Nigeria has something of an image problem. While the surface world’s perception of Africa’s most populous country hasn’t always been overwhelmingly positive, there’s plenty more to the present nation than its unsavoury associations.
With its vibrant culture, sense of humour and adaptableness, Nigeria has become the “Giant of Africa” in additional ways than simply population size.
Here are 5 reasons why Nigeria is called giant out from the rest of Africa. You may be inspired to feature Nigeria to your travel list:
1. Traditional weddings
In Nigeria, if you’ve reached your 30th birthday and are still unhitched, the elders will harass you down the aisle, which is why barely every week goes by without someone staging a traditional wedding ceremony somewhere.
Weddings are a sacred a part of cultural life, but also an excuse to point out off cuisine, fabulous clothing, music and dance moves in one life-affirming, chromatic bonanza. With 250-odd ethnic groups, the ceremonies are available a spread of designs, counting on your region.
In the southwest, the groom and his friends might prostrate themselves at the start.
However, within the southeast, you will see them dancing their way into the ceremony, wearing bowler hats and clutching walking canes. If you haven’t experienced a standard Nigerian wedding, you haven’t experienced Nigeria.
2. Jollof rice
This mouth-watering tomato-based rice dish may be a party staple.
There are some ways to cook it, involving endless permutations of meat, spices, chilli, onions and vegetables. Nigerians are the indisputable champions, of course, serving up “advanced level” Jollof that our Ghanaian rivals can only watch and admire.
Oya, come chop!
3. Eating chicken to the bone
While we’re still on the topic of food, Nigerians are champions at eating chicken to the bone and beyond. It’s not enough to eat the flesh. We break the bone, suck out the marrow and pulverize the rest until there’s almost nothing left.
If your chicken thigh remains forensically identifiable at the top of the meal, then you haven’t done it right. Abeg, finish am!
4. Proverbial sense
Nigerians love a great proverb, and we never stop inventing new ones.
Some aphorisms are blunt and to-the-point. Others are often a touch cryptic, so you sometimes need a high level of “proverbial sense” to know what they’re getting at:
“Monkey no fine but im mama no like am [The monkey could be ugly, but his mother loves him].”
“If you cannot dance well, you’d better not rise up .”
“The one-eyed man doesn’t thank God until he sees a blind person .”
“After God, fear woman.”
“No license for nonsense [behave yourself].”
“No business, no wife.”
“Keke [motorized tricycle] today, private jet tomorrow!”
5. Making the best of ‘go-slows’ (traffic jams)
Traffic jams — referred to as go-slows — are part of daily life on Nigeria’s roads. Although the hawkers wouldn’t delay your journey or stop you from completing your day’s shopping from the comfort of your vehicle. Need some socks? Street vendors can sort you out.
They’ll also sell handkerchiefs, belts, books, newspapers, fruit, vegetables, chocolates, electrical appliances and even paintings — if that is what you’re after. Roll down your window and call for their attention.
Nigerian soft power has never been greater.