If The Little Mermaid Were Nigerian

April 9, 2021

Just Imagine is a Zikoko weekly series that takes fictional pop culture icons and reimagines them as chaotic Nigerians. 

Headline – “Man marries Fish.”

Does that seem like what a Nigerian man would do?

There are only a few Nigerian men who would find out you’re a mermaid and stick by your side and even fewer that would go ahead and marry you.

On this episode of #JustImagine, I take on Disney’s Ariel, the Little Mermaid and reimagine Ariel as Amara and Emeka as her prince.

Ikorodu Ferry Station

It’s just past 7am in the Ikorodu area of Lagos. Emeka is standing on a long queue of people ready to get on the ferry bobbing slightly on the water. The ferry is conveying the passengers from Ikorodu to Victoria Island, where Emeka works.

An officer, Dele, hands out life jackets to the people as they get on the ferry. Emeka reaches the front of the queue and Dele hands him a life jacket.

Emeka: (scrutinises the life jacket) why does this thing have a hole?

Dele: (irritated) which hole did you see?

Emeka shows Dele the tear on the life jacket.

Dele: And so?

Emeka: If this boat should capsize, won’t I drown with this life jacket?

The woman behind Dele pokes her head.

Woman: Oga, which one is capsize? Abeg, Jesus will not let that one happen. Collect the thing and pray on top. Or maybe you should go and enter BRT.

Dele hands the woman a lifejacket with an even bigger hole in it.

The Ferry starts to move towards Lagos Island. A distance away from the ferry, Amara, a mermaid, swims to the surface of the water. The tide changes and the ferry starts to shake. 

Woman: Jesus! Jesus o!!

Emeka holds on to his lifejacket and does the cross sign.

Amara swims under the ferry and holds it steady. After a while, the ferry stabilises and Amara swims away. Emeka catches a glimpse of her tail.

Emeka: Hay! Mamiwater o! I saw mamiwater!

Woman: (frowns) Are you the one they sent to us? Because you were the one shouting capsize before. Now, it is mamiwater.

Emeka: I saw mamiwater.

Woman: You better stop saying rubbish!


At the bottom of the sea, Amara is kneeling, surrounded by singing mermaids. The singing stops as soon as their leader, Queen Mother, steps out of the shadows.

Queen Mother: Amara! You say you want human legs?

Amara nods.

Queen Mother: Because of a man.

Amara: I want to marry him, Queen Mother.

Queen Mother: And what will you give me in return?

Amara: (humbly) My voice.

Queen Mother: That sounds like generator?


Queen Mother: Talk another thing.

 Amara whistles and some mermen bring in a chariot. Amara bows dramatically.

Amara: Queen Mother, I present you the latest sea chariot. This one is really expensive. 

Queen Mother: Amara.

Amara: (bows) Queen Mother, I am your servant.

Queen Mother: That’s the chariot they stole from me last week.


Amara looks at the chariot and back at Queen Mother.

Amara: This is it?

Queen Mother points at the number plate that reads – Queen Mother’s Chariot.

Amara: Is it your own Queen Mother? Or like Agbowa side Queen Mother.

Queen Mother:

Amara: Help me, ma. I want to marry.

Queen Mother: Do you have anything else to give me?


Queen Mother:

Amara: I have sardine.

Queen Mother: (sighs) Just give me your voice.

Amara opens her mouth and Queen Mother takes her voice.

Queen Mother: Swim to the surface and your legs will appear. If you do not marry that man in four weeks, you will go back to being a mermaid and become my prisoner. Now go!

Amara starts to drag the chariot out.

Queen Mother: Is it that your head is not correct?

Amara: Sorry, ma.

Emeka’s Office.

Emeka’s boss, Mr Jude, walks into the office with Amara. Everyone looks up from their computers.

Mr Jude: Everyone, I want to introduce Amara. She is our new intern.

Amara waves and all the men in the office wave back, excitedly.

