgin which I love to use around other Nigerians, but frankly I’d be really fooling myself to sound like I did as a kid in lagos, because I’ve spent more years ago than in naija, 16yrs and counting.
    Its the people that try to speak their local languages with a yankee or janded accent that bug me. Please learn to say your name the right way, I cant stand when Naija folks will tell me a fellow naija their name like I’m some red neck american!

  15. That was too funny! Both my parents have been living in the States now for over 25 years and the accent has never changed. My mom doesn’t even use slang like “you guys”! But interestingly enough, everyone has a “phone voice” even born and bred Black Americans. This voice is meant to sound a White American. I have it too and I use my phone voice with no shame. Discrimination in this country is sadly very real.

    Anyway, I’m so glad I found your blog. I am thoroughly enjoying it.

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