The Oasis Reporters
November 8, 2018
President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria (right) graciously does the introductions.
Public figures realize everyday, the importance of connecting with ordinary folks by speaking in the street slangs because they know that it excite crowds especially when it is spontaneous and unexpected.
Therefore when the debonair Prince of Wales got down in Lagos, he set aside his upper class London education to speak Nigeria’s pidgin, a corruption of the Queen’s English he was brought up in.
The Nigerian commercial city of Lagos was agog to hear Britain’s Prince Charles, charmingly say,
“How you dey? (How are you?)” as he asked assembled dignitaries, including former heads of state, presidential candidates, leading politicians, and stars from the world of fashion, music and the arts.
Queen Elizabeth II’s eldest son and heir, who turns 70 this month and winds up a tour of The Gambia, Ghana and Nigeria on Thursday, said he was pleased to be back in “Lasgidi” (Lagos).
“I find it hard to believe that nearly 30 years have passed since I first came to this city,” he added in a speech at the British Deputy High Commissioner’s residence.
“As they say, ‘God don butta my bread’ (God has blessed me),” he said, praising the city for its dynamism and energy.
Lagos is home to more than 20 million people and with two of the busiest sea ports in West Africa and equally the busiest airport in the sub region, the city drives the economy of Africa’s most populous nation as it remains a hub of innovation and industry.
Charles, whose Prince’s Trust has helped launch the careers of hundreds of thousands of young entrepreneurs, said both shared the same spirit of imagination and ingenuity.
“If life dey show you pepper, make pepper soup,” he said, which roughly translates to “life is what you make out of it”.
President John F. Kennedy first pulled that stunt in then West Berlin when on a visit and addressing a mammoth crowd in English suddenly switched into the German street lingo, ‘Eich en Berliner’ (I am a Berliner) and the crowd went rapturous in delight over the recognition and compliment, as one of them.
President Ronald Reagan equally did same in Belfast during his presidency by trying to lower his American accent into an Irish one, because indeed, his roots were Irish, a beautiful stunt President Bill Clinton pulled off too, when he visited Belfast.
In his last year as president, Barack Obama visited the East African country of Kenya, his ancestral root and father’s country and threw one back at the capital city, Nairobi, saying. “ awa u ne?”,( how are you?)
Pope John Paul II threw basic greetings in Igbo language during a mass in Onitsha, making the Catholic faithful light headed, laughing and relaxed.
The Nigerian community in the UK are currently reinventing pidgin English in their banters having watched Prince Charles promote it in Lagos.