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How deep is Nigeria's cultural influence on Africa?

Africa HYS team | 13:55 UK time, Wednesday, 29 September 2010

On Friday Nigeria will mark 50 years of independence.   


The celebrations will be a spectacle showcasing the country's rich culture, music and tradition. 


Nigerians the world over are also preparing to mark the milestone with parties and cultural events.

Over the years Nigeria's government has spent millions of dollars promoting the country as a place to do business, and as a tourist destination.  I

ncreasingly it turns to musicians, film makers, artists, writers and cultural ambassadors to help improve the country's image abroad.                         

Previous administrations have also invested heavily in rebranding the country such as former President Olusegun Obasanjo's "Heart of Africa" campaign.

But has Nigerian culture made an impact outside the country? How influential have Nigeria's artists and musicians been on the rest of Africa?  Is the dominance of one county's culture harmful to the rest of the continent?

If you would like to debate this topic LIVE on air on Thursday 30 September at 1600 GMT, please include a telephone number - it will not be published. 


  • Comment number 1.

    I admire the Nigerians "vuvuzella".Has Nigerian culture made an impact outside the country? I will say yes.Let's all look at their clothing!It's fantastic,look at their head gear..so beautiful!I think everybody will admire their cloth and their "style".That is Nigerian culture for you!
    I will comment on their comedians,artistes,actors/actresses.They are wow!See how their movie industry has flourished.I will say that they should really celebrate this golden jubilee as we Ghananians did when Ghana was 50years old.Long live Nigeria....hurray!!!!!
    [Personal details removed by Moderator]

  • Comment number 2.

    Every Nation Has It's Own Culture And Nigeri It's No Exception ,But This Musicians Seems Overdoing And Overwhelming Culture.
    I do not think that makes influence on Africa, Because Every Nations are Busy To Improve and display Their own culture As To Play During cultural events.
    And I'm Thanking All African Countries For Their Highlighted Cultures And The Compete For others..


    [Personal details removed by Moderator]

  • Comment number 3.

    Well, Nigerian culture has infiltrtated west africa like a virus, the whole of Africa I can't say. Everywhere in West Africa, Nigerian music and movies have taken over the scene; even fashion. A great contributory factor I think is that Nigerians migrate a lot...name any country and you'll find a Nigerian community there- A fact I still find surprising. A lot of these places Nigerians flock to are not really better than home but they still move anyway. I may never understand why. Another reason i think is the contagious self-confidence inherent in a Nigerian...we always make ourselves heard or seen. We are a problem, even to ourselves....sometimes.

  • Comment number 4.

    Nigerian culture I believe has become a torch bearer for most African nations especially my country Liberia where her youths have decided to abandon their own culture heritage for the sake of western culture which they are not even able to practice well. The Liberian youths don't even love to listen to their own Liberian music anymore. For me personally, I am so impressed with the Nigerian culture so that the only movies I love now is the Nigerian movies. They portray our rich culture as Africans and tell the outside world that Africa is heading somewhere and one day it will get there.Deeply rooted in their culture, Nigerians give their children native names which brings about strong bond of brotherhood, unity and identity. Please Nigeria, will you send your culture expatriate here to help teach our youths and children the virtue of African culture?

  • Comment number 5.

    I really am unable to understand my fellow Nigerians. On the one hand, we never stop complaining about how underdeveloped our so-called country has become. On the other hand, we can't wait to celebrate 50 years of our supposed independence. What, precisely, are we celebrating? Electricity? Roads? National infrastructure? Public institutions? Healthcare? Law and order? A sense of nationhood?

    I used to react with much anger at the suggestion that every society deserves the kind of leadership it gets. How, I used to wonder, can an impoverished, illiterate, downtrodden villager possibly "deserve" those responsible for his/her misery? I still consider this quite an absurd theory. Nonetheless, the more I observe the attitudes of my other fellow Nigerians (particularly the so-called educated ones), the more convinced I have become, that there is some truth in it. The helpless, wretched soul I've described certainly has no way of influencing his/her condition, but those of us who aren't in that situation truly deserve what we get. If only because it is we who never stop encouraging our rulers to treat us with such breathtaking contempt.

  • Comment number 6.

    Nigerian culture as it is today has been bastardised. Cultures are meant to promote good values but today they are applied to promote corruption,human rights abuse and intimidation of opponents. We can't spend money to promote wrong values rather we should reflect good values. Nigeria cultures protect human rights, equality between men and women, protection for children, good service to humanity,equality, good governance and many more, any practise that works contrary to this should be abolished and criminalised

  • Comment number 7.

    Presently in the Republic of Benin, I am proud to be a Nigerian. Everyone keeps telling me they love our movies (stuff I loathe myself while in Nigeria). The films's language has been changed to french and what's more, a day hardly goes by without music from Nigerians being played on the national and independent TVs here. Also, the students here tell me they look up to Nigerians in terms of fashion.
    It was when I got here that I kinda got more respect for the country.
    To the man in HYS from Kenya, what I hear from the news about Kenya is also corruption and oppression. Same goes for the Gambia. Please, pot should not call kettle black.
    It's best we realize this is a problem we should tackle together and God will help us overcome.
    God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria
    God bless Africa.

  • Comment number 8.

    The people of Nigeria, of which I am a product, are a great people: on an individual basis, they are very kind and considerate of others, related or not. Our problems arise when one runs into some of the unscrupulous politicians from the several disparate groups that the British cudgeled together in 1914 to create what we today call Nigeria. We could realize out true greatness as a people if we would only be just a little bit selfless in our dealings with each other. The roguish lot that govern the nation today are a disgrace and a blight on Nigeria and on the face of this Planet Earth. I speak not just of the top managers of the affairs of State but also of the lower echelon thieves that they bring into government and leave behind when they have had their fill of the Country's wealth. These are the institutionalized bureaucrats who perpetuate the stereotypical corrupt stigma that is attached to everything Nigerian. Nigeria will never realize its full potential till all who presently administer the Country have been replaced with new and less selfish administrators. But that may be simply wishful thinking when one considers the fact that the Nigerian educational system is essentially useless as far as producing the next generation of of competent, selfless leaders. Our educational system is an abject failure in which mediocrity is tacitly encouraged and rewarