by Tony Iribor
You must have heard the word “yard” before, and NO it doesn’t mean that fancy definition you’d find in your dictionary. A yard, in Nigeria is a word commonly used by Igbos in Nigeria to describe a kind of house where people live. It’s the kind of building that we refer to as face-me-I-face-you. You don’t know what face-me-I-face-you is? It is a kind of house with either single or doubles rooms where occupants share a common kitchen, bathroom and toilet. Got it? Doesn’t help? Google my friend, google.
There are certain character traits that people who live in yards display. These traits are unique and people who display such traits are called yardists. The art of showing these traits is called yardism. Some will argue that they are not yardists or that they do not live in yards. Calm down, we will know at the end of this article.
How do you know you live in a yard? Simple!
If you stay in a face-me-I-face you kind of building as described above, you stay in a yard. Please do not argue.
Do you have a neighbor who you all have to fight or quarrel with every time it is time to pay for your utility bills? He or she never pays their electricity, water (this is optional, because very few homes have water supplied by the water corporation), waste bill and many more when it is time to pay. In fact, the house most times gets disconnected from power supply just because of that one neighbor. Let us not even talk about when the “suck-away” gets filled up and all the brouhaha that follows getting funds to take care of it. My brother, my sister, you live in a what? Yard!
Do you suddenly have a mild heart attack when in the middle of the night, you realize that you forgot your shoes or slippers outside before sleeping off? The mild heart attack is because you know that you may not find that shoe outside when you wake up. It is an unwritten rule in yards never to leave your buckets, shoes and clothes outside before going to bed. In fact when you wash that your expensive cloth, you have to watch it dry or else, it is gone. Do you know what is painful about such? It is the fact that if you are not careful, you will even see a neighbor wearing your clothes or that property that belongs to you boldly and you may not be able to do anything about it. If you go through all these, you stay in a yard please. Do not even try to argue with me. It is the truth.
Have you been woken up with quarrels from your neighbours? Has your attention been called to come and settle fights between husband and wife? You stay in a yard. People who stay in yards know this. You cannot stay in a yard and not have some experience in conflict resolution. It is not possible. In a yard, it is common sight to have neighbours quarrel for flimsy reasons.
Now if you are on Twitter Nigeria, you may have seen the word ‘yard’ or ‘yardist’ used often to describe certain people. It is my belief that most people on Twitter Nigeria are yardists. Some of them may no longer live in yards, but you remember what they say, “you can take the man out of the yard but you cannot take the yard out of him”. For instance, somebody wakes up in the morning on Twitter and begins to greet his tweeps, clogging up your mentions and timelines with endless greetings as if he/she is greeting Papa Emeka, Iya Luku, Inno, Oga Chemist and co in the yard.
A conversation is going on on Twitter and some who have no facts to back up their points resort to insults. Only yardists behave like this. You cannot tell me you are not a yardist when you come on twitter and quarrel with everyone. You are known as the chief fighter. You have insulted almost everyone who you have had a conversation with. The worst are those who go off point and get angry and abusive. They miss the point of the conversation and insult people. I remember the Adamu Mua’azu tweet about proper engagements on twitter regarding issues. We displayed our yardist behavior.
Yardists do not like it when you do not agree with them. You cannot have a different opinion from the majority of your neighbours. In fact the kind of topics we discuss sometimes further explains this yard behavior we display. “Pounded yam”, “Engagement ring cost”, “Must a woman bear her husband’s name”, “cost of cooking a pot of soup” etc. We like to claim on twitter that we are the elites but deep down, the yardist in us springs forth. You wake up on a Monday morning when people are supposed to be working or going to work and they are fighting over who knows late Dr. Myles Munroe and who doesn’t. Sigh.
In conclusion, we are all yardists. Do not try to fight it. Embrace the yardist in you and realize that there is at least a drop of yardism in every Nigerian.
– Follow this writer on Twitter: @tonypox