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We Paired Words from Irin Journal: Lagos Issue with Matching ‘Lagos Songs’

The glossary section of Irin Journal, like every other part of the book, is such a delightful read. Familiar words, slangs and local palance glorified with exotic descriptions.

The delight, for me, is not just in the familiarity of the words alone, or in the stylish vocabulary. There is also an unprecedented delight in the auto-matching that my brain did of some of these words to popular old school and contemporary songs.

Here are the 5 terms that got vivid matching. It’s such an interesting fact that all of these songs are made in Lagos, a tribute to the fact that this issue of Irin Journal is focused on the Nigerian commercial capital. I’m sure you’ll enjoy listening to all the songs 😉.

1. Mugu

A pidgin term that means ‘BIG FOOL’

MATCH: Davido ft. Simi – Maga to Mugu (2016)


2. Iya Basira

The name given to a Nigerian restaurant where the food is so good that one becomes obsessed to an unnatural degree. This leads to rumours that the owners and cooks put magic into their food to hook customers.

MATCH: Style Plus – Iya Basira (2006)


3. Wahala

A slang word to express a state of “worry”, “distress”, “problem” or “trouble”. It can also be used in a different context i.e No Wahala to mean “No worries”

For this word. We have two songs. One from P Square, released a decade ago and the other one from YCee’s 2019 album.

MATCH 1: P Square – Danger (2009)

MATCH 2: YCee – Wahala Dey (2019)


4. Owambe

A Yoruba slang that is universal expression for partying.

See Also

MATCH: Simi – Owanbe (2017)


5. Alaye

Previous the name for a tout but now used as a term to greet a close person.

MATCH: Vector – Alaye Jor Jor Jor (2019)


6. Omoge

“Fine girl.”

MATCH: Adewale Ayuba – Omoge Cinderella (2007)


7. Danfo

“A small yellow minibus taxi.”

MATCH: Mad Melon and Mountain Black — Danfo Drive (2003)

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