I’ve always wondered…

Why would a man want a cheap knock off….

When he can have the original?

This one doesn’t come off during sex. He can run his hands through it all he wants.
Because.It’s. REAL.
Isn’t it better to be an original of something different and be recognized and valued for the genuine article you are than to be the second-rate second-hand bad imitation of something you can never truly be?

So is this.
Reality Rules.
Will expantiate/explain….. LATER.

Note: This post was inspired by this forum post which I happened upon while looking up blonde dyes for a friend. Depending on how you read it, it’s hilarious. But truth is often said in jest. Scratch that. Every word this person wrote is 100% true. Well I’m a bit offended about the African part, but still true. I think that while many people argue that what they do with their hair is a personal choice (and it IS a personal choice…. to a certain degree), remember that IMITATION is the best form of FLATTERY.

Whether you “personally choose” to wear a bright blonde weave with your coal black skin, or you “personally choose” to straighten your hair, or you “personally choose” to put a lace front weave on your four month old baby, remember that less than 0.1% of the women out there whose hair is NATURALLY in the form that you “personally choose” to force your own hair into are “personally choosing” to look like YOU.

For those who don’t know, I believe “Becky” is an African American colloquialism that represents any random Caucasian woman.
Just like Mr. Sosa here made a “personal choice” to get blonde skin*

You know what Mr. Sosa?
Let me tell you a secret.
Secret: You’re still a cheap knock-off of a White person. A defective, third-rate copy. And no, you will NEVER be as good as the original. You could have been an original Black person, but here you are a Tokunbo Oyinbo.
*Yes, I know, skin cannot be blonde. It was a pun.



There are 34 comments

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  1. enigmaticone

    well i guess same goes for your phony American accent. I doubt if Americans will change their accent to a nigerian one, even after living there for 10years.

    I think these people you talk about, suffer from the same complex that you are suffering from. Leave them be!!! whatever floats your boat and their boat…

    True

  2. Lady X

    Speaking and pronouncing words the way they are meant to be pronounced does not mean you are being fake. I think people that call other peoples accents fake are just really jealous that they can’t imitate this so called “fake” accent.

  3. enigmaticone

    @lady X, you are so funny. Speaking in an american accent is different from pronouncing words clearly/correctly. Except you are telling me that the American accent is the correct way to speak and pronounce words.

    You can speak and pronounce words correctly in a Nigerian accent (which is original) or do it in an American accent which you acquired after living there a shortwhile despite the fact that you were born and bred Nigerian – Now that is what i call fake (a la sugabelly). Hence the reason for my analogy.

    There is nothing to be jealous about except, you somehow believe that a Nigerian who has grasped the act of speaking in an American accent is better than those who have chosen to remain original. Therefore you suffer from the same plight highligted in this post because you feel your accent is inferior to theirs, right?

  4. Z

    @enigmaticone, wait, so you’re equating trying to look white with speaking with a different accent? Really?

    I mean, I don’t even need to ague with you. I’ll just wait for Sugabelly to address it, she has more energy for correcting foolishness than I do 🙂

  5. enigmaticone

    @Z, equate? There is no equation in my comment. Copying or emulating another be it skin colour, accent, dress sense etc is the same concept though the forms might be different or varied.

    For example a person who murders a black man because of his skin colour and a person who just hates black people, are both racists, right? The fact that one did not kill does not make him any less racist.

    So for those who choose to change their accent and copy another, they are doing the same thing as those who bleach their skin or wear fake blonde hair. It doesn’t matter if the forms of copying are the same or not.

    It is important that we leave others to choose what they want to choose (even though its not to our taste)and stick to our own choice. But to judge people on their appearance alone is a shallowness that runs deeper than whatever complex you feel they are suffering from.

  6. sugabelly

    @enigmaticone: But I don’t have an American accent.

    And all I do when I speak any language is ensure that i pronounce the words clearly and correctly.

    Besides, the Americans think my accent is British because I round my As when I say Water and Half.

    In reality, my accent is that of a Nigerian who grew up speaking proper English under the guidance of a mother who grew up in Wales and London…. so I guess that’s where I get my British Waters from.

    Besides, the Nigerian way of pronouncing English words is not entirely correct. When I do get to Nigerian words however, I always pronounce them the Nigerian way. e.g. nyamayama.

    What I strive for in speech is to speak each language that I have mastery of in its correct accent and with its correct pronunciation. That means Igbo with an Igbo accent, Spanish with a Spanish (Spain not Latin America) accent and so on.

