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Things That Feel Nigerian But Are Not


The past week on Twitter has forced me to consider this angle to many norms and notions that we seem to have taken and turned into our culture as Nigerians. Some speak to serious cultural discourses, others, not so much. That said, this is not your average “Helpful Article”. It is as light-hearted as it is informing. So here are five things that seem and feel Nigerian but are, in fact, not.

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Respect For Meat

The very idea that meat must be eaten last is not written anywhere but most of us respect meat enough above everything else. Personally, I have observed that different ethnic groups respect meat differently. For instance, Yoruba people honour meat by eating it in the beginning, middle and ending of the meal; Igbo people respect the meat till the meal is over. The reverence for meat is an African thing. The Kikuyu of Kenya have been known to eat meat of diverse origins. Even crocodile is eaten in those parts.

Jollof Rice

If you do not know by now that it is not Nigerian in origin, you should not have the effrontery to eat it again. But you will. Nevertheless, It is Senegalese in origin. The name Jollof is a reference to its Wolof origin(the Wolof or Jollof empire) in the 14thc – 16thc.

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Maize as we know it was an imported crop. History has it that the Portuguese brought it with them from their American colonies on their many sojourns across the world. Alongside crops like coconut, it was one of those good few things that came from our early interactions with the West.

Toyota Camry 2003/4

That car is the go-to Uber driver model. You cannot fault its users because the cheap parts and excellent fuel economy make it a shoo-in for Nigerian roads. What’s more? The car feels built for our roads because even potholes are scared of the car. All these things contribute to a high resale value in the used car market. The Toyoda family will always be welcome in Nigeria for that car alone.


You would think Jesus was crucified at Nnewi, not Golgotha or Mohammed was laid to rest at Kano, not Medina. We do love our religion in this country.

There is a lot of facts where this comes from but we will put it off till next week. Then, again I will like to know your thoughts so share and react in the comment section to it.

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David Okwara

Some call me David. Others, Emerie. Others, (unfortunate fellows) Biggie. I like to think that I have sense and that is why I write too. Otherwise, I draw and paint and sing (in the bathroom) and love to make people laugh. I love to understand how things work and that’s why I love DIY videos and YouTube of course. Follow me on Twitter @EmerieOkwara

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