I’ve observed a trend that I feel is quite fascinating. So here’s an illustration of the trend:
It’s Amaka’s birthday, her friends and invited guests sing the popular ‘happy birthday’ song for her. They are singing the concluding part of the song: how old are you now??…. And Amaka replies: I’m a year older today…..
PERSON 2- Chris
Chris is an actor and he has been invited to come on a popular talk show to have a chit-chat with the presenter and most especially to entertain his fans. So as the question and answer segment is in progress, the presenter asks Chris: So one of your fans on twitter has sent in a question, Bella wants to know how old you are? and I’m sure your other fans want to know as well…..Chris smiles and replies: Hello Bella, shout out to you and my other loyal fans out there. I am 38 years old……
[No one makes a fuss, almost everyone (90%) takes his word for it]
PERSON 3- Fatima
Fatima is an On-Air Personality (OAP), she has just celebrated her 25th birthday. Her pictures of the little celebration, has surfaced on blogs, magazines and all. On the blogs, you see comments like ‘Arrrgh I hate when people tell lies, how can she say she is 25. The first time I heard about her, we were age mates, how come she’s younger than me now’ or ‘Nah!! she is not 25, she does not look it at all. Liar! Liar!!’
So here’s the thing- why is it that when a Nigerian/African says his/her age, most people just believe he/she is being untruthful. But when a Westerner says his/her age, there isn’t a dispute/contention as to the answer given?
I can confidently say that out of 10 instances I’ve witnessed, only 2 are believed to be truthful in the case of an African/Nigerian, while only 2 people may believe the person [most times, celebrities]. With reference to the case of Amaka, you find out that people just keep the age to themselves and say ‘I am a year older, why is my age anyone’s business. After all, if I say it nobody will believe me’.
So when you are asked: how old are you? Do you say your exact age, not being bothered about what the listener(s) think(s)? or do you give the ‘early 20s, 30s, late 40s’ answer? or do you scrutinise the person asking first, before blotting it out?
And why do you think this disparity exist, between the ‘African’ and the ‘Westerner’? Over to you.
Have a lovely weekend.