National
US 'soft power' diplomacy. Now in pidgin.
Publish Date: Feb 11, 2014
US 'soft power' diplomacy. Now in pidgin.
Amb James F. Entwistle presenting credentials to Nigerias head of state, Goodluck Jonathan
  • mail
  • img
newvision

LAGOS - As a career diplomat he would be expected to be able to converse in several foreign languages but it's doubtful that Nigerian Pidgin English would be one of them.
 
Yet the US ambassador to Nigeria took to the airwaves to speak in the vernacular about the most pressing issues between the two nations, from gay rights and presidential elections to visa rules.
 
"Me I no talk say sanction go dey for Nigeria," James F. Entwistle told presenter "Oga Madam" on a recent visit to Wazobia FM, the Lagos radio station that broadcasts entirely in the English-based patois.
 
"Make I repeat myself, the US government no say sanction go dey for Nigeria because of same-sex palava o."
In other words, the US was not planning sanctions against Nigeria for passing a recent law banning same-sex marriages and civil partnerships despite the furore it has caused abroad.
 
Nor, he said, did Washington have a preferred candidate for next year's elections, at which incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan's ruling party is expected to be pushed hard by the main opposition.
 
"First make I tell you say US no get any candidate for mind," he said, according to the weekly English-language news magazine, Tell.
 
"The only thing wey go sweet us be say make the election dey transparent, credible and concluded."
The US consulate in Lagos confirmed in an email to AFP that the quotes attributed to the ambassador were correct.
 
"He knows a few words and phrases and received assistance from the staff to do the interview," a spokeswoman added.
The linguistic prowess of the ambassador -- whose profile on the US Embassy website lists him as a French and Thai speaker -- provoked a response from listeners.
 
Some were amused that a middle-aged white man in a suit was speaking the language of the street, Tell reported.
"Oyinbo man talk am for Pidgin and laugh wan kill me die. Lol," wrote one listener. (The white man is talking pidgin. I'm laughing so much I might die.)
 
AFP

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Date set for ruling on Pakistani rape suspects
Buganda Road Magistrates’ court has set September 23 as the date for ruling on whether the Pakistani businessmen implicated in the sexual attack of their 23–year- old housemaid have a case to answer...
Govt hails Somalia for peace-building
Minister of Information and National guidance Rosemary Namayanja has hailed Somalia’s Federal Government for efforts towards rebuilding their dilapidated nation...
Jinja’s
Arguably the shortest man in Jinja, a local commercial photographer, Peter Muyanda, has won an air ticket to Dubai courtesy of the Bukedde newspaper...
Fight for lawyer Sebalu’s property deepens
The fight for fallen city lawyer Paulo Sebalu’s multibillion estate has deepened with the family members getting divided into two camps...
Kagina’s job: URA board speaks out
As the public anxiously waits for Government to announce the person to replace retiring Commissioner General Allen Kagina, the Uganda Revenue Authority board has called for “patience” and more time to select the “right person” for the job...
Prisoners register for the national census
Unlike the national identification exercise where prisoners were not considered, inmates across the country were permitted to take part in the national population exercise which kicked off Monday...
Do you think banning the sale of single cigarette sticks will help regulate tobacco production?
yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter