Did you know these facts about Nigeria?

I know I know, long time no blog. I promise I have an amazing post coming up soon to make up for it.

I came across an article written by Karen Elowitt of Afktravel.com.

It is titled ‘15 things you probably didn’t know about Nigeria’. There were somethings even I wasn’t aware of, and I thought it would be great to share it with you guys.

*Most of the commentary following the facts were edited by me, so they will be slightly diffrerent from Karen’s article.

1. 1/5 of  Sub Saharan Africa’s population lives here –  It is estimated that over a billion people live in Sub-Saharan Africa and 168 million of those people are right here in Nigeria, and the numbers keep growing daily. Research shows that by 2050 we would have reached about 440 million.

2. We are famous for Butterflies – It is said that we have the largest diversity of butterflies in Calabar. Calabar is in the Coastal Southeastern region of Nigeria and also the capital of Cross River State. Calabar is very famous for their festivals which I mentioned earlier in a previous post.  If you go to the Cross River National park, you’ll be able to see over 300 different species.

Butterflies-yorkshire_rose-15990936-500-375

Taken by deedeeflower

3. Nollywood is huge. – I must confess I haven’t seen a lot of nollywood movies, but apparently after Bollywood (India’s movie industry) which is  the largest in the world, we are next. We put out more movies than Hollywood in a year.

4. Language diversity – Believe it or not but we have over 500 languages in Nigeria and this accounts for 7% of the languages spoken in the world. In Taraba state, the number of languages spoken there is more than those spoken in 30 other African countries combined.  The most common native languages in the country are – Igbo, Yoruba, Hausa, Kanuri, Ibibio, Edo and Fufulde. Although all these languages exist, English is spoken throughout the country especially in the urban areas and by educated people. In the villages, english may or may not be spoken.

5. The walls of Benin – After the Great Wall of China, it is believed that the ancient walls of Benin comes in as the next largest man made structure on earth. Its is located in present day Benin City. Benin City is the capital of Edo state and is located in the Southern region of the country. It was built to protect the royal area of the Oba of Benin (king of Benin)  between 800 and 1400 AD. The series of stone walls, earthen ramparts and deep moats  is 16,000km long and spread over an area of 6500 sq km.

6. Number of Christians and Muslims are almost equal. – Unlike other countries where it is easy to say which religion is higher, here the difference is pretty close. Islam is practiced by 50.4% while Chrisitianity is 48.2%.

Although both Chrisitians and Muslims can be found  all over the country, Muslims tend to be more in the North and East, while Christians are more in the South and West.

7. Nigeria is home to Africa’s longest bridge. – Third mainland bridge which is one of the three bridges that connects the island and the mainland is about 11.8km (5 miles) long. It begines at Oworonshoki on the mainland and ends at Adeniji-Adele interchange on the island, with various exits along the way. It was opened in 1990.

Third mainland Bridge taken early in the morning by Hans Wilschut

Third mainland Bridge taken early in the morning by Hans Wilschut

8. They have another type of English known as ‘pidgin english’ – Pidgin enlish is a sort of colloquial english where words are made up by Nigerians and if you’re an outsider, you might have a difficult time understanding what is being said. English is the base and the rest are just thrown in. eg Abeg means please.

9. Twins are everywhere (are they?) –  Nigeria and especially the yorubas have a higher incidence of twin births in the world. (5% of all deliveries). Some think its because of yams which is a staple among the yorubas. My friend also told me about some soup called ‘ilasa‘. So if you want twins, try those out.

10. Nigerians love champagne – Yes we dooooo!!!!! I’m not a big fan of champagne but I can vouch for this. In 2013, shoprite claims to have sold more Moet et Chandon in its 7 Nigerian branches than its 600 branches put together in South Africa. And that’s shoprites report alone. There are many other retail stores that sell this and other brands. Imagine the quantity being guzzled daily. Apparently, the nouveau rich of Nigeria like to spend their money on booze amongst other things.

dnews-files-2013-05-drinking-champagne-improves-memory-660-jpg

11. Longest River – Nigeria is home to most of River Niger which is the longest river in West Africa. Yes yes I know parts of it are in Mali and Niger but its home is right here. The river is 4,180km which makes it the 3rd longest river in Africa. It is the same river that joins with Benue and is a major tourist spot in Kogi State. That was mentioned in an earlier post.

Taken by Basil Pao

Taken by Basil Pao

12. Some of the oldest humans – If archaelogy has anything to say about the first set of humans, it is that humans lived in Nigeria as far as back as 9000 BC. This means that it is one of the oldest spots of  human settlement. The Nok civilisation is the oldest civilistation in the world. (500 BC – 200 AD). You can read more on Nok civilisation here.

Nok Terracotta

Nok Terracotta

13. Oil rich/poor – Everyone already knows about this. Nigeria ia an oil rich country that has some of the poorest people in the world, and the people in the Niger Delta where the oil is has one of the poorest people in the country. Lets leave it at that. The irony.

14. Nigeria – The name Nigeria is derived from the River Niger mentioned earlier. Go figure. If you didn’t know, now you know.

15. Mobile phone addicts – Do you know how many phone subscribers we have? Over 120 million. We clearly talk too much. This is the largest phone subscription in Africa. Granted people have two or more lines because of the terrible phone service, but still that is alot of subscribers.

Hope you enjoyed this. You should check out afktravel.com. They are dedicated to travel in Africa. I love what they’re doing.