• Blessing Stephen

The Nigerian Culture

Nigeria is a country located in West Africa. It is known for various multicultural traditions with about 520 dialects and ethnic groups. The largest ethnic groups in Nigeria are Hausa, Yoruba and Igbo. The Hausa are dominant in the North and they are commonly Muslims. The Yoruba are dominant in the Southwest with a balance of Christians and Muslims. The Igbo are prevalent in the Southeast with a predominantly Christian population. The diversity of Nigeria has built bridges of understanding between people of different ethnic groups. For example, Inter-ethnic marriages and relationships, interest in other cultures through speaking different languages, and the migration from one's indigenous location to another are all evidence of this cultural bridge building.

Different communities in Nigeria are known to have their music and dance style as a form of entertainment. Modern music in Nigeria often stem from the traditions of various communities. There is traditional music for different occasions. There is music for naming ceremonies, burials and coronations of traditional Kings to mention a few. Contemporary Nigerian musicians and artists have shown the Nigerian culture in their music, where there are indigenous singers and rappers. Indigenous rappers like Olamide use the Yoruba language in his music, as well as Phyno who uses the Igbo language to sell and promote his music to the world.

English Language is the official language in Nigeria, but apart from English language, the Nigerian pidgin is also a lingua franca that used to be common among people. And these days, everyone use it as a form of communication. Nigerian musicians like Burns Boy, Yemi Alade, Tiwa Savage, WizKid etc. use the pidgin language in their songs. Even the late Fela used it to talk about societal problems because it helps the common Nigerian find elements relatable. The Nigerian music industry has experienced a rapid growth over the years and indigenous artists have gained international recognition.

Culinary art in Nigeria is as diverse as it ethnic groups. Every ethnic group is associated with its own unique cuisine. Some major dishes are Tuwon shinkafa, Pate, and Miyan Kuka from the north. Amala, Ewa Agonyin, Gbegeri, Efo Riro from the Southwest. Akpu, Oha soup, Ofe Onugbu, Ofada stew from the Southeast. Afang soup, Starch, Banga soup, Atama soup from the South-south. Some popular snacks and street food are: Bole and sauce, boiled or roasted corn and ube, Akara, Suya, Okpa, Puff puff etc. Nigerians prefer these foods to continental dishes. Foreign visitors also enjoy them. Rice is prevalent in Nigeria, eaten as jollof, fried or with tomato stew or sauce. The tomato sauce/ stew eaten with boiled rice is cherished and held dear by many Nigerians.

Nigerian literature is one medium that reflects the Nigerian culture and people. Famous literary icons like Chinua Achebe, author of Things Fall Apart, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, author of Purpose Hibiscus, Ola Rotimi author of The Gods Are Not to Blame, Wole Soyinka, author of The Lion and the Jewel, e.t.c have created literary art that describes and gives exposition on Nigerian culture. Their books have not only been read by Nigerians alone but by other nationals.

The cultural traditions of Nigeria are important to Nigerians, and they are being preserved for future generations.

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