Nigeria has undeniably faced a series of challenges over the past five years, resulting in a decline in its global reputation. Political instability, security threats, a low standard of living, increased fraudulent activities, and kidnapping incidents have dominated the headlines.
It seems like every news bulletin carries yet another disheartening report about the state of our nation. These issues have undoubtedly taken a toll on our international image.
However, beneath this turmoil lies a nation filled with remarkable people, rich cultural diversity, and an unyielding spirit. Despite the current difficulties, Nigerians have consistently broken barriers and left their mark on the world stage.
According to a 2017 report by the Migration Policy Institute on Sub-Saharan African Immigrants in the United States, an impressive 61% of sub-Saharan Africans holding a bachelor’s degree or higher were of Nigerian origin, surpassing countries like South Africa, Kenya, and Ghana. What’s even more remarkable is that 54% of Nigerians in the United States were more likely to hold managerial roles and pursue careers in fields such as management, business, science, and the arts. Similarly, in the UK, Nigerians are making significant strides and establishing themselves across various industries.
Although the challenges we face in our homeland may not give us much reason for celebration, it’s essential to recognize the aspects of our nation that we should be proud of. Here are ten captivating facts about Nigeria that continue to shine, even amidst global controversies.
- Globally-Acclaimed Music Industry
Undoubtedly, the world is dancing to the infectious rhythm of Afrobeats. In recent years, Nigeria’s music industry has experienced an extraordinary transformation with superstars such as Wizkid, Burna Boy, Davido, and Tiwa Savage making waves on the international stage. They have not only clinched prestigious awards like the Grammys and BET but have also performed at notable events, including King Charles the Third’s Coronation. The global admiration for Afrobeat music is a source of immense pride for all of us.
- Outstanding Academic Excellence
Our country might be going through some rough patches, but that’s not stopping us from dazzling the world with our incredible talents. We Nigerians are known for our consistent academic excellence and groundbreaking research, no matter where we are. Just recently, Ifeoma Gladys Amuche, a Nigerian student, took the academic world by storm by emerging as the best-graduating student at the College of Southwest University (SWU) in Chongqing, China, turning heads worldwide.
- Thriving Art Community
Nigeria is a hub of creativity, especially in the world of art. We have a vibrant art community, including the National Art Gallery, art schools, cultural centers, and supportive NGOs that provide artists with platforms to nurture their talents, showcase their masterpieces, and connect with a wider artistic community. With globally recognized art institutions like the Nike Art Gallery, we are not just preserving our artistic heritage but also fostering a thriving art ecosystem. Nigeria’s art scene is flourishing, and contemporary artists are making waves across the globe.
- Rich Cultural Tapestry
Nigeria is a land of incredible diversity, with over 250 distinct ethnic groups and a staggering 500 languages. Each group brings its own unique cultural values and customs, making our society a dynamic and captivating mosaic. This rich tapestry of diversity continuously fuels our creativity, artistic flair, and harmonious coexistence in ethnically diverse communities.
- Entrepreneurial Excellence
Nigerians aren’t just about academic excellence and creative talents; we are also known for our exceptional business acumen. We possess street smarts, adaptability, unwavering determination, and a knack for salesmanship. It’s no wonder that some of the most successful business figures in Africa and globally hail from Nigeria. Notably, we proudly claim Aliko Dangote and Folorunsho Alakija, who hold the distinguished titles of Africa’s richest man and woman.
- Culinary Treasures of Nigeria
Have you ever had the pleasure of savoring our renowned Jollof Rice? It’s nothing short of heavenly! Our diverse cultural landscape has blessed us with a wide array of delectable dishes, each bursting with unique flavors and ingredients. Iconic Nigerian delicacies like Jollof Rice, Suya, Egusi soup, and Efo Riro have transcended borders, winning the hearts and palates of people from around the world.
In June 2023, we witnessed a remarkable achievement when one of our own, the celebrated Nigerian chef Hilda Baci, fondly known as the “Jollof queen,” set a new Guinness World Record for the longest cooking marathon. She astoundingly cooked for 93 hours straight, solidifying our country’s culinary prowess on the global stage.
- The Nigerian Spirit of Unity in Diversity
What truly stands out about Nigerians is our unwavering spirit of unity, mutual support, and indomitable resilience. Recent events in Nigeria’s digital landscape have beautifully showcased the immense love and support that we share among ourselves. There’s a well-known saying that “A fight with one Nigerian is a fight with all.” When it comes to defending our fellow countrymen against insults or harassment from foreigners, we stand united and resolute.
A powerful example of this unity is the tweet from Guinness World Records confirming Hilda as the record holder for the longest cooking marathon. It became their all-time best-performing tweet, reaching nearly 25 million news feeds. This phenomenon highlights the incredible strength of Nigerians when it comes to standing up for our fellow citizens. A recent case that illustrated this collective condemnation was the resounding outcry against the racism faced by Napoli star Victor Osimhen.
- Innovative Tech Solutions
Nigeria takes pride in being the birthplace of globally renowned tech companies like Paystack, IrokoTV, Utiva, farmCrowdy, Wakanow, PiggyVest, Jobberman, TechCabal, and many others. Our tech-savvy nature, coupled with a culture of learning and innovation, fosters the thriving ecosystem of startups and tech companies that drive global innovation.
- Heartwarming Hospitality
For passionate travelers and adventurers, the hospitality and friendly culture of the country you explore can greatly enrich your overall travel experience. Nigerians have a well-deserved reputation for their warm and welcoming spirit, extending genuine hospitality and friendliness to visitors, irrespective of their race, ethnicity, or cultural heritage. Regardless of your origins, we are eager to embrace you with open arms and introduce you to the diverse and dynamic beauty of Nigeria.
- Globally Celebrated Festivals and Landmarks
Nigeria, with its rich cultural tapestry, proudly showcases an impressive array of internationally acclaimed festivals and iconic landmarks. From the captivating Eyo Festival in Lagos to the UNESCO World Heritage Site Osun Osogbo Sacred Grove, the vibrant Annual Calabar Carnival in Calabar (the largest tourism event in West Africa), and the traditional Durbar Festival in Kano, Nigeria’s cultural diversity knows no bounds.
Additionally, Nigeria is home to unique natural wonders like the Ado Awaye Suspended Lake in Oyo, which is not only Africa’s sole example but also the world’s second. There’s also the enchanting Ikogosi Hot & Cold Spring in Ondo State, the breathtaking Erin Ijesha Waterfalls in Osun State, the iconic Zuma Rock in Abuja, and the historic Kofar Mata Dye Pits in Kano, proudly holding the title of Africa’s oldest dye pits.
In conclusion, notwithstanding the current challenges confronting Nigeria, this nation continues to shine as a land of abundant natural beauty, brimming with rich and vibrant cultural diversity. Nigerians showcase remarkable resilience and a profound sense of community, rooted in an enduring and all-encompassing spirit. These ten amazing facts about Nigeria are a tribute to the unwavering strength and the positive aspects that define the Nigerian identity.
Let these insights be a wellspring of inspiration as you navigate the uncertainties and the sometimes tarnished global image associated with Nigeria and its people. In the face of adversity, always remember the enduring spirit and the remarkable attributes that render the journey of being Nigerian unique and extraordinary.