Fact: You are not a Nigerian if you have not heard or said the phrase ‘am I your mate’ at least once in your life.

    -Salziea’s Blog, 2017

As a Nigerian, it is inevitable that you’ve asked someone ‘am I your mate’.

 To all my non-Nigerians, you might ask ‘what does am I your mate’ mean? Well, it’s a question-it could also be a statement-which a person (the ‘asker’) is asking another (the ‘askee’) in a way that could be condescending, authoritative, manipulative, coercive or even malicious, with the bottom line being that the asker is older than the askee and the askee has done something way out of line and needs to be reminded that the asker is an elder.

However, recently, albeit being a Nigerian, I have wondered as to the basis behind that question when I heard two guys arguing and one of them asked the other ‘I be your mate’. Lol. They looked the same age to me. Which led me to the simple conclusion (no, not that Nigerians are mad) that ‘am I your mate’ might probably not be just an age thing.

I am probably one of the most guilty parties in the ‘am I your mate’ club. I tell this to my brother every single time he tries to go out of line. I look at him with a total badass, poker face and go ‘I’m not your mate’. Same goes for every other person I’m older than.

It must be noted that ‘mate’ here means ‘age mate’. However, I’ve got a new theory.

Why should ‘am I your mate’ be an age wise question. Why can’t it be an intellectual question? Or a financial state question? Okay, let’s look at it this way.

Say, I’m well travelled,well read,well groomed,and of a reasonable intellectual sagacity. And you’re not. And say, you’re older than I am. Why can’t I be in a position to ask ‘am I your mate’. Because, obviously ,we are not mates. Not to rub it in, but age is nothing but a number. 

So, right now, my theory is that if you are better or have achieved more than someone within your age range, YOU ARE NOT MATES. 

There are lots of people who were born in Shakespeare’s era, believe me when I say, THEY ARE NOT SHAKESPEARE’S MATE. There are lots of people my age out there, better, bigger. I’m not trying to put myself down or anything, but THEY ARE NOT MY MATES. And same goes for people I have left behind at some point, I AM NOT YOUR MATE.

It is however pertinent that I point out the fact that life is not a competition and shouldn’t be a constant battle of your success against your age mate’s success. This is just me speaking from a totally ‘Nigerian’ point of view.

Theefore, feel free today, strive to be better so you can look your age mates in the eye and go ‘Am I your mate’.

I mean, we’re Nigerians. We live for this shit!

I look forward to your views. Are we mates?

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And for collaborations or guest postings, email me up at zonuhyahaya@gmail.com. 

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