The Naija Spirit: When things go wrong, there is one thing Nigerians know how to do. As the saying goes, we do turn lemons into lemonade through our ingenious and inspired sense of humour. This Naija spirit ignites a positive light wherever and whenever we go; a spirit that cannot be contained, or suppressed, only embraced. Our commitment, dedication, hard work and drive, inherited from our ancestors, have always been present to lead us through paths of creativity, innovation and great ambitions. We are warriors and fighters; we can sell anything and everything, maintain peace here and everywhere. Wherever we are, the world knows who we are. We are Nigerians.

Rich culture: No one can deny our diverse and multi-cultural wealth. Our cultural pride stretches from our ability to accommodate one another, share and celebrate our inherited principles which have come to shape our vibrant and miscellaneous society.

Music and festivals: From playing the Gongon drums to dancing to Kukere, our native rhythms and melodious sounds echo worldwide. And once again, the whole world recognises who we are and they, too, can’t help themselves but join in and dance along to the beat of our Nigerian ambience.

Languages: Being the home of over 500 ethnic groups, Nigeria is comprised of over 500 different languages. Not only does language represent our ethnic groups, but it is also acts as a definition and a reminder of our roots in history and culture. The diversity of languages available is remarkable and absolutely rewarding to learn and teach.

Nollywood: I couldn’t mention music and forget Nollywood. How could anyone? For a long time, we have enjoyed watching our movie industry entertain us in more ways than one. We have seen it develop and we, without a doubt, have delved into the riveting storylines and drama. From the days of Aki and Ukwa to The Last Flight to Abuja, it is an empirical truth that our rich industry will continue to deliver. No wonder we have the second largest film industry in the whole world, beating Hollywood! That’s Nollywood!

Fashion: From our local to international designers, our style and wonderful embroidery has become increasingly renowned, carrying with it an authentic African flair that is lovely to feel, lovely to see and lovely to wear. This is further evident from the creative use of African prints, including Ankara, which have come to impact the fashion industries. With designers ranging from Oshodi to Garba, the fashion innovations are fantastic and sought after, internationally, adding a sense of pride for our Nigeria.

Cuisine: Nothing like a plate of coconut rice and a bigger plate of suya. Oh! The delicious delicacies that test and satisfy our longing taste buds are always around the corner, leaving behind a burst of scrumptious flavours. Our rich cuisine, inspired by our various cultures and diverse tastes, considers all essences from sweet to spicy, from cold to hot. It is no surprise that when tourists come here, they dig right in to experience the wonderful cuisine we offer.

Sight-seeing:  There is so much to see! With millions of tourists pouring into Nigeria, every step is a path leading to the sights which hold history, reminding us of our fascinating heritages, our Nigeria. Visit, for example the Obodo cattle ranch, and then visit the Matsirga waterfalls, the Nakede zoo, the Gashaka-Gumti park. The list is endless!

Giant of Africa: Indeed. We own a great wealth of mineral resources which, alongside the fast growing economic status and productive commercial markets, has led to Nigeria been known as the Giant of Africa.

Pidgen English: It really does deserve a place by itself. Why? Simply because we all love it! We speak it everywhere we go. It is our language, one that has evolved in time and has become incredibly popular in our country; in our films, our music and everywhere!

There are many more, but for me, these 10 stand out…

written by: Phoebe Ruguru.


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