So many versions of this “You know you are African when’….so lets see if we can grow this list:

  • People drink Guinness not from draught but a bottle and you call it ‘Stout’
  • US Dollar notes are pasted on your forehead in the UK/Ireland/Europe whilst dancing at a party.
  • Your parents add O to the end of every sentence: Shutup-O! /Get me water-O!
  • Scotch bonnet is added in one form or the other to your stew/soup.
  • You call every body thats older than you Uncle or aunty even when your not related to them
  • Your parents or family from African talk loud on the phone !
  • Your parents watch those movies from “back home” all the time
  • There is always rice or garri (cassava flakes) in your house
  • Your parents want to call your name but they call all your siblings first before they get it right!
  • Your party starts at 9pm and everyone comes at 12am (African Time).
  • You tag along with a friend to a wedding or party without an invitation.
  • You have had a family member called to visit without calling to say so
  • You dont like African politics
  • When your parents threaten to send you back home when you misbehave
  • You point at something with ur lips (and you are truly African if you just tried it!)
  • The men in your family get into arguments because of politics or football.
  • Maggi and Knorr is a main ingredient to your food.
  • “Heh” or “Eheh” is a part of family vocabulary.
  • You unconsciously nod to  Fela’s ‘Dem go worry me’ chorus.
  • You serve ‘Jollof Rice’ at any party or celebration event
  • You add pepper/salt to any English or Scottish meal before tasting it :)



‘Fit Like?’

‘Excuse me?’ That’s probably what an African will respond to when someone say ‘Fit Like’ on the streets or at a meeting. Close to the commonly used funny slogan ‘what are you feeling like’? ‘Fit like?’ simply means ‘Hello, how are you?’ in Doric which is the local languare spoken in Aberdeen.


Although with time, one can quickly pick up these terms and phrases, it is worth knowing the commonly used ones:

  • Fit like? (Whit like) – A greeting, essentially, “How are you doing?”, to which the response might be “Nae bad. Yersel?” “Aye tawin on”, “Fine, thanks” or “juist tyauvin awa'”
  • “Nae bad, yersel?” – “Not bad, yourself?”.
  • “Fit?” – “What?”.
  • “Fa?” – “Who?”.
  • “Far?” – “Where?”.
  • “Fan?”- “When?”.
  • fit ye deein? (Whit ye daein?) – “What are you doing?”
  • it’s adee? (Whit’s adae?) – “What’s wrong?”
  • “Aye” – “Yes” (as used throughout Scotland).
  • “Na'” – “No” (usually, an n sound followed by a vowel constitutes “no”.
  • “Wee” – “Little”, though this famous Doric word has become common throughout Scotland and in other areas worldwide.
  • “Dinnae ken/Da ken” – “Don’t know”.
  • “Hay min” – “Excuse me good sir?”
  • “far aboot ye fae?” where are you from?
  • “ben a/eh hoose” – “Through the house/in the other room”
  • “gie” – “give”
  • “tea” – can be used to mean an evening meal, i.e. supper, as well as the beverage.

Source: WikiTravel

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Africans love to party!

Our parties are like no other and an outsider needs to attend/experience a typical African social gathering to understand us. Our milestone events like weddings, baby dedications, birthdays, anniversaries, even funeral are filled with vibrant colours, rich food, playful banter and more, what’s not to like? It may look like ‘chaos’ sometimes but give it a few minutes and let the music come on! Then you will see how a party really comes to light!!

Traditionally and the way our celebrations or events are structured, the party is typically lengthy – with food and music being the highlight. Now in Aberdeen, these three things are not really accommodated. To hire a venue, it has to be from a scheduled time X and finish at a scheduled time Y. On the food, the pride of an African party typically highlights ‘pounded yam’, jollof-rice, fried-rice, ayamase stew or nkwobi, peppersoup, isi-ewu and other variety never seen on the list of menu of any Aberdeen hotel/venue. AH! The music – now that is the real deal! Depending on the host (background or faith) , the music is rich and deep. You cannot attend an African party with music in full swing and not participate. The music is too tempting. Of course not everyone dances the ‘Atingo’ Azonto and the other youthful exuberance/infused steps,  but music really takes us ‘home’. If a live band is in attendance – oh boy!!! But luckily we do settle for an experienced DJ (now and then in Aberdeen).

