Accents

Category: Blog Comments: 52 comments

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Some days ago I stopped at a large neighborhood shop to get some groceries and as I walked along the aisles, I heard a lady speak unmistakable South-South Nigerian pidgin. She spoke it so comfortably and with such finesse that I was enthralled. I made sure I located the lady behind the voice, made small talk with her and I was right; she grew up in Benin, hence her ‘korekt pidgin’ accent. I grew up in the Southern part of Nigeria and pidgin English was not permitted in our home. I tried to learn it when I was much older but I felt that it didn’t really stick, especially because of the way people laughed at my concerted attempts to put it together. However, I heard it spoken quite frequently so sometimes, in my off guard moments, I could slip in a phrase or two amidst conversation and my boss would laugh and call me a ‘Bendel Girl’. Truth is that with or without my permission, I had become somewhat defined by my environment, so my manner of speech and accent had defined me as a Bendel girl. Same way a man that has the ‘sh’ sound for ‘ch’ would be identified as being of a certain extraction as would one that may speak betraying the ‘H’ factor.

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Our accents and speech reflect to some extent who we are by reason of where we have been. Now I am not talking about the accents we make up, and I know people do that, and have to actively keep the act up. It is possible to act out and make one up, like the one we put up when we have that high powered presentation to make to foreign clients whom we cannot afford to have confused, or the one you are forced to use when you have spoken slowly and clearly in your best Nigerian English accent and you still get a series of  ‘Pardon me’ responses in quick succession.

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I’m talking of the accent we have when our guard is down: you at your most comfortable moment as that is what truly reflects who we are. Same way I could tell that lady had some core South-South influence by her pidgin, our ‘accent’ should also reflect what manner of people we are. I am reminded that who we are will always show and that the life of Christ will ooze out of the believer. He doesn’t even need to be checking it, no pretense, and no acting. Even amidst normal conversations of life, without meaning to sound churchy and with no conscious effort, his accent gives him away, just as my Bendelness often betrays me via my expressions. When you walk in the Spirit, you don’t have to be trying to sound spiritual, you are that! You are like Christ and your opinions and speech are tainted with the accent of the kingdom. Honestly, what does your accent say about you? Does it reveal one who has been with Jesus ? What is the undertone of my most comfortable conversation? This has nothing to do with my polished Twitter persona or the well managed front I may put up in a Christian gathering. When I am most comfortable, what accent do I speak with?

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There is a kingdom and a kingdom language that those who belong to the kingdom speak. It is an outflowing of the inward spirit. People around you begin to be more circumspect around you. So perhaps I have the accent of an indigene of a ‘no-nonsense, aggressive tribe’. As soon as people hear my accent, they immediately choose to be of their best behavior. You know what? I may not even be as powerful as they reckon but that identity shields me. Having the identity of the kingdom is like that. We may not be grown lions yet, we may yet be cubs but we have the roar of the lion. When people see us, they hear the accent and immediately classify us as lions. We are out there feeling ‘I’m not all that’ but what we think about us matters not. What matters is that as soon as we identify with the kingdom by our accent, there is a certain expectation of us. By the new covenant, we have put on Christ, so when we roar what we call a baby roar, it is a giant roar the enemy hears.

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You cannot hide your true accent, at your most vulnerable moment it will show, just like a colleague lost her made up accent in anger one day. She didn’t even realize she had lapsed to her original accent. Who shows up when someone hits your car and you are really upset? Does that accent represent the kingdom? Or when your direct reports are really slow and you need to address their lapses.  What accent shows up when you are really upset with your domestic staff or that driver that is constantly on your nerves? Our true identify reflects through us at the moment we least realize. Is it consistent with who we should be? We must ensure that we are true to ourselves and the kingdom to which we claim allegiance, especially with our accents.

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Have a lovely day.

@eloxie

52 comments to Accents

  • enajyte  says:

    Growing up, there were people that always struck me as ‘holy’ not because their bible was the biggest or they dressed like pastors or I saw them preaching.
    It was an indefinable something they exuded even when they were playing and joking that other people with their huge bibles couldn’t imitate. As I grew I realised its exactly what you said here: they spoke with a kingdom accent even when they weren’t discussing kingdom biz (that’s the only way I can explain it).

