‘How Igbos Address Me, So Interesting’ – Shaffy Bello

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In a recent podcast conversation with media personality Stephanie Coker, veteran Nollywood actress Shaffy Bello expressed her fascination with how the Igbo people address her. Bello shared her thoughts on the intriguing cultural nuances she has observed in the way Igbos interact, particularly in terms of respectful titles.

The actress acknowledged that, unlike some other communities, the Igbos refrain from addressing elders by their first names. Instead, they use terms like ‘aunty’ to convey respect. Shaffy Bello found this cultural practice interesting, highlighting the contrast even in places like the United States, where individuals don’t typically address their aunts or elders by their first names.

In her words, “Of course I still get it, I get the ‘Hi Shaffy’, and usually for me I know that upbringing matters and I also know that where you’re from also dictates some of the things that you do. For example, the Igbos don’t do that, they use ‘aunty’ and it’s so interesting to me because even in the States, they will never call their aunties by name, they go ‘aunty, cousin.’ They do the ‘ma’am.

“Usually my response is simple and I say it with love, I pull them close and I tell them ‘you haven’t earned the right to call me by my name, I have a child as old as you are. Even if I didn’t have children you haven’t earned the right , and you would never earn the right at your age to call me my name.”

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