    I’m sorry you think my accent is American as well as fake.

    If you knew the amount of energy it takes to maintain a fake accent you would realise how ridiculous your accusation is.

    Besides, most fake accents sound put on and very stupid. I have a friend that puts on a fake accent whenever she speaks to White people and I always wonder if they can hear the falsity in it.

    While last time I checked, faking an accent doesn’t lead to cancer unlike some other practices, it’s still not good for your self esteem.

    Finally, about Americans not trying to sound like us:

    Here’s my take on it. Since English IS their native language (well native to the British founders of America), then there is technically nothing wrong in imitating their manner of speech regarding English. (Well technically you should imitate the British in English since they are the source).

    Now, where there would be a serious problem would be if an American tried to speak Igbo to you, and YOU began to imitate their mispronunciations of Igbo instead of correcting them in order to be appeasing because they are American.

    I NEVER do this. I force my professors to learn my name correctly even if they have to repeat it a hundred times. Every time an American mispronounces my Igbo name I show displeasure and make them correct themselves.

    And unlike some people I know, I would rather die than deliberately mispronounce or misspell my own name for the benefit of Americans or anyone else for that matter.

    So yeah, it’s a personal choice, but guess what? Sammy Sosa is a baseball star. Now at least one person out of his legions of fans thinks it’s okay to bleach their skin.

  7. enigmaticone

    @sugabelly, i think you misunderstand me. There is a big difference between speaking ‘properly’/pronouncing words correctly and having or copying an accent.

    We can pronounce words properly in a Nigerian accent, the same way a British, American, Australian, Scottish etc do in their own accents. I agree that the Nigerian Engish is not always correct(now that’s a different topic). There are many Nigerians who speak in a clear Nigerian accent and pronounce their words properly. An example is our very own Chimamanda, who by the way has lived in America for many years and her accent has not been affected.

    My point being that you don’t have to adopt an accent to speak properly because it is clarity we seek, not accents. I agree that there are many who fake their accents and sound wrong, wheras their some who get it right.

    I disagree with you about your accent sounding British. There sure is an American thing going on there… and the fact that your mum grew up in Wales and London is irrelevant, because there are a lot of Nigerians in the states and Uk with thick Nigerian accents, yet their kids who are born there hardly adopt their accent.

    My father is English, though i can speak in a perfect English accent if i wanted to; I grew up in Nigeria and my accent is Nigerian – i speak clearly and pronounce my words clearly.
    In the UK, the English find it difficult to understand the Scottish accent, some people e.g from the nothern part of England try to change their accents to be more acceptable. I don’t have a problem with any of these.
    I don’t even know who this sosa guy is, never heard of him and i have to admit that he does look ridiculous.
    My issue is with the double standard. A lot of us don’t have any leg to stand on when we point out other people’s problems/mistakes etc as we are not any better.
    I just thought it was a bit rich coming from you who spoke with an accent that you adopted after being in America for 2minutes.

    Ask Chimamanda why hers has not been affected? Answer – because she is original to the core. Now i won’t have a problem if she put up a post like this one.

    @ Z, it’s a shame that you of all people fail to understand the ‘plight’ of these people sugabelly talks about. Especially as you are a (wo)man trapped in a woman’s body. You fall into the category of people who don’t fully like the form they are born in and would rather be like another. The fact you haven’t done anything about it doesn’t make you any different. And i can see that you would not want people to judge you on that. Same way it is important we don’t judge others who make a choice to be another colour,as distasteful as we might find it, it is still their choice. Sometimes it is a deep psycological problem and they might need therapy.It can stem from abuse, self hate, lack of love, attention etc… who knows.

  8. sugabelly

    @Enigmaticone: The problem with this whole discussion is that you are assuming that I adopted the accent that I have now upon arriving in America.

    I have never had a typically Nigerian accent. And my mother growing up in Wales is not irrelevant because my speech is mostly modeled after hers. And my mother does have a British accent although it has now been tempered by 20 plus years in Nigeria.

    You cannot effectively determine how much of an impact my mother’s speech has had on me because you don’t know anything about my childhood.

    I am an only child. Not only am I an only child, but I grew up pretty much without much contact with other children. I lived with my mother and we moved around a lot so I spent probably 80% of my time with her and with her alone. In other words, besides school and television, she was really the only person that I spoke to, hence my ending up speaking mostly like her. I never had any friends that I would play with after school or go hang out with. I was always either with her or completely alone. It wasn’t until I entered boarding school that I began to interact with other children and by then my speech patterns were pretty much formed.

