Jenifa’s Diary!!! This award-winning comedy series really rocked the Nigerian movie scene. It was an epic success. All over the country, people always in anticipation of the next episode on the series, the excitement almost grew to a feverish pitch. Even old men and women were hardened fans. But that ain’t the most amazing part. The most amazing part is how students all over the country, especially the females, have resorted to speaking like Jenifa, the series’ main character, who’s major selling point was her corrupted form of English. Everywhere you go now, the girls (and some lady-like guys) have all decided to adopt Jenifa’s mode of speaking. You keep hearing phrases like “ais you” to mean “how are you”, “is me is fine” to mean “ I am fine” and all sorts of corrupted English phrases which create such a comical effect you can’t help but laugh. That is, until you meet the extremists. Those who have conditioned their speaking in that manner so much they don’t van know the appropriate time to say it again. That’s ow I was talking seriously to one girl the other day and she was replying me with all these Jenifa-ish phrases. I just felt a sudden brutal urge to slap her, “maje I just tear am one better slap”, but I just resisted the devil. But that’s how frustrating it is at times.
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And that’s not even the worst. The worst and most laughable part of this is that, in our typical Nigerian fashion of overdoing things, a lot of Nigerian students can’t even speak proper grammar anymore. They’ve hardwired their brain with the bad grammar so much, speaking it is now sort of an involuntary action. Even when they try to speak normal English, they find themselves suddenly reverting to Jenifa-ish English in the middle of sentences. Most of them can hardly carry on a conversation without resorting to this corrupted form of English.
Now, is this a bad thing? I can’t honestly say it is and some people would even argue that English is not our mother tongue, so why should we speak it correctly. And some people would be like, there is freedom of speech so they can talk however they like. But as for me, “if you talk rubbish English for where I dey, I go tear you hot slap ni.”
But on a lighter yet more serious note, this trend might not be bad, but it definitely ain’t productive. And why do something unproductive when the time could be better spent doing the opposite. And for those arguing that English is not our mother tongue, it might not be our mother tongue, but it is still the official language. And it is still a compulsory subject in o’level and all other sorts of exams. So if you insist on speaking this bad English, carry on. WAEC will teach you different and JAMB will be there to support him