Today is Africa day! Happy Africa Day!!! I’ve been on this earth for over 24 years and I didn’t know it existed. I found out through the Africa Channel. I decided to look it up. It is every year on the 25th of May and it commemorates the founding of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU). The OAU, established in 1963, initially focused on ending colonial rule in various African countries. It then became the African Union in 2002, aimed at economic integration among other things.
In honour of its 50th anniversary, I thought I would mention 5 things I love about my country of descent, Nigeria! (It was meant to be 5 things I love about Africa but it turned into 5 things I love about Nigeria, plus I haven’t been so exposed to other African countries as much as I would like).
Five things I love about Nigeria!
1. The people
It may be a generalization but I love how Africans are perceived to be always smiling and are welcoming. I love the way that Nigerians perpetuate the feeling of community and no matter where they are, they gravitate towards each other. I have been to various countries and I always see a mini Nigerian community and within them mini Igbo, Yoruba, Ikwere and other groups.
I also love the resilience of Nigerians (this goes for all Africans). No matter what situation they are in, they find a way and bounce back especially in the face of adversity. When I think of how consecutive Nigerian governments have failed the people and they still go about their daily lives and smile, it is amazing.
2. The food
With hundreds of ethnic and cultural groups, Nigeria comes with a variety of cuisine. As a Nigerian, I am constantly being exposed to Jollof rice -which despite the Nigerian and Ghanaian argument originates from the Jollof tribe in the Senegambia region of West Africa-, fufu (don’t like), semonlina (love), amala (don’t like), egusi soup (I’m Igbo, I love it, lol!), ogbono soup, moi-moi and etc. My favourite is beans and plantain. African food is always full of fresh ingredients and meat. I have been to african functions where in stew and soup there will be goat meat, beef, chicken and etc. It’s common with pepper soup too. My father is a typical African man. God help me if he sees this, lol, but he will faint if anything that is cooked does not have meat, chicken or fish in it! 🙂 He taught me the basics but I still need to learn how to cook more.
I disliked Nigerian music before but I love it now! I am a picky person so it’s not every song that comes out that I like. I love Dami Duro by Davido, Aboki by Ice Prince and Today na Today by Omawunmi. I didn’t really like Lynxxx at first but I love his music now. The way he adds Igbo to his music makes it sound nice. Others don’t do it so well in my opinion. I also listen to M.I., Brymo, Fuse ODG (Yes, I know he’s Ghanaian)… I’m picky but it would take me forever to list all of the Nigerian artists and songs that I like.
It’s not only limited to the music out now. I like a few Fela songs. Being Igbo, my dad has exposed me to Chief Stephen Osita Osadebe, Oliver de Coque and the Oriental brothers. He also plays songs like “She’s cooler than you” by Sweet Breeze. I am definitely going to pass music like this onto my children so they have another element of Igbo culture.
4. The weather
Nigeria is a HOT country! I love the weather. You get nice sunny weather a lot of the time. I’m light skinned and I’ve never had the issue of being roasted by the sunlight, however, the next time I go I will be taking sun screen. I am not taking any chances.
5. The clothes
Nigerian clothes are so beautiful. I love the way they symbolize history and culture. Nigerians show pride when wearing their traditional clothes. The ankara and other material that are used to make these clothes are so colourful and the designs are amazing. What makes it even better is the way that African materials have been used to modernize the Nigerian attire.
Those are the things I love about Nigeria. There are many more.
What are the things you like about your African countries?