    Of course, that is not to say that my speech has not been modified over the years. Just as boarding school in Nigeria tempered my previously very noticeably British accent into something far more Nigerian sounding, so too is university slowly changing my accent to sound more American.

    The difference here however, is this: In college, I am an adult and I am far more aware of myself than I ever was when I was 10. Therefore, I have far more control over how radically my accent will change. I immediately noticed how differently Americans pronounce certain words, and I have to make an active effort not to pronounce them that way. (I despise the American pronunciation of water for instance).

    Accents are a product of where you grew up but more importantly they are a product of THE PEOPLE you interacted with as your accent was forming. Not all Nigerians that grow up in Nigeria have a classic Nigerian accent. Afterall, for the earliest part of my life, I lived for some time in Onicha but I always got made fun of because I spoke like my mother since she was my only and constant companion.

    I definitely did not have the conventional Nigerian childhood, and that has impacted among other things, my speech. Sure, I’m not the only “Only-Child” in Nigeria, but most only children in Nigeria do not live in the kind of isolation that I did in my formative years. There are many things about me, my personality, my habits, etc that are an indirect result of that isolation but since we’re talking about my accent I won’t go into them.

    So, maybe my accent is slowly becoming more Americanized. Who knows. If it’s happening, it’s definitely not because I am actively doing it or actively preferring to speak like Americans because frankly I don’t give a fuck and I speak better English than most Americans anyway, but you’re assumption that I “adopted” an American accent is incorrect.

    Whether the accent is American or Nigerian or Polish, any human being that is immersed in a way of speech for long enough will eventually gain the ability to speak that way. How long it takes varies from country to country and person to person.

    For instance, I can reproduce a “typical” Nigerian accent if I want to. I can also reproduce a typical Igbo accent, a typical Hausa accent (to some extent) and a typical Yoruba accent (again to some extent). I can do this because I have been around these groups of people long enough to notice the differences in their speech.

    However, just because I can do this does not mean that I speak like that them every day. Why? Because these groups of people were not my PRIMARY speech model. I interacted more with my mother in exclusivity than I did with any other human being for an abnormally long period of my childhood, which is why I speak the way I do.

  9. sugabelly

    I forgot to add.

    Chimamanda might live in America now, but she grew up in NSUKA. Which is why her “Nigerian (Igbo really) Accent” comes through much more strongly than mine does. Also, she grew up for the most part in one place

    By age ten, I had lived in Anambra, Enugu, Delta, Lagos, Edo,Plateau, and Abuja. (Not to mention places that I probably don’t remember because I was too young).

    Within Lagos alone, I lived in Yaba, Festac, Surulere, Apapa, Ikoyi, and VI.

    Within Anambra I lived in Onicha, Atani, and Ogbunike.

    You really cannot compare the accent of a person that lives in one place for a long time and a person that not only moves around constantly, but also has limited contact with other people and extended contact with one particular person.

  10. Miss Fizzy

    @enigmaticone- Bringing up another person’s issues here to prove a point is pretty weak. Z’s comment was related to the topic at hand and your response to her should have been as well. What were you trying to prove by digging her stuff and bringing it here? If you have a bone to pick on that particular issue, go to her blog and comment where it’s relevant. Also read her blog properly, she never said she wanted to be anything else.

    @Sugabelly- I agree with your post. I think midnight skinned people look quite foolish with platinum hair. I’m not even talking about the health effects or even the fact that it might stem from some form of self hatred, I’m talking about the fact that it looks unnatural and unattractive in my eyes. I have nothing against people who dye, you know as long as it flatters their skin tone. Still, it’s their life, their hair, and they’re the ones that have to deal with the odd looks when they’re out and about. I get disparaging remarks about my afro and funny looks all the time but it won’t stop me from wearing my hair that way, just as your post won’t stop these people from dying their hair funky colours or whatever they want. I wouldn’t even address this issue, but at the end of the day, it is Sugabelly’s blog and these are her opinions. She can write whatever she likes and express herself fully.

    PS
    Where did enigmaticone hear your voice? I want to hear too! I also have a weird mashed up accent that is a combo of British, American and Nigerian and the truth is most of the middle and upper class Nigerian members of our generation speak that way too. It’s a result of the influences we were exposed to as we grew up… american tv, british style education, summers abroad, etc. I’m not saying this is par for everyone, but for the people I went to school with, this is what our lives were like and this is why we speak the way we do and Sugabelly is right, faking an accent is work and a fake accent is painful to hear.

