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Are Titles Really Important?

Uganda's former ruler Idi Amin Dada gave himself the titles:His Excellency, President for Life, Field Marshal Al Hadji Doctor, Lord of All the Beasts of the Earth and Fishes of the Seas, the Last King of Scotland and Conqueror of the British Empire in Africa in General and Uganda in Particular.

For some people titles, be they academic, professional, inherited or conferred are very important part of who they are, and omitting them can cause great offence.

In Nigeria, it is not only fashionable to have several titles, but some give you more status and influence than others. Apparently, to be ''somebody'' you need to be a chief or at least hold a doctorate.

It certainly isn't just a Nigerian phenomenon, individuals across Africa are known to buy or take on titles that will boost their academic or social standing.

Are you impressed by titles or people who have letters after their names? What do titles say about you? Do you think people put unnecessary emphasis on titles? If you had a title, would you take offence if someone ignored it? Send us your views.

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7 answers

I agree. those with Phd's, and Medical Doctors should be addressed appropriately. However, in general, Nigerians just place too much emphasis on titles. Nigerians put all kins of meaningless titles that they are not entitled to on their business cards. You will not see Engineers or Architects on this end address themselves as Engr. Joe or Arch. Joe. Only in Nigeria!

Even on this forums, a lot of people call that do know jack about what the principles of engineering entails, call themselves an engineer! I see posts from people that call themselves a telecoms engineer, GSM engineer, etc. because they know a little bit about how a GSM phone works. What a bunch of nonsense! Some so called software engineers can not program/code their way out of a brown bag if given the opportunity. I definitely do not want to be called an engineer because I do not see it as a big deal at all. It's what I bring to the table that matters. What about those folks that have never stepped on an airplane and they are being addresses as Alhadji.

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mehn dat lady might skin u alive. no joke o.

Yes the other ridiculous titles are , ermmm, ummm, RIDICULOUS.

But respect isn't given to those who have earned it in Naija. Everyone generalises and bunches everyone together. I really am sick of the mentality of some Nigerians. I have noticed it on this board.

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Bossman

I beg to differ. Come to America and address a Judge as Mr. or Mrs. Judge and see if they won't throw you in Jail.

I also beg to differ on the Ph.D title. It is earned well, if earned at all. I dare not call my Professors with Ph.Ds, Mr. or Miss or Mrs. I can't even call them Professor, they will quickly correct you that they have their Ph.Ds. Don't even make the mistake of calling someone without a Ph.D, Dr in their presence, they will let you and that person know that it isn't earned.

It's not only in Nigeria. As for Almondjoy quoting "Mr. or President Bush" you're only speaking of the Presidency title. Besides isn't "President" a title?

I do think that titles that are not earned are ridiculous. But please for those that are earned, show some respect. You can't call Obama, Mr. Obama, you call him Senator and that's a title.

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Chief, Dr., Mrs, Barrister, Otumba, Honorable,. . . . . Bullshit!

Only one person. . .with fake degrees allover the place! Can't even speak a sentence of English without using his or her mother tongue to explain what the heck he or she is trying to communicate. Half-baked illiterates!

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Most title seeking individuals are deficient, one way or the other

There is some sort of complex there

The ones that irritate me the most are: Engr, Barrister, Arch, Pharmacist, Lawyer, Hon, Excellency, 1st Lady, Alhaji, Alhaja, Deacon, Pastor, Dr. (Ph.D), etc

The robe does not make a monk

"It is not titles that honour men it is men that honour titles", according to Niccolo Di Machiavelli

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Titles are only important to "empty vessels".  For the vainly glorified and shallow-minded. Like in Nigeria where you call petty thieves. . . Your Excellency?

Execellent rogues.

Or "Honorable" house members or executhieves!

Other countries would be simply "Mr or President Bush"!

It just goes to indicate the late stages of "ceribral" development in African countries especially.

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Titles are not important at all. It's just a bunch of crap! It's only in Nigeria, and probably Africa in general, that people place emphasis on that nonsense! It's not your title that matters it's who you are and what you have up there.

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