Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Title Nigeriana

by Jonas Dogara
‘The families of Ntretepe and Ntretepete (no be real names) wish to thank friends and well-wishers for the outpouring of love and support during the burial of our late mother, grandmother, aunt and sister, late Mrs. Eunice Ntretepete.…. This is signed by Right Honourable Chief Andy Ntretepete for the family.’

That na the announcement wey I hear last Saturday, and e nearly make me crase! Right Honourable Chief! I done dey hear titles all my life, but this one na the one wey finally make me holla. Wetin happen sef? Person no go rest for these mad Nigerian titles wey dey make shame catch the person wey hear dem? If dat man na my papa…

Titles na normal thing for human life. Every society get e own titles, and with civilization and education wey done spread round the world, e get some titles wey dey common all over the world. The normal ones like Master, Mr, Mrs and Miss dey common all over the world, for different languages. Titles for royalty like King, Queen, Prince, Princess, Lord, etc. na normal thing for different cultures all over the world. Religious and political titles like Revd, Imam, Senator, Governor, etc. dey. Titles for the military and police, like Sergeant and Colonel dey and we also get the academic ones like Doctor and Professor too. The only professional title wey dey common all over the world na for doctors.

Coutesy: The Vanguard
For our country, some wise people decide say these title dem no do for us. We need more. I no dey really sure when dem decide am and why. E be like say some people wey go school well well, but no be medical doctors, believe say their own professions dem need title too. Or maybe dem just feel say traditional rulers and politicians dey oppress dem with their titles. So dem create the professional titles. No be we invent professional societies and organizations o. Bodies like the the Royal Society of Engineers (UK) and American Congress on Surveying and Mapping (USA) done dey for a long time. But we decide say e get something wey dem never really address – titles! So we address am in a Naija style. Because of that, we get people like Barr. Edem Duke, Engr. Aminu Idris, Arc. John Chukwu and Surv. Adewale Johnson.

As life dey go on, people titles fit change. So somebody fit go from Mr to Dr or from Miss to Prof or Miss to Mrs. Na normal thing. For some parts of the world, when doctors become consultants for their field dem dey change from Dr. X to Mr. X or Ms. X. No be for Naija sha. God go wound that person wey go ‘reduce’ your title! Sometimes too, person fit get the right to use two different titles. The normal thing for other parts of the world na to choose one when you dey yarn about the person. Because you no actually call out or write out all the titles wey somebody get, no mean say the person no get those titles again. Example of this, na the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams. Because of wetin him be and the kind school wey e done go, e get plenty titles. The guy get PhD, na professor, na head of the Church of England, na member of the House of Lords and Privy Council and many more things. If you actually write everything out, him suppose be The Most Revd and Rt Hon (or his Grace) The (Lord) Archbishop Dr Rowan Williams, FBA, FRSL, FLSW. But I never ever see where anybody actually call am or write about am like this. Na always simple Dr Rowan Williams or Archbishop Rowan Williams.

For our country sha, that one wey I just talk now, na rubbish! How you wan take tell Naija man or woman say e go get title, but make we no address am with all him titles all the time na? Complete rubbish! If you no address am complete, na trouble you dey look for so. If na for occasion, the person no go gree stand up from him seat. If na for school and you mistakenly call your lecturer something ‘less than’ him/her full title, you dey set P with carry-over be dat. So, we dey get title combinations. We dey combine these titles ‘as the spirit leads’. No matter how the thing sound for ear, e no matter. As long as all the titles manage enter, e dey alright.

One of the cases wey common pass na Dr Mrs. I no dey sure why women dey feel the need to add the Mrs to the Dr for their names, but before dem marry dem no dey say Dr Miss. Surely, if Dr Mrs dey okay, then Dr Miss suppose dey fine too na. Abi na to tell the female Drs wey never marry ‘sorry, you hear?’ As far as I know, nothing inside the Dr wey make am man title. So, if a woman get the right to use the title of Dr, she no need any other title to explain her sex or marital status.

The traditional ruler for where I come from for Rivers State been be professor before e take the stool. The first time I see where dem write him name after him become ruler, the title na King Prof! I just open mouth and no sound come out! E dey like say somebody blow me for belle! King Prof! So, with all the military titles wey Prince Charles of Wales get now, when him become king of England, e suppose become something like His Royal Highness, King Colonel-in-Chief Air Commodore-In-Chief Commander Charles, abi? If a medical doctor come get PhD or somebody wey done get PhD already come get a second one, why dem no dey become Dr Dr or maybe Dr-squared? Anytime I see the man name, all I dey think na ‘Oga, no dey greedy: choose one!’

