Cultures and Traditions

How To Greet Or Say Hello In 15 Nigerian Languages

Tribes in Nigeria

Nigeria is made up of over 350 ethnic groups with beautiful culture, traditions and diverse languages which guide them in their day-to-day activities.

Language, unarguably, is one major identification or distinctive factor of a tribe or ethnic group. This goes to the extent that slight differences in pronunciations can clearly point if one belong to an ethnic group or not.

All ethnic groups in Nigeria highly prioritize their language and its subsets which include songs, chants, greetings and so on. In Nigeria, greeting is a form of courtesy and a very important introduction to every new conversation and thus it is highly revered. If you have been searching for either “how to greet people in Nigerian languages” or “how to say hello in Nigerian languages“, OldNaija has carefully compiled this list of how to greet people or say hello in Nigerian languages, fifteen Nigerian languages.


How To Say Hello In Nigerian Languages

Bawo ni – This is the Yoruba word that best translate as hello and can be used anytime and anywhere but not to anyone. It is considered rude to say “Bawo ni” to an older person in Yoruba land.

Kóyo – This is the Benin way of saying “hello” or “how are you?”.

Kedu – This is the closest word for hello in Igbo language. Kedu literally translate as “how are you?” and can be used anytime and anywhere.

Mesiere – This is the Efik/Ibibio way of greeting. Idem mfo and Abadie can be used instead of Mesiere but the latter is mostly used.

Sannu – The Hausa people of Northern Nigeria use sannu as a formal way of greeting and saying hello anytime and in any situation.

Nigerian tribes wazobia
© Deviant Arts

Abole – This is the Idoma way of greeting which loosely translate as “how are you?” or hello.

Mavo – This is the Urhobo word for hello though it literally translate as “how are you?”.

Ndala Kpe idi – This is a way of saying hello among the Ogba people of Rivers State.

Ere Owuro – This is the Itsekiri word for hello.

Ushé-ushé – This is the Kanuri way of saying hello to people at anytime of the day.

Agba – This is the way to say hello among the Igala people of Kogi State.

Ibaatẹ – This is the general form of greeting or saying hello among the Kalabari people of Ijaw, Niger Delta State.

Shòù – This is how to say hello in Izere language spoken in Plateau State.

Ìsoko – This is a closely related to hello in Jibu language spoken in Taraba State.

Eweso – This is a way of saying hello among the Ijebu people of Ogun State.


How far – This is a way of saying hello in Nigerian pidgin English. Though it is a question, no answer is required when used. It is a widely used informal way of greeting in Nigeria.

Thanks for reading,

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Cite this article as: Teslim Omipidan. (November 26, 2018). How To Greet Or Say Hello In 15 Nigerian Languages. OldNaija. Retrieved from


  1. I am a Nigerian whose aim is to bring joy to our people by bringing information entertainment,
    How can I achieve it?i need your advice, Thanks.

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