  11. enigmaticone

    Wow!!! Sugabelly, you amaze me.

    I am glad you have the oppurtunity to explain things. Isolated childhood? What a pity. And with all your travels round nigeria you end up with a Welsh accent? Do you even know what a Welsh accent sounds like? And how sound is/was your mum’s *cough cough* english accent?

    The only thing i’ll say to you is that, you can see how easy it is to judge people on a superficial premise wheras, there might be deeper issues brewing below. my problem is that you should be careful when you highlight these issues, do so with the understanding that like you and your ‘phony’ American/british accent, they too might have a story that goes beyond the surface. Cut them some slack please… thank you.

  12. enigmaticone

    @ Miss Fizzy, please get over yourself. I haven’t dragged anybody’s issue here. If it was something that i felt was unecessary, i would not have mentioned it, but it is comparable to what we are discussing. As i read her blog, i realised that it would be easy for people like sugabelly to judge her. It is such double standard that i detest, especially where she claims to defend the prejudiced Z that is.

    I am actually on Z’s side. But of course you are too blind in your followership to see that, and of course to see Z’s double standards.

  13. sugabelly

    @enigmaticone: I get it. And I get you. There’s no point talking about this. I never said I had a Welsh accent, so don’t put words in my mouth. I said as a child I had a generic British accent that slowly morphed to become more Nigerian sounding. And Isolated does not equal Sad, so save your pity party for someone who needs it.

    I’d also save my coughing if I were you since you have never met my mother. If the idea of a Nigerian with a British accent seems alien to you then there really isn’t much sense in debating this point further is there?

    And like it or not, I don’t need to know background info to decide that someone who bleaches their skin does not like their skin the way it was. Unless that person had a skin problem that could only be cured by bleaching, it’s almost always the same reason.

    And since Mr.Sosa himself has already admitted to bleaching his skin to “look better” then all your posturing is a moot point. Maybe YOU go about putting on fake accents to impress goodness knows who, I don’t have the time nor the energy.

    Back to the discussion:

    @Miss Fizzy: I understand when light skinned people dye their hair blonde for the heck of it. It tends to suit them and I don’t have a problem with that. If you’re light skinned then blonde hair IS a choice but what I refuse to understand is when a dark skinned person INSISTS on either dyeing their hair blonde or wearing a bright blonde weave in spite of how terrible it looks. THAT is where I feel there’s a serious underlying problem.

  14. sugabelly

    @Miss Fizzy: I agree. At this point, I think you described it best. My accent is a mashup of British, Nigerian, and American, same as most of my family and close friends.

    I think it’s many influences. The television you watched, your family, your friends, etc.

    My baby cousin has developed an American accent from watching Cartoon Network non-stop. We simply must break him out of it.

  15. sugabelly

    Oh and enigmaticone, what the hell is that statement you made to Z meant to mean?

    I didn’t even read the comments above properly because I was too busy responding to you.

    You come here and make all kinds of wild and crazy accusations and on top of it, you take cheap shots at people that are completely off topic. I don’t need to tell you to stick to the discussion at hand. And I don’t need to tell you that people’s personal lives are fucking off limit.

    The fact that you even insinuated that my mother might be faking her accent when you not only do not know who she is but have never even met her and have no inkling of what she is like in the least is bad enough.

    Grow the fuck up. I don’t know what your problem is, but you need to get rid of whatever heavy-as-fuck chip you’re carrying on your shoulder.

    I shouldn’t have to tell you that what you said to Z was completely inappropriate, uncalled for and marginally irrelevant. I shouldn’t have to tell you to apologize but you probably won’t anyway so I’ll save my breath.

    It’s like you always come here looking for a fight when everyone’s lounging around and chewing on sugarcane.

    Seriously yo, you can say what you want to say, but no more digs at people’s personal issues or private lives, got it? I don’t do it and you shouldn’t. The same goes for everyone else here.

  16. Z

    Lol, Miss Fizz and Sugabelly, I love y’all. I also love how more than one person in different comments have insinuated that Sugabelly is chafing at the bit to hate on me (because I’m mixed, according to one person, and according to enigwhatevs, because of my gender identity) when the reality is that we get along quite nicely and she’s never said a bad word to me, nor would I expect her to. Some folk need to realize that Suga’s not a close-minded hateful person just because she calls people out on what she sees as their bullshit. Don’t be mad just cos you got called out.

