When all else Fails, Invent a New Language

This usually happens in church, but you know, you can probably think of other non-Church settings where this occurs. What "this" am I referring to?  Well, I'm glad you asked, but unfortunately, it doesn't have a name.

Let me explain.

For the sake of simplicity, let's use a church service in Nigeria as an example.

So, during service, the praise and worship leader mounts the stage and begins to lead worship.  As you already know, we have more than 200 ethnic groups in Nigeria.  Each ethnic group has its own language, and of course, there are different dialects too.  So at any given service or event, a worship leader can choose from this very diverse pool of languages, right? No problem.

Granted, there are many popular praise and worship songs we sing in languages that we don't understand.  But, since when has not understanding a language prevented Nigerians from singing those songs, anyway?  The answer is never. It has never been an obstacle.

Back to our example.

So, the worship leader begins to sing in English.  Then, he switches to say Igbo, and then maybe Itsekiri, bearing in mind that he is actually a Yoruba man.  Before you can say "I no sabi dis language well well,"  he switches gears and while sweating profusely, he yells:

Ran ka dede Yesu!

and so on, and so forth.

Before we proceed, I have to mention that this particular song is one of the most butchered praise and worship songs I have heard.  It's not even funny. I have heard several versions of it and now I am wondering which version is correct.

By the way, Hausa speakers, please help us out with the correct lyrics to that song.  God bless you in advance.

Anyway, back to our worship leader. As he sings, it becomes clear that he is making this up as he goes along.

How do I know?

The first version no match the second version, and the third version sounds like he's speaking French.  All on top of a Hausa song o!

My conclusion is that for worship leaders who don't know the language (we can't blame them), they simply make it up as they go along, i.e. they invent another language for the 10 or so minutes of praise and worship.


For those of us in the audience, if we don't know the song, language or lyrics, the solution is simple: we use the watermelon method. And get away with it too.

What other Naija praise and worship songs have you heard butchered?  I would certainly like to know.

*Image Source

All I have to say is...hahahaha. It's called being creative or don't you think so? Asin you can't stop mid-way into a song because you are stuck, you just have to keep making up the words as you go along. There are a couple of other songs like that but none readily comes to mind. ANy song I don't know, I just hum along and make up with dancing. shikena.

Abiola Olaleye

Abiola: Lol! It's a survival tactic. Dancing is a good cover-up, ba? It's easier for those of us in the audience than the worship leader sha.


I would love to hear your thoughts. Please Share.

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