The phrase ' How was your night?' In the English language means,' How was last night's sex?' Or,if for instance,we are close and you know I went home with a man or woman last night and you ask as an accomplice ' How was your night?' In this case it simply means, ' so did it go well or did it go as expected?'I will give you two real life examples.One was mine and one happened in my cousins office.She consults for the UN.In my own case,I jog most mornings.Years back,having just returned to the country,this young man will greet me every morning and I will answer.Then one day, he asked me, 'How was your night?' He went merrily on his way,I stopped, turned looking at him in anger fuming.My thoughts were,' it's not your fault, if I hadn't been responding to your 'good morning' will we graduate to 'How was your night?'Second occurrence, at my cousins office.English woman comes in and everyone exchange the usual good morning.
Then, one 'nice' Naija brother goes, 'How was your night?' English woman flares up ' How dare you!?'. ' How is my night your business?' Etc, it took major intervention to calm the woman down.The answer to ' How was your night?' Is actually 'none of your business'I have checked our local languages,I am fluent in two,and passable in one.Even as transliteration,no Nigerian language asks 'How was your night?' I am checking because this phrase,for those who know, was not in use in Nigeria as recent as 7years ago.I suspect,some 'oversabi wannabe' heard it on a music video some where and wanted to form posh or as my Doctor friend said to me,it may have come from hospitals.It's common knowledge according to the doctor that sick people often have rough nights and most deaths to May occur at night.So a doctor's question to the patient during morning ward rounds is usually 'How was your night?' If we exported hospital vocabulary to the streets, are we now to assume,we are all at deaths door?
The proper address for mornings is simply 'good morning' and if you want to spice it up by being overtly friendly,you may add 'hope you slept well?' A person's night is non of our business.If we are Igbo it's either,ibolachi- have you woken up. Ututuoma- good morning.If Yoruba, ekaro- good morning.You can go further as Yorubas are won't to do by adding ",se daada Leji' - hope you woke up well?None of these our local greetings intrusively asks 'How was your night?' So, No! It is not African either.So let us be well aware when we leave our lanes to go measuring that of others.I hope you have learnt something here.Please put it to use - this is a call for repentance.
By Mrs Olukemi Ajayi