Meaning of ‘Akube’ and ‘Okrika’ and other Nigerian slang used in business

Like many places in the world, Nigeria has its good share of market slang. Having a good grasp of these market slang is not only beneficial to your shopping but also makes the experience more fun and relaxed.

Here are some of the common Nigerian slang used at markets:

1. Okrika or Okirika

This is a popular slang used in Nigerian markets. Okrika is a Nigerian slang used to refer to affordable second-hand clothes and clothing items like shoes and bags.

2. Akube

This one is also quite popular, especially in Lagos markets. The meaning of akube is a bit similar to okrika but akube is used to refer to “Grade 1 second-hand clothes and clothing items” only. That is to say that akube means those second-hand wears or okrika that have not been used so much and still look quite new.

3. Tokunbo

Tokunbo (also sometimes spelt as “tokumbo”) is another Nigerian phrase used to describe fairly-used items. Unlike okrika for clothes, tokunbo is used to refer to fairly-used or second-hand appliances and electronics, such as TVs, cars, blenders, home theatres, refrigerators, etc.

According to reports, “tokunbo” originated from the family name of a popular Yoruba trader long ago who sold items he brought into the country from overseas.

4. Jara

This is another slang every Nigerian shopper should know. “Jara” means “to add extra”. Usually, when someone buys something from a trader, they will say “give me jara” or “add jara for me” – this means they want the trader to add something to what they have bought to make them happier.

“Jara” is mostly demanded when buying non-packaged edible items and a trader and their customer can use the condition to establish a good relationship.

5. Sapa

Sapa is a Nigerian slang used to describe “being broke” or the hunger that comes from having no money. “Sapa” is what someone gets when they have spent all their money and have no means of getting it back.

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