Mr Jude: Emeka, you will be mentoring Amara this week.

Mr Jude leaves the office and Amara goes to sit next to Emeka.

Emeka: (laughs nervously and stretches out his hand) Hi, my name is Emeka.

Amara grins and shakes his hand.

Close of Business

It’s almost six in the evening and Amara is packing her bags. Emeka stops at her desk and Amara looks up.

Emeka: Hey, do you want me to wait for you?

Amara nods and finishes up before they walk out together.

Emeka: Do you want to grab something to eat?

Amara nods.


Emeka and Amara are sitting at a table. On Emeka’s plate are different kinds of fish. Emeka is eating everything, hungrily. 

Emeka: (crushes bone) There is no kind of fish that I don’t eat. 

Amara raises her brow.

Emeka: You, you’re not eating? You don’t like fish?

Amara shakes her head.

Emeka: You’re missing o. (cuts fish) Are you a vegetarian?

Amara nods.

Emeka: (laughs) I will teach you how to eat fish. (calls out) Iya Seki! Bring two more titus and one kote for me.

Amara’s eyes widen.

Emeka: If I don’t eat titus, I can die. My uncle is a fisherman (crushes bones) Look at that water.

Amara looks towards the lagoon.

Emeka: If fish should finish there, hold my uncle. He is the one that caught all the fish.


Beach Date

Amara and Emeka are sitting on the sea and watching the waves. Emeka leans in and they kiss.

Amara looks at him and points to her ring finger.

Emeka: You want me to engage you?

Amara nods.

Emeka: Ha. I don’t know o.

Amara looks at him and Emeka faces her.

Emeka: Let me not lie for you. Sometimes, you use to behave somehow.

Amara stares.

Emeka: Why do you use to go to the river at 3am? What are you always looking for?

Amara signs that she is washing clothes.

Emeka: Why are you washing cloth at 3am? Then when you come back at 4am, you will sleep on tree. (leans in and whispers) shey you are ok?

Amara nods.

Emeka sits back and brings out some fish and starts eating.

Emeka: (chews) Me, I don’t think so o.

Amara stares at him.

Emeka: I should stop eating fish again?

Amara nods.

Emeka: Ok. Sorry.

Amara writes on a paper – Tomorrow is my birthday, come to the river at 6pm.

Emeka: We are going to water again?

The River

Amara and her friends are in the shallow part of the water, surrounding a chair. Emeka reaches the water and sees Amara wearing a crown.

Emeka: This is what I was saying before o. This is what I was saying o. Why are you wearing crown now? When you’re not Queen of the Coast.

Amara gestures for him to come in.

Emeka: Come where?

Amara points to the chair.

Emeka: That burial chair?

Amara nods.

Emeka: So you people can collect my destiny?

Amara shakes her head.

Emeka: Is it not your birthday? Why am I the one sitting on chair?

Amara points to her ring finger.

Emeka: You want to do wedding?

Amara nods.

Emeka: Is this the way to church? Is it not birthday we came to do?

Amara is frustrated. She points at her ring finger.

Emeka: I say we will go to church! CHURCH!

The End Of Amara’s Four Weeks 

It’s a few minutes to sundown and Amara is at a local bar with Emeka and his friend, Saheed. Saheed is a little drunk while Amara bites her fingernails nervously.

She raises her hand and points at her ring finger.

Emeka: (gulps a glass of beer) Amara, calm down. See engagement ring is expensive o. Abi will you buy it?

Amara nods.

Saheed: (belchs) Maybe you can help me buy another beer here.

The sun goes down and a loud gong sounds. Amara starts to shake as she turns into a mermaid. Emeka jumps up. The woman running the bar runs inside and locks her door.

Saheeed falls off his chair and Emeka wipes his eyes as he stares at Amara in disbelief.

Saheed: (whispers) Amara is Titus?

Queen Mother appears. 

