Is there that one thing you always wondered what its name in English is? I know I had and still have a lot of those. I remember a few English words even, that being a child, I didn’t  exactly get. Shock absorber for instance; I always thought it was “shokodzova”*sigh*
I realized that there are actually a number of things we may know but be unaware of what the English names are. Don’t worry, you’re not alone at all. I’m going to be listing a few things that had me in a “na de name be dat?!” moment.

Name I know vs Actual name

The things I’m going to list below might be a little annoying. Reason? You might already know these names and be wondering what those things look like. Not knowing you’ve probably even eaten or seen these things before.

Zobo vs Hibiscus Tea

I never fail to tell this story. So I went shopping for tea and saw a pack of Lipton Hibiscus tea. I was curious so I got it. One day I decided to make myself a cup of this ghenghen looking tea. I dunked the bag in hot water. First off I noticed the aroma and was like “naaah, no be zobo be dis?”, then I tasted it and was shocked at the tangy tasting zobo that slapped me. I wasn’t sure if to be upset or dissolve in a fit of laughter. I spent that amount of money for zobo?!  Moral of the story? Hibiscus Tea is Zoborodo my people.


locally brewed zobo/hibiscus tea



Zobo/hibiscus tea with international exposure

Licky Licky vs Velvet Tamarind

Licky Licky was that after school treat you gave yourself after saving change from lunch money! Do you know it? It had that cottony feeling that melts in your mouth till you get to the seed.




I was so pleased to learn this name Velvet Tamarind. I mean, look at licky licky of yesterday! :’D

Aya vs Tiger nuts

So if you know me you’ll know I’ve been on a quest for kunu aya since 2013. I made mention of kunu aya in a post []. Anyways, I decided to google the recipe for this drink and I saw aya with tiger nuts in a bracket. Then I went back to really look at the aya seed, it actually did look a bit ‘tigery’ , lol.


Fresh aya/tiger nuts

Fresh aya/tiger nuts




dry aya/tiger nuts

Agbalumo (udara) vs African star apple

First time I heard agbalumo referred to as an African star apple I was so confused. Which apple? What star?  I’m pretty sure like me, the first thing you do when you buy agbalumo is to wash and proceed to squeeze the center for the seeds to pop out. No wonder we’ve never noticed the star. So, here’s a photo of an African star apple cut open.




A photo of pure joy a.k.a. African star apple

Fruit (Ebelebo) vs Almonds

Have you ever noticed in some stores in the dairy section you see Almond milk? Or see a pack of almonds and wonder what they’d taste like? Brethren, you probably have already. Almonds are just that fruit from umbrella tree (ebelebo ). Don’t be confused by the obodo name, please. See?


Almond fruit tree


Almond at different stages from ripening to drying

Almond at different stages from ripening to drying


Almond nuts

Almond nuts

Tsamiya vs Tamarind

Tsamiya is this really sour fruit we have in my village. It’s in the family of ‘Licky Licky’ as you may have noticed from the name. I’m not sure if a lot of people may know it but I have seen it crushed, processed and sold in food stores in packs. When I was younger I used to soak the fruits in water to make some sort of juice out of it. I recently learned candy is made out of it too.


Tamarind tree with fruit.


opened Tamarind/tsamiya fruit exposing the edible part

opened Tamarind/tsamiya pod exposing the edible part


Processed tamarind fruit

Processed tamarind fruit

Kanamperi (konofiri) vs Cloves

So you know that aroma from you kunu or zobo that’s not from the ginger but you can’t put your finger or taste buds on? That’s actually kanamperi which are just cloves. They are an aromatic flower bud used for spicing drinks and food. My mom uses this a lot for her kunu and it comes out tasting wonderful.



Finding out the names of these things actually made me really glad. Sometimes you find yourself in places where your local dialect isn’t spoken and you have to find particular things. You come to realize that you actually don’t know what they are referred to as in English or that they know it as something else in that region.

I remember my friend and I asking for Ponmo ( cow skin ) in Aba and were met with the most confused stares until we explained and the little girl said “Ooo, kanda?” I do hope this post helped a little. Plus if you know more things like these besides food, do drop a comment in the comment box below. 😀

Have a trip and need help with travel plans?

Call us on 08189416000 and let us help you out. Also don’t forget to check out our blog and please share when you do

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *