Somewhere around Lagos an old woman is waiting to board a bus. A bus pulls up and the conductor begins to yell out its destination.
‘Amukoko! Amukoko! Enter with your change oh!’
The old woman suddenly charges at the conductor and admonishes him to keep quiet and stop shouting ‘Amukoko’.
The confused conductor avoids her thinking she must be a mad person. He jumps his bus and orders the driver to take off.
Another bus pulls up and this conductor calls out in a more husky voice thickened by massive consumption of ogogoro.
The elderly woman suddenly becomes incensed and launches out angrily at the conductor.
‘Shut up! Na Amukoko go kill you!’
The conductor was dumbfounded. He looked at his driver, the bewildered passengers and back at the old woman.
‘Ah ha…Mama wetin I do now?’
‘You dey shout Amukoko, you still dey ask me wetin you do?’
By now a crowd gathered to find out what the commotion was about. Apparently the word ‘Amukoko’ according to the old woman meant ‘T*t* water’ (Vagina secretion) in her own language!
In a country like ours with such a vast diversity of tribes, one word in one place could mean another thing elsewhere which probably means we should be careful how we say words and where we say them.
I was watching TV last week and saw the video of a Naija artiste called Jaywon. When I saw the title of the song (Tinko Angel) I burst into laughter. Maybe the title was meant to be a cool reference to the chick he was singing about but it got me wondering if he knew what ‘Tinko’ meant or he actually just thought it sounded cool.
As far as I was concerned, he shouldn’t have used that as the title because ‘Tinko’ is the name given to small pieces of goat meat that’s preserved in a dried up state. So is Jaywon calling his babe a small piece of dried-up goat meat?
What of the popular story of a Hausa man telling a Yoruba friend in Yoruba that he is grateful to the friend’s wife for giving him corn to eat – which because of the Hausa man’s accent sounded he was grateful to the friend’s wife for having sex? Unless you never went to a Nigerian secondary school you probably have never heard that story.
I could say we should watch what we say and know what they mean before we say it but what about the case of locations like ‘Amukoko’ ?