shege in nigeria

How to Avoid Shege in Nigeria: A Young Nigerian’s Guide to Peace of Mind

by op-ed contributor

Being a Nigerian and living in Nigeria at the time is enough Shege. We all pray not get a dose of shege when we wake up in the morning. The suffering in Nigeria can frustrate anybody, some people have hacked it by travelling out while some people are still finding ways to beat shege.

In Nigeria, whether you’re rich or poor, you will see shege. It’s not a curse but a result of the present situation. In spite of the sufferings, how can you avoid shege? What are the measures you can put in place to unsubscribe from shege?

In this article, I will reveal the secrets to avoid shege in Nigeria. 

What is Shege?

There are words whose definitions cannot be determined by their origin. How these words are used among people of the same region, especially on the internet, determines what it means and not what it means from the origin. 

One of these words is Shege.

Nigerians use the word shege to express various meanings. It can mean “hardships, trials, shits, unfortunate event and tribulations.” Whatever way you use shege to describe hardship, keep in mind you are expressing something more severe than “sapa.”

Shege doesn’t have a specific definition, nor does it have a specific level. But then, it can be defined according to the phase you’re going through. 


Being a Nigerian living in Nigeria at this point of the general election, fuel scarcity, cash scarcity, and increased POS fees are phases of serious Shege. There is no distinct measure for shege. It varies with your problem and other environmental factors.

“Shege,” in a lame man’s words, can be defined as a stage or a phase of a man’s life where “nothing is easy,” and there’s little or nothing the man can do to make that situation better. Even if there’s something you can do, it’ll take a lot of work and struggle because apart from you trying hard, the main factors of serious shege are things you can not control, and they naturally frustrate your efforts.

Types of Shege in Nigeria

  1. Currency and financial shege

In Nigeria, as at this moment (February 2023), there is an order from the government for citizens to stop using the old currency for transactions. However, there is little or no dispensation of the new currency to replace the old currency in circulation.

Think of how hard it is on Nigerians at this moment.

No matter how much you have in your bank accounts, as long as you are a Nigerian living in Nigeria, there’s a limit to how much cash you can have. People are now left to make online transfers for payments with ridiculous amounts of money for charges.

 Now, imagine the level of shege an average Nigerian without internet access is facing. 

Sad right?

Please note that some Shege as a Nigerian are inevitable. There’s no way you can run from it. 

  1. Fuel scarcity shege

This is another kind you will face every year as a Nigerian. It’s like an annual data subscription.

There is always a time yearly when fuel gets scarce in the country, and citizens are forced to queue in filling stations for hours before purchasing fuel. Most times, citizens have to buy fuel at twice the normal rate.

Now, picture a situation where there is shortage of cash, and there is no fuel in the country, and to top it with sweet icing, fuel stations do not accept online money transfers.

It’s becoming clear and interesting. Do you understand it now? Yes! That’s just a small fraction of the description of shege 

Let’s look at another phase of general shege as a Nigerian. 

  1. Banking Shege

This shege is compulsory. You go through it as long as you’re patronising and using a Nigerian banking service. The banking sector in Nigerians is lowkey built to frustrate you once in a while or all the time.

I’m not saying there are not good ones, but one of the services they all render to every customer is frustrating you with that terrible service once in a while.

Let me share my experience.

I withdrew money to buy the food at a restaurant. Then, they said they weren’t collecting old currency (one of the shege I mentioned earlier).

I decided to transfer money to them as I had eaten the food already, and it was the remaining payment. I took out my phone to make a transfer, only to discover that my bank app was down, and I couldn’t use USSD to make a transfer. You can imagine that kind of embarrassment, in a place where my phone’s battery was low (that’s another kind of shege I’ll mention later in this article).

Now let’s analyse this scenario.

I had cash, but they didn’t want to take old cash (which wasn’t my fault because I couldn’t get new currency too). I wanted to make a transfer, but then my bank app and USSD transfer option were down, and I couldn’t make any transfer even though I had money in my bank.

Not only that, but my phone’s battery was also low, and there was nowhere to charge it. Hence, I will be stranded there without help if my phone dies soon.

Now that’s a typical example of shege that I wasn’t supposed to face on a normal day. But, you’ll recollect that I said there are some shege that one faces because the environmental factors surrounding that person aren’t favourable.

 Yeah. Exactly! 

  1. Power supply shege

If having a power bank was a means of voting in Nigeria, even kids would vote. Nigerians have more power banks than they have their voter’s card. Lol

As a Nigerian, having constant electricity is proof that you are rich because it is not ‘normal’ to have constant electricity in Nigeria.

The funny thing is that Nigerians are so used to this shege that when we have stable electricity for 6hrs straight without interruption, we begin to get scared and pray that they interrupt the light so we can get to have light later that day or the next day.

So, if you are not a Nigerian and by chance, you stumble on this article, I am very sure you’d have had a proper knowledge of this shege.

  1. Policeman and security officers shege

Nigerians have tried their best to curb this type of shege. But, as I have said, this shege is part of the alphabet that makes the word Nigeria.

So there is no Nigeria without this policeman wahala in it. We hope and pray for a better Nigeria. I hope you are individually working towards it. Get your voter’s card and go out to vote when it is time for the election.

If you are a Nigerian with a car, old or young, as long as you are driving through any route in Nigeria, you are bound to experience shege in the hands of these people. If you are a young rich male, you for don see the shege pass normal sef. 

They say, “the police is your friend,” but in Nigeria, it’s the opposite. One funny thing is if you go to a police officer to report someone who did you wrong and seek justice. You will see shege in their hands and might not get justice.

Read Also: Effective Tips to Survive University Challenges as a Nigerian Student

How to Avoid Shege in Nigeria

So let’s go to the part about how to avoid shege as a Nigerian.

  1. To avoid financial shege

Don’t go out when you know you don’t have enough cash. You should ensure you sort yourself with enough cash before you embark on any trip, far or near.

Having enough cash at hand would save you from a lot of stress and unforeseen banking shege circumstances.

  1. To avoid banking shege

Have multiple bank account with cash or have special friends or family members that you can call on at the point in time when this shege wants to escalate to pro max level.  

Not everyone is comfortable asking random people on their contact list for urgent financial help, which is why you should have special friends and family.

  1. To avoid electricity shege

The easiest ad affordable way to avoid this is to have a power bank. I can also say to have a generator, but the generator advice is for people that have money to buy fuel or buy fuel at the black market rate when there’s fuel scarcity shege and also have the patience to queue for long at fuel stations.

Get yourself a power bank, and if you have jobs you want to do on your laptop, I’ll advise you to train yourself to use your smartphone to carry out most of your work.

Read Also: 6 Common Problems Affecting Nigerian Youth

  1. To avoid police and security officers shege

Make sure your documents are up to date and follow traffic rules at all times. 

Stay low and live your life peacefully. As a young person, don’t wear flashy things or dress flashy when you’re travelling long distances, especially when you’re using public transport, always travel with any means of identification and most especially have an elder person you can call if you eventually get to see the pro max phase of this shege. To cap it all, know a highly-connected person that can rescue you when you face shege from them.

Read Also: The Problems Facing Nigeria as a Country: Is Nigeria Still the ‘Giant Of Africa?’


Shege is inevitable in Nigeria. It’s everywhere, like water, but then you can avoid it and reduce the level of effect of would have on you. Follow the above steps to reduce the effects it can have on you. 

Living in Nigeria at this moment is a lot to take in, don’t be overwhelmed by what is happening. I won’t advise you to get used to it, but then you can power your mind and fix it on the positive things happening in your mind, so you don’t get overwhelmed.

Breathe, live and enjoy life and every moment life has to offer while still in Nigeria. To every Nigerian that has no relocation plan, Nigeria will be easy on you.

To those that have relocation plans. Shege is everywhere. They just differ in colour. Stay safe.

Will you like to share your experience of shege? Leave a comment or join our Whatsapp Community to share your experiences. Follow us on Twitter to learn from our conversations.


Author: Precious Fawole

About Author

Avatar of op-ed contributor
op-ed contributor
Op-Ed are articles published by guest authors. We no longer accept guest posts. However, we are still open to adding long-term content contributors to our team of insightful writers. To write for us, please check out

Related Posts

Leave a Comment

× Say hi
Update Required Flash plugin