"WR6_gUnUj-ztiW07KQcOCnTel9A"/> Notes From Atlanta: 04/29/11

Friday, April 29, 2011

Readers’ Responses to Previous Articles

This week I am sharing a sample of the comments I received from readers of this column over the past few months. They are arranged in order of recency. Enjoy:

Re: Why Americans think Nigerians are rude


I read this article and have one example of how people view rudeness differently even within the same ethnic group. In Zamfara (and this is also typical of Sokoto) where I come from, it is OK to offer a handshake to an elderly person and he'll happily extend his hand for the handshake. But in Kano, you typically bow down to greet the elderly, and even respectfully resist shaking his hand even if he offers it. It will be considered rude to offer your hand to shake an elderly person.

Musab Muhammad
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You are a genius, Dr Kperogi. I like your invariably well researched, non-waffling and concise style of writing. I take pride in you as a fellow Nigerian. May God bless you!

Okechukwu Anene.
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Such a mature piece! You admitted, you corrected, and you accused all without losing your cool. I salute the temperament, which will sell the piece to whoever comes across it from whatever culture. Kudos!

Coker O. Ridwan
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Really, I am proud of you as a true ambassador of my country there in the United States. So many rude actions by the Americans are not usually pointed out, but at least you were able to let some out of the bag. God bless Africa. God bless Nigeria. God bless you.

Ojeifo Chrish D. Terry
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Commendation
I have always been impressed by your writings, more so your way with words. You have mastered English even to the admiration of native speakers. I read in one of your piece where you were required to sit for a fluency test but the Professor said even he could not speak better English than you.

Whenever I read you, I wonder whether you attended the same primary and secondary schools we went. But I doubt if you would send your daughter to any of the schools you attended.

I am not only commending you because you write (hopefully speak) English fluently, but because most, if not all, of your writings make a lot of sense to me. They are factual, engaging and quite revealing.

I wish you well.
Sanusi Maiwada
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Re: Now you can call me a doctor


Dear Dr Kperogi,

I have just finished reading your article in today’s Weekly Trust [March 5] and, even though you don't know me, I decided I should write to share in your joy. Congratulations on this huge achievement. I pray that Almighty Allah will continue to ensure you succeed in all that you do, and will continue to guide and guard you and your family..

Allah Ya kara daukaka. Ameen.
Kind regards, Hassan Usman
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This congratulatory message is coming from a fellow son of an Arabic and Islamic Studies teacher with a Diploma in Arabic (Allah bless his gentle soul). My daughter, Zainab, who was born the very day I defended my thesis in 2008, joins me in congratulating you on your achievement. Congratulations, Dr Kperogi!

Muhammad T. Muazu
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Re: Egypt’s Mubarak is gone, so what?


A well-written article but I beg to differ with you on Iran. The emancipatory effects only evaporated in the eyes of secularists (like your friends) of which there are thousands. Only alcoholics, prostitutes, homosexuals and their likes can feel suffocated and repressed because they are not condone by Shari'a. I can deduct from some of your write ups especially "Jos bombings: can we for once be truthful?" that you're tilting toward secularism, which always blames Islam for social ills and conflict. Those youths are children of those secularists.

Tijani Ahmed
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You just muddled up your today's article. Though I am not a regular reader of your articles but whenever I read them I always enjoy them except today. How can you condemn a revolution just like that? Do you realise the effort and sacrifice put in place in terms of human and material resources before a change could be brought about no matter how small? It’s uncommon sacrifice for somebody to change a system with his hands. The weakest is to change with the mind. This country, Nigeria, is doomed with people like you who do not see any difference between change and no-change molding the opinion of the citizens. How can you condemn the revolution in Egypt because of racial discrimination as if there is a place in the world where there is no isolated racial discrimination even your America or Nigeria?

Sadiq Halimat
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Wow! I enjoy write-ups that nudge me—whether I like it or not—to think. Thank you, Dr Farooq, for this beautiful piece.

Ibraheem Dooba
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Re: 10 most annoying Nigerian media English expressions


I read your column in Weekly Trust. You said it all in terms of our media not helping in the correct use of the English language.

Our leaders cannot express themselves grammatically. People cannot communicate with each other without conflict and good dialogue skills. Schools are dilapidated.  No educational  programmes like National Geographic or Discovery Channel are encouraged (lack of edutainment only entertainment). etc. SMS's have taken over good letter writing and we are so Americanized in our speech pattern even though we were colonized by the British. It's like no one proofreads again. 

Thank you for highlighting those ten facts. A personal one that I do not like is when someone is going and yet says "I am coming" while going. Have a nice day.
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Re: The grammar of titles and naming


I laughed when I finished reading your article. We Nigerians sure use lengthy titles.
When u said, “Dr. Mrs. Gloria Fulani,” in my mind I was saying  I am sure if she's a chief she would have included that. It’s just not grammatically wrong but we Nigerians seem to create our own English apart from the British and Americans. Allah kyauta. Hope all's well with you guys up there. Bissallam.

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I found your take on African names quite amusing. Your central thesis is that Africans do not have a concept of the “surname”. This is perhaps true for some Africans. I am Hausa and our concept of surname is geographical or occupational rather than ancestral. Thus we have Aminu Kano, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, Attahiru Jega and Harira Kachia. We also have...Isa Maiwake, Ammani Mak’eri and Ladi Maituwo. There are thousands of respective Aminu Kanos, Ammani Mak’eris, Attahiru Jegas and Ladi Maituwos that are not even remotely related, except by geographical or occupational identity.

 Your argument is that when people are called by their fathers’ respective names, they lose their ancestral associations. That may also be true, but the question is so what?  I have nothing against the western concept of surname but I don’t think it is in anyway better than my concept of surname.

My name is Bature, and my father’s name is Dodo and so I am known as Bature Dodo. My cognate (same parents) brother is called D’anladi Kano (our home town).  While my eldest child is D’anjuma Bature, my brother’s eldest daughter is Hajara D’anladi.

You are probably of the opinion this is confusing (and even annoying) but I am of the opinion it shows some form of individualism and freedom of choice, values highly regarded in western culture. When you meet someone, let his or her nature and character determine your interpersonal relationship rather than some given ancestral affiliation that neither of you chose nor consented to. And please do not think I do not value or cherish blood relationship; I am merely stating the alternative and pointing out that it is not in any way inferior.

There is indeed a lot of good to learn from western culture, as there is a lot to learn from every culture, but the problem is our penchant for taking certain cultures, especially western culture too indiscriminately.

Bature Dodo

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