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COMMUNICATION WITHOUT COMMUNICATING, IN NIGERIA, PART 1

NOTE: First published on December 2, 2019.

This is “No Bullshiting,” by Harry Agina.

Greetings, folks!

“Communication Without Communicating” is about Effective Communication in Africa, particularly in Nigeria. I am particular about Nigeria because that’s where nonsensical English grammatical ego-tripping inhibits effective communication most. As far as English language is concerned, Nigeria’s population is overwhelmingly illiterate. And, my topic here is “Lingua-Franca,” which is also called bridge or link language. It is a language that is adopted as a common language among various peoples or tribes or races, who are living together in a common geographical space, whose native languages differ. The idea is to have a common language that most (ideally all) of the members of those tribes/races/peoples can understand and speak.

There is absolutely nothing common about English grammar in Nigeria; too many members of the various comprising races do not understand it. In fact, too many of those of us who supposedly understand and speak it, are not anywhere good enough, anyway! Pidgin is the only language that qualifies as our Lingua-Franca. Overwhelming majority of members of the various races in Nigeria can communicate effectively in Pidgin English, meeeeeeeeen!!!

So, here is my thematic question to Nigerians in Nigeria, indeed, to Africans in Africa: When you blow all the gigantic, bombastic English grammar to Nigerians or Africans on African media, are you truly communicating to your targeted audiences? No fucking way; you ain’t communicating shit! The Hausa language of Nigeria calls it “dogo turenchi,” which means too much unnecessary, useless, or nonsensical grammar. I call it it Communication Without Communicating. And, here are my topical questions: Why is it that Nigeria’s “official” Lingua-Franca is English, which overwhelming majority illiterate Nigerians cannot understand? Why is it not Pidgin, which Nigerians (of all tribes) can understand and speak, huh, huh, huh???

When I listen to Nigerians on broadcast Radio and Television, all I hear most times is a bunch of people on grammatical ego-tripping. They are supposed to be informing Nigerians on issues. Instead, all that they achieve is showing us that they can blow a lot of long, bombastic grammar. No wonder, Hausa language calls it “dogo turenchi” (long grammar). They are not communicating to the masses, no, sir!!! Their so-called communication is marred by two key flaws:

  • Too much gigantic and bombastic English grammar that makes no sense to our illiterate masses.
  • Too much technical and professional words/terminologies that are often absolutely nonsensical to the audience They often don’t even make much sense to the literate ones either. We see too many professionals, such as bankers or medical practitioners, spending so much fucking energy throwing around too much professional jargon. Most of the words can only make sense to the professionals in those fields. There ain’t no doggone communication happening in such conversations. The so-called communicators are only massaging their professional ego, period! And, I’m like…motherfuckers, break it down to the level of your audiences. You are communicating absolute nothing to the masses that you are supposed to be informing, meeeeeeeeeeeen!!!

Communication can only be said to take place when the message goes from the source (sender) to the target (receiver), and then INTERPRETED and UNDERSTOOD by the receiver. This does not happen in most of the “dogo turenchi” that I hear on Nigerian Radio and TV these days, meeeeeen!!!

You may call this an open letter to Nigeria’s policy makers, advising that it’s high time Nigeria’s Lingua-franca was changed from English, to Pidgin language. This is simple commonsense, because Pidgin is the language that overwhelming majority of Nigerians of all tribes understand and speak.

I have a question to my fellow communications professionals that operate as TV and Radio broadcasters, thus: Why the fuck is it that we, as professionals are failing the masses that we are supposed to be communicating to, huh? Why don’t we adopt the policy of presenting most of our programs on TV and Radio in the common language of the masses, so that they can understand us? And, another thing that annoys the hell out of me is that most programs that are on Nigerian TV and Radio feature only the “dogo turenchi” professionals. Why can’t we feature the ordinary, real people of Nigeria, huh? Why not carpenters, “area boys,” ordinary petty traders, the “almajeris” where necessary, et cetera; so that we get to hear the true picture on issues in the society.

And, even even more annoying, is that the show hosts/hostesses keep recycling the same few guests every fucking day in every gadamn Radio and TV station, meeeeen?!!! Why recycle only about twenty “dogo turenchi” guests out of 200 million Nigerians, every doggone day, on every doggone station? Many times, you see a guest on AIT station in the morning, and, if you check NTA one or two hours later, you see the same person. By night, the same person is on Channels TV. And then, sometimes you see the same person on three or more different programs, on the same fucking TV or Radio channel. And, too many program hosts or anchors hardly think of asking their professional guests to break their professional terminologies down to what the masses can understand, meeeeeeeeeen!!!

Another thing that really pisses me off, big time, is that much of the “dogo turenchi” that I hear from so many of our so-called professional broadcasters themselves these days is completely fucked up. There are too many grammatical errors; full of mixed-up tenses and fucked-up phraseology. Gone are the days when broadcasters were grammar teachers, with correct English. So, with all the fuck-ups, I ask again; why the fuck don’t we present most programs in Pidgin, and avoid all the annoying grammatical errors, meeeeeeeeen!!!

This piece was actually inspired by a couple of programs that I watched recently on Television (one on NTA, and the other on AIT). A staff of Central Bank of Nigeria (on NTA), and an INEC staff (on AIT) were throwing around so much nonsensical professional jargon. Even I, with all my education, did not understand what the hell they were talking about. And, if you asked them, they would tell you that they were communicating to the Nigerian masses. If it was possible, I would stretch my hand into the TV tube and slap the hosts/presenters of those programs. They needed to either break down the “dogo turenchi” themselves, or ask the bankers and INEC staff, respectively, to explain their doggone professional terms.  As far as the English language is concerned, Nigeria’s population is overwhelmingly illiterate. But, the minority literate bunch completely forget that all their high-and-mighty bombastic English grammar is absolutely nonsensical to majority of their audiences, meeeeeeen!!!

Communication on Social Media is far better, with their revolutionary informal parlance, and the common use of Pidgin English. I write my blog in English grammar only because my audience is global. But even then, I am conscious of the level of my grammar. By God’s grace, I do know the bombastic words that Nigerians throw around, but I am mindful of Effective Communication to the masses that I try to reach, meeeeeeeeeen!!!

So, my global outreach is my excuse for speaking English instead of Pidgin. You, the bombastic grammarian who presents local programs; what is your own fucking excuse, huh? The primary audiences of Nigeria’s leaders and policy makers are the illiterate masses of Nigeria. What is their doggone excuse for their dogo turenchi on TV and Radio, huh, huh, huh??? None, that’s what! They are only on grammatical ego-tripping; and, I ain’t bullshiting ya, meeeeeeeeeen!!!

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