Tag Archive for: From The Hippo’s Ears

Contributions by Khary.

Facts you may not have know about Senegal:

Senegal, officially the Republic of Senegal, is a country in West Africa. Senegal is bordered by Mauritania in the north, Mali to the east, Guinea to the southeast, and Guinea-Bissau to the southwest. The country gained independence from France in 1960, and has a population of over 15 million people.

Senegal’s economic and political capital is Dakar, and the country’s name comes from the Wolof language’s “Sunuu Gaal”, which means “Our Boat”.

French is the official language, although many native languages are spoken and recognized. Senegal has been a member of the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie since 1970.

1.  When you first meet someone, how do you greet them?

When meeting someone, common greetings are “Good morning/afternoon/evening”, and shaking hands is also common.

2. What languages are spoken in the country?

French is the official language, spoken at least by all those who enjoyed several years in the educational system that is of French origin. Most people also speak their own ethnic language while, especially in Dakar, Wolof is the lingua franca.

Several of the Senegalese languages have the legal status of “national languages”: Balanta-Ganja, Hassaniya Arabic, Jola-Fonyi, Mandinka, Mandjak, Mankanya, Noon (Serer-Noon), Pulaar, Serer, Soninke, and Wolof.

3. Do you use a twelve hour clock, or a twenty-four hour clock?

We use a 24-hour clock.

4. What side of the road do people drive on? What do we need to know about driving in the country?

We drive on the right side of the road. The system of roads in Senegal is extensive by West African standards, with paved roads reaching each corner of the country and all major towns. While it is expected that everyone respects the rules of the road, including traffic signs and traffic officer instructions, many drivers are not disciplined in doing so.

5. How important is punctuality?

Punctuality is quite important, although being a few minutes late is generally alright.

6. Which types of music are popular? Who are some of the most popular musicians?

Senegal’s music is best known abroad due to the popularity of mbalax, a development of Serer sabar drumming popularized by Youssou N’Dour. Acoustic folk music has also left its mark on Senegal’s music culture. Artists that have contributed to this genre include TAMA from Rufisque, Pape Armand Boye, les Freres Guisse, Pape et Cheikh, and Cheikh Lo.

The biggest trend in 1990s Senegal, however, was hip hop. Traditional culture includes rapping traditions, such as the formal tassou, performed by women of the Laobe woodworking class the morning after marriages. Modern Senegalese hip hop is mostly in Wolof, alongside some English and French. Positive Black Soul is the best-known group in the country

For a taste of Senegalese music, listen to Pape Armand Boye’s Wadji, and Positive Black Soul’s L’Afrique.

7. Are there any Traditional Dances?

Mbalax Dancing is popular in nightclubs and social gatherings as well as religious and life cycle events such as: weddings, birthdays, and naming ceremonies. New Mbalax dance movements are constantly emerging, this often occurs with the increasing popularity of a particular song.

The dance of Ndawrabine was invented by the women of the Lébou community, a Wolof ethnic group, and can be seen here.

8.  What traditional Festivals are celebrated in the country?

The annual Blues du Fleuve festival in Podor, founded by musician Baaba Maal, attracts thousands. Maal’s festival has run since 2006 and usually takes place in Podor, the northernmost town in Senegal. He hopes the event will one day become Senegal’s Glastonbury.

Since 1996, the Biennale has celebrated contemporary African art with exhibitions every other year. African contemporary artists apply to display paintings, sculptures, and other masterpieces across Dakar during the month-long Dak’Art Biennale event.

Saint Louis Jazz Festival: As the former capital of Senegal and West Africa during colonial times, Saint Louis has always been a cultural and economic center. The city welcomes jazz enthusiasts from around the world every spring since 1992. Festival goers can also check out the nearby Langue de Barbarie, Lompoul Desert, Djoudj National Park, Pont Faitherbe and old colonial buildings.

The first ever International Afro-Latino Dance Festival took place in Dakar between April 2nd and 8th. Dance enthusiasts were able to learn or practice kizomba, salsa, and mbalax with teachers and DJs from around the world.

9. What are the seasons like?

Senegal has a tropical climate with pleasant heat throughout the year with well-defined dry and humid seasons that result from northeast winter winds and southwest summer winds. The dry season (December to April) is dominated by hot, dry, harmattan wind.

The northernmost part of the country has a near hot desert climate, the central part has a hot semi-arid climate and the southernmost part has a tropical wet and dry climate. Senegal is mainly a sunny and dry country.

Dakar’s annual rainfall of about 600 mm (24 in) occurs between June and October when maximum temperatures average 30 °C (86.0 °F) and minimums 24.2 °C (75.6 °F); December to February maximum temperatures average 25.7 °C (78.3 °F) and minimums 18 °C (64.4 °F).

10. What are some interesting facts about the President?

Macky Sall has been Senegal’s President since 2012. Under President Abdoulaye Wade, Sall was Prime Minister of Senegal from April 2004 to June 2007 and President of the National Assembly  from June 2007 to November 2008. He was the Mayor of Fatick from 2002 to 2008 and held that post again from 2009 to 2012.

Sall was trained as a geological engineer at the Institute of Earth Sciences (IST) of the University of Dakar and then at the French Institute of Petroleum (IFP)’s National College of Petrol and Engines (ENSPM) in Paris. He is a member of multiple national and international associations of geologists and geological engineers.

In January 2016, Sall supported proposed constitutional reforms, which passed in March that year, that limit any president to two consecutive terms in office, and reduced the term of office from seven years to five, in accordance with his promise at the 2012 election.

11. What are the country’s major industries?

The main industries include food processing, mining, cement, artificial fertilizer, chemicals, textiles, refining imported petroleum, and tourism. Exports include fish, chemicals, cotton, fabrics, groundnuts, and calcium phosphate. The principal foreign market is India with 26.7% of exports (as of 1998). Other foreign markets include the United States, Italy and the United Kingdom.

As a member of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU), Senegal is working toward greater regional integration with a unified external tariff. Senegal is also a member of the Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa.

12. How do people spend their free time?

Many Senegalese enjoy spending time with family and friends by playing sport, dancing, and going to the beach.

13. What do people drink?

Popular fresh juices are made from bissap, ginger, buy (pronounced ‘buoy’, which is the fruit of the baobab tree, also known as “monkey bread fruit”), mango, or other fruit or wild trees (most famously soursop, which is called corossol in French). Desserts  are traditionally followed by coffee or tea.

14. What is a popular local dish?

The cuisine of Senegal is a West African cuisine influenced by North African, French, and Portuguese cuisine, and derives from the nation’s many ethnic groups, the largest being the Wolof.

Thieboudienne or ceebu jën (among other names): The literal English translation of the dish is “The Rice of Fish”. Dubbed as the national dish of Senegal, it consists of flavoursome fish that has been marinated with parsley, lemon, garlic, onions (and other herbs), and then later cooked with tomato paste and a variety of vegetables such as lettuce, cabbage, and carrots. Rice is later added to the mix giving it a reddish look. It is said to resemble the Spanish dish paella, from the region of Valencia.

Maafe, seasoned fish, chicken, lamb, or beef cooked with vegetables in a tomato and peanut butter sauce, is also popular.

Yassa: now popular with other West African countries, Yassa is either chicken or fish that is first marinated with spices, and then simmered in a pan with onion, garlic, mustard, and lemon juice. This creates a chicken and onion sauce side-dish that is served with plain white rice.

15. What do you pay, on average, for the following? (1 USD = approx. CFA 556)

Milk (1 liter): CFA 1,000
Coca cola (330 ml): CFA 400
Cup of coffee: CFA 1,000
3 Course meal: CFA 7,500
Domestic beer: CFA 420
Loaf of bread: CFA 200
Apples (1 kg): CFA 1,100

16. Any general safety tips?

The Senegalese are very proud of their reputation for “teranga” — hospitality. Locals are extremely friendly and helpful; but as anywhere else, watch out for scams and pickpockets. Petty crime here is relatively high, be cautious. Senegal is one of the most politically stable countries in Africa. Try to avoid walking alone at night.

