Posted by: zebbook | April 20, 2012


Uche’s Face








“The person who is not hungry says that the coconut has a hard shell” African proverb

Uche is a common unisex Igbo nickname, and depending on the contextual usage, Uche can mean intention, will, mind, idea or sense. Uche is usually the shortened form of any Igbo name in which it features and perhaps the commonest of the Uche names is Uchechukwu, which literarily means ‘Gods Will’, ‘Gods Intention’ or ‘The Heart of God’, while Ucheoma (Beautiful Mind) and Uchendu (Thought of Life) are common as well. There are a number of notable Nigerians who go by this name; Ikechukwu Uche and his brother Kalu Uche, both of them professional footballers plying their trades is Spain; Uche Ogbuji, a Nigerian-American poet and entrepreneur; Uche Elendu, actress and singer; Uche Nwaneri, professional basketball player with Jacksonville Jaguars; to mention a few.


I wouldn’t know how it came to be but Uche’s Face is a popular concept across the length and breadth of Nigeria; and it is used traditionally in the slang – ‘Don’t look at Uche’s Face’. There are obstacles to overcome on our path to greatness; there are mountains to climb and crocodile-infested rivers to swim across. Uche’s Face is a metaphor for anything or anybody that stands between you and a task you want to complete, or an objective you aim to accomplish. The obstacles and diversions on the way; the hindrances, the complications, the impediments and the hurdles are all Uche’s Face; and the best way to deal with such is to not ‘look’ at it.


Nigeria’s President, Goodluck Jonathan, did not look at Uche’s Face when he removed fuel subsidy on January 1 2012 and the people in turn did not when they took to the streets for two weeks to demand the reinstatement of subsidy and accountability in governance. Nigeria politicians do not look at Uche’s Face when they loot our treasury, the judge in Ibori’s trial did not look at Uche’s Face when he sentenced the Ogidigbogigbo of Africa to 13 years neither does Howard Webb before blowing a penalty for Man Utd. After uploading this article, I will not look at Uche’s Face and flood my Facebook and Twitter timelines with the link, and with N50,000 (and more) up for grabs in #SUPERBLOGGERS III, you should be ready to do the same to stand any chance of winning.


Haven served two terms at the Illinois State Senate; Barack Obama attempted to move a ladder up in his political career and made a bid to run for the U.S. House of Representatives in 2000. He however lost the Democratic Party primaries to four-term incumbent Bobby Rush by a margin of two to one. During the primary, Rush said: “Barack Obama went to Harvard and became an educated fool. Barack is a person who read about the civil-rights protest and thinks he knows all about it”.


Today, Rush is serving his 8th term as member of the U.S. House of Representatives and the greatest achievement of his 38-years old political career remains being the only person to defeat Obama in an election for public office. Obama’s decision to ignore Rush’s scathing and derisive comments and forge ahead with his dreams, and indeed dreams of his father(s), is a classic case of not-looking-at-Uche’s-Face.


Many things happen when you chose to look at Uche’s Face before taking a step or making a move. In the process of looking, you’d have wasted valuable time which you should have used in pursuing your goal, and if that goal happens to have the speed of Usain Bolt then it’ll take some time and energy for you to recover and catch up with it. But perhaps more importantly, you are likely to remember all the reasons why things might not work out and get discouraged in the process.


Am I asking you to live life pigheadedly? No. I am not asking you to make rash and uninformed decisions a la Goodluck Jonathan on fuel subsidy. I am rather asking you to make a distinction between the voices that are offering you invaluable words of advice on any particular venture and those coming with a million and one reasons why things will not work out in your favour. Listen attentively to the former and make necessary adjustments along the line; mute the latter and give yourself a billion and one reasons why things will work out just fine.


Pursue your goals with energy and focus; keep your strengths firmly centered on a chosen purpose. Sometimes we find ourselves distracted from our goal by the comments and attitudes of people towards us. We get overwhelmed by obstacles, isolation pain or fatigue. At these times, determination pushes us onward and gives us the energy to triumph, helping us to turn our dreams into realities and live by our highest values. So wake up each day with a resolve that nothing will stop you from achieving that which you have set your heart on.


So as a guy, the next time you see that girl you’ve been tripping for passing, even if her father is with her, don’t look at Uche’s Face, just walk up to her and say ‘Baby please be mine’. I wish you the best of luck.



  1. lol….nice 1

  2. Awwww… Nice one! I like..

  3. Hilarious but the serious undertone cannot be ignored. Walk up to that girl with er father at your peril though.

  4. Nice one. Well thought-out and inspiring.

  5. This is the first time I am hearing of the expression “Uche’s face”, from the context I guess it simply means the inner voice of reasoning.

  6. Wao ..jus wao..a must read.

  7. u no dey look uche face abi? u neva hear of ‘igbaju onirin’ (iron slap)…make u try know person o. No be everybody or obstacle u fit do anyhow for..

    Good work bro

  8. Nice post. Not looking at Uche’s face has actually taken me places.

  9. No look Uche face! We won’t look at uches face when we come out to save Naija from the looters!! Nice writeup

  10. Well said Bukola. We should just learn to go for what we want in life. Mawoju uche. Lol

  11. I like this piece Zebbook. Very inspiring.

  12. Hmmmm!!! Uche sure needs to have a look at his own face!! Thumbs up!!

  13. @zebbook ,tanks..just reading your blog on Uche’s face…lovely read I tell u…bt it wuld b nice if u dnt try to translate 9ja slangs..takes out d punch of d slang and might make one miss d meaning of d particular paragraph..if u get wat I mean…just saying ooo…

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