5 Reasons Why Nigerians Call Alcohol Shayo


For Nigerians who love to party, the word Shayo certainly holds no newness to their vocabulary. Inadvertently, it is one word that sums up the whole essence of partying for Nigerians.

Someone hearing the word for the first time is wont to begin pondering on its meaning. No need to ponder much as the word has come from the streets and has been made popular by afro-pop musicians.

One of the songs that popularized the word even more is one by Nigerian artiste, Bigiano. Titled “Shayo”, the chorus of the song goes: “I no go fit invite una come my party make una no shayo (I can’t invite invite you to my party if you won’t enjoy yourselves.)”
To capture the essence of the word, there is another song of the same title by Chinko Ekun featuring Falz and Dremo. The video outlines what it means to shayo in the Nigerian context.

So here are 5 reasons why Nigerians call alcohol “Shayo”

Shayo means happiness

Yes! Nigerians love nothing more than to be happy. Before becoming  a street slang, ‘shayo’ has its origin steeped in Yoruba language. “Shayo” (pronounced as “sha-your”) is a Yoruba name which means “to be happy”. When you consider that meaning in relation with “shayo” (pronounced as sha-yo), then you would begin to see why Nigerians call alcohol ‘shayo’.

Alcohol certainly puts one in a good mood, and parties need you to be in a happy mood to get the most out of the experience.

Nigerians love alcohol

This is true considering that, for a fact, the seven Shoprite shops outlets in Nigeria sold more Champagne than the 600 outlets in South Africa back in 2014.

When something gives you happiness, it becomes easy to just love it. Not so?

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It stands for enjoyment

It is a genetic trait among many Nigerians to seek for moments when they just kick back, relax, listen to good music, while sipping a glass of good whiskey.

That for the typical Nigerian is what enjoyment is all about, and the word captures all of this. It is more than just alcoholic drinks. It is a nutshell of what it means to enjoy one’s self.

It is more than just one bottle

No! Nigeria is no one bottle country. When you take a look at the table, it is much more than one bottle to a man. So to shayo does not only end at having a drink, it also applies to how many bottles you can down.

Because Nigerians love titles more than names

We already know there is a word like enjoyment and alcohol – whichever one you wish to relate to the word. However, in Nigeria, people are often called by their titles much more than by their names. Shayo is the title given to “alcohol” and “enjoyment”, or as you may please, “enjoyment based on alcohol.”