Most of my lecturers for university been be Engr Drs. But e get one wey been no get PhD but na chief for him village. I always dey wonder how him title go be when e get PhD. Engr Dr Chief or Chief Engr Dr or maybe another brilliant combination. I no go bother you with plenty more examples of title combinations as I dey sure say you done hear dem before too.

I just dey wait for na when other professions for Naija go join the title bandwagon. We go get people like Geologist Ndidi Mazi, Accountant Andy Pam, Historian Mercy Daka, Economist Paul Akwanga (to get babe go hard small o) and Chemist Kabir Musa (dem go need to add small explanation to show say dem no dey sell medicine). The sweet part go be how professionals like urban and regional planners, public relations people and agricultural economists go address demselves. And when dem go begin mix these new titles with Alhaji, Alhaja, Otunba, Eze, Mallam, etc.

Somehow I dey feel say if to say the English people never already say ‘Master’ na for small boys wey never become men, Naija people wey get masters degree for done add ‘Master’ to their names! Afterall, people wey get doctorate degrees dey add ‘Doctor’ to their own.

True true, we get very serious matter dem wey dey worry us for this country, and titles no be one of dem. If the country dey work well and titles plenty, I no mind at all. So titles no dey vex me. Dem just dey pinch me small for body…. And when things do me like that, I dey like to turn dem to play play things. So, if you sef done tire for these yeye title dem, then join me play with dem. Drop a comment and ‘create’ some interesting titles wey go fit some Nigerians. I dey see one already - Hon. Otunba Activist….


This na @nfsqueezed on Twitter

19 comments:

  1. My own present tile na: Mr Salisu Umar FSC., SSC., BSC., MIS., LCP., NYSC.
    Na wetin i fit remember be that.

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    1. Salisu, why you dey fall my hand? Na which kind toy title be this na? You no be proper Naija man? Since you no wan title yourself properly, I o help you out. You go be Sir Comrade Salisu Umar FSC., SSC., BSc., MIS., LCP., NYSC.

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  2. You go come be Writer/Journalist Jonas Dogara, Ph.D Brokin English! Na supporting you still dey look, the real film neva start!

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    1. You no do me well o. I need proper double-barrelled title! The type wey dey pursue winsh when dem hear am.

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  3. Me i no wan be comrade but see my new title. Dr. Alhaji Professor Honourable Senator Maikudi Salisu Umar MSC PHD JP OFR

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    1. Now you are talking. This one make sense!

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  4. Me I'm Mr.W.A.S.C.E, GCE, BSC,PolSC...Akemini...LMAO...dey won't kill us with rubbish titles, over pompous asses!

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    1. No mind dem. Na our society wey dey elevate anybody wey get something wey sound big in front of him name, even if the person no get any breeze for him 'this thing'...

      The one wey you supply us so, na wetin dey come after the name o. What about the one wey dey come before? Make we give you something like Obong Deacon Sir or Hon Lord Chief?

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  5. ok
    Dr,Prophet Akemini...GCE,BSC,MSC,PHD,MBA,YMCMB,OND,MOD,DUI,OGYBN,Laurate,Comrade (RtGeneral)

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    1. Na now you dey fire on all cylinders. When devil hear this name, you no need to pray before e go begin run. I throway salute sir!

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  6. Bros, that Town Planner matter wey u talk me I no happy o. Una think say na only una lie titles. We sef get our own na. Check am Tpl (Town Planner). So as per registered town planner now, my title go be JC Comrade Tpl Mallam Abusidiqu. MNITP, RTP, MNIN. Hehe

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    1. Oga mi abeg no vex o. Show forgiveness. Dem say to err is divine and to forgive is human, or something like that. I no go forget una titles again.

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  7. Most Holy Reverend, His Supreme Excellency, Lord of the bandits... lol. nice one...

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    1. Shege jagua! Na the very title be this o. Both angels and demons go dey run from you!

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  8. Chief,sir,dr,engr G.N.Amadi(JP).all reality,no lie.and i dey suspect say him don add some more cos these ones been dey current as at '96/'97.we no been dey hear word for church cos him dey put hand for all programs so dey must announce in full...

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  9. No vex abeg,i forget envangelist and layreader so add am to the above

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    1. Wondermentoria! I dey sure say the guy go done visit Jerusalem by now. Therefore 'Pilgrim' go enter the title too! Thank you for reading o.

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  10. I saw one of such titles on a billboard two days ago,Right Honourable (Dr)Pastor Prince Sam Obi. The man is a member of Delta state House of Assembly,and also owns a church!

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    1. You done see am finish na. I just hear Otunba Mrs... now now for TV. Somebody say na new invention, since women no dey be Otunba for Yorubaland.

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