Accented Phoneh Vs Phonetic Accents

Moderator:  This is the transcript of a dialogue between ‘Me’ and ‘I’.  It is not between “Me and I”…as in …not between the “Me” and “I” in Me, but just between a “Me” and an “I”…as in…as in…in-short just read it already.

NB: I also said a few things, so should it still be called a dialogue??


Me:    I hate people with accents or more like say Nigerians with accents.

I:         Wow! Hate? That’s a strong word o.

Me:    No, no…. not like that…. Okay it didn’t come out well. Its not that I hate people with accents… come on, I am a Nigerian, a proud one at that, off course I love accents.

I:          Hmm? Do you now?

Me:    Off course I do? Why shouldn’t I?

I:          But you were saying that…

Me:    Yeah! Yeah!! I know…what I mean is that accents are good. In a way they are like tribal marks…I am not saying that I like tribal marks here, but you see, accents are cool…in a way…at least it helps to identify people of a place.

I:          How do you mean?

Me:    Ehm, lets see…okay it’s easy to tell apart chief Balogun the house owner from Adamu his gateman and also Uduak the cook from Obi the driver…you get??

I:          Yeah…hehe!!

Me:    So you see, they all got this parlance which helps to make them distinctive and some, I must say are really funny. Like the Hausa’s with their “P & F” factor would go like: “I fromise to pollow you”, while an Igbo man might say something like: “chai! I riri rove that woman” and even Calabar’s might say something like: “prease, tell yuncson to cam to the yunchon”

I:          Hahahaha! Now I get you…I can even do a Yoruba accent “hit his very hecxiting to ave you here” or “Keleshi, how is heverything and heveryone”

Moderator: Walahi, I pinish all op you fifle por talking like this

Me:    Abeg o! …So you see; I’m pretty sure that back then, i.e. back in the days…

Moderator: Back where? Haf they efen born you then?

Me: Mstchw…ehen joor, back to what I was saying…I’m pretty sure that everybody, then, was happy to have an accent and represent wherever he or she came from. The only time it might have caused major problems was during the civil war, for example if an Igbo soldier were to have caught a Hausa man and asked him where he came from and the Hausa man were to say “Biapra”, then he was in for it.

I:          Wow! I can only imagine

Me:    So you see, accents weren’t so bad at a time and then we started to get enlightened or maybe enlightened is not the right word here, but sha, we started to loose the accents and with this new generations of young boys and girls, most of their mother tongue disappeared along with the accents.

I:          Ah! Yes, its true o

Me:    Off course nah! What they now use is phoneh…some twisted annoying accent. The part I don’t understand is how they seem to connect this phoneh to Ajebuta’s or kpakobuta’s, i.e. kpako’s forming Ajebuta , so its now like the only to show it is to use phoneh

Moderator: You are beri, beri collect. I actuarry berive you…

Me:    You see… it has become so bad that it has now entered into everything that they say…it has totally confused them. They no longer know which accent is which and have ended up mixing everything up. You might hear something like: “I’m vewie sowie deawie”…and I can only wonder, what happened to their tongues, not that they have the “R” factor o?

I:          They have lost it I am telling you, or why in God’s name would people say and write things like “fink”, “fenks” or even “fwends”.

Me:    Yah, I’m sure they have…Now, the one that is paining me is how they spell their names, check most of these social networks and you would see names like “Holarbisi”, “Hardeyemi”, “holuwatomicin”, “Hambimbolah”…the longest I have seen so far is “hardeyburwaley Holuwarsheyiphunmi”

I:          Its true o…they don’t even seem to realize that our African names all have special meanings

Me:    Off course they don’t know the value of their names or why else would an Igbo boy spell his name as “Holisahemeka” or a girl write “Horluchi”

I:          While some even spoil their English names. I have seen “fridaea”, “Kwiss”, “Fitar” and that kind of ish

Me:    You can imagine!!

I:          But sha, vewie soon, imma change my name to “Hi” and maybe start calling him “modewetor”

Moderator: Walahi talahi, I pinish you ip you try it, I shhuwear…

By Kelechi Kemnele