A trip down memory lane had me laughing almost hysterically to myself.
A few years ago while working in the UK, I was temporarily posted to another office for a some weeks. I walked into the office and was pleasantly surprised to find another African. (I found that in the UK it was very easy to tell the difference between an African and Black Briton.) We exchanged the customary silent nods as I was led to my workstation and settled in. During the course of the morning I learned that she had got the job through and agency and was there only for the week. She was doing some clerical work as far as I remember and we both reported to the same lady.
Anyway, later in the day our boss comes to her and asks her about some boxes that were stacked behind her. (side note: The office was an open plan office and the desk separators were the low kind so basically everyone could see and hear everyone. It housed about 15 people). The conversation went something like this:
Boss: “Maggie, do you know why these boxes are still here, they should have been put away in the stationary cupboard”
Maggie: “Sorry, what did you say” in a heavy west African accent
Boss: pointing at the boxes behind Maggie and speaking louder “These boxes where are they from and why are they still here”
Now everyone’s attention around the office is on Maggie and Boss lady. For some reason I begin squirming in my chair.
Maggie: shaking her head “I don’t know, they found me here”
I almost burst out laughing and that expression has stayed with me since. the look on the boss’ face was priceless.
Here are a few from Uganda. Big Al and I tickle ourselves silly when we think back to the first time we each heard them
“how do u make it” = what’s the time
“where do u put up” = where do u live
“They call me Steve” = My name is Steve
There are more however my memory fails me!