Let’s Talk About It: Nigerian Time

One year when I was on the basketball team, the coaches told us to tell our parents to pick us up after our game or practice 30 minutes before the actual end time. We were all black on the team and the coaches, also black, knew many of our parents would not get there on time. In the US there’s Black people time (BPT). By the way, to my friends don’t laugh but yes this fine girl was once on the basketball team. Let me channel my athletic Serena Williams side in peace. Different sport but you get the point.

Back to the topic at hand. I went to a different school a year after and that school had BPT and Spanish people time (SPT). It was like a competition of who could arrive later. In university I discovered the term, Color People Time. Yes, this was used, you know to be inclusive and all we can’t go and ignore the other colored people with lateness tendencies. It appears that different cultures have their own way of relating to time.

When I was in Colombia (yes the country), I experienced not only Colombian time but also German time. For example, if my group of friends (my mini United Nations) were meeting up, someone would ask whether the meeting time was Colombian Time or German Time (GT). Yes, this was truly our reality. If it was Colombian time then we would arrive at our set time about an hour after but if it was GT we would arrive exactly at the set time.

Now let me get to the matter of Nigerian Time (NT). I am frustratingly sitting here waiting for my mother so that we can start going home. We’ve been at this place for a while now and still she keeps telling me that she’ll be ready to go in 5 minutes. That 5 minutes was an hour ago. We’ve all been there. Either at church, shopping center or a family friend’s house we’ve waited for our parents to finish what they’re doing so we could go home.

Nigerian Time is getting to a meeting or event hours after it is designated to start because if you get there at the actual start time that would be considered early. Nigerian Time is going to a concert and waiting hours for the show to start. There are other examples of Nigerian Time. It’s just the way we do things. It has its ups and downs.


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