Nigeria Centenary Blog

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Contemplating Creative Change

If you’ve never seen a TED talk, you need to remedy this immediately. Here’s a good place to start. There are thousands more videos just like that to help broaden your mind and open you up to new ideas. Or you can do one better and attend a TED talk in person....

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Are we a 419 nation?

US Senator Ted Cruz recently sparked controversy when he joked that site issues on the new Affordable Healthcare Act (which critics call “Obamacare”) resembled something built by Nigerian scammers. Cruz represents the state of Texas, which has a large Nigerian population, and his constituents were understandably not pleased. Ted Cruz’s statements were crude...

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Race and Beauty in Nigeria

Over the weekend, Peter Okoye, one half of the popular musical duo, P-Square, celebrated his traditional wedding. Celebrity gossip sites were awash with pictures of the smiling couple and everyone seemed to be in agreement that the bride was stunning. On Monday, Okoye posted a photo of his new wife proudly calling her “lovely and...

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Nigerians and the Empathy Gap

Too often when we track our progress as a nation, we look at surface indicators: how many roads do we have, how many schools and hospitals? We depend on things we can count: the number of boreholes and wells, the number of people with jobs and the number of children dying of preventable diseases....

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Are Strike Actions Worth It?

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), the powerful workers lobby for the teaching staff of Nigerian tertiary institutions, has been on a nationwide strike for nearly five months over a dispute with the federal government about the poor state of infrastructure in schools and the non-payment of allowances and entitlements. The shutdown...

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Zungeru: Our Neglected History

Zungeru, Niger State, was the town where the amalgamation of Northern and Southern protectorates was signed on January 1, 1914, by Lord Frederick Lugard, the first Governor-General of Nigeria. The town was the capital of the vast Northern Region at the time, and had been since 1902. Lugard would eventually move the capital...

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Guest Post: That Nigerian Trapeze Act

January 1st, 2014, will mark the 100th anniversary of the amalgamation of the Northern and Southern protectorates which formed what is present-day Nigeria. Yet, what exactly does this mean to young Nigerians? What does this mean to people like me: de-facto “Nigerians” who hold foreign passports but have Nigerian mannerisms, ideas and...

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Watching our History Online

Too often, we see our history as a series of dry names in textbooks with no sense of who these people were. Many Nigerians couldn’t point out our founding fathers and mothers by sight – even though many of them are on the backs of our major currencies. Even fewer...

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Guest Post: Nigeria Through Their Eyes

This week’s guest post is from Ayodele Olofintuade a writer and blogger living in Ibadan. She was shortlisted for the 2011 Nigeria (NLNG) Prize for Literature for her children’s book, Eno’s Story. A lot has been said about Nigeria and her people, how corrupt, ill-mannered (translating to loud), lazy and greedy...

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Guest Post: What Defines Nigeria?

We talked about how Nigeria incessantly churned out mediocre entertainment whether in our movies or our music. We talked about Nollywood, (oh boy, did we talk about Nollywood); from its mediocre stories to its over-the-top acting. We talked about our former glory in sports, particularly the days of World Cup...