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Onwa December Part 2; The IJGBs Are Here!

By – Jennifer Ifeoma Ugboh


They are here people. Brace yourselves; The IJGBs have returned and they are ready to invade our land as they always do and as usual, we are practically at their mercy. Okay for those of you who are confused, in the first part of this article, I wrote about the good the bad and the ugly of onwa December AKA Christmas in the city of Lagos; and Im about to talk about another menace that comes with December and that is the return of the IJGBs. Sounds like a Nollywood movie title yea? Well it kinda is.

Let me break it down for you; IJGB is a slang translated to mean I just got back. It is used to address the Nigerians in Diaspora who find their way back home during the Christmas holidays. They are also known as returnees, Johnny just come, son of the soil among other names.

Now these kool Kats are in four categories,

  • We have those that were born and raised abroad all their lives and are simply visiting home for the first time.
  • There are those that moved abroad later in life and come home every other Christmas (for the culture)
  • And those that have been back for a while now (three years and still counting) yet they maintain that they just got back and will be returning to the states anytime soon.
  • Those that are simply faking it.

You will find them everywhere you turn; in the streets, parks cafes (neo caf and hard rock caf to be precise) art galleries, karaoke bars and in all the other cool spots Lagos has to offer. They almost never walk alone, they move around in groups, wearing shorts and sneakers, carrying empty water bottles (or coffee cups), their cameras are always around their necks and they are always making videos, documenting everything and anything (I mean why not, most of them are vloggers). The guys almost always have pink lips with jerry curled hair, while the ladies sport natural hair afro and locs (because for the culture)

They never miss any chance to let you know they just got back. They turn their nose down at everything; the food, the water, the traffic, punctuating their statements with back in the states or in New York where I come from or things are so different in LA Uber is their favorite favorite mode of transportation (because who has time to be jumping danfo).

Last year at one event I attended with a friend, two guys walked up to us and somehow we found ourselves talking about stuff; the weather, the fireworks, the country et al. The conversation would have been interesting if it wasnt punctuated with you know I just got back, in London we do it differently blah blah blah. It wasnt even these things that bothered me, it was the high handed way he spoke and pushed our thoughts down, I was tempted to slap his opinions right back and up his British accent lips. I must have rolled my eyes a million times before he took the hint. In his mind he probably thought eleyi o wa impressed. I dragged my friend away, before he made one more comment about London nightlife and the awesome theatres.

So my people prepare yourselves, fortify yourselves winter is coming and it is bringing our brothers and sisters from the abroad (diaspora). Dont let them intimidate you, we are all sons of the soil.

Merry xmas in advance. XO

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