17. In conclusion, famous (and sometimes infamous) people from the country include:

Abdala Faye is a Senegalese mixed media artist, and member of the Serer noble Faye family. He is the grandson of former Senegalese king, Mbaye Ndiay Djaly. At the age of 12 he had his first showing in Paris, France and sold all of his paintings. Faye began traveling the continent of Africa and Europe at the age of 15. Abdala’s art has been featured in exhibits around the world including Senegal, Brasil, France, Belgium, Germany and the United States. Faye opened Akebuland in Iowa City, IA USA. In 2008 he moved to Cincinnati, OH where he opened The Faye Gallery.

Ousmane Sembène, often credited in the French style as Sembène Ousmane, was a Senegalese film director, producer and writer. The Los Angeles Times considered him one of the greatest authors of Africa and he has often been called the “father of African film”. At the 11th Moscow International Film Festival in 1979, he was awarded with the Honorable Prize for the contribution to cinema. He is the subject of the 2015 documentary film, Sembene!


For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, and Remuneration needs, email marketing@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2], [3], [4], [5], [6], [7], [8], [9], [10]. Image sources: [1].

Contributions by Joyceline.

Facts you may not have know about Tanzania:

Tanzania, officially the United Republic of Tanzania, is a sovereign state in eastern Africa, within the African Great Lakes region. The country gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1961, becoming Tanganyika, and has a population of over 55 million people.

Since 1996, its official capital city has been Dodoma, where the President’s office, the National Assembly, and some government ministries are located. Dar es Salaam, the former capital, retains most government offices, and is the country’s largest city, principal port, and leading commercial center.

Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain, is in north-eastern Tanzania, and is a popular destination for explorers.


1.  When you first meet someone, how do you greet them?

When meeting someone, common greetings are “Mambo!” or “Jambo!” Alternatively, out of respect for younger or elderly people, a greeting of “Shikamoo” is also common.

2. What languages are spoken in the country?

While there are no official languages, Kiswahili is the national language. Swahili is used in parliamentary debate, in the lower courts, and as a medium of instruction in primary school. English is used in foreign trade, in diplomacy, in higher courts, and as a medium of instruction in secondary and higher education.

More than 100 languages are spoken in Tanzania, making it the most linguistically diverse country in East Africa. Among the languages spoken are all four of Africa’s language families: Bantu, Cushitic, Nilotic, and Khoisan.

3. Do you use a twelve hour clock, or a twenty-four hour clock?

We use a 12-hour clock.

4. What side of the road do people drive on? What do we need to know about driving in the country?

We drive on the left side of the road. Roads are generally in poor conditions. Most transport in Tanzania is by road, with road transport constituting over 75 percent of the country’s freight traffic, and 80 percent of its passenger traffic.

5. How important is punctuality?

Punctuality is not of utmost importance in Tanzania, with many people often running late. Despite this, productivity is high.

6. Which types of music are popular? Who are some of the most popular musicians?

Hip hop and gospel music are both popular. With a fusion of local and foreign music traditions, Tanzanian musicians have grown in prominence within the African Great Lakes region. Popular musicians include Dionys Mbilinyi, Sabinus Komba, John Lisu, Paul Clement, and Christina Shusho.

For a taste of Tanzanian music, listen to Christina Shusho’s Ninanga’ra, and Paul Clement’s Namba Moja.

7. Are there any Traditional Dances?

In many areas in Tanzania, dance and drums are used as part of celebrations, and is seen by some as a way to preserve important parts of the country’s history and traditions.

For an example of Tanzanian Haya dancing, click here. The Haya area group of people residing in northwestern Tanzania.