BTW: Here is a clip of a Nigerian wedding from Youtube (Courtesy, Memsdan):

These three (3) factors are the MUST for the party to really happen. But it doesn’t in Aberdeen sadly. The limitations on the schedules for the venue hire and restriction on the food you can bring to the venue you really like ‘kills’ the party spirit. Now that’s altogether different in London where event managers (i was one of them) met with hotel managers, private/exclusive venue owners and town halls to explain the uniqueness and dynamics of an African wedding. Reluctantly, they gave in and today, the hotel and venue managers have no regrets. Because, economically, it made sense! Rather than having an empty space, some agreements were made (give and take) and now almost every hotel is busy every weekend in London and new businesses also sprung up to meet the demands such a breakthrough brought with it (party caterers, venue decorators, make up artists etc. Check them out on my wedding website

We can make this happen and bring some inward and influx of economy into Aberdeen – if the city and businesses permits.

My name is Timi and I promote Africa in Aberdeen.

A photograph below (courtsey Tunji Sarumi Photography) – is a typical ‘traditional wedding’ scene for a Yoruba wedding :)



Do you really know your numbers?

The latest 2011 census has the number of African/Black Caribbean living in Scotland to be 25,600 (19,700 African +5,900 Caribbean or Black). Other mixed/multiple ethnic groups were up to 53,900 (unsure if these groups will include a mix of people from Scottish/African descent)

Compared to the total population of 8,300 in 2004, the African/Black population is indeed on the increase. With a recent PWC report that the Oil and Gas industry in Aberdeen needs about 210,000 people to sustain the industry over the next 25years, I strongly believe the number of Africans/Blacks in Aberdeen/Scotland will be on the increase.


Coming home to the North East of Scotland (Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire, Angus, and Dundee City) the total number of ethnic minorities living in this region totals 11,600. That also when compared to the population in 2004, that stood at 5,200 is significant. Along with that data is the number of people ‘In Work’ that suggests that on average, unemployment is low in this regions. Take a look at the data from the Scotland’s Government on the economic activities of African, Caribbean, Black Scottish, Asians, ethnic groups in the country – they are economically viable!

ethnics working

To many, this data/number issue might be boring or meaningless but when you take an interests in gauging the population of the (790+) islands in Scotland with a few having their highest population of less than 80 (Balta for example); and the recent estimates of the total islands having a total of 103,702; then one can conclude that having up to 11,600 of minority ethnics in 4 cities is really significant and a case to explore even further is valid.

OK – Lets come back home. From the rough estimates of church/religious attendances of the Africans/Blacks in Aberdeen, a guessimate of about 2,000 is very likely which is very close to the number of the same ethnic community in Glasgow. Africans in Glasgow however have made some efforts in being visible in the community and also successfully bided for and now own their own community centre. THAT is remarkable. Remarkable in the sense that they recognised their need and resolved to looking for a platform to meet that need. In Aberdeen, there is currently no event/hotel venue that provides the food/menu that a typical African/Black wedding/party requires.

NOW – do you know your numbers?

My name is Timi and I promote Africa in Aberdeen.


Erm, sadly there is none!

It is shocking and disappointing. Africans/Blacks have been coming, visiting and living in Aberdeen over the last 2 decades (if not more) and there has been no platform available for them to experience a ‘taste of home’ or most importantly share with the wider community in Aberdeen/Aberdeenshire.

There are no restaurants or dedicated community or event centre for this audience who by tradition  celebrate milestone events e.g weddings with grandeur. (CNN Report: My Big Fat Nigerian Wedding).

In comparison , London has  countless restaurants, bars/clubs, and dedicated community centres. Granted, London is a big city. Glasgow is however closer and has its own ‘Calabash’ serve authentic African meals. It is very common for Africans in Aberdeen to go on the three hour tip in groups of 5, 10 or more to enjoy a meal that they have missed. Another trip a lot of this community take every year is to London for the annual Afro-Carribean Nottinghill Carnival. Surely, that is Aberdeen’s economy being deprived? Maybe I am wrong.

Africans/Blacks in Aberdeen are not deterred and still organise one or two large parties at home, community centres and pop-up events. They do love to party!

An African restaurant in Aberdeen? Sadly, there is none.

My name is Timi and I promote Africa in Aberdeen.

african food


There is very little planned or going on for the African/Black communities in Aberdeen .

Africans have a rich and deep culture which the city can benefit from. Citing the popular example of the annual Afro-Caribbean Notting-hill Carnival that has placed London in the eyes of the world in terms of tourism, culture and economic value – slowly, the carnival has grown beyond being celebrated and enjoyed by Afro-Carribeans but has embraced every country and culture that chose to be represented at the annual event.

I chanced on a blog article by ‘Lena The Hyena’ on the Aberdeen city’s effort to bid for the country as a ‘City of Culture’ and I wonder if Aberdeen City might benefit from it’s existing resource – by putting some efforts to explore deeply the profile of the 20,000+  Africans/Blacks living in its city?

Having discovered that there are no efforts in the social media targeting this audience, this blog exists to  inform, increase the profile and visibility of Africans/Blacks in Aberdeen.

My name is Timi and I promote Africa in Aberdeen.