Godwin Okhawere: The nomenclature of slaps (30 days, 30 voices)

by Godwin Okhawere


“A typical Yoruba woman has a way of producing ranges of slaps that would suit any occasion. “


Spare the rod and spoil the child’! -Proverbs

In a typical American society, beating, smacking, slapping, thrashing are words and acts that have been prohibited. I often hear the story of kids who sue their parents for even shouting at them. I heard a young boy who yelled at his father and called him ‘foolish’, ‘stupid’ for trying to correct the boy’s nasty acts. The boy thereafter sent his dad out of his room. It really hurts me when I witness such scenarios. The European/American society has accepted a lot of ‘nonsense’ says an uncle of mine, whose son called the police to arrest him in his own house for what they called ‘assault’.

After two years, my uncle was still pained with the embarrassment his son caused him, which also caused him to leave the US. Can you imagine? Two years down the lane and the incident still remained fresh in his mind. He decided to put a call across to his wonderful son, asking him to come see his Grandma. The son was so excited and screamed on the phone ‘THANK YOU DADDY!’; little did he know that his dad had ulterior motives. The joyful son took the next available flight, accompanied by his older sister, happy to see his Grandma for the first time.

At the airport, waiting to be received by family members and a warm welcome from friends, the young boy met instead, a stern faced, mean looking father, waiting patiently for him. As the boy approached his father, still sizing up the environment, his face welcomed the swipe of a thunderous slap, which served as the opening scene for a scintillating operatic performance of more high calibre slaps. The boy was so confused. His father didn’t even explain his “unreasonable” actions, as he called the Nigeria Police Force to arrest the poor boy. All that came out of my uncle’s lips was ‘You think I will forget, ehn?!’

Africans generally have peculiar child rearing methods, especially Nigerians. Yoruba women in particular are best known for what I call The Dynamism of Slap Styles. A typical Yoruba woman has a way of producing different ranges of slaps that would suit any occasion. We have different kinds of slaps and they are as follows: IGBATI, IFOTI, IGBAJU, IGBARUN, IFORUN, IFAKUN, ILADI and ABARA. These slaps are so powerful that when you receive them, there’s a high probability that you’d begin to question the logic of logic. And these various slaps work for different purposes.

First, let’s take a look at IGBATI. IGBATI is the kind of slap that will make you correct your evil deeds instantly. IFOTI will make you confess your sins on the spot. While the trio of IGBARUN, IGBAJU and IFORUN will make you expose those who committed the crime with you without hesitation. ABARA and ILADI work hand in hand, and could be so embarrassing in that, when you’re given, it will make you pee your pants. And just like we have, advanced technology, we also have an advanced slap called IGBAJUOLOYI. If you’re an unfortunate recipient of this kind of slap, first you will stagger, then lose your sense of balance, just right before your brain goes into auto-search mode. At this point, you will start looking furtively for what hit you. This slap kind, will create in you all the actions of the other slaps mentioned above. This ‘IGBAJU OLOYI’ slap, also has inbuilt memory auto-reset functions that create (as an added advantage) a 3D motion effect known as the DEAF, DUMB and DAFT effect.

I love Nigeria! We take very seriously the biblical principle which says ‘SPARE THE ROD AND SPOIL THE CHILD’! Lol!


Okhawere Godwin popularly known as “Jesusparrot” is a comedian, master of Ceremonies(MC), publicist and actor. A graduate of Mass Communication, University of Benin, Nigeria. He is an alumnus of the World Class Compere Academy,Africa (WCCA) affiliated to Richmond Johnson Academy, London. Also, he is an advocate for kids.

He is inspiring and entertaining with his insightful comic gestures on stage. Having anchored quite a number of events, his written books are: SUPASORIES and SHADES OF LAUGHTER.

30 Days, 30 Voices series is an opportunity for young Nigerians from across the world to share their stories and experiences – creating a meeting point where our common humanity is explored.

Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija



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cool good eh love2 cute confused notgood numb disgusting fail