8.  What traditional Festivals are celebrated in the country?

Bagamoyo Festival of Arts and Culture is a seven-day event that is held in Bagamoyo, Tanzania. It features music, dance, drama, acrobatics and many other arts related activities. It takes place every year at the end of September.

First run in 2003, the legendary East African Safari Classic Rally is a nine-day rally covering up to 5,000 kilometres through Kenya and Tanzania. Safari Classic rekindles the spirit of the original Safari Rally, which put East Africa on the motorsport map and earned an unassailable reputation as the world’s toughest rally.

The Wanyambo Festival is one of the best opportunities to check out the local culture of Tanzania in early January. The event is staged in the northern area of Dar es Salaam known as Makumbusho, with lots of traditional music, dance, costumes, and food.

The Marahaba Swahili Music Festival is a festival which happens annually in the city of Dar es Salaam since 2012. It offers a platform for local unknown and popular musicians/bands and cultural troupes to showcase their musicianship, artistry and the rich cultural music of Tanzania.

9. What are the seasons like?

Climate varies greatly within Tanzania. In the highlands, temperatures range between 10 and 20 °C (50 and 68 °F) during cold and hot seasons respectively. The rest of the country has temperatures rarely falling lower than 20 °C (68 °F).

The north and east of Tanzania experience two distinct wet periods – the short rains (Vuli) in October to December, and the long rains (Masika) from March to May. The southern, western, and central parts of the country experience one wet season that continues October through to April or May.

10. What are some interesting facts about the President?

Dr John Joseph Magufuli has been Tanzania’s President since 2015. He is the Chairman of the center-left Chama Cha Mapinduzi party, and previously served as a member of the Tanzanian Cabinet, since 1995. Before politics, he taught chemistry and mathematics at The Sengerema Secondary School, and was subsequently an industrial chemist at The Nyanza Cooperative Union Limited.

11. What are the country’s major industries?

The Tanzanian economy is heavily based on agriculture, which in 2013 accounted for just under a quarter of the country’s GDP.

Industry and construction is a major and growing component of the Tanzanian economy. This component includes mining and quarrying, manufacturing, electricity and natural gas, water supply, and construction.

Tourism, banking, and telecommunications sectors are also strong components of the Tanzanian economy.

12. How do people spend their free time?

Many Tanzanians are social, enjoying spending time with their family and friends, and may come to visit without notice.

13. What do people drink?

Mbenge, Kibuku, and Mulamba are popular among Tanzanians.

14. What is a popular local dish?

Ugali (maize meal) – a type of porridge – is very popular. It can be served with fish, beans, or fruit, as well as plain yogurt.

Tanzanian cuisine is both unique and widely varied. Along the coastal regions (Dar es Salaam, Tanga, Bagamoyo, Zanzibar, and Pemba), spicy foods are common, and there is also much use of coconut milk. Regions in Tanzania’s mainland also have their own unique foods. Some typical mainland Tanzanian foods include wali (rice), ugali (maize porridge), chapati (a kind of bread), nyama choma (grilled meat), mshikaki (marinated beef), samaki (fish), pilau, biriyani, and ndizi-nyama (plantains with meat).

Vegetables commonly used in Tanzania include bamia (okra), mchicha (a kind of spinach), njegere (green peas), maharage (beans), and kisamvu (cassava leaves). Tanzania grows at least 17 different types of bananas which is used for soup, stew, and chips.

Famous Tanzanian snack foods include maandazi (fried dough), isheti, kashata (coconut bars), kabaab (kebab), sambusa (samosa), mkate wa kumimina (Zanzibari rice bread), vileja, vitumbua (rice patties), bagia, and many others.

