7 THINGS TOURISTS FIND STRANGE ABOUT NIGERIA

Hello favourite readers!
I woke up very positive today ready to conquer the world (I believe I’m doing that already).

After my early morning prayers, exercise and some time at work I started craving fruits, my choice was a nearby local fruit market.

At the market, people swarmed everywhere in search of fruit recipes, ingredients or comestibles. I was about getting apples and mangoes when an uproar caught my attention.

Here’s what happened, a NYSC corper haggled the price of a fruit down to N250 and after the lengthy agreement, the trader cut a portion of the paw paw and handed it over.

Apparently, he was pissed that an “ordinary paw paw” fruit cost that much, in his opinion, the trader was cheating him. “Is this what I paid for?!”, he screamed.

traders

In summary, his response to the whole situation inspired me to write this post. He was a foreigner in Osogbo (beloved land of yoruba arts and culture). In the same vein, foreigners from other countries think certain things in Nigeria are strange.

READ: 5 Things you should know about Danfo.

Now then, without causing much fuss, let’s dive into “stranger things”. See what I did there?

#1. WHAT IS OYINGBO?!

Also spelled “oyinbo“, this is the name given to foreigners on Nigeria soil whether male or female. It is a tagline for particularly white folks (black with accent isn’t oyinbo) and it means white man.

“There was that word again. Oyinbo. I had assumed it was a slang way of saying a friendly “hello,” since that was what people on the street kept saying to me as I walked by. To confirm, I asked people in the car with me what it meant. They smiled, “white man.” – tourist

The word is not racist in anyway. Nigerians are exceptionally friendly to “outsiders”, being white is a conspicuous quality in Nigeria. This is the largest black nation in the world. You figure?

Berger Bus Park

#2. OPTIMISTIC PEOPLE

Some foreigners think it’s strange that Nigerians are wildly optimistic, nothing seems to quench their spirit and resilience.

They basically cope on their own with little reliance on the government and unlike countries where riot is the order of the day, they attack the government through social media, standup comedy, strike! or other means.

Government neglects provision of amenities for most citizens. When fuel prices rise or commodities get costlier, they find other means to survive. Nigerians provide shelter for themselves, they dig boreholes (water) and hire vigilantes for security.

Fact: There is acute housing deficiency in Nigeria, this cuts across more than 65% of the population.

The people believe in bright futures and since optimism is closely linked to happiness, comedy is a booming business in Nigeria.

“Nigerians have an unusual level of optimism. This isn’t just an observation…” – oyinbo

DANFO (check archives)

#3. DID YOU SAY NO ELECTRICITY?

There’s electricity but we have a problem, it isn’t constant. I think it’s totally ironic that Nigeria, the giant of Africa is plagued by lack of electricity supply.

On numerous occasions, the government has promised to meet demands of the populace but as usual, they continue to fail. Citizens and Businesses depend on alternatives like inverters, solar, biomass or generators.

If you’re in a place like Osogbo, things are quite different, I can’t say the same for other parts of Nigeria. The power goes out 5 times a day on average and often times, it scares the life out of tourists. Eventually, they stop making a big deal out of it.

“Why do your people live in darkness? I’ve been to other countries and things aren’t this way” – An American

No one knows how long power outages last so whenever there’s “light” endeavour to charge your devices.

Rav4 Glow

#4. HARDWORKING PEOPLE

That’s right! The optimistic people are hard working too, afterall, an idle man is the devil’s workshop.

The first thing on the mind of many Nigerians is how to get this “paper”, that’s exactly why they wake up early and hassle through traffic.

“Baba give me this money

Cause this people dem dey do wetin funny

As I wake this morning

The first thing wey come my mind

Na how to make this money

As I wake this morning

I tell myself say omo na to make this money”

– Patoranking ~ Confirm ft. Davido

#5. HAWKING

“Do you have Gala there?” the hawker (peddler) replies, “Yes, Oga 50 or 100 Naira own”

The driver says, “gimme 100 Naira own” he makes a move to get the snack then suddenly traffic starts moving. Instead of giving up, the peddler proceeds to pursue the vehicle until he sells the snack.

READ: Top 5 Roadside Foods in South-Western Nigeria.

This is the norm on Nigerian roads, even with the intervention of the government to ban hawking, the business still thrives.

Ikorodu Garage Market

#6. GREETING

Foreigners on first contact believe Nigerians are very polite and respectful however, some of them think the greetings are a sign of obnoxiousness.

In Nigeria, yoruba land especially, ladies kneel and men prostrate to greet elders. Some foreigners welcome the idea but others don’t buy it at all, they’ll rather cling to their “Hi” and “Hello”.

#7. RELIGION

If there’s anything that Nigerians take seriously it’s religion. The two popular religions are Christianity and Islam, some practice traditional worshipping while others are atheist or serve other gods.

Muslims are dominant in Northern Nigeria and Christians in other parts, they are evenly spread across geopolitical zones. It is hard to find a street without a church or mosque.

“Baba God answer prayer, January to December…” – Mayorkun ~ Prayer ft. Davido

Some of the biggest and richest churches (pastors) are Nigeria based. Living Faith, RCCG, MFM, Christ Embassy etc. have thousands of worshippers and are known to cause traffic jams on Sundays. There are times it’s overwhelming.

Praise the Lord!

Independence Tunnel

Subsequently, there will be a PART II of this post.
SUBSCRIBE to stay informed!

Over to you!

What do you think foreigners find strange about Nigeria?

Please share in the comments below. I’ll like to hear from you.

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Thanks and have a fun-filled day!

7 thoughts on “7 THINGS TOURISTS FIND STRANGE ABOUT NIGERIA

  1. I had a Nigerian roommate earlier this year and I too was shocked by the electricity problems. We spent nearly half hour talking about it. We rarely have power cuts in Jamaica– perhaps 4 to 6 per year, and yet Jamaicans complain a whole lot when it happens. Our bills are the most expensive in the Caribbean though, mainly because of illegal electricity connections in our ghettos but that’s been on the decline in recent years since our power company got privatized and starting taking the illegal connections as a criminal matter. Before that our government turned a blind eye to it and just made the bills more expensive for their compliant customers.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Rochelle for this insightful comment.
      It’s unfortunate your government charges so much for electricity bills and I hope things get better in your country.
      In Nigeria however, many families pay these bills without an assurance of constant supply. It’s really worrisome that a bunch of poor folks live in darkness because they can’t afford generators.
      Jah help us.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. “Why do your people live in darkness? I’ve been to other countries and things aren’t this way” – An American…
    That statement irks my soul! But yeah;5 times a day??? WOW! I didn’t know most, if not all these things.
    Always wanted to visit; I’ve met and befriended maybe 2 Nigerians throughout life.
    The 1st one when I was very young so I didn’t really acknowledge the cultural differences, but my current associate always interests me when we converse.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Interesting Story Jhunelle J!
      It’s tough for foreigners to adapt to the electricity situation in Nigeria and sometimes there’s no power supply for weeks!
      I’m glad you find your current associate interesting.
      Thanks for sharing.

      Liked by 1 person

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