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Rocky Top in one of Emmanuel Negedu's five languages

Quick. Name the five most overused phrases or words of 2008. And I approved this message? Carbon footprint? Green? Maverick? Wall Street/Main Street? Four dollar gallon of gas?

All good, but if you're a Volunteer basketball fan, you really only have two choices: (1) Brian Williams has lost 100 pounds; or (2) Emmanuel Negedu speaks five languages.

For the record, Negedu speaks four languages (English, Hausa, Igala, and Nigerian Pidgin) and understands a fifth (Yoruba). Fun facts:

  • Native speakers of Hausa are found mostly in the African country of Niger and in the north of Nigeria.
  • Igala is spoken by the Igala ethnic group of Nigeria.
  • Nigerian Pidgin is an English-based pidgin or creole language spoken across Nigeria and is often referred to simply as Pidgin, Broken English or Brokan.
  • Yoruba is spoken in Nigeria, Benin, and Togo.

Fortunately for me (and for you), some of that is also spoken in my church by my Nigerian friend Chuks (pronounced "Chukes"). So with an enthusiastic, multilingual chest bump to Chuks, I now present to you Rocky Top, in Pidgin English:

How ibii I dey think say I dey for Rocky Top
If you come yonder for Tennessee
You no go see smoke for Rocky Top
You no go pay for phone

Before, before I get one sherii for Rocky Top
She bee half bear and half cat
Nothing pass this sherii
She dey sweet like sugar
I no go forget am o!

You go be Rocky Top forever
Ibii say naa home sweet home
Nothing pass Rocky Top
I dey for Tennessee dey sing Rocky Top
I dey for Tennessee dey sing Rocky Top