    • Stupendous Grace  says:

      Wow! you totally nailed it dear. That’s exactly it.
      Thank you so much for always being here, you know I appreciate you.

  • Sarah  says:

    I love this one!I really do. I learnt to speak with an igbo accent after hanging around my people in school for 5 years. Sometimes i even catch myself in that unguarded moment and wonder “did that just come out of me?”. I guess we also pick up different accents from staying around people long enough. You pick up love from loving people and negativity from negative people. As kids we couldn’t help ourselves but as adults we have no excuse> we must guard our hearts with diligence. And stay constantly in God’s presence so our accent is just like His.

    • Stupendous Grace  says:

      Oh dear, i know that igbo accent of yours, it is amazing. LOL. Yes dear, we must guard our hearts with diligence and stay consistently in His presence so our accent is just like His.

  • @signetseal  says:

    Great analogy. Love this piece!

    • Stupendous Grace  says:

      Thanks Sis. Bless your lovely heart.

  • Debby  says:

    Preach sister!
    And to think that we are unaware of our ‘accents’ most time… Talk about formed habits
    God bless you

    • Stupendous Grace  says:

      We certainly are unaware most time. God bless you too dear.

  • Nonso  says:

    There is a lot to learn here. An accent is not always picked up immediately (except you’re Meryl Streep) but even then, as you said, what real accent would I (or Meryl Streep) speak with when all guards are down?! I must confess my accent isn’t totally ‘heavenly’ yet, but I am getting there.

    • Stupendous Grace  says:

      LOL, oh yes, except you are Meryl Streep. Glad you are making progress, we all should be such that our accent is consistently all kingdom. Bless your heart Nonso.

  • 1 + The One  says:

    Great post! Found myself nodding.. I have to keep checking myself if the Kingdom accent is evident in my life xx

    • Stupendous Grace  says:

      You are welcome dear. AS we examine ourselves, may God’s grace help us reflect God effortlessly. More grace!!!

  • Theresa  says:

    I have the roar of the lion of the tribe of Judah
    Even with my tiny voice
    I’m #blessed by this.

    • Stupendous Grace  says:

      Oh yes sis, a cub is a lion too. Great revelation there!!!

  • Worship and Swag  says:

    I love the way you went about this post. Beautiful! As children of God, we bear the birthmark of Christ and nothing can erase that…not even sin or death. Our accents, identities, are ever present even when we choose to leave ’em. Thanks for this inspiring post this morning :)

    • Stupendous Grace  says:

      Dear W&S, we are really glad to have you stop by. Thanks for your lovely comment, we bear the mark of Christ indeed and nothing can erase that. God bless you.

  • Emerald  says:

    Still got a lot to learn but a lot of people “dislike” me for my accent.
    The reason?
    They can’t stand the fact that it’s power source is from the Kingdom of heaven.
    LOL. Thank God.

    • Stupendous Grace  says:

      Thank God indeed my dear. So glad you are able to plug into a power source like God offers. God bless you.

  • frances  says:

    I don’t even knw how to describe what I feel abt dis post,I was just nodding all through.
    May God help me to indeed speak and act in the accent of His kingdom,not just as a front,but in moments when am so hardpressed that only the true accent in me will be spoken,Amen.
    Thanks for sharing this.

    • Stupendous Grace  says:

      AMEN!!! God bless you dear and I pray for you as i pray for myself that your true identity will be of Christ and will reflect in the toughest of moments.

  • yougeecash  says:

    Lovely piece. I have friends who exude that spiritual aura in a non-threatening manner. They don’t even make an effort to, it just oozes out of them. I totally get you. As always, this piece was refreshing. More grace sis

    • Stupendous Grace  says:

      Awww! people like that are so refreshing, you truly want to ask them about this aura,about what makes then ooze so muc grace and it makes you want to have it too. Glad it blessed you dear. always glad to have you here. Hugs!

