One Saturday, I was going for an appointment and so I boarded a local bus (danfo) to start my journey to my destination. While waiting for the bus to get filled up, the group of drivers around started yapping and laughing at each other. One of them (the boaster) boasted that he could give the other his car for free, and so the other (the boastee) sarcastically asked him to bring the key to the car if he had the mind. He started taunting him and telling him to bring the car key, while the other kept boasting, and they all laughed and laughed. The following conversation then ensued:

Boastee: “You know say I be limonia, you no know say I get limonia”
Boaster: “Oh! You be disease, I know say you get disease, abeg no near me o!”
Boastee: “Sheybe you talk say you be limonia, give me your car key, ko ni dafue, were!”

In Nigeria, the proper pronunciation for ‘pneumonia’ is ‘limonia’ (of course, I mean the opposite), as a result, it was assumed that he was just invoking the disease upon himself and trying to pass it on to others. It was not until his last sentence that we all realized that what he was trying to say was “millionaire” can you just imagine? The most annoying part was that the woman beside me, who was definitely a more certified illiterate than that danfo (local bus) driver, was now correcting him. She felt like she had just made a discovery and started speaking loud in Yoruba saying, “Millionia to fe so, o so limonia” meaning, “he wanted to say millionaire, instead he said limonia.”

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Jokes Apart

The tongue being powerful, is it possible that the driver’s invoking of pneumonia, even though in ignorance, would be binding on him? Is it possible for the devil to hold it against him, even though there’s no such thing as limonia? Can it be assumed for him that limonia would be a representation of pneumonia? These are questions that need to be answered.

Kindly send your opinions by comments below.

Cheers and God bless you infinitely!!!

© 2013 Godsplan Uzoaga.

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