Twitter Users say ‘Aboki,’ When Used by a Non-Hausa Person to a Northerner, is Derogatory & Insulting

Most non-Hausas in Nigeria are definitely guilty of this, but only because most people aren’t aware of the meaning or what it implies.
This conversation is currently trending on Twitter, with many sharing that the use of “aboki” by a non-Hausa person to a northerner, is derogatory and insulting.
We know ‘aboki’ means ‘friend’, and everyone has used it for that Hausa man down the road. But, let’s be sincere, are they really our friends? So, why do will call them ‘friend’?
Twitter users are of the opinion that, the way word ‘n***a’ is an insult/derogatory, so is ‘aboki’. We can’t blame ourselves, but since we learn every day, we’ve been pardoned.
Share your take on the conversation in the comment section.
Here’s what Twitter users are saying:

In both Nigerian music and movies, “Aboki” is a caricature. Aboki is portrayed as intellectually challenged and illiterate, one whose stupidity or malapropism is a source of entertainment. The Aboki we see in southern entertainment industry is a servant deprived of his humanity.
— Gimba Kakanda (@gimbakakanda) April 12, 2020

It’s possible you don’t find using the word “Aboki” offensive because it’s a norm in your world. That’s how socialization works. While growing up, we acquire such education through parents or peers, but that doesn’t make it alright. So, it’s our job as an adult to unlearn them.
— Gimba Kakanda (@gimbakakanda) April 12, 2020

You don’t call these Hausa vendors and artisans “aboki” because they are your friends, it’s just your condescending way of referring to a stereotyped group. Why then don’t you call random educated members of the same ethnic group aboki? I hope you get this context you’re missing.
— Gimba Kakanda (@gimbakakanda) April 12, 2020

How is he your Aboki if you don’t know his name? What sort of stupid friendship is that?
— Gimba Kakanda (@gimbakakanda) April 12, 2020

Because he’s not truly your aboki, he’s not your friend in the actual sense of the word. He has a name or job. Call him by any. As for me, the people I consider friends won’t call me “friends.” Because it’s already established and doesn’t have to be stated.
— Gimba Kakanda (@gimbakakanda) April 12, 2020

I’ve seen ‘Aboki’ used literally (as friend). I’ve seen it used as a slur. I’ve seen it used to insult people. Ice Prince made a fine song with it.
What I think is, if northerners are not comfortable with it being used to address them, then let us non-northerners NOT. Simple.
— Chidi Okereke (@Chydee) April 12, 2020

Aboki is generally is a derogatory term/ its usual meaning is friend but even in my days in Kings College some would call me “Mallam” or “Aboki” was which was a tongue in cheek way of saying you are either not educated or you are a bush man(1)
— AuduMaikori (@Audu) April 12, 2020

My people, I regret that my innocent tweet used the word “Aboki”. I used it not knowing it had become derogatory. I apologise for that and will not use it in future. If the person you refer to doesn’t want you to use a phrase in referring to them, you should respect that.✌🏽
— Dr. Joe Abah (@DrJoeAbah) April 12, 2020

In case you missed it, I didn’t realise that some now find the term Aboki offensive. I have been advised to use “mai-suya” next time I refer to my friendly neighbourhood suya man. I accept the advice. Happy Easter, everyone.
— Dr. Joe Abah (@DrJoeAbah) April 12, 2020

When I was growing up in Abuja, Aboki wasn’t a derogatory word. I went to a secondary school with folks from all over Nigeria, including Hausa-Fulani folks, and we would call ourselves names including Aboki innocently. Today, things are different. It didn’t use to be like this.
— Dr. Dípò Awójídé (@OgbeniDipo) April 12, 2020

This ’aboki’ conversation is funny because it is meaningless. You said you don’t mean it to b derogatory, the people you are calling that are saying they find it derogatory, it is only proper for you to stop. why do you think you can argue them into accepting it?
— 52 cent aka Boss (@haqnificent) April 12, 2020

Never knew the term “aboki” was an insult untill now, but then we learn everyday. To all the people i’ve called aboki in the past, i’m sorry.
— Tomiwa Talabi (@itsTomiwa) April 12, 2020

Sule is also used in a derogatory way.Adamu is also used in a derogatory way.
I would encourage people to stop using these names in a derogatory way, including Aboki. Since many people up North don’t like it. But many of us don’t use these names deliberately to curse.
— Dr. Dípò Awójídé (@OgbeniDipo) April 12, 2020

You won’t die if you say, “Ibrahim, can I have XYZ?” Aboki is an ethnic slur, unfairly caricatured in our entertainment industry and portrayed as intellectually challenged. Their literacy or malapropism has been exaggerated for comedy, and this reflects in real-life interactions.
— Gimba Kakanda (@gimbakakanda) April 12, 2020

Aboki, dan Allah bani pure water.
Aboki, yaya ne? Yaya kasuwa? Dan Allah bani plate of indomie kuda biu.
Gimba, these are things we say normally in Abuja. It was NEVER DEROGATORY. But I, like many other people hear you, the word will not be used again.
— Dr. Dípò Awójídé (@OgbeniDipo) April 12, 2020

The puzzle is, you don’t call Dangote or SLS Aboki because they are high-flying and accomplished, but you call vendors who are even older than them Aboki. Why? This social experiment may unravel what you are missing.
— Gimba Kakanda (@gimbakakanda) April 12, 2020

Aboki is offensive because you people will never call someone like my father an aboki, but when it’s the person you are buying bread from you’ll come them aboki. Take it or leave it. And argue with your ancestors.
— Halima Nwakaego Kazaure (@Lima_kazaure) April 12, 2020

I was almost going to agree with this view, Gimba.
But this song from my brother from J side, Ice Prince doesn’t align with your view.
Listen and hear the names he called.
We all agree that Dangote and co are not intellectually challenged.
— Wale Adetona (@iSlimfit) April 12, 2020

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