Why Tea means more than just “tea” in Nigeria?

Hey, are you laughing already about this post? Well if you are then you’re obviously one of those people who know but, just cannot help it. If you’re not laughing- Oh Boy! I don’t think you’re a sadist, or that you cannot spot good humour. As a matter of fact, it’s simply not your cup of tea. Especially when it’s not coco powder or coffee and milk melting in a cup of hot water; you love the smell, love it when it’s creamy, with a lot of sweetener.

Enough of these shenanigans anyway. I doubt it would surprise you to know that an average Nigerian will have tea and bread for breakfast or dinner, at least 21,900 times in his lifetime, or so we’d think. That of course to some people, also includes the 15,000 times they’ve passed on Lipton and Top Tea and settled for Milo and Bournvita, or maybe even Nescafe. But everything is: “Tea.”

So when you want to tell that pretty girl or handsome man, that’s got your heart racing every morning what you had for breakfast over the phone, do you say you had “Tea” and bread, even though you had a bowl of hot chocolate drink? They’d probably understand you had bread and a creamy liquid to go with it, they may even contemplate in their heads whether your “Tea” meant coffee or Milo, or even Bournvita. I think the funniest of it all is that only a few would actually think you had tea; as in, the actual beverage processed from a tea plant.

However, the most important aspect of communication is understanding, and that is why two Nigerians can be approaching each other from opposite directions, and one would ask the other, “Are you going?” and he’d simply respond; “No, I am coming,” and the other person understands, because it makes sense to him.

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