How To Greet A Nigerian and African Men Respectfully

Hello, I go to an African church and want to be able to greet the Nigerian elders with respect.

Please, how do I greet the Nigerian elders with respect in their culture ?

Thank you

***Editor’s Note***
I have been moving around this forum since morning trying to merge shorter posts or create a category for posts that fall in the same category. This post above was made some few days back, entirely about greeting Nigerian/African men.

If you have any question in this category, whether about how to great Nigerian men or how to respect Nigerian men please use the ‘add a comment link’ below.

It is obvious that different people understand and define RESPECT in myriad of way, there is so much that matter to an African man that a white man wouldn’t give a damn about, That is just it.


  1. How to Greet Nigerian elders With Respect

    Nigerian women are known to be humble, respectful and obedient. But there are different posture that people take when they greet, you can choose to just say “Good evening sir” and don’t go for a hand shake except he stretched out his hand first.

    The Yorubas bow when they want to greet an elder as a sign of respect some even lie flat on the floor but that is only a respect accorded to the kings and Obas, although some people still lie on the floor for a very rich man.

    but that is to the extreme, the normal and most simple way to greet is “good evening sir” then you bow your head a little, not the kind Jacky Appiah was doing in that movie. just a mild bow then greet in unism, don’t bow and greet, do the two the same time and you would be fine

    that is the simple way to greet a Nigerian man or an African man.

    NOTE: most people don’t do the bow thing but just put the sir, and then a mild lush face, this simply depicts humility

  2. How to Greet Nigerian elders With Respect, (African)
    by: Obee

    There are many ways to show respect to an elderly person in Nigeria and one of the way is through greeting. Greeting means a lot to the people of nigeria and even Africa as a whole.

    In Nigeria it is a sign of respect and any child that refuses to greet an elder is considered to be stubborn or wayward. Unlike what you get from the western parts of the world.

    People from the western part of the world lay very little emphasis on greeting, most parents don’t care about greeting. In Nigeria a child must say ‘good morning dad’ or mum as the case may be” when he sees his parents for the first time in the morning

    And the Nigerian kids and trained to say thanks dad or mum after each meal although this ‘after meal’ appreciation is fast dwindling away as – kids are becoming wiser than their parent – I think the reason for this dwindling away is because most African kids are gaining independence and learning to depend less on their parents.

    The only reason while it seems like most African children are very respectful is simple because they depend completely on other (either their parents or guidance)

  3. greeting an elder in Nigeria / Africa

    Lol, I suppose it would be better if you just greet and forget about the bowing part. Most Nigerian/ African men don’t bow before greeting any longer, it used to be like that but I guess the elders now pay very little attention to all those acts. Although, it is not bad if you still want to bow, you can do it from any distance but it should not be before or after the greeting. You bow immediately as you utter the ‘good morning’, so u now know that you need to be in close range to greet or he/she wouldn’t hear you

    1. It was already said above how to greet an elder. This question is kind of ignorant. If you know the elder you greet them. Even people of the same title as you it is expected to greet each other when you meet. “Good morning” “Good evening” “Good afternoon”. If you are the visitor, greet first; if you are younger, greet first; If you are of the same age, but a woman, it’s expected to greet first- even if you are not accustomed to the culture and think it’s sexist.

    1. If you’re in the U.S. then greet according to U.S. customs, if you’re in Nigeria, greet according to Nigeria’s customs. Be mindful that different tribes have different customs as well. If you make a mistake then apologize and tell them that you’re not used to the culture as of yet. This goes the same for other cultures as well. Wherever you are, try to adhere to their culture.

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