From Yankee to Naija

From Yankee to Naija

‘IJGB’ (I Just Got Back), a slang that is used to describe young people who left the country for a while and are just getting back. It also goes for those who were born there and are coming home for holidays or for good. The very common thing that gives them out is usually their accent. Then comes the culture shock at how things are done in Nigeria. It is almost hilarious to watch them get baffled or outraged by some of the things people who live at home see as normal and encounter everyday without batting an eyelid.

IJGBs are divided into two groups: Those who moved back to stay in Nigeria for a long period of time, either for NYSC, a job or are relocating permanently and the ones who come back for a brief period; either for holidays or a relative’s wedding or functions.

Whichever category they belong they complain about everything! From the disorganization that is our airports, the traffic that is rowdy with no sense of order, the heat, etc!

Let’s look at some of the things they are usually shocked to see.

The Lack of Constant Power Supply

It is a fact that they just can’t wrap their head around! “Why did the power go off?” A favorite question of theirs. Aunty, PHCN doesn’t need a reason to ‘take’ their light. Even though we pay bills, we are just borrowing the electricity from them; they reserve the right to take it at any time. They usually acclimatize to this one quickly or get a generator. This takes us to the noise.

General Noise Pollution

Nigeria is just a noisy place. From generator sounds, traffic, children crying, couple arguing because no neighbor will call the cops on them and so on. They complain about the levels of noise from all quarters. Abroad people rarely use their horns while driving but what’s a Nigerian road without a medley of horns? Nne, you will learn to use the noise like background music.

The fact that Zebra crossings are just marks on the road

Here in Nigeria, unless there are actual zebras crossing the on road, 8 out of 10 times this road sign remains underutilized. If a motorist even stops for you to cross, chances are the one behind will blow his horn at him to get a move on. A young lady who just got in asked why people were running up and down the road, she was really baffled at what she saw as disorder. People down here know waiting at a zebra crossing is futile and you will wait there till the cows come home. We are schooled in the art of running across roads from infancy!

The poor service by Telecommunication providers

For us Nigerians, the solution to this is to have at least two providers because the rationale is that if one fails, the other will not, at least, not at the same time. This theory works about 40 percent of the time. To our ‘IJGBs’ they can’t fathom this. They believe if they have paid for a service they should have it at full capacity when they want. Nope! It doesn’t work that way here o. You pay and then with your money beg them for service. One ‘IJGB’ actually put a call across to a service provider to ask why their network was bad. I’m sure the customer care agent was as shock as I was! It may very well be the first time she’s getting such a question. We ‘manage’ our network like that.


Most people who have lived abroad are used to some form of wifi, in their bills inclusive or exclusive apartments. Public places also have functional wifi for customers. Here? It’s far and in between. The ones that do offer it may have spotty service at best most of the times and down more than 50 percent of the time except the very exclusive places. Coming from constant, fast wifi to none or spotty wifi is usually a culture shock that completely floors them! They wander how we survive as a society without it. But we are still here sha, making do.

Buses with open doors

Buses for public transport usually have open doors with a conductor hanging out calling for passengers. This is probably the most shocking thing in public transportation for them. Coming from organized bus routes and bus passes, they usually can’t fathom it! Meanwhile, for Lagosians in particular, if the doors weren’t opened while in transit how will you jump in and out?

These are just a few of the things the IJGBs complain about. Drop you comments and let us know which one we missed or what’s more hilarious to you.

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