    At enig, abeg, you’re on my side? Did I even postulate a side? I simply expressed surprise that you were comparing an accent to bleaching skin. I didn’t even say anything about the bleaching issue, yet you’ve felt free to run your mouth assuming my opinions and saying I’m prejudiced with double standards and judging people. You got all that without me saying ANY of it? Wow. Talent.

    You want to call me out on a double standard? Try it. Better, as Miss Fizz said, come try it on my blog. Make it pertinent to the topic at hand, and not based on rampant speculation. Maybe then someone will be willing to take you seriously. And kindly don’t insult me by calling me a man in a woman’s body, or by insinuating that I should identify with people who want to look white. Are you serious? If you want to have a discussion, you may do so on my space, not dragging irrelevant topics onto Sugabelly’s blog under the guise of arguing against a point that I didn’t make in the first place.

    Sheesh.

  17. Miss Fizzy

    @enigmaticone- Lol, get over myself? I’m not the one here huffing and puffing and trying to force my opinion on others. You are so fixed in your dislike of Sugabelly’s “fake” accent that I’m starting to agree with her. Maybe you’re jealous. Also I see very clearly thank you. I happen to agree with what Sugabelly says in this post and I side with her completely on this particular issue. I don’t know how that translates as blind followership. If you feel having a mind of your own means disagreeing with everything and being contrary, I don’t. I pick my battles. I have talked to Z enough to know what she means when she talks about her gender identity. She has never said she did not want to be a woman. I’ll let her address that topic herself. I didn’t just happen to glance at her blog and then draw hasty conclusions. I do not believe bringing info from her blog was relevant to this discussion which was about people dying their hair blond or bleaching their skin to look whiter.

    @Sugabelly- The blonde hair, charcoal skin thing baffles me too. I wonder, how can anyone think that looks good? I’m pretty dark skinned and I think the lightest I ever went was like 2 shades back in my relaxed hair days. About the accents, I grew up in Nigeria like you did but I always had an accent that wasn’t completely Nigerian. When I moved to Europe the British part became more pronounced and when I moved to America the American part became more pronounced. My point is that this mashed up accent was there before I ever left the country (due to the factors I mentioned earlier) and before I even had a sense of identity. I was too young to think of the Nigerian accent as good or bad. It was just how I spoke and the kids I played with spoke the same way. Now that I’m back in the UK, both accents are struggling for supremacy and I can honestly say that it is not a conscious thing. I also know that if I’m in Nigeria, I will start to sound more Nigerian after I’ve been there a while. The environment affects how you speak whether you want it to or not. You can be the most die hard Nigerian patriot and you will still find yourself picking up nuances and inflections from other cultures just because you are surrounded by them. Now I’m wondering how a post on bleaching turned into a duel over phony accents. *scratches head*

  18. enigmaticone

    Okay, i hope you know that your outburst is totally unecessary and your wild allegations regarding my comment about Z is ridiculous. As far as i know, you only have to click on her name to be directed to her VERY OPEN AND PUBLIC BLOG. If she wanted to keep her private life private, then she would not make that info available. So take a deep breath.

    Now you guys blame tv for your accents etc… Now i know there were nigerian programmes on tv as well whilst growing up. Let’s cut out all that crap.

    I made it clear that i don’t care if you want to copy American,british, yoruba , ibo etc accents; the fact remains that you chose to COPY a different accent from yours, just the same way these people are trying to look white or wear blonde hair. The fact remains that you are all caricatures of the original. Next time be sure that you are truly ORIGINAL before you start pointing fingers, and i don’t care if the one form of copying is more hazardous than the other. JUST LEAVE THEM BE!!! same way you would love me to get the hell outta here.

    It is people like you sugabelly that will have a problem with Z and not me. I consider that you are the one who is being wholly inappropriate. I never said there was anything wrong with Z, i only drew comparisons to the things she openly discussed on her blog in order to highlight what i will term her double standard.

