Nigerians penchant for fake titles is hereditary. It started with Nigerian forebears who fought for an independent Nigeria. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Nwafor Orizu, and Kingsley Ozumba Mbadiwe are prime examples. Where they got the idea that you need fake doctoral degrees to be relevant is still a mystery to Africastallestman. These politicians started appending Dr. before their names years in advance of the award of any “facilitated” honorary doctoral degrees sometimes by institutions that do not award doctoral degrees to their students.

As the saying goes, “The fish starts rotting from the head;” when your heroes and leaders are touting fake doctoral degrees before the award of real doctoral degrees, you have no option but to emulate the leaders. The imitators have taken this megalomania further by appending all sorts of fake titles such as Eze, Barrister, Prince, Princess, Sir, Engineer, Professor, Associate Professor, Pastor, Reverend, Architect, Chief, Alhaji, Otunba, Alhaja, Accountant, Doctor, etc. before their names. Some use High Chief to differentiate themselves from Low Chiefs!

In America, Nigerian Pharmacists and Lawyers are bastardizing the American System of academic nomenclature by appending fake Dr. before their names. In America, only medical doctors and academic doctoral degree holders append Dr. before their names. However Nigerian pharmacists and lawyers in America, in concordance with the African gene for Influenceable Shamelessness, insist on appending Drs. before their names. They also insist on being addressed as doctors while communicating with fellow Nigerians. Addressing a Nigerian pharmacist or lawyer residing in America as Mr. or Ms. is akin to addressing God as Lucifer!

Africastallestman once visited New York and decided to pay a courtesy call on an old friend, who works as a pharmacist in one of the city’s hospitals. I called him on the phone before my arrival, to ensure that he is physically present in the institution. On my arrival at the hospital, I proceeded directly to the information desk and asked for Dr. Otue Sapede. The receptionist after a thorough search of the computer database said, “I am sorry, sir, there is no Dr. Sapede in this hospital.” I responded, “Ma’am, I just spoke with him a few minutes ago and I know the doctor is in the hospital.” In a slightly angry tone, she retorted, “Well, sir, there is no Dr. Sapede in this hospital.” In a final effort, I spelled the name phonetically for the receptionist, “First name is spelt, o as in obese, t as in totally, u as in uneducated, e as in egotistic; last name is spelt, s as in stupid, a as in annoying, p as in pharmacist, e as in embellished, d as in degree, and e as in embarrassment.” The receptionist searched her computer database again and warned me that if I do not leave the hospital, that she will invite the security personnel to escort me out. I ran for my dear life.

Later that evening, I called my friend and was quite upset with him for wasting part of my day, which I could have used for sightseeing. Like he knew his crime, he asked, “Did you ask for Dr. Sapede?” I responded yes. “Sorry oooo, I should have told you that I am a pharmacist at the hospital. I answer Doctor because I have a PharmD degree.” I countered that American Pharmacists do not have doctors before their names.

Obviously upset, he says, ” What do the Americans know?” Sensing that I was not going to win this battle with this ‘megalomanistic’ egomaniac, I dropped my phone and remembered my phonetic game with the receptionist. He is a doctor amongst Nigerians and a pharmacist amongst his peers! Well, he is an obese, totally uneducated, egotistic (Otue), stupid, annoying, pharmacist, with embellished degrees that is an embarrassment (Sapede) to his profession. “What do the Americans know” and you left your country to reside permanently in America?


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