…Of Campus Language
Written by Martin Olage on July 15, 2019
English is the dominant language. If it were to be a nation then it could be the United States of America, all mighty and able with a threatening well-arranged vanguard and rear guard. If it were to be a football team then it could be Barcelona, with oomph to control the ball and cause more havoc to their opponents.
I am in love with the queen’s language. Could it be a lady, I would pull the strands of her hair only to tuck them behind her ear and joyfully play with her earlobes and maybe tell her something like, “I love you now and through time eternal. I love you more than my breaths. I love you in ashes. In smoke. In snow. My heart is reaching for you.”
Wow, I’ve sounded so poetic. Isn’t that how poets write. They claim to have skills of fabricating words into a meaningful universe of meaning. We need to appreciate them anyway. They are good characters, who just overthink.
Today as I was walking down the streets of Africa Nazarene University I passed a group of almost five boys. For a fact, I am not good at counting individuals without pointing their heads, that’s why am not certain of the exact number of the gathering. I always blame my class teacher for this. I won’t call names, I won’t describe personalities but I blame that madam teacher who always spat at any open space. She always told us to count heads and I mistakenly absorbed her style
These students positioning formed something that looked like a circle. Whenever you see that just keep a distance. It’s a premium reminder that maybe party arrangements are being weaved or most probably, bragging rights are being awarded. This particular gathering left me thunderstruck. They talked like those hip hop heads you would share paths with if you lucky enough to go to Atlanta. One of them kept saying
“Nuh G” just the exact way 21 savage or our own Kaligraph Jones could have said it. For a change I had to be nosey – I wanted to gather as much information as possible. I am also human, we humans have to go through a phase where being Snoopy tends to be the sweetest thing in this our aggressive world.
And so I stood closer, pretending to be typing on my phone and then another guy said in a dragging voice “Yoh mehn, I haven’t submitted the assignment, that lec is so fucked up, am a G, I can’t go beg his ugly ass to accept my late submission”
He talked like Wizkhalifa on a trap house, this Startled me. How is it even possible. Growing up I had dreams of being a lecturer, but after hearing such abuses I considered going back to the drawing board. Who wants to spend the last quarter of their lives being abused in an obscure yet obscene language that is coded in a lame sub-language called slang? Not me…
This whole event reminded me of a friend called Malongo, after a busy day he likes to unwind by listening to hip hop music and smoking “MaryJane” this puts him on the standpoint of rappers like Lil Uzi and Travis Scott and when he texts you, Bro, you’ll have to scratch hair of your scalp trying to understand what he means
“Ssup hommie, what’s poppin!” He would start the conversation.
“Waddup B, am way ace. Hbu”
“Am boolin bro, got no major”
Our conversation Would read.
In case you don’t know waddup and ssup are just regular greetings used by the bloods and creeps in the USA. Boolin translates to mean cooling and it’s used by the bloods who replace every single c in a sentence with a b. Malongo taught me all this. But I don’t embrace slangs, so I just use them when talking to him or friends of his kind.
For those who have the English mastery and fluency, they always feel a step ahead of the rest. When you analyze them closely you’ll notice they maneuver the streets of their campuses with joy and pride. You might think they are serving time at the heavenly lairs, right at the feet of Moses. They are assumed to be rich and they observe good grammar that can sweep a loose lady of her stance. They are the kind who think Kiswahili is for simpletons and bustards who can’t weave together an English sentence. You’ll find them in trendy Cafeterias like La Sala pulling chairs for ladies and acting like a movie start acting Telenova. Maybe they’ll say, “When I Look Into your eyes all I see is love. When I hold your hands am able to see the devotion In your heart. Best believe you are mine forever” such delectable words will make a lady smile like Victoria secret models on a runway. But such skills don’t come easily.
Whether slang or formal English, let’s just embrace this wonderful language. I agree Kiswahili doesn’t make a brain defunct but basing this argument on facts, the English language can help elevate your brain prowess to an even higher rank.