• No_Ads
National
US 'soft power' diplomacy. Now in pidgin.Publish Date: Feb 11, 2014
US 'soft power' diplomacy. Now in pidgin.
  • mail
  • img
Amb James F. Entwistle presenting credentials to Nigerias head of state, Goodluck Jonathan
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
Govt, Kabale University in 101 acre land row
Government and Kabale University are locked in a row over a 101 acre piece of land in Kabale district, with the university claiming that its land is being grabbed. On April 4, the institution petitioned the land division of the High Court in Kampala, demanding that government be stopped from purpo...
Parliament moves to review university admission criteria
Parliament has passed a motion recommending a review of the district quota system for admission of students to public universities....
Leaked tapes: Kidandala owes me explanation - Lukwago
Embattled Kampala Lord Mayor, Erias Lukwago, has expressed shock at the recent leaked recordings of his deputy Suleiman Kidandala meeting the Police chief....
MPs turn away NFA officials over late coming
There was a mild drama at parliament after the National Forestry Authority executive director, Michael Mugisha and his team were ordered to go back after arriving late...
Aronda warns ID project staff against arrogance
Internal affairs minister, Gen. Aronda Nyakairima has promised to some ID Project staff who are rude to the people going to register...
Leaked recordings: Kidandala owns up
Kampala City deputy Lord Mayor, Suleiman Kidandala, has acknowledged taking part in leaked tape recordings.In his defense at a news conference in Kampala on Thursday, Kidandala said he did it for the good of the city and his boss, the embattled Lord Mayor, Erias Lukwago....
WIll the national ID registration process be completed in the scheduled 4 months timeframe?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter