Beyonce Knowles created the word ‘bootylicious’; a word that has come to define a woman who is voluptuously beautiful and sexy. Kimora Lee Simmons coined the word ‘fabulousity’ from the word ‘fabulous’ and Tyra Banks has made the word ‘fierce’ to become popular for a woman who is bold and daring and who isn’t afraid of expressing her personality through her sense of style.
In June 2010, the word ‘Kaita’ was added to our Naija dictionary. The word was coined from the name of Nigerian midfielder, Sani Haruna Kaita. He was sent off in the 2010 FIFA World Cup match against Greece on 17 June 2010 for kicking Vasilis Torosidis after Torosidis motioned as if to throw the ball at Kaita. This makes him the first Nigerian player to be sent off in a World Cup match. Greece went on to score their first World Cup goals, and win their first ever match in the World Cup.
After the match, Kaita was inundated with death threats from within Nigeria. Generations of Nigerians to come shall connect the word ‘Kaita’ to a person who is capable of dashing your hopes in a split second!
In the early 90’s, Nigerians who lived abroad used a code slang when referring to their country. If they were in the midst of foreigners and wanted to talk about their home country or wanted to visit home they would say things like:
“How is Naija?” “I shall be visiting Naija this Christmas” or “My Aunt is visiting from Naija” and so on. The slang back then created an impression of a country where nothing good could come out of. It made one feel as if Europe and America were the places to be and Nigeria was a place everyone should flee from.
Just like most slangs which are invented to demean, some Nigerians turned the word ‘Naija’ around for good. It was transformed to depict a sense of pride in our country folk. It has come to evoke the feeling of a people who have weathered the storms of hardship, corruption and unemployment to carve a niche for themselves.
Nations who felt they were superior and high up there have begun to take notice of Nigerians. They are even coming to us for survival lessons. Talk about who laughs last!
Recently, Hollywood the envy of other movie industries came down to Nollywood to learn how they could shoot a low-budget movie in so little a time as our Nigerian movie producers. They wanted to see if it could boost profit by cutting down excessive production costs without affecting box office ratings.
There was also a time in Nigeria when an elite wouldn’t be caught dead wearing Ankara. Traditional fabrics were only worn for traditional occasions and Nigerians of every social class took pride in wearing imported fabrics and clothes which were popularly known as ‘ready- made’. Today, our fashion designers have put the Ankara, Aso-Oke and other indigenous fabrics on the international fashion runways with such fierce, trendy and embellished designs; they are giving international designers a run for their money.
The slang ‘Naija’ is now on every tongue; Naija this, Naija that…so much that it has become so cliché. So I decided to create a new word, ‘Gywee’ for the patriotic Nigerian. A Nigerian who is not ashamed of his country or who he is.
A Gywee is a Nigerian who is proud to flaunt his nationality anywhere and in any place. A country is known by the colours of its flag. A country’s flag is the insignia of its identification. ‘Gywee’ pronounced Gee-Wee simply stands for ‘the letters G’ and ‘W’ – green and white; the colours of our flag. So if someone should ask you where you’re from you could say:
“I’m a Gywee.”
This means you’re proudly Nigerian. If you came across a high quality Nigerian product, you could say, “This is Gywee stuff”. If you wanted to brag about yourself or your country, or tell someone that something you’re working on is certainly going to be successful, you could say, “My tail light is blinking Gywee!” We all know that tail lights are mounted on the rear of a car. It lights red when the driver steps on the brakes to warn the person behind that the car in front is slowing down or stopping. The car behind has to slow down as well. Every driver loves the colour green. When the traffic lights turn red we sigh because we know we have to wait a while before it becomes green again and allows us to move.
Green is good. Just like the American singer John Legend sings, “Give me the green light…I’m ready to go right now!” A Gywee understands just one word: Go! Go! Go! There’s no stopping a Gywee. Not unemployment or Inflation. Not constant power failure or poor educational system.
A Gywee is going to come out of it all a major success and those who thought they knew it all would be coming to him for lessons. So I say to you again:
“Green is good.”
The question now becomes: “Are you a Gywee?
Article Written By: Peace Ben Williams.
No part of this article should be copied or published without the permission of the author.
Who Is A ‘Gywee’? ©2014
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