    You air your opinion so dubiously and deviously but try to wriggle your way out once others counter it or draw attention to the fact that you are not any better than the people you talk about. I believe i have raised valid points and i have taken on board your ‘excuses’but the fact remains, that in essence you are no different from these people because you’ve failed to revert to your original accent but have progressively chosen to advance your adopted one. Why can’t you learn to sound more nigerian instead of more American? If the places you live affect the way you speak, why did you not strengthen your naija accent in boarding house and stick to it? and why o why do you want to speak American?
    Again Chimamnda lived/lives in America from about age 19 – she did not let go of her accent. You have been there only 2 minutes and now you have an american accent/twang or whatever. Why can’t you just stick to your british/welsh/nigerian accent. I am certain if you lived in Hong kong, malaysia, south Africa, Ghana etc you would not be speaking English like they do.

    Australians who live and work in the uk for years still maintain the australian accent, likewise americans, so why is it different for Nigerians? are we the only ones who watch foreign tv? It is because you feel that they sound better, period. I am sick and tired of all these fakeness. Why are you even in their country acquiring a ‘foreign’ education? I bet of course you feel gaining a western education is better than a Nigerian one right? hence the influx of returnees armed with their ‘superior’ foreign degrees getting paid much whilst their nigerian counterparts are sidelined. Of course if you move back to naija with your newly acquired foreign accent coupled with a foreign degree, you will be welcome with open arms – and you want to preach to others. When even your mum chose to teach you English in a foreign accent other than a nigerian one where you were born and bred. Has it ever occured to you that these people who bleach had the same problem with a parent who did not feel proud of their blackness? Okay i rest my case…. PEOPLE SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO BE HAPPY WITH WHATEVER MAKES THEM HAPPY EVEN WHERE WE FIND IT DISTASTEFUL AS LONG AS THEY ARE NOT HARMING ANYONE ELSE. Sometimes what they need is attention, help, therapy. A lot clearly stems from self hate. How can we help them love themselves is the question. That includes those with phony accents

  19. sugabelly

    @enigmaticone: Are you serious at all?

    NOBODY gets up in the morning and says to themselves “Gen gen! Today I am going to speak like Baba Folasade down the road” or ” I am going to speak like Mr. Martins up the road.”

    Do you honestly think that CHILDREN think about what their accent sounds like? Do you really think that children decide what they are going to watch on tv each day based on whose speech inflections they are going to pick up?

    Are you KIDDING ME??????

    Do you honestly think my baby cousin watches Cartoon Network IN ORDER TO sound American? There are Nigerian programmes on television too but he doesn’t watch them because he JUST LIKES CARTOON NETWORK.

    My baby cousin does not give a shit what the people on tv sound like. All he cares about is Ben 10. As far as he’s concerned, he can watch Ben 10 from morning to night without eating or sleeping if you let him. The coincidence is that Ben 10 is an American boy, and since my baby cousin goes about randomly spouting quotes from the cartoon show all day long, he has begun to pronounce things the American way because so much of his concentration is sunk into watching Ben 10 and his Omnitrix watch.

    You can’t seriously be suggesting that the way Miss Fizzy and I speak is somehow OUR FAULT because we did not choose to watch nothing but Nigerian programmes when we were children. I hope you’re not serious because that makes NO sense.

  20. enigmaticone

    @ Z, i know not what to say to you. I have said over and over agin that it is the concept and not the form of copying that matters. eg, All women have breasts period. It doesn’t matter if one is bigger, smaller, rounder, saggy etc the same as we are all humanbeings first before we are categorised into black, white, asian etc.

    If you copy an accent, you are trying to sound like someone else the same way a black person bleaches to look fairer/white. I don’t care too much which is worse.It is the concept that matters which is COPYING.

    Sorry if i misread ur blog, but i read that you always wished you were a boy when you were younger.I bet a lot of people had/have that issue. Some more serious than others. I sometimes wish myself that i was a man but for other reason besides just not wanting to be female. But if you take what i said as an insult, then i did not mean it to be so. I would hope you extend your defence towards those blacks who want to be white and vice versa or nigerians who want to speak like americans. All forms of discrimination is bad, so if sugabelly and Ms fizzy who grew up in naija decide that the tv they watched in nigeria changed their accents then maybe you can help defend them from discrimination.

    you guys can tell that to the birds of the air. Nigerian tv my foot! I suppose all nigerians should then speak that way except you all watched different tv from the rest.

