Why Is Enugu Called 042?
Popular Enugu-born rapper, Phyno calls Enugu 042 in his raps. His veteran colleague, Mr Raw has been rapping about 042, the city in the east where everything happens since the beginning of the century. And just over a year ago, we listened to another musician, Zoro dedicate a full track to praising the fortunes of Enugu, a city which he referred to as 042.
Across social media, sizeable percentage of young people use 042 in place of Enugu. And it’s not uncommon for a person from Enugu to say “I’m from 042” when asked of their state of origin.
When you finally get to Enugu, the call of 042 is everywhere: in the streets, in the air, and on air. 042 is not just a number, they say, it is a way of life.
So how did everyone start calling Enugu 042? And how did this appellation metamorphose into a way of life?
The truth is, 042 was actually just a number. It was nothing but Enugu’s telephone code before it became a trend word and a fashionable synonym for the name of the city. This was because of its popularity among celebrities and influential persons like the veteran rapper, Mr Raw who apparently copied what was then obtainable in the US where cities were identified by their area codes by the Hip Hop community.
042 as a way of life doesn’t actually describe any unique culture of a certain group of people within the city. It is a fashionable reference to the cool, calm and collected lifestyle which Enugu people think is unique to their city and which they are always proud to talk about.