By Janet Adetu

I recently had guests from the UK who had given me six months heads up that they planned to visit Nigeria. As always I am very particular about the comfort of my guests, so will go all out to ensure that the room is neat, the ambience is smelling nice and conductive there is water and drinks available, a few magazines and ample wardrobe space for convenience. The bathroom will have soap, toothpaste and all other required toiletries regardless of whether they brought their own or not. Invariably I like to play the perfect host, I then expect that my guest in return will be gracious guests, it is not mandatory but courteous.

Being a Gracious Guest

Appreciate With A Gift

This does not have to be the first thing that comes to your mind when you are going to stay with a friend or family member. It is good to think about it and plan for it. It is not about how much money you spend but the gesture you exhibit for valuing that person’s generosity. The gift should be home inclined, even though small it should be of great use and value.

Accept Where You Are Led

The room is considered either extra space in the home or the rom of a child who is not home. As a gracious guest, you will need to accept wherever you are placed for the short time you will be there. No need to grumble or ask for the impossible, manage the use of the bed and the size of the room. Don’t ask for what is not there like a fridge or otherwise it is a clear sign of being ungrateful.

Respect Property

It is your room but only temporarily, everything inside does not belong to you. Respect the property you are surrounded by like the TV, radio, books, personal items as well as other things in the room. If you see an interesting book, ask first before reading it. Sometimes dainty things are placed in the bathroom for decoration it is not the time to assume that they will not go un-noticed so no need to take even if it is innocently done. If you are in any other part of the house, don’t hug the TV by watching only what you want, be part of the family and share all the way.

Helpful Hand

Not everyone has extra help at home to assist with making your stay comfortable, Wherever you notice this it is a good idea to offer a clear and genuine helping hand, maybe in the kitchen or in keeping your room tidy. There may also be regular shores about the house, do what you can do to feel appreciated.

Food Favourite & Dislikes

Be mindful not to be wasteful, it is an assumption that everyone likes everything. If you are asked regarding meals eat what you can and politely refuse what you do not want.  If indeed you have allergies it is best your host is well informed in advance.

Take what you can eat and finish and don’t get too excited. always accept what you are given in size and portion unless other choices are given. Drink in moderation and only if and when offered.


You have been given space and a roof over your head were you expecting to be chauffer driven about town too. Everybody is busy getting on with life make plans and arrangements for how you intend moving around, don’t burden you host. You may either rent a car, get a driver or arrange to be driven by someone else.


Every host is mindful of the use of utilities within the home top of the list being electricity which can be astronomically high. Use your own phone to make private calls, turn the lights off at night, switch off the air conditioner when leaving the room. These are basic steps to reduce the load on your guest while having a good stay;          Conserve energy, water and soap, watch the towels too.

Welcoming Stay

If you intend staying for a specified time it is in your interest to keep to your promise,         Try not to overstay your welcome by extending it unless absolutely necessary. Try not to bring friends over to another friend’s house or through a party without the consent of your host. Time your departure in style with appreciation, have fun with the host while you are there, engage with other family members also.

Finally try to buy something to share with everyone, make your stay memorable. Don’t forget to say thank you for having you and send a message once you are  safely home.

Be that Gracious Guest allways!



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