  21. Miss Fizzy

    Totally forgot to add, I do know Americans and British people that lived in Africa for months, not even years and worked hard to pick up the accents and to learn the vernacular. I was taught by some white British people that could speak pidgin better than me. They did their best to adapt to their new environment, which in my opinion is normal behaviour. My friend’s American GF spent 3 weeks in Nigeria and picked up some yoruba and writes to me in pidgin and uses Nigerian slang and she tries her best to say the Nigerian words in a Nigerian accent. I never thought it made her less American because she wanted to sound like the people she was surrounded by, or that she had deep race issues. *shrug*

  22. enigmaticone

    gosh sugabelly, you kill me! lol!

    I suppose Ben 10 and cartoon network is the only influence in your baby cousin’s life, right? I hope you know that as he grows older in naija, he will begin to speak the naija way Ben 10 or no Ben 10.

    My very good friend’s uncle just moved back to naija with his family. His children who are 6, 8 and 11 years of age within less than a year are already speaking in a nigerian accent, and can even throw in a little bit of broken english for good measure because of their house help and gateman. These kids attend the best schools and have access to all the programmes they watched whilst in the uk. but they have been influenced by their nigerian sorroundings. I suppose you and your baby cousins mother are delighted that he is speaking like an American even though he is in naija. Great stuff.

  23. sugabelly

    Also, um yeah. American tertiary education IS better than Nigerian tertiary education. I’ve already talked about this before so I really shouldn’t be repeating myself for your benefit.

    And Nigerian graduates are sidelined because most of them cannot string together a coherent sentence. Nigerian universities produce people like Rita Isoken every day. A recent report said that 27 million Nigerian grads are Unemployable. That’s what unsound education does to you.

    Nigerian TERTIARY education used to be fucking amazing (at least it was when my Mom went to school in Naij), but as we all know it has deteriorated terribly since then.

    Also, this is not about feeling better than any one else. It is the DUTY of every person to get the best education they can afford wherever they can find it.

    You do yourself no favours by choosing an inferior education when you can get a better one. You do YOUR COUNTRY no favours either. Nigeria will progress if more and more citizens get a sound education than if we all sit around crying woe is me.

    And since the Nigerian government has failed to shore up Nigerian universities, are you going to blame that one on me too? It is the same Nigerian returnees that are going to found better schools for their fellow Nigerians since the government let them down.

    That’s like saying that someone should not get the best healthcare they can afford simply because it is not in their own country. Sure, we MUST quickly ensure that our own healthcare and education systems are up to standard, but nobody is going to drop dead waiting for healthcare just because you want to prove me wrong with your flawed ideals.

    And by the way, last time I checked, most Nigerian grads that can’t get jobs sit at home and moan about unemployment. Now while unemployment is definitely a real problem in Nigeria, they aren’t doing anything to help the situation. It is the returnees that are entrepreneurial minded who are setting up new companies and CREATING JOBS for the Nigerian grads and stimulating the economy.

    I do not look down on Nigerian grads because it is DEFINITELY not their fault that our government has created a shitty university system, but at the same time, I have every obligation, not only to myself, but to my country to get a sound education so that I can provide for myself in future and give others the means to provide for themselves as well.

    I have said it before, and I am saying it again for your benefit.

    People don’t go to school in America, Britain, or wherever for bragging rights. At least, I sure as fuck don’t. I go to school here because this is where I can get the best education I can afford. If I could get it in Nigeria do you think I would be here freezing my ass off and watching people shake when they try to pronounce my last name? Hell no, but until Nigeria can offer me a better education, you cannot fault me for being educated here.

    And if you’re about to ask why I don’t go about improving Nigeria’s educational system, remember that neither I nor the hordes of other Nigerians can do that unless we are well educated and well prepared first – hence our presence here.

  24. enigmaticone

    @ miss fizzy, i guess they worked hard to learn and not worked hard to erase their american accent. I am sure if they were there for months, they won’t automatically have a nigerian or yoruba accent that will last them a life time. If i learn a few french, spanish or german slangs, it’s not a big deal as it is a different language from mine. But we all speak english in different accents, i doubt if they would speak english in our accent just because they lived there a couple of years. I guess its’s possible if they were born and bred in nigeria. But we change our accents and that means we believe theirs is better. I don’t care if you do it, but don’t feel that you are better than the next person who wants to be it – white that is. lol!