  • naijawife  says:

    I need to sit down and think about which accent I use when I’m just being myself. I have so many, so many…depending on who I’m speaking to… that I’ve lost count. You’re right about speaking in the accent of his kingdom. May we all develop an accent of truth that may have different inflections but still has the same basic tone.

    • Stupendous Grace  says:

      LOL. Hi NW, I totally feel you about not being sure what you sound like when you are being yourself. Ha ha ha. Saying a resounding AMEN to this prayer ‘May we all develop an accent of truth that may have different inflections but still has the same basic tone’. God bless you for always being here.

  • 'nifemi  says:

    *sigh* Broken. We can always be better. II Cor 3:18, 4:18. God bless you!

    • Stupendous Grace  says:

      Yes, by Hid grace, we can. God bless you too.

  • Inthe...  says:

    Hmmm…Deep! I love it. Yes, you can only hide an accent for only so long; it will eventually come out. My hubby tells me of a preacher who was in the spirit and mistakenly threw his hands up… up into a ceiling fan! Guess what, he screamed “Shango oooh!!!” Moments like that reveal whats truly in you. I want to scream Jesus, bleed Jesus and even moan Jesus in my sleep.

    • Stupendous Grace  says:

      Ha! my dear sister, the accent will eventually come out and to think that even subconsciously, it reflects like it did of this ‘Shango’ preacher. Ha! Just reminds me of a believer using the ‘F’ word when he got exasperated, got the same response from others. Like you, I want to scream Jesus, have JEsus on the tip of my tongue, call him in the day of trouble and more than anything, consistently reflect the kingdom language, an accent that is worthy of God. REminds me of Matt. 5:16, let your light so shine before men that they may see your good deeds and glorify your father in heaven.

  • Salt  says:

    As I began reading I sort of knew where you were taking me YET I thoroughly enjoyed how you took me there. I pray my accent shows that my mother tongue is ‘Love’. God’s love.

    Great, great piece. Sadly I speak pidgin with a yoruba accent so had it been me in that store, you would have just continued shopping. Lol!

    • Stupendous Grace  says:

      Thanks Big Sis, AMEN!!! I pray same too, that my accent reflects God’s love and is seasoned with grace, in season and out of season. Big hug.

  • Kiah  says:

    Okay…i take this as a sub…lol
    seriously though, i needed this. sometimes i am just so irritated by people around me and i take on their ‘accent’ to deal with them rather than staying true to the language of a child of God….

    i hear you, Eloho. thank you nwannem!

    • Stupendous Grace  says:

      Wow! I love your comment Kiah. Don’t we often take on their accent so they don’t ‘see us finish’? It often seems like the kingdom accent makes us look dumb and unable to fight back, or just takes too long to come through. God help us to stay consistent jare. That’s our prayer, to be instant in season and out of season. Love you too nwannem.

  • ologundudu abraham  says:

    This is a honest post. Out of the overflows of the heart the mouth speaks. No matter how we try to pretend or hide, the inward man will always reveal itself. Being a Christian is living the word of God and not acting it.

    Thanks ma’am. We all must be constantly reminded of this.

    • Stupendous Grace  says:

      Thanks dear. True, ‘being a Christian is living the word of God and not acting it’. Thanks for this reminder.

  • drnsmusings.wordpress.com  says:

    I like. In fact I love. Just found your blog. Hope you’ll permit me to reblog this sometime? Your depth is unusual in this shallow world. More grace

    • Stupendous Grace  says:

      Wow! thanks dear, welcome aboard. We hope you’ll stop by again and again. Thanks for your very kind words.
      Checked out your blog too…beautiful. I have bookmarked it and will be back to read through that series.

      Sure! You have my permission to reblog.

      God bless you.

