Differing opinions on this widely accepted practice in Nigeria

Every student in Nigeria must have witnessed the tradition of drenching new graduates in all sorts of water immediately after their last examination. This goes side by side with the signing of autographs on white tops with markers of different colours, and a lot of singing and dancing. Is there any reason to be concerned about the water splashing practice? Is it just a fun activity that shouldn’t be questioned? This article will attempt to address these questions.

It is fun

No doubt, many students find the practice fun. There is so much running around and laughter. A Nigerian tertiary institution graduate, Adoration Nwankwo, recounted her experience “Its really fun I remember d day I graduated I really hear nwee, my body bcam red bcos of d water beating not even pouring of water…”.

Also responding to our query, Chukwudi Samuel said of the tradition: “Well i really like it it is sign of celebration i can take frm my friends and family but not someone i don’t knw is just for fun and trust u Will forget ur worries if it happens to u.”

Many more Nigerians have fond memories of this very practice. I agree that it has put smiles on the faces of many.


I believe the water splashing tradition has evolved with time. In the beginning, it used to be only about celebrating the success of new graduates whereby clean water was delicately splashed on them. The ideology has changed. Some people see the practice as an opportunity to hurt others. This is the only explanation behind the use of dirty water and water mixed with sand and stone pebbles.

Going further with her narration, Adoration Nwankwo stated: “…both d people I know n d ones I didnt even know came to beat me with water, some mixed sand n water hmmm I will not forget dat day ooo but to be sincere some use it as an avenue to torment their fellow students especially now dat we re in perilous time so many evil things are bound to happen. So students should be more prayerful n careful especially d graduands. Thanks.”

Why is the idea behind this tradition changing? Why would people now want to ‘torment’ their fellow students in the guise of celebrating their graduation? This is one ugly trend that must be watched.

A new dimension

A contributor to this article, Ezebube Ebubechukwu, thinks the tradition is moving away from what it used to be: “Today it is moving up from heavy poring of water to opening up a whole carton of drink on a fresh graduate. I think I quit appreciate its old tradition of getting autograph from frnds and loved ones more than this new madness. BT am consoled bc those who engage more on it are mainly not too goods.”

What is seen in many schools nowadays is nothing short of ‘madness’ as described by Ebubechukwu. The wastefulness of emptying cartons of drinks on people is worrisome.

What I think

I agree with students all over the country that this practice of splashing water on new graduates is fun. However, it is degenerating into something else. Reports of mixing the water with sand and the use of dirty water call for a reevaluation. If we are going to preserve this age-long culture, there is a need to checkmate the new dimensions it is assuming.

I appeal to students to reconsider the new trend. Someone could die or get hurt badly if this is taken too far out of context. Celebration should not be vengeful.


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