With more than 190 million inhabitants, Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa and the seventh most populous country in the world.

Known as Africa’s Giant,  this Black nation remains the largest oil producer in Africa.

In honor of October 1st being Nigeria’s Independence Day, here are some of the many things that make Nigeria stand out, according to CNN Travel.  

Traditional Weddings

IrisMagic Wedding Photographer

Weddings are a sacred part of Nigeria’s culture and with more than 250 ethnic groups, ceremonies come in a variety of styles.

One thing that is true across the board, weddings bring out the best in Nigerians.  From the latest fashion, music, and dances, no one in the world celebrates marriage the way Nigerians do.

The best part of Nigerian weddings is the spraying of money. Once all the serious ceremonial tasks are complete, family and friends literally make it rain money on the newlyweds. 

If you haven’t been to a Nigerian wedding, you are missing out on an amazing experience.  

Jollof Rice

Nigerian food party: Jollof rice with fried chicken wings close-up on a plate. horizontal

There is a [not-so] friendly competition and a never-ending battle between Ghana and Nigeria regarding who makes the best Jollof rice. In an effort to remain neutral, let’s just say that Nigerians make some pretty good Jollof, despite the fact it’s widely accepted that Senegal invented the dish.

Just going to leave that right here.

Nollywood Films

A man passes by Nigerian movie billboards at a cinema in Lagos on February 19, 2019. (Photo credit should read CRISTINA ALDEHUELA/AFP/Getty Images)

According to CNN Travel, only Hollywood and India’s Bollywood make more movies than Nigeria.

Known as Nollywood,  Nigeria’s film industry contributes 5% to the country’s GDP. The movies draw large audiences from the rest of Africa and around the world.

Durbar Festival

A member of the Emir’s royal guard stands in the palace grounds before the start of the Durbar Festival in Kano, northern Nigeria on July 6, 2016. Kano is Nigeria’s largest Muslim city and celebrates Eid al-Fitr with the Durbar festival, an event that sees a parade of the Emir and his entourage go through the streets of the city on horseback accompanied by musicians. / AFP / STEFAN HEUNIS (Photo credit should read STEFAN HEUNIS/AFP/Getty Images)

Nigeria’s annual Durbar festival is a cultural highlight of the country’s Islamic north. 

The Durbar festival is a celebration of longstanding horse culture that’s celebrated at the culmination of the two great Muslim festivals Eid al Fitr and Eid al Kabir.

Horses and camels became critical to the survival of highly developed city-states, such as Kano, Katsina, and Zaria back in the 14th century.   

On the big day, in Katsina and Kano, there is a parade of ornately dressed horsemen, Emirs dressed in ceremonial robes, muscle-bound wrestlers and lute players in headdresses.


Prince Akachi via Unsplash

Despite its political and economic troubles,  Nigerians are some of the most optimistic people in the world.

As CNN’s Noo Saro-Wiwa stated, “Opportunity doesn’t come knocking — we chase it, with the help of God, who we all know is on our side.”

It’s safe to say, we can all learn a thing or two from Nigerians.

Happy Independence Day to our Naija fam!