Nigeria is no ordinary country. I often like to say that Nigeria is like several countries in one, as far as everything is concerned. There are so many different people, religions, cultures, tribes, and languages - it is impossible to describe this country with one or even ten words… No matter how much time I spend in this country, it never ceases to fascinate me. In this article, I want to share 10 interesting things that always find interesting.
ALMOST 200 MILLION PEOPLE LIVE IN NIGERIA!
Yes, you read that right. Although Nigeria is not the largest country in Africa, size-wise, Nigeria has the largest population. Nigeria is the seventeenth most populous country in the world. Over 20 million people live in Lagos alone, almost three times more than the population of the entire Serbia. The number of people is probably what also makes Nigeria so diverse.
OVER 500 LANGUAGES ARE SPOKEN IN NIGERIA
Although the official language is English, there are over 500 local, tribal languages spoken in this country. 7% of all world languages are spoken in Nigeria. I’ve written about this before, but often Nigerians do not understand each other. While working on a construction project in the southern part of Nigeria, we used to bring labourers from the north who did not speak English. They also didn’t speak the local language in the south, so they were literally like in another country.
THE AVERAGE LIFE EXPECTANCY IS ONLY 52 YEARS!
This is a very low life expectancy, ranking 178th in the world. Unfortunately, people die young here. High levels of poverty, lack of health education, dirty water, malaria, typhoid, and similar diseases are the most common causes of death among Nigerians.
OIL PRODUCING COUNTRY
Nigeria is the twelfth country in the world in terms of oil exports and most of this country’s wealth comes from oil, although the opportunities for developing various industries in Nigeria are enormous. Oil accounts for 70% of the country’s cash inflows.
COUNTRY OF RICH PEOPLE?
Despite the high level of general poverty, Nigeria is the home of many crazy rich people. The richest man in Africa and one of the wealthiest people in the world is Nigerian- Dangote. His net worth is approximately $14 billion. The wealthiest woman in Africa is also a Nigerian. Nigeria has over 30,000 millionaires and over 40 billionaires. Five of the ten richest pastors in the world live in Nigeria and their wealth is as high as $ 150 million.
One of the largest film industries in the world is Nigerian “Hollywood” or NOLLYWOOD. Also, a large number of Nigerians have been successful worldwide in various industries. You’ve probably heard of Sade Adu, the drummer of the Guns’n ‘Roses-Slash, singers such as Wizkid, Davido, and actors John Boyega (Star Wars, Detroit, Circle) and Rotimi (singer and actor). Famous writer Ngozi Chimamanda Adichie and popular boxer and vice-champion Anthony Joshua are also Nigerian.
THE HOME OF NATURE
Nigeria has incredible natural resources. From the ocean, tropical forests, deserts, waterfalls, and national parks, there is nothing you can’t find here. Nigeria is home to over 4,700 different plant species and the largest number of butterfly species. Also, some animals such as the drill monkey are unique to this country. Nigger Delta is the third largest delta in the world and it is located in Nigeria.
LAND OF TWIN CHILDREN
Nigeria is the country with the highest number of twin children in the world. And although it sounds cool, it is actually cooler because you can see it here – I guarantee that nowhere in the world you will see that many twins in the streets. Some studies say that the large consumption of yam, a type of starchy plant that is a favourite in the Nigerian diet is responsible for such a high number of twin-born children.
In Nigeria, “African time” is still popular, which means that everyone is late everywhere, and the more important you are, the later you are expected to arrive. Men in Nigeria can have more than one wife, legally. The left hand is considered “dirty” and it is insulting to give and take something with the left hand. Most of the tribes don’t do typical funerals but organize large events that they call “celebration of life” for the dead person. Thick and overweight people are considered “healthy” and “rich” and therefore more “attractive. There are so many interesting customs, I will dedicate a whole story to this topic.
Nigerians are generally pleased people and enjoy celebrations, music and socializing. No matter the hardships that happen in the country, they always find a reason to dance, sing, praise God and rejoice in the little things. Nightlife is extremely good here, and Nigerians will always find a reason to organize a celebration.