15. What do you pay, on average, for the following? (1 USD = approx. TZS 2,284)

Milk (1 liter): TZS 9,000
Coca cola (330 ml): TZS 1,100
Cup of coffee: TZS 4,000
3 Course meal: TZS 34,000
Domestic beer: TZS 2,500
Loaf of bread: TZS 1,300
Apples (1 kg): 6,000

16. Any general safety tips?

Don’t walk around alone late at night, and maintain awareness even during the day.
If possible, use a more concealed, smaller bag, rather than a large backpack.
Keep a means of contact, such as a cell phone, on you at all times.

17. In conclusion, famous (and sometimes infamous) people from the country include:

Filbert Bayi, a former Tanzanian middle-distance runner of the 1970s who set the world records for 1500 metres in 1974 and the mile in 1975. He is still the 1500 m Commonwealth Games record holder.

Julius Nyerere, a Tanzanian anti-colonial activist, politician, and political theorist. He governed Tanganyika as its Prime Minister from 1961 to 1963 and then as its President from 1963 to 1964, after which he led its successor state, Tanzania, as its President from 1964 until 1985. He was a founding member of the Tanganyika African National Union (TANU) party and later a member of the Chama Cha Mapinduzi party. Ideologically an African nationalist and African socialist, he promoted a political philosophy known as Ujamaa.


For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, and Remuneration needs, email marketing@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2], [3], [4], [5], [6], [7], [8], [9], [10], [11], [12], [13], [14], [15]. Image sources: Antônio Soletti (Unsplash) [1].

Contributions by Rose.

Facts you may not have know about Kenya:

Kenya, officially the Republic of Kenya, is a country in east Africa. Its capital and largest city is Nairobi. Kenya has a population of approximately 49 million, and gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1963, after which it became a republic in 1964.

Kenya is the biggest and most advanced economy in east and central Africa, and is often classified as a frontier market. The economy has seen much expansion, seen by strong performance in tourism, higher education, and telecommunications.

Today, Kenya’s services sector, which contributes 61% of GDP, is dominated by tourism. The tourism sector has exhibited steady growth in most years since independence and by the late 1980s had become the country’s principal source of foreign exchange. Tourists, the largest number being from Germany and the United Kingdom, are attracted mainly to the coastal beaches and the game reserves, notably, the expansive East and Tsavo West National Park 20,808 square kilometres (8,034 sq mi) in the southeast.

1.  When you first meet someone, how do you greet them?

When meeting someone, a common greeting is a handshake. Alternatively, those who know one another well may choose to hug.

2. What languages are spoken in your country?

English and Kiswahili are the official languages. Many Kenyans speak three languages – the aforementioned two, plus their mother tongue. There are a total of 69 languages spoken in Kenya.

3. Do you use a twelve hour clock, or a twenty-four hour clock?

We use a 12-hour clock.

4. What side of the road do people drive on? What do we need to know about driving in Kenya?

We drive on the left side of the road. While drivers tend to oblige by the rules, public transit, such as buses and taxis, will refuse to give way to others on the road. Kenya’s railway system links the nation’s ports and major cities, connecting it with neighboring Uganda.

5. How important is punctuality?

Punctuality is not of utmost importance in Kenya, with many people often running late and blaming traffic.

6. Which types of music are popular? Who are some of your most popular musicians?

Kenya has no single prominent culture that identifies it. It instead consists of the various cultures of the country’s different communities.

Kenya is home to a diverse range of music styles, ranging from imported popular music, afro-fusion and benga music to traditional folk songs. The guitar is the most popular instrument in Kenyan music, and songs often feature intricate guitar rhythms. Popular musicians/music groups include Sauti Sol, Willy Paul, Size 8, and Nameless.

For a taste of Kenyan music, listen to Sauti Sol’s Melanin and Nameless’ Inspire.

7. Are there any Traditional Dances?

Yes, there are numerous. The Maasai community in Kenya celebrates several unique traditional ceremonies, one of which is the Eunoto. The ceremony is performed by members of the same age group 10 years after they are initiated in to adulthood. The ceremony is marked by a unique Maasai traditional dance called “Adumu.”