Queen Mother: Amara, your four weeks are up.

Queen Mother looks at Saheed and Emeka.

Queen Mother: Which one is the one you wanted to marry?

Amara points to Emeka and Emeka points to Saheed.

Saheed: Who? Ma, it is not me o.

Queen Mother: Amara, I will only let you live if your man is willing to fight for you.

Emeka: Is Saheed that will fight.

Saheed: Hope they have not been swearing for you?

Emeka: I bought Gulder for you now!

Saheed: I should now die because of that?

Queen Mother: Shut up! You, why haven’t you married Amara?

Emeka: (prostrates) Mummy, I have wife.

Amara stares at him.

Emeka: In the village. See the picture.

Emeka shows Queen Mother some photos on his phone. Saheed looks at it.

Saheed: When did you marry Fathia Balogun?

Emeka: Shut up your dirty mouth.

Queen Mother: For your deceit, you are coming with me!

Emeka: Ha! I have promotion interview tomorrow o.

Saheed starts to leave.

Queen Mother: And you too.

Saheed: Ehn? Ma, Is not like I don’t want to go with you but I still have 1,000 Naira with GTB. Do you have GTB branch there?

Queen Mother touches them and they vanish. The bar woman comes out and starts wailing.

Bar woman: Them no give me money ooo!


Emeka and Saheed are dressed in loincloths, mopping the bottom of the ocean as punishment.

Saheed: Because of Gulder that I say you should buy for me, I have reach marine kingdom to be mopping ocean.

Emeka: (mops)

Saheed: You get two bay?

Emeka: For what?

Saheed: I wan carry fishwoman this night.

Saheed winks at a mermaid swimming closeby.


Check back every Friday by 2pm for new stories in the Just Imagine series.

Hauwa L

Join The Conversation

Bring a friend.

You'll like this

April 23, 2021

We don’t have light in Nigeria, so there’s no way a Nigerian version of Captain America would have been built in a mega laboratory. Who will be fueling gen?  So, for this episode of #JustImagine, we decided to import Captain America. Would he survive in Nigeria for a day? The date is June 6, 2021. […]

May 23, 2019

In certain cultures, adulting is marked with rituals, tests and celebrations. But when you’re Nigerian, adulting often comes at you without warning. Adulting comes in different forms; bills, family, responsibility, and you guessed it, a child.  Everyone who’s crossed that bridge has a unique story. Stories that can help you see you’re not alone. That’s […]


Now on Zikoko

Thick thigh problems
June 16, 2021

Thick thighs save lives started as a body-positive slogan, and while it has made people a lot more confident about their bodies, it’s not all rainbows. We’ve highlighted a few thick thigh struggles in this article. 1. Your jeans always get ripped You’ve long realized that you can never have a favourite pair of jeans […]

June 16, 2021

Dealing with acne is never easy. From random people recommending products to you to the self-esteem dip, everyone has their story. In this article, seven Nigerian women talk about living with acne.  Khloe, 22  I was 14 the first time I noticed acne on my face. It was my first year in university. I didn’t […]

June 16, 2021

The subject of this week’s What She Said is a 25-year-old Nigerian woman who has travelled to over fifteen countries alone. She talks about how this love for travelling started, the way she’s stigmatised at airports and in hotels, and her dream to attend aviation school. What was growing up like? Life was good until […]

June 15, 2021

As a Nigerian, sometimes you need to remind yourself that you are in the best country in the world. 1) We have delicious suya and kilishi Regulate open grazing? No. Ban Twitter? Yes. Ban Cryptocurrency? Yes. Why? Because Suya and Kilishi >>>>> Technological advancement. It’s quite simple really. 2) “Over raw” best in world rankings […]

Recommended Quizzes

November 20, 2019

Last month, we thoughtfully made a quiz telling you guys exactly when you’ll marry, but some of you claimed that your spouse was nowhere to be found. Well, now we’ve created one that’ll tell you exactly who you’ll be dragging down that aisle. Take and start planning that wedding: 11 Quizzes For Nigerians Who Are […]

