Nigeria Culture

Cultural diversity

The diversity of the ethnic groups living in Nigeria implies a great wealth of different traditions, customs and languages. In rural areas in particular, the cultural heritage lives on in numerous festivals, dances, music and the fine arts to this day.

The cultural richness of Nigeria can also be seen in numerous museums that are spread across the country. The most famous among them are the National Museum in Lagos, the Gidan Makama Museum in Kano and the National Museum in Benin City.

According to hyperrestaurant, the National Theater and Art Galleries are also worth a visit to Lagos. The Nike Gallery, in particular, is popular and popular with tourists.

Regardless of ethnic or religious affiliation, there are central, overarching cultural values, norms and behaviors of the Nigerian population that also manifest themselves in everyday life. Anyone who wants to be interculturally successful in Nigeria should have understanding and respect for the cultural values, norms and behavior of the people.


The traditional cultures and their artistic products are world famous. These include the NOK terracottas (up to 3000 years old), metal casts from Ife, Benin bronzes, evidence of the Sao culture from Lake Chad, bronzes from Igbo-Ukwu, terracottas from Owo, the masks of many peoples, batik, Products, pottery and weaving products.

Nigeria has produced a number of recognized artists in modern contemporary art. Artists like Twins Seven Seven, Chief Muraina Oyelami, Obiora Udechukwu, Uche Okeke, Jimoh Buraimoh as well as the photographer JD ‘Okhai Ojeikere and others have made a name for themselves worldwide.


Nigeria’s contemporary literature made its official entry into world literature with the award of the Nobel Prize for Literature to Wole Soyinka. In 1985, Wole Soyinka became the first African in history to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature. He was born in Abeokuta, in southwestern Nigeria, in 1934. Because of his opposition to the dictatorship in Nigeria, he was imprisoned during the Nigerian civil war. Wole Soyinka is an internationally acclaimed writer, literary scholar, theater maker and political essayist. He is still politically active today and regularly raises his voice against violence and injustice in his home country, Nigeria.

The award of the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade in 2002 to Chinua Achebe, who died in March 2013, also brought the Nigerian literary world closer to the German audience. In 2007 Achebe was honored with the Man Booker Prize, the most important literary prize in the English-speaking area. Among the writers with international recognition are the late Flora Nwapa and Buchi Emecheta. One of the country’s newer female voices is the young Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, who has already published four of her award-winning novels for renowned German publishers. Provides an overview of the famous Nigerian writers Ranker.

The oral tradition is held in high regard as the most important art form, especially by the Igbo and Yoruba ethnic groups in the south of the country. The stories are rich in proverbs and wisdom and fulfill various functions in society.

Traditional music in Nigeria


Nigerian music enjoys international recognition in the music scene. The Nigerian Fela Kuti is considered the most colorful star in African pop history: He was the inventor of the Afro-Beat, a wild fusion of jazz, funk, Ghanaian highlife, psychedelic rock and traditional chants. During his performances, he went on stage with up to 40 band members: saxophonists, trumpeters, guitarists, drummers of all kinds and a large number of dancers and singers. Fela Kuti was also seen as a critic of the military government in Nigeria and campaigned against the consequences of colonialism. The afro beat tradition of Fela Kuti, who died in 1997, is continued today by his son Femi Kuti.

The King of Juju Music Sunny Ade delights audiences worldwide with his “Juju music”. Chief Stephen Osita Osadebe was one of the best highlife musicians in West Africa. In the field of hip-hop and soul music, young female singers like Nneka and Asa are currently `en vogue┬┤ in the international music scene. In addition, young musicians – such as Wizkid, Davido, Tiwa Savage, Femi Alade – inspire their audiences with their Afrobeat songs and are known across national borders. The rise of Nigerian Afrobeats music around the world could help solve the problems facing the local music industry.


Nigeria is home to the second largest film industry in the world. Around 2,000 films and videos are made every year, and business is booming. The Nigerian film industry Nollywood produces films and videos in English, as well as in the local languages Igbo, Yoruba, Hausa and Pidgin-English. The Nollywood films are based on everyday Nigerian events and address phenomena such as envy, resentment, jealousy, poverty and wealth in society, AIDS, corruption, prostitution, violence and interreligious family histories. Traditional aspects such as sorcery and magic are of course also integrated into the film plot.

With Half of a Yellow Sun, a piece of Nigerian history hit international cinemas in 2013. The film is about the fate of a family during the Nigerian civil war (1967-1970). The template was the bestseller of the same name by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie “Half the Sun”.


Nigerians are known in West Africa for their colorful and intricately embroidered clothing. Since Nigeria is a multi-ethnic state, each ethnic group has its traditional clothing. The men wear the “status-bound Chieftaincy”, the “Jumper” the so-called “Agbada” and the “Baba Rija”. Nigerian women wear the “buba” with the traditional wrap-around skirt called a “wrapper”.

Young Nigerian fashion designers are now combining traditional clothing styles with modern elements and are gaining worldwide recognition. Nigeria is now considered a ” hot spot” for fashion – not only on the African continent, but increasingly worldwide.

Recently, a black Barbie doll was developed in Nigeria, which was equipped with clothes based on African designs. The attempt was made to offer an alternative to the white Barbie doll with which children all over the world play and to counter the globalized “white ideal of beauty” with a “black ideal of beauty”. In this way the identification of Nigeria’s children with their traditional background is to be strengthened.

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