I laughed hard, really hard when it dawned on me.
My two year old son had just given me a typical Naija response, something you need to know if relating with Nigerians or visiting Nigeria. Or, do I say Africa? Well, I speak for my country.
I had called out to him and in his light slightly high pitched voice, he answered “I’m coming“.
I waited. Nothing.
He answered, “I’m coming Mummy” but continued with what he was doing. It was then it hit me.
It’s typical of Nigerians to say ‘I’m coming’ in response to being beckoned but still take a little time to finish up a task at hand or even go in an opposite direction, with the intention to return later.
Or someone could stand up to leave a room and say ‘I’m coming’ while they actually meant ‘I’ll be back’.
I remember on another occasion, he kept walking away, stopping intermittently to say ‘I’m coming Mummy’. Something I’ve done to them on quite some occasions.
I’ve tried to check myself sometimes, and I’ve agreed that I would use the right terms like ‘give me a minute‘ or ‘I’d be back‘ or ‘give me some time‘ but then it seems that ‘greater is the I’m coming in my programming than my efforts at a change’.
I’ll let it pass for the kids as an additional Naija flavour. No need fighting to change what I’m guilty of.