  • Anosime  says:

    I once read of a boy who watched a pastor’s reaction to mistakenly hitting himself on the finger with a hammer. He said he just wanted to see how Pastors react when in discomfort. He thought he would hear a swear word but he was disappointed. Sometimes we port accents too. Probably when we realize the other accent is not yielding good returns in a certain environment. Lol. Love this post

    • Stupendous Grace  says:

      Wow! my dear, this test comes to us everyday in so many ways. People around us have a sense what our ‘accent’ should be and they test us deliberately or otherwise. And porting accents, aren’t we all guilty? God help us stay consistent to who we truly are, with our accents representative of the kingdom of God. Thanks so much Anosime. Gracias.

  • Favoredwoman  says:

    Great post sis. I’m so guilty of conversing with people with the accent they use. If u speak pidgin I reply u in the correct waffi pidgin , if it’s simon cowbell phonetics u want , I could twist every part of my tongue and lips. Lol. Sometimes I leave that conversation wondering where that accent came from?
    In my everyday life,I admit that sometimes I lose my accent when I should be showing off my true identity ; a spirit filled woman. I am so grateful for his grace that forgives me and still nudges me to be better, to represent Him and my culture better and the best part is doing it without even thinking.
    Hugs sis.

    • Stupendous Grace  says:

      GBAM!!! ‘…best part is doing it without thinking’. That is so powerful, the fact that the kingdom reflects through us without any deliberate attempt to speak Christianese or sound churchy. That is just who we are. Thanks sis. :-)

  • Kikiifeoluwa  says:

    Thanks for this piece.You just always have a way of coming round truths.
    I like this one:
    “When you walk in the Spirit, you don’t have to be trying to sound spiritual, you are that! You are like Christ and your opinions and speech are tainted with the accent of the kingdom.”
    Thanks Eloho.*hugs*

    • Stupendous Grace  says:

      God bless you my dear. Hugging you right back.

  • idoriangreatness  says:

    You cannot hide your true accent, at your most vulnerable moment it will show. True Sis.
    Nice piece

    • Stupendous Grace  says:

      Thanks dear. God bless you.

  • Charles Oyeleke Williams  says:

    Coming to Lagos at 13yrs I came with a heavy Ilorin accent which Lagos folks take for Ibadan. I hated it so much I stopped speaking Yoruba to anyone outside my family. Throughout school days I associated with people not from South-west and guess what? Today, when I speak Igbos call me theirs but Yorubas doubt my name…
    Lesson: with the right associations, I could change my natural accent and acquire a new one.
    Thanks for making me to reflect on this; I would run with this belief that I can with the right association change my first Adam’s nature for that of the glorious kingdom.

    • Stupendous Grace  says:

      You are welcome dear, true, your association can reflect on your accent. ‘Be not deceived, evil communication corrupts good manners’. God help us make the right discerning choices, but beyond the association, may our inner man be renewed by the Spirit so that what we say is consistently reflective of God’s grace.

  • Peace  says:

    As I read this, I just kept checking my inner self to ascertain if my accent is consistently heavenly. I’m not happy with the answer tho, so It’s time to retrace my steps. Thanks for this Ma, I’ve been blessed big time. More grace!

    • Stupendous Grace  says:

      God bless you dear. I’m glad it spoke to you too. And worry not, just continue growing in grace, continue being exposed to the word, it will reflect in your accent. Don’t struggle with the accent, just concentrate on being exposed to the spirit and building a kingdom mentality. God’s grace in you will refelct in your accent. Much love.

  • Uchechi  says:

    Hmm…whats your accent

    • Stupendous Grace  says:

      Yes O! what’s my accent?

  • Hauwa  says:

    Very enlightening post sis! sometimes I get a lot of “madam born again” which in honesty makes me pause in thought as to whether i’m all up in peoples faces with the gospel. I thank God cos i’ve come too learn evangelism comes naturally to a spirit filled believer. Sometimes we are the only bible some folks get to read…bless u dear :)

    • Stupendous Grace  says:

      Amen. Yes dear, may God effortlessly flow through us and as we share the word, may it be Him and not us. But honestly ‘madam born again’ isn’t always because you are in their faces, people felt that way about Jesus too. I find that the key is to be led by the spirit, He moderates us but like the word says, the world will hate us, they hated Jesus too. What is key is to be consistent in our faith and walk, that way, no one can gainsay us. Much love dear.

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