Man must wack!

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The phrase for today is “man must wack!” It’s Nigerian Pidgin English and it means the same thing as “person no go chop again?”, “man no go chop?”, “I suppose eat now”, “I gotta get paid” and “man must survive”. Now here are some examples of the use of these phrases in everyday human speech.

Some many wack guys dey this game of hip hop/
If you ask dem dey go be like: “ah ah man no go chop?”/

Massai in “onye kwulu oto…”

You gotta operate the easy way/
"I made a G today" but you made it in a sleazy way/
Selling crack to the kids. "I gotta get paid,"/
Well hey…well that's the way it is/

Tupac Shakur in “changes”

For real in Nigeria we’re using these phrases more and more everyday. We knowingly go ahead to do what we’re not supposed to do all because of the material gain that can come out of such actions. At times we’re pushed to do so by poverty, at other times it’s plain laziness and not wanting to follow the long but right way. I got thinking about this phenomenon because unlike before we’re now watching Nigerian films in my house like crazy. Ever since my younger sister started studying Theater Arts at the university it’s been all borrow this film this, attend this audition that. I must confess some Nigerian films are really good but the majority are crap, crap, crap (anyways, somebody please tell Stephanie Okereke that I think she’s sexy). But the fact remains that despite all the mediocrity, day after day auditions are being held, scenes are being shot and films are being marketed. Why is this so? The answer is “man must wack!” Let me spell out the “man must wack” scenario in Nigeria for you starting from Nigerian films.

-Yes the film industry is in a mess but it’s better to get a waka pass roll (be an extra in a film) and collect your #2,000 while waiting for your big break, then to keep on writing job applications. Or if you’re lucky get a minor roll and be paid #20,000. And knowing that Nigerian films are shot in one week you could actually collect that salary four times in a month. Now that’s something ain’t it? For the established actors they know most of the films they act are repeats but “man must wack”. And so they keep acting, bumping out a film every fortnight and smiling home with their 2 million Naira check every month. For the producers and marketers they keep putting out the below par films knowing that they can make a fortune by selling them in African where people are Nigerian film crazy or to Nigerians in Diaspora in North America and Europe where Nigerian films helps to kill the home sickness.

-Deputy Senate President Ibrahim Mantu is also a fan of the “man must wack” phrase. As the chairman of the sub committee on the review of the 1999 constitution he went ahead to recommend three terms of four years for Presidents and Governors. And by what means? By a dubious voice vote. He backed up his actions with the claim that as a representative of the people he is only doing their wish. Crazy ain’t it? Because we all know that if a survey is conducted today, the result will overwhelmingly recommend that OBJ retires come 2007 and heads back to his Ota farm. But alas “man must wack”. Mantu and his colleagues in power must continue to collect their fat salaries, get the juicy contracts, move about the corridors of power, have people bow down to them and see their faces on TV and in the papers.

-Obasanjo’s mouth piece, Fani Kayode is another lover of the man must wack phrase. Before his appointment he never wasted time to point out the errors of the government. But now that he’s in the presidency he’s kissing major ass and regards OBJ as a god that can do no wrong. To justify his salary he’s ready to verbally harass anyone that questions OBJ’s actions or words. He very much reminds me of Daniel Kanu of the YEAA (Youths Earnestly Ask for Abacha) fame.

-Chris Uba the self acclaimed God father in Anambra politics also knows what the “man must wack” phrase implies and uses it to his full advantage. For all his evil deeds to the people of Anambra and to Nigeria as a whole he deserves to be imprisoned. But instead he was readmitted into the PDP while Ngige was expelled and as being forced to leave the country after being dethroned as Governor. All this is because he’s financially useful to Anambra politicians, to the PDP and to the presidency.

-Also in this league are Nigerian girls, ladies or women. Right from their childhood their mothers have schooled them on what the “man must wack” (woman must wack) phrase means. Thus young girls forget about guys their age who really love them but ain’t yet made and go ahead to marry much older men who they hardly know, talk less of love but who are made. And in some cases marry such men as the second, third or fourth wife. Others become groupies. Yes we know it’s cool to fuck a celebrity but more importantly, it pays.

-And finally men of God in Nigeria. Particularly those of the non-Catholic, Anglican or Methodist type. Being that competition is high in the field, opening of their own churches is something that must be done to perfection. Not just because they love God and genuinely want to partake in evangelism but because “man must wack”. The more people you’re able to bring into your flock, the more money for you. As for me, I no go lie. E get as e go be man pikin go…. You know every now, “man must wack!”

“Man must wack” and so the rich keep enjoying the best of the harvest, while the poor keep doing all sorts of menial jobs to keep body and soul together

Comments (12)

You said it all...Man Must Wack! :P

Summed Naija mentality up very nicely! I like the range of examples too.

I'm tagging you to play a game. Visit my blog to read the rules and follow!

Yes oh! Trae, i agree with monef. You hit the nail on the head.

Its sad to see this or experience things like this, but as you so aptly put it: "man must whack oh"

o boy more pictures....less word

i wanna see nigerian pics daily nigeria live/daily student life

funny....u speakin truth my brotha...even us hustlas in tha project bliv man must yesterday i sold a play station console which i knew wasnt workin to a kid and dissapeared...heard his been @ my friends crib lookin for a refund...but i gottta chop now...good lookin out Trae~1~

Does "wack" come from "whack" in English, or from a Nigerian native language?
I'm wondering because in American English, it sounds like "Man must whack off." Which, while it's true that most men do it, has a VERY different meaning.

Good to know you guys enjoyed it.

@Monef: thanks for tagging me. I’ve been tagged before for that game but you see I’m just not in the mood to play it. It’s not a case of being holier than thou though. Thanks.

@dis bwoy: o boy sorry oh. A lot of the pictures I use on my blog are "borrowed". But you can remedy that by contributing to the "get TRAE a camera phone fund". :)

@dramatik: what’s up my man. Good to know you're in the business, I get things way I wan hail. Holla. :)

@Jeff: seems you got things a little mixed up. Wank is the word, it means masturbating. e.g.:
"men like to wank off". Wack used in the context of "man must wack" means what ever happens (may happen) man must continue to live or survive. In Hip hop terms when something is wack it's fake, inferior. e.g. wack rappers.

"The more people you’re able to bring into your flock, the more money for you" - doesn't seem any different across the seas then here huh? interesting phrase.

Couldnt be better said.

I have to agree with everyone and echo “Man must wack” - Nuff said! Really hit home..nice 1.

Off topic: Thanks for your help on black looks. I will not forget it soon.

no doubt. man must wack. very useful phrase and provides a nice justification for a lot of things. bullshit and all.

Nollywood has really gone nuclear. I've got some South African neighbours waxing lyrical about naija movies I've never heard of.