Mwomboko dance is one of the most common traditional dances among the Agikuyu people, the largest ethnic group in Kenya. The dance is usually performed during historic events, such as Madaraka Day, which commemorates the day Kenya gained internal self-rule from the British colonizers.

Isikuti is a popular traditional dance practiced by the Isukha and Idakho clans of the larger Luhya community. It’s a fast-paced and energetic dance, involving both men and women. The dance is characterized by the vigorous shaking of the shoulders and waist and rhythmic stamping of the feet.

For an example of Kenyan dancing, click here.

8.  What traditional Festivals are celebrated in your community?

Every year Lamu comes to life during the Lamu Cultural Festival, as Kenyans come together to celebrate both the past, future, the beliefs and traditions that are the heart and soul of this community in the lovely enchanting island of Lamu. An ancient Swahili township, Lamu is a World Heritage site and the cultural festival offers an insight of how life in the old days was in terms of architecture and lifestyle.

The event is usually held annually in November, with exciting activities such as traditional Swahili poetry, henna painting, donkey races and dhow sailing, culminating with a traditional Swahili wedding and a chance to enjoy various Swahili dishes.

The Lake Turkana Festival is usually held around May, and features unique performances and demonstrations of ten different ethnic communities which live in the Lake Turkana region. With traditional dances and a chance to taste various foods from these communities as well as being able to visit their unique huts and get a taste to experience life in Loiyangani in Northern Kenya.

The presentation of the customs and living conditions of the ten tribes, their spectacular traditional costumes arts and crafts, dances and music is a fascinating experience that leaves one with a positive perception of the Lake Turkana region.

9. What are your seasons like?

Kenya’s climate varies from tropical along the coast to temperate inland to arid in the north and northeast parts of the country. The area receives a great deal of sunshine every month, and summer clothes are worn throughout the year. It is usually cool at night and early in the morning inland at higher elevations.

The “long rains” season occurs from March/April to May/June. The “short rains” season occurs from October to November/December. The rainfall is sometimes heavy and often falls in the afternoons and evenings. The temperature remains high throughout these months of tropical rain. The hottest period is February and March, leading into the season of the long rains, and the coldest is in July, until mid August.

10. Tell us an interesting fact about your President?

President Uhuru Kenyatta is the son of Kenya’s first President, Jomo Kenyatta, and his fourth wife Mama Ngina Kenyatta. His given name “Uhuru” is from the Swahili term for “freedom”, and was given to him in anticipation of Kenya’s upcoming independence.

11. What are the country’s major industries?

Major industries in Kenya include the service industry, dominated by tourism, as well as agriculture. The principal cash crops are tea, horticultural produce, and coffee.

12. How do people spend their free time?

Many Kenyans enjoy spending time with their family. Kenya is active in several sports, among them cricket, rallying, football, rugby union and boxing. The country is known chiefly for its dominance in middle-distance and long-distance athletics. Many may choose to spectate during events. Kenya is also home to a wide variety of food outlets to spend time in.

13. What do people drink?

Tea and beer are popular among Kenyans.

14. What is a popular local dish?

Nyama Choma (grilled meat) is a favourite way of preparing and eating meat in Kenya, especially when celebrating events. Chicken, beef, and goat are commonly used. Ugali (maize meal) is a basic staple – a type of porridge, often served with salad.

15. What do you pay for? (1 USD = approx. Ksh 101)

  • Milk: sold in packets, between Ksh 50 and 60
  • Coca cola: between Ksh 35 and 100, depending on location
  • Cup of coffee: between Ksh 100 and 250, depending on location
  • 2 Course meal: about Ksh 1800 t0 2500
  • Glass of wine: between Ksh 250 and 450
  • Loaf of bread: between Ksh 50 and 100

16. General Safety?

  • Don’t use your phone in traffic with your windows open.
  • Don’t leave valuables on display in your car.
  • Take care walking around after dark.