  25. enigmaticone

    @sugabelly, so you ignored everything i wrote and picked up on the education bit. Maybe these people have realised that if they go blonde or bleach their skin (sad as it may sound) they might progress quicker in society. Perhaps the fake and phony accents nigerians adopt abroad is done for the same reason. Now why do you want to judge so easily without digging deep and finding out the root cause.
    A lot of nigerians would have been ‘original’ if they were not made to feel that everything foreign or western is better than theirs. And that’s just the plain truth. I bet back in ur mum’s days, they were still under colonial rule and after independence, slowly and surely things began to disintegrate, education being one of them. Most of those in charge of the country couldn’t care less about raising the standard of education because majority of their kids are studying abroad – you see the foolishness of the black man?
    So please stop blaming your tv and ur mum for your faux accent, blame our leaders past and present who put anything foreign above anything nigerian.
    If there was any real sense of pride in you, i guarantee you that you and miss fizzy will never utter that embarrassing excuse of why your accent is so ‘mashed’ up.

  26. sugabelly

    @enigmaticone: I honestly haven’t the energy to reply to everything you say. I’ve replied enough as it is.

    There you go again, jumping to unprovable conclusions.

    My mother wasn’t even born in the time period that your last comment puts her in.

    Also, I wonder what proof you have that my accent is fake. I’m not sure how my accent is helping me get ahead in America since I’m going to be living and working in Nigeria after school.

    And are you saying that parents should be regulating the accent their children develop? How is that even a concern? If Fizzy and I were the only examples of Nigerians with a blend of accents you would have a point, but there are hordes of us. There are millions of Nigerians who have accents that are a result of Nigerian, British and American influences. Do you think that they were all actively selecting their external stimuli just to sound the way they do too?

  27. enigmaticone

    @sugabelly, i am dead!!!

    i can’t do this anymore. Speak away wth ur childhood accent that is neither ibo, yoruba, hausa or standard nigerian. but please leave people who want to bleach and wear blonde hair the hell alone. cheers

  28. Miss Fizzy

    I’m done. I listed a number of factors that influenced my accent as well as the accents of those around me but he/she chose to jump on the TV factor. I also stated that in Nigeria I sound more Nigerian and that depending on what country I’m in, one accent becomes more pronounced. There are soooo many people like Sugabelly and I who have the exact same mash of accents as I do. If I’d gone to a secondary school and a university in Nigeria, I have no doubt my Nigerian accent would have come to the fore, but as I didn’t and for the last decade or so I have interacted with other people that sound like me, I think it is very normal that I speak the way I do. Whatever his/her anger is with the way we speak, that is between them and God. I still pronounce my Nigerian words the way they are meant to be pronounced and I’m happy with that.

    Sugabelly, the comments sound to me like jealousy and I’m finding it difficult to take anything they say seriously especially as they have turned this discussion into something it was never meant to be. Why not get off the accent issue and discuss the issue that was actually brought up?

    Like you I plan to return to Nigeria to live and work once I’m done with my masters. I do understand what you mean about Nigerian graduates. I have quite a few of them in my course and I’ve proof read a few of their essays and believe me when I say I ended up practically re-writing the essays. The writing was terrible. Then there are those that can’t do simple tasks like copy and paste in MS Word. I think it’s fortunate they came here to further their education as it will be beneficial to them and the country when they decide to return to the Nigerian workforce. They will take a lot of skills and knowledge back with them that they can then teach their subordinates.

    By the way, last I checked, this blog is Sugabelly’s and she is free to write on anything she likes. We don’t have to like it or agree with her, but we can’t dictate what she can talk about.

  29. Anya P

    I loved this your quote right here: ***”Isn’t it better to be an original of [yourself] than to be the second-rate second-hand bad imitation of something you can never truly be?”***

    Word, homie. Word.

    I’d rather go thru life as a quirky, eccentric individual, than a bad imitation of anything else. God will be very angry with me if I did the latter.

    Sugabelly, you articulate some very interesting observations. I wonder why I don’t have you on my bloglist?

  30. GeekGirl

    anyway you look at it we have all copied stuff that werent truly ours..whether it be accents, skin color, weaves, choosing to live in a foreign country…let us not judge people for one thing and refuse to see our own…

  31. sugabelly

    @Geekgirl: Living in a foreign country? Are you serious? People have VERY REAL and VERY VALID reasons for living in foreign countries. Only VERY FEW people actually live in foreign countries for vanity’s sake.

    And, I don’t live here, I live in Nigeria. I simply attend school here. You cannot say that just because humans copy stuff from one another then it’s okay to copy another person’s skin colour.

    Skin is not “stuff”. Your skin is your identity. It IS who you are. Do not try to minimize the gravity of skin bleaching by trying to compare it to all the trivial other things that humans copy off each other. That makes no sense.


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