Big man abroad

Big man abroad

I no fit tell you
The things wey I don do
Since I leave there,
To come here
To this land of Oyinbo.

I no fit tell una
The places wey I don waka,
Or the insult wey I don hear
Since I land here
For this land of Oyinbo.

I no fit even try
Tell you how I don cry
When I remember
How Naija dey groove for December
Unlike this land of Oyinbo.

But I no fit complain
Because na me carry myself enter plane
With my fine, fine dress
As I come find progress
For this land of Oyinbo.

In fact, I fit tell you say since I land
For this nonsense England,
My brother don fit finish school
And my people fit chop belle-ful
Becos of money from land of Oyinbo.

I fit even tell you say because of my sweat,
My papa don build big house with inside toilet
And all the people for village
Come dey pay am homage
Because im get son wey be big man for land of Oyinbo.

But I get to hala
My dear sister and brother
Because I don tire
For this my lonely waka
For this land of Oyinbo

I true true wan return home
But I dey fear to come
Because una fit laugh me
When una finally see
Say I really be small man from land of Oyinbo.



20 thoughts on “Big man abroad” by Naija Mum (@Naijamum)

  1. Naijamum, you are fast creating a space for yourself in my list of NS Literary Icons.
    I looove this!

  2. Menh,this totally rocks oh,the price paid for some things.
    Naijamum,you rock.

  3. @Lade:
    I am really flattered. Thanks so much for the lovely feedback.

    @Gretel:
    Thanks Gretel. You rock moore! :)))

  4. Naija mama, u try 4 dis ur pigin wey u yan (or rite) so! Problem b say na 2 read dis Inglish wey skatta well-well, kpata-kpata!

    I think you and I, and any other person willing to join us, need more lessons on creole-writing, if there’s such a thing as that, hm? ;) This is one of the diciest genre I’ve ever had to embark on. The state-owned newspaper I once worked for would NEVER publish anything written in pidgin. Reading it (and trying to make sense out of it) is HELL!! It’s just that Nigerian English pidgin has a beauty I can’t ignore, you know…

  5. Nice piece Naija mum.
    It blows my mentle to see another writer using the medium of pidgin english.
    Looking to read more of your works.

  6. @Emanuella:
    Tank u my sistah.
    The truth is I had to tone the pidgin down a bit and add some English terms because my pidgin is very much Edo/Delta style and some people find it difficult to understand.
    So,this is really ‘hybrid pidgin’ :)

    @Ld Otakpor:
    Which??? Area!! I hail oh!!
    No shaking. Me dey read ur own too!
    I dey hope say we go dey learn small small from each other. Thank you for your feedback.

    @Berry:
    Thanks for your feedback. Much appreciated

  7. I see this as a bittersweet tale…most people would give anything to be in that Oyinboland and pay that price of lonesomeness.

    I could emphatise with the poet persona’s emotions.

    Well done!!!

    1. Gbam!!!!
      I beleieve you have captured the whole diaspora experience with that expression – ‘bitter-sweet’! Thank you my brother

  8. Nice one naija mummy! Now that you call this hybrid pidgin, I feel I would like to see the poem again in full fledged Edo/Delta flavour, as I be Oliver Twist na.. :)

    1. Thank you Tee
      You are really Oliver Twist LOL
      Regarding the proper pidgin, it has a lot to do with spellings and terms….
      For example, the first verse should be

      I no fit tell u
      D tings wey i don do
      Since I carry comot dere
      Com land here
      For dis obod’oyinbo

      As you can see, it is not easy to read for most people :o)!

  9. What a theme! What a sacrifice! What an irony! But shuooo… Dis broken english don dey spread 4dis site o! *winks* I agree with u sweetie. Delta pidgin’s too hardcore for most aje-butters, even for some aje-kpakos sef. Ha ha!

    1. King Koboko!!!….what a name LOL
      I think pidgin english dey become more popular as we try to express ourselves better – as Naija writers.
      Thanks for the feedback. Much appreciated!

  10. The mood here is revealing. But whenever I see the sea of heads struggling to go “for that land of Oyinbo”, I wonder whether they know the shy truth about life there as a second-class citizen. Naijamum, this one is spicy. The repetition of “Oyinbo” lines is making it jump into a song for children. They will love it.

    I see that our lovely Nigerian Pidgin seems to have a lot of minute variations reflecting the indigenous languages of particular areas in the country. The creole is evidently still cooking. It has not “done” yet. I am aware that the Portuguese “Sabby” which means “to know” was one of the few foreign words which began it all as our people were attempting to communicate with the white man or imitate white sailors and slavemasters long long time ago. Still, I love it, especially the lilt in it.

    1. Thanks Jeff
      I’m glad you liked it.
      With regards to people rushing abroad, I dont see emmigration ending any time soon as ‘push’ and ‘pull’ influences continue to motivate people to leave Nigeria.
      Some people leave because they are ‘pulled’ under the delusion that the streets abroad are paved with gold. However, many others are ‘pushed’ to leave because of family circumstance.
      Every person’s background is different but I do believe we all seek a good life – somehow, somewhere! *smile*
      With regards to Pidgin and its variations, I do think the language is fluid – constantly adapting to its environment to include new terms and words. That’s why I love it soo much!
      Thanks again

  11. This is very beautiful and truly potrays the fix the man is in…i’ll be looking for more of your work.

    1. Thanks for the positive feedback
      Hope you have a great 2011!

  12. Hi Naija Mum,

    Your Pidgin English poems are brilliant and I am a final year university student writing an extended essay on language and identity. If possible could I possibly get in contact somehow to ask you a few questions about your poem(s) and what your take is on this topic please? I may use this poem if that is ok too please?

    I’d also like to clarify the meaning of some terms; I’m British born GH, so I understand most of it, just a couple words I need to clear up.

    Thank you and regards,

    Trev

    1. Hello
      Thanks for your lovely comment
      Please contact me at dwonderkid@gmail.com
      Speak soon
      C

  13. p.s. An email address would be sufficient so I could maybe send a couple questions your way. Thanks again

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