Destinations Western Africa

5 things Nigeria Beats The World in

Nigerian Wedding
Written by Teresa Mwangi

Music, Pidgin English and fufu aren’t the only factors compounding queries of what Nigeria is famous for.

There is so much more to tell and show about this West African country that still remains hidden from the rest of the world. Africa’s most populous country serves the globe with the best of the best.

Naija is a fashion, technology, and creativity hub in Africa and is home to the second-largest film industry in the world – Nollywood. Nigerians are renowned for their vivacious and amiable energy, which they exhibit in a variety of artistic forms.

But this is not all because there are a few things that make it stand out from the rest of the world. This article answers what Nigeria is famous for besides the biggest oil producer in Africa.

Hopeful

Nigeria Famous

Nigerians are naturally optimistic. Photo by Guardian NG.

You may not hear it often but Nigerians are among the world’s most upbeat people. That’s despite the country’s political and economic difficulties.

On the flipside, the struggles that people go through in the political and economic circles leaves no room for pessimism. If this happens, it would be a huge disservice to their spirits and will power to live because life is already hard enough.

CNN’s Noo Saro-Wiwa – a Nigerian – understands this too well. Wiwa notes that opportunity doesn’t knock on our door; they go for it which is why hope is a prerequisite to being a Nigeria.

Customary Weddings

Nigerian wedding

A traditional Nigerian wedding. Photo by The Guardian Nigeria

With more than 250 tribes, wedding ceremonies in Nigeria are a sacred element of the nation’s culture. This is a major reason explaining what Nigeria is famous for.

Weddings bring out the best in Nigerians, that much is universally true. Nobody celebrates marriage like Nigerians do, complete with the newest music, dances, and attire.

The gift-giving during Nigerian weddings is their finest feature. Family and friends practically make it rain money on the newlyweds once all the important ceremonial activities are over.

It’s an incredible experience attending a Nigerian wedding. The main event of a Nigerian wedding celebration is “spraying.” On the dance floor, guests shower the couple with cash as a form of blessing and to encourage them to continue dancing.

Afrobeat, hip-hop, traditional, and modern music keep the event going. Additionally, there are two main types of marriage in Nigeria: monogamy, which allows a man to only have one wife.

Then there is polygamy where a man can have two or more wives. Interestingly a traditional marriage is typically an agreement between two families as opposed to an agreement between two people. Don’t you agree this is a big thing on what Nigeria is famous for?

Nollywood Films

Call the film industry by any other name that’s not short of astounding. It the first reason why Nigeria is so popular. The ‘Oga’ movies are profoundly entertaining and offer a sneak peak into what life in West Africa is like.

The Nigerian film industry, generates 5% of the nation’s GDP. The films draw sizable crowds from all around the world and from other parts of Africa. Were it not for them their cosmetic industry wouldn’t be as vibrant as it is today.

Jollof Rice

African cuisine

African cuisine. Jollof Rice. Photo/Savory Thoughts

Food; jollof rice in particular is what Nigeria is famous for. Just overlook the never-ending debate between tweeps flexing muscles on who between Nigerians and Ghanaians make the best jollof.

While this dish originally came from Senegal, Nigerians produce some really decent jollof. Served with meat or fish, Jollof is a pot-cooked rice meal flavored with tomato sauce. It is also a popular dish in Nigeria. If you’re looking for a cheap and easy way to get your hands on some of the country’s most popular dishes, this is the dish for you.

Felabration and Durbar Festivals

What you should know about Nigeria’s Felabration festival

The Felabration festival in Lagos – Freedom Park

In October every year, Nigeria’s capital, Lagos plays host to thousands of visitors from different parts of the world for the Felabration music festival. Felabration is a music festival held annually at the New Afrika Shrine in Ikeja, Lagos.

It showcases culture and art for the Nigerian people and the week-long festival is now a leading tourist attraction for Lagos. The festival is held in commemoration of the country’s musical legend, Fela Anikulapo Kuti.

Kuti is the godfather of the worldly-acclaimed afrobeat music. Further, another important cultural event in Nigeria’s Islamic north is the Durbar celebration.

At the conclusion of the two major Muslim holidays of Eid al Fitr and Eid al Kabir, the Durbar festival honours long-standing horse culture.

In the 14th century, horses and camels became essential to the survival of highly advanced city-states like Kano, Katsina, and Zaria.

On the big day, there is a procession in Katsina and Kano. It features horsemen in elaborate costumes, Emirs clad in ceremonial robes, bulky wrestlers, and lute players wearing headdresses.

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About the author

Teresa Mwangi

Teresa is a journalist with years of experience in creating web content. She is a wanderlust at heart, loves travelling and telling stories about tour and travel in Africa by every angle.

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