National

STEEZE!

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STREET SLANG SERIES

 

Even your president, the Asiwaju of the Emilokan dynasty, demonstrated a level of composure when he missed his step and fell as he climbed up the parade vehicle during the Democracy Day celebration. As steeze is synonymous with swag, the president shrugged off his slip by saying he had a ‘swagger’ and he had only dobale for Democracy. That is, he paid homage to democracy as the traditional Yoruba man that he is. That way, he maintained his steeze with a blend of composure and clownery! Even the Democracy Day itself is a steeze, as its real meaning is Deception Day!

IF you are a Nigerian living in Nigeria, you cannot be ignorant of the hard work and tenacity it takes to survive in our dear country. You wake up to different dramas, struggles, and troubles every day. The nation could be shattering to pieces, and a bunch of older men in agbada and Baba riga are only concerned with changing the lyrics and musical accuracy of the national anthem rather than tasking their brains with how to provide solutions and put their selfish interests aside. They probably think that the first way to tackle national problems is to change our prayer point from “the labour of our heroes past shall never be in vain” to “Nigeria we hail thee, our sovereign motherland.” Don’t go to work; keep singing!

Nevertheless, one thing I love about being a Nigerian is our ability to maintain our maximum composure and steeze even during chaos. Our sense of humour has been a profitable coping mechanism. It is in a Nigerian’s blood to crack jokes even in the hardest of times. You know how they say, “When life gives you limes, rearrange the letters and smile?” Even in the fiery furnace, like Daniel in the Bible, Nigerians will continue to maintain their maximum steeze and composure.

As one who likes to keep up with trends and happenings, I recently came across the words composure and steeze, being the latest slang that have gone viral. Steeze is a combination of style and ease. In the context of fashion, it implies that a person has a good sense of fashion and carries themselves well. You may consider a person to have a steeze if they dress stylishly and exude an aura of confidence. In short, steeze is style, confidence, and audacity. Baba Falola has steeze!

When used in a behavioral context, steeze explains a person’s cool and effortless demeanour. TF is cool. If you abuse me, I smile! Steeze is the art of keeping your cool even when losing your mind. In the same vein, composure is the ability to stay collected and poised even in a pressured situation, putting on a calm demeanor during a reckless situation. Because Nigerians have a way of overusing and abusing words, in the past weeks, I have heard steeze and composure in almost every conversation. The memes are endless; almost every picture is captioned with the word steeze or composure in it. Even if it means to use words out of context, slang is slang. Any small talk, the next thing you hear is wetin go come do my steeze? Sometimes last week, I asked a friend, “How are you doing?” and his response was, “I’m losing my mind but maintaining maximum composure.” I have also cracked a few jokes using steeze and composure.

The list of things that can reduce your steeze is endless. When did running while crossing the road become a matter of maintaining or losing one’s steeze when people in the hospital do not have any steeze to maintain? A lecturer refuses to collect your script, and you are thinking about whether you should run after him or maintain your steeze and get a carryover because that is the worst that can happen, but your steeze is intact. Shouting o wa in Lagos danfo because the driver is about to drive past your bus stop is also another thing that can reduce your steeze. Holding an Okada man who is recklessly speeding on the expressway can reduce your steeze. Steeze kee you there!

Dropping your account details under a giveaway post on social media or posting your account details on your WhatsApp status on your birthday with the caption “send funds” is corporate begging that reduces your steeze. Stop that! Fighting for party rice or struggling to eat pounded yam with efo riro or cold Eba with Ila Alasepo with cutlery reduces your steeze. It is better to maintain your steeze than embarrass your lineage. Omo!

Amongst the many things that can reduce your steeze in the corporate world, speaking bad grammar, having a horrible dress sense, and not smelling nice tops the list. I understand that it is difficult for people to tell you that you have mouth or body odour, but having a horrible dress sense and not smelling nice reduces your steeze to zero per cent. How can you open your mouth, and it smells like sewage? All your steeze in the mud!

Composure is underrated steeze. Nothing beats the ability to maintain maximum composure while facing a difficult situation and allowing your aura to do its magic. Being broke reduces your steeze, but composure will weaken it. In an economy that looks like the president when he frowns, your account balance reads -N720, your mental health is at 5%, but your composure is a hundred per cent. Only composure can keep you sane.

It is this idea of maintaining maximum composure and steeze that led Akin to attend a job interview with 0% knowledge and preparation but 100% steeze and composure and still landed the job. Composure is what will make a student sit for an examination with no preparation and still expect to have good grades miraculously. I am sure if you were to ask a motivational speaker today to tell you the secret of his success, he would simply tell you to continue to protect your steeze and maintain maximum composure. Sounds so simple!

Even your president, the Asiwaju of the Emilokan dynasty, demonstrated a level of composure when he missed his step and fell as he climbed up the parade vehicle during the Democracy Day celebration. As steeze is synonymous with swag, the president shrugged off his slip by saying he had a ‘swagger’ and he had only dobale for Democracy. That is, he paid homage to democracy as the traditional Yoruba man that he is. That way, he maintained his steeze with a blend of composure and clownery! Even the Democracy Day itself is a steeze, as its real meaning is Deception Day!

To many Nigerians, maintaining steeze and composure is just a meme, trend, or slang used casually to crack jokes and stay in vogue, but to some, maintaining steeze and composure is beyond memes and more of a lifestyle. Cruise apart, the ability to keep one’s composure is a very important part of one’s performance. What would you do if the contract awarded to you was cancelled?   If your client insults you, what is next? Or the stress of dealing with a troublesome boss? And your babe leaves you because you default on your girlfriend’s monthly allowance? These types of situations trigger emotional responses and reactions capable of escalating such situations, hence the need to master the art of maintaining one’s composure. Keeping your composure under significant pressure can be challenging, whether it is in a heated argument, a crisis at work or home, or a personal challenge; maintaining your composure will help a great deal in navigating the situation more effectively. Sometimes, the difference between us and those whom we think have it all figured out is their ability to protect their steeze and maintain maximum composure at all costs rather than impulsively reacting and losing their cool at the sight of a difficult situation. When your steeze is intact, everything else will fall into place.

If your steeze and composure are what have kept you at that toxic job, if it has saved you from landing yourself in trouble and earning a jail term, if it has kept us sane as dear citizens of this great nation, then the steeze and composure must be maintained. In all you do, protect your steeze and maintain your maximum composure.

May Falola Baba Idan never lose his steeze!

PS: I heard this slang for the first time in a lounge at the Abuja airport while eavesdropping on a conversation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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