Nigeria; a country that serves as a host to over a hundred and twenty million people, sits in the corner of the African Continent, the western region, to be precise.
Just like every other African country, Nigeria has had its fair share of servitude towards foreign masters at one point in its history.
It is also plagued by a long history of corrupt government as well as underdevelopment in infrastructure and education that usually follow African countries that are ruled by such corrupt governments.
Yet, in spite of all of these factors, Nigeria is one of the most well-known countries in the whole of Africa. It kind of makes one wonder; “What makes Nigeria so different from other countries?”.
Well, stick with us until the end of this article to find out ten things that make Nigeria stand out from other countries.
These things are quite unique to Nigeria in that it has differentiated the country from other African countries as well as other countries worldwide.
READ ALSO: Facts About Nigeria
#1 NIGERIA IS MULTILINGUAL
Yes, I know what you are probably thinking; “Almost every country on earth is multilingual”.
While You might be right, it might interest you to know that Nigeria is ranked third on the list of the countries with the most languages in the world, and it is only second to Papua New Guinea in all of Africa.
With over five hundred (500) different languages, this serves as a testament to the nations diversity and rich culture.
These are costumed men in masks, that were once believed to be the physical manifestations of spirits, and were especially rampant during the pre-colonial times, before the advent of Christianity and westernization to the country.
Today, masquerades have become more of a source of entertainment than a religious-cultural symbol. They can be found in cultural festivals and also in some national events.
There are over 250 known ethnic groups in Nigeria, and suffice to say, each ethnic group has their masquerade.
#3 PROVERBIAL OUTLOOK
Nigerians are sages when it comes to cryptic and idiomatic literature. They are sensitive to proverbs and easily understand the meanings behind certain implicit phrases, more so than most people of other countries.
Here are a few proverbs commonly used in Nigeria;
“Monkey no fine but im mama no like am [The monkey might be ugly but his mother loves him].”
“If you can’t dance well, you’d better not get up.”
“The man being carried does not realize how far away the town really is.”
“The quarrel that doesn’t concern you is pleasant to hear about.”
“The whip hits at the legs, not the guilt.”
“Until lions have their historians, tales of the hunt shall always glorify the hunters.”
“The one-eyed man does not thank God until he sees a blind man.”
“Rat wey get only one hole, they quick die [A rat with just one hole will soon die].”
“After God, fear woman.”
“No license for nonsense [behave yourself].”
“No business, no wife.”
“Keke [motorized tricycle] today, private jet tomorrow!”
[Source: CNN Travels].
#4 BRONZE AND TERRACOTTA
While this country which gained its independence in 1960, was formed about a century ago, one must realize that Nigeria has had and still has a very rich and deep cultural background at its historical foundations.
The land was once home to the Nok civilization, as well as the Yoruba Kingdom and Benin Kingdom of ancient times.
Today, various archaeological findings of ancient Bronze and Terracotta statues can be found in various museums and historical sites even till this very day.
And roots of almost every Terracotta outside the country can be traced back to none other than Nigeria.
#5 NIGERIAN FOODS AND RECIPE
The general Nigerian cuisine is an exquisite and ultimate blend of spice and flavour that is bound to give you a mouth-watering pleasure that goes beyond what our human mind can possibly imagine.
Okay, all exaggeration aside, Nigeria is home to some of the best cuisine out there.
The Nigerian Jollof Rice is globally recognized as the country’s Number one national food.
From its snacks to its main meals and desserts, Nigeria brings the world a unique and fantastic taste.
#6 THE DURBAR PARADE
Also known as the Durbar Royal Horse Parade, is an annual festival that usually takes place in the Northern region of the country.
In this festival or parade, as some may call it, the noble kings’ men and prices ride on horses and parade themselves, in one of the most extravagant shows of loyalty.
Usually done in Kano state, the Durbar Royal Horse Parade is done after the Ramadan period.
#7 AFRO BEATS
Championed and pioneered by the great Fela Kuti, Afro beats have come a long way and is predominant in the styles of our music and rhythm.
There are many Nigerian Artists like Burna boy and the likes that have fused and incorporated Afro beats into their styles of music.
This has led to the distinct uniqueness of Nigerian music. Our sound is so unique that once any Nigerian music comes on, the listener would be able to immediately tell.
#8 PIDGIN ENGLISH
Many foreigners have listened or at least tried to listen to some Nigerians when they speak and have failed miserably.
Apart from the distinct Nigerian accent that is different from every other African accent, Nigerian pidgin English is an entirely different ball game.
It sounds like English at first, but it can be confusing for those who do not understand pidgin.
While the surrounding countries might speak their own forms of pidgin, Nigerian pidgin English is unique in itself.
#9 NATIVE WEDDING CUSTOMS
Also called traditional weddings, is a wedding ceremony that is usually done before the white (English style wedding).
It incorporates traditional values and approaches in handling a marriage ceremony.
There is the “Introduction” ceremony that happens a few days before the traditional wedding.
#10 OPTIMISTIC APPROACH TO LIFE
Heavily armed with a “Never give up” attitude, Nigerians have grown to be self-sufficient and optimistic in their approach to life and all that it has.
With an unreliable government, one would think that Nigeria would be a place of doom and gloom, but ironically enough, the country’s citizens have proven themselves to be able to thrive in hardship.
On social media, Nigerians are known for creating memes that are usually a light commentary on the heavy state of affairs within the country.
One major factor in the country’s optimism is the fact that Nigeria is quite religious.
We have cut across various regions of the country in the course of this article. One thing is certain; Nigeria is unique.
Even in the borrowed customs, they have found a way to make it theirs. I hope that someday, the world can look past this country’s flaws and see it for what it truly is; a blessed, diverse and unique Nation.