For The Love of Titles

“Pork Chop, say hello to Aunty!”

“Who is Aunty?! I am not Aunty, I am Grandma!”

I stared in disbelief at my mum’s relative.

There I was trying to be polite only to be reprimanded because…because…?

Dear relative, I’ll concede and tell my child to call you ‘Big Aunty’ if ‘Aunty’ is too small for you, but forget that Grandma, it is NOT happening.

I can’t with my people! If there is anything that can kill a Nigerian (because you know we are indestructible), it is the insatiable hunger for titles which we associate with respect. We carry it on our heads like it will make NEPA bring light.

Having to call your fellow students ‘Senior’ in secondary school is the beginning of the madness. I can’t begin to describe to you the power trips it causes. Those of you that know, know.

A friend of mine got the shock of her life after she got married and was told to call her sister-in-law, who is exactly 10months older than she is, ‘Sister.’ My Yoruba brethren, but why?!

Another friend was told to call her cousin ‘Uncle’ (four year age gap). The so called ‘Uncle’ had the temerity to date her friend and still insist she refer to him as ‘Uncle’ while his girlfriend got to call him ‘Sugar Banana’ and every fruit under the tropical sun.

Like it isn’t bad enough that we  covet this form of respect in our personal lives, we carry on the title craze into our professional lives.

Yet another friend (because where else will I get gist from) was introduced to a potential gentleman friend but the relationship died an instant death when he introduced himself as “Pharmacists Chiemeka.”

Engineer Princewill.

Solicitor Ajayi.

Economist Bianca.

Scientist Okafor.

IMG_4877You get an idea of just how serious a matter it is when you see a man refer to himself as “Chief Barrister Apostle Mr Olawuyi”.

I can’t, I just can’t.

The end.





  1. Naomi!! I have seen these titles in the actual passports! The struggle is real lmao! Love your posts as usual!


  2. I don’t have a problem with it really. To give you some perspective, this is the standard in most of the world. In Asian countries for example you will rarely call someone older than you by just their first name. In schools and work you’ll use “senior”. When I moved to the west,i found it hard to deal with everyone insisting on first names but adjusted in order to respect the culture. I dare say if you had to move to Asia, you wouldn’t be as offended by the practice. Imagine having to bow to everyone! : )

    In Korea, even your boyfriend is called “oppa” which means older brother!

    The only one that irks me is the “engineer/barrister etc titles


  3. Late Engineer so and so.. *cries in Gaelic* Us Nigerians do have a penchant for trying to appear important though.. To what end, I honestly don’t know (at least certainly not waking NEPA up though)


  4. Yes Junior Naomi (lol). You can imagine during reunion, one of them ladies had the cheek to say I should still call her Senior… Only God and the Holy Spirit held my acidic tongue together before the words that are not meant to be come out. Signing out: Journalist Projects Writer Blogger Yvonne (since titles is the way to go anyway)


  5. I need to find a title for myself. Can you help me out?
    Sorry the chief apostle one knocked me out. I can’t deal!
    I agree with the Asian comment above. My colleague confirmed it. They have respect name for every adult.

    So going forward please refer to me as chief lady evangelist Ruth abokoku

    Is this title long enough? Should I add honorable?


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