17. In conclusion, famous (and sometimes infamous) people from Kenya include:

  • Former Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga, is identified as one of the leading forces behind the democratization process of Kenya, particularly during the repressive regime of President Daniel arap Moi.
  • Former Prime Minister and former President Jomo Kenyatta, who was the country’s first black head of government and played a significant role in the transformation of Kenya from a colony of the British Empire into an independent republic.


For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, and Remuneration needs, email marketing@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2], [3], [4]. Image source: [1].

Contributions by Adewole Popoola.

Facts you may not have known about Nigeria:

1. You first meet someone, how do you greet them?

Nigeria is religious country and as such, people sometimes greet according to their religious background. Christians may shake hands, while Muslims may greet from afar. We also hold on to our various ethnic cultures which teach us to greet our elders with respect by bending while stretching forth our hands.

2. What languages are spoken in your country?

Nigeria’s official language is English. There are over 500 spoken languages in Nigeria, but the three major ones are Hausa, spoken by the northerners; Yoruba, spoken by the westerners; and Igbo, spoken by the easterners.

Nigerian Pidgin English, is a very common form of communication across the entire country.

Here are some examples:

Abeg: Please

Commot: meaning leave. So, you can say abeg commot, i.e. “Please leave”

How far: A general form of greeting, meaning “How is everything”?

Sabi: To know

Una: “you” or “your”

Vamoose: A forceful command, which means “Leave”

Wetin: What?

Wahala: “Trouble”. So, you can say “No wahala”, meaning “No trouble”

3.Do you use a twelve-hour clock, or a twenty-four hour clock?

We make use of the twelve-hour clock.

4. What side of the road do people drive on? What do we need to know about driving in Nigeria?

We drive on the left-hand side of the road. Our road infrastructure is bad and drivers don’t stick to road signs and rules. All states have their own taxi colours. E.g Lagos is known for its yellow taxi colour.

5. How important is punctuality?

In Nigeria, we don’t keep to time. In fact, we have a parlance called ‘The Nigerian time’. It is generally believed that when you set time for people to come for an occasion/party, you factor the Nigerian time into it, which means adding approximately 1 hour to the set time.

6. Which types of music are popular? Who are some of your most popular musicians?

Femi Kuti, Tuface, Dbanj, Pasunma, and Terry Apala are among Nigeria’s better-known musicians.

We have a wide variety of popular genres of music in Nigeria, including Afro, hiphop, fuji, and apala.

Listen to Femi Kuti singing Sorry Sorry:


Listen to Tuface with African Queen:


Listen to Pasunma’s Number One:


7. Are there any Traditional Dances?

Yes. We have lots of traditional dances and among the common ones are:

The Bata Dance; Major traditional dance of the Yoruba ethnic group. It is associated with the Sango God of thunder, and is acrobatic and athletic.

Watch the Bata dance here


The Atilogwu Dance is associated with the Igbo tribe of the eastern part of the country. The dance steps are acrobatic in nature, and require lots of quick movement and calisthenics.

The Kosoro Dance is the dance that is associated with the Hausa tribe of the northern part of the country.

The Etighi Dance is a dance that is associated with the people from the Niger-delta (riverine). This dance is known as the sexy dance because it requires the movement of the leg and waist

8. What traditional Festivals are celebrated in your community?

The most common festivals are Eyo and Olokun.

Eyo: The word “Eyo” means costumed dancers. These masqueraders come out during the festival. The festival is unique to the Yorubas in Lagos state. In recent times, it has been presented as a tourist event, and is practiced in Lagos Island.

Olokun: This is an annual cultural festival in Nigeria celebrated throughout the Yorubaland. ”Okun” means sea, and Olokun means the god/goddess of the sea.

9. What are your seasons like?

Nigeria has tropical climate with two seasons. A wet season from April to October and a dry season from November to March, with the wettest month being June. Average temperature ranges from 23 degrees to 32 degrees Celsius throughout the year.