February 26, 2020

Are you all set for marriage, or are you still figuring it out? Well, if you’re curious to know the answer, then this is the quiz for you. All you have to do is create your own ideal Nollywood wedding film, and we’ll tell you if you’re ready to say “I do”. Go ahead:

November 1, 2019

Twitter is buzzing right now, bringing a new conversation to the concept of cool vs not-so-cool, especially in relationships. If you’ve been thinking about how much of a red flag you are, why don’t you let this quiz help you decide once and for all?

November 11, 2019

Everyone has something to say about what kind of person they are. But how well do we truthfully evaluate these things? Not that much, I can assure you. The average person is always lying to themselves to make sure they look good. But you know what and who doesn’t lie? Zikoko quizzes that’s what. Take […]

More from Just Imagine

May 28, 2021

If God gave Nigerian parents clay to make the perfect daughter, they’d mould a God-fearing woman with six children and a husband she diligently submits to. Now, imagine God ignores their request and, instead, sends them a daughter who isn’t particularly interested in marriage and just wants to fight men all day. Chaos. Well, because […]

May 21, 2021

La Casa De Papel, or Money Heist as it is famously called, was such a fan favorite in Nigeria because, other than the brilliant storyline, one heist or the other happens every day in this country. The economy is a mess, the government wants to double fuel price, and crypto is refusing to get up.  […]

May 14, 2021

Spiderman has been seen doing a ton of questionable things on the TL lately — dancing at parties for food, twerking for coins and passing out at nightclubs. We can’t tell if it’s the economy or he took the wrong covid vaccine, but something is seriously wrong with that man. So, inspired by these shenanigans, […]

May 7, 2021

Twitter went berserk this week after billionaire, Bill Gates and his wife, Melinda, called off their 27-year-marriage. Although the divorce appears amicable, we know a Nigerian divorce between billionaires would have been chaotic.  So on this episode of #JustImagine, we created two fictional characters: Belu and Mide.  Belu’s Ikoyi Mansion. Belu is hiding in his […]

April 30, 2021

It is safe to agree that Nigerian politicians were the kings of comedy until Donald Trump entered the game in 2017. And suddenly, we had competition. So in this episode of #JustImagine, we decided to take a break from superheroes and Disney princesses and explore politics. Trump’s Villa In Banana Island. Trump is squinting at a […]

April 23, 2021

We don’t have light in Nigeria, so there’s no way a Nigerian version of Captain America would have been built in a mega laboratory. Who will be fueling gen?  So, for this episode of #JustImagine, we decided to import Captain America. Would he survive in Nigeria for a day? The date is June 6, 2021. […]

April 16, 2021

Everyone knows Nigerian universities are designed to break you. But when you’re the god of thunder, it should be easy, right? On this episode of #JustImagine, we reimagine Thor as a Nigerian student named, Tomiwa. Campus Hostel Bode, Tomiwa’s friend and roommate, is standing outside the hostel addressing a small crowd. The crowd is agitated. […]


Trending Videos

Zikoko Originals

December 14, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
November 2, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
October 26, 2020
A collection of videos documenting some of the events of the EndSARS protests.
June 22, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
June 22, 2020
Hacked is an interesting new series by Zikoko made up of fictional but hilarious chat conversations.
June 4, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
June 2, 2020
Quickie is a video series where everyone featured gets only one minute to rant, review or do absolutely anything.
May 14, 2020
Isolation Diary is a Zikoko series that showcases what isolation is like for one young Nigerian working from home due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
March 12, 2020
Life is already hard. Deciding where to eat and get the best lifestyle experiences, isn't something you should stress about. Let VRSUS do that for you.

Z! Stacks

Here's a rabbit hole of stories to lose yourself in:

Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.