10. Tell us an interesting fact about your President.

General Muhammadu Buhari is the Nigeria president. He was elected president in 2015 after defeating an incumbent. Before he was elected president in 2015, he had contested and failed 3 other times. He is a retired general in the Nigeria army, and has previously served as military head of state after taking power through a military coup d’état.

He is corruption-free, trustworthy, and known for his high-handedness. He is married to Aisha Buhari, and together they have 5 children.

11. What are Nigeria’s major industries?

The oil and gas industry is our major source of revenue that contributes to our GDP and keeps the economy running. Others are mining, agriculture and financial services.

12. How do people spend their free time?

Most Nigerians spend their free time in local bars drinking beer, watching football (English premiership), going to the beach, going to cinemas, and eating out.

13. What do people drink?

Nigerians are known as lovers of alcoholic drinks. We enjoy different brands of beer and traditionally produced drink. Some examples are:

Guinness stout; sold as Odeku, Star, 33, Trophy, Goldberg, Heineken, Gulder, etc.

Some traditional drinks are:

Emu (palm wine): tapped from the palm tree.

Burukutu: highly alcoholic and made from overly fermented palm wine.

14. What is a popular local dish?

We have several local dishes from the hundreds of ethnic groups that comprise Nigeria. These include:

Akara: a beignet from dough based on black-eyed beans. It is mostly served with pap (maize meal), as breakfast.

Amala: a thick paste made from yam which has been peeled, cleaned, dried and blended into powdery form. It is usually served with a delicious soup.

Asaro: also known as yam porridge. It is made by boiling and lightly mashing the yam in chill, red pepper sauce, and palm oil. It can be garnished with fish, meat, or crayfish.

Dun Dun: roasted slices of yam. It is usually eaten with sauce made from palm or groundnut oil.

Eba: also called garri, is a very thick paste that is either rolled into balls or made from cassava and it usually served with soup.

Fufu: a staple food made from cassava and served with soup.

Ikokore: similar to asaro in preparation, but with water yam.

Iyan: also called pounded yam in English, is a popular delicacy among the Yoruba tribe. It is prepared by boiling yam and completely mashing it smoothly, with no yam chunks. It can be eaten with several soups, such as Egusi.

Moin-moin: a steamed bean pudding made from a mixture of peeled black-eyed beans and wrapped in a leaf (eg. a banana leaf)

We also have numerous popular soups and stews:

Afang: a nutritional vegetable soup.

Atama: a palm kernel soup.

Banga soup: made from palm nuts.

Draw soup: made from okro or ogbono seeds, cooked until thickened.

Egusi soup: thickened with ground melon seeds, and contains leafy and other vegetables, seasonings, and meat.

Gbegiri: bean-based stew.

Miyan kuku: common among the northerners, and made from powdered baobab leaves and dried okro.

Ogbono soup: made with ground ogbono seeds.

15. What do you pay for? (1 USD = approx. Naira 360)

In a restaurant:

A cup of coffee – N500.00, a Coca Cola – N100.00, a 2-Course meal for 2 people (nothing extravagant) – N4000.00, an average glass of wine – N500.00.

At a shop:

A loaf of normal bread – N100.00, but a very good and health one comes in at N350.00, and a tin of milk (normal) goes for between N180-200.

16. General Safety?

Nigeria is generally a safe country, especially in the capital city, Abuja, and the commercial city, Lagos. The northern and southern parts of the country are a bit unsafe because of terrorism and militancy.

17. And in conclusion:

Famous (and sometimes infamous) people from Nigeria include:

  • Obafemi Awolowo
  • Nnamdi Azikwe
  • Alhaji Tafawa Balewa
  • Ahmadu Bello
  • Alhaji Aliko Dangote (the richest man in Africa)
  • Mrs Folorusho Alakija (the richest woman in Africa)
  • General Olusegun Obasanjo (the first military head of state to transfer power peacefully to a civilian regime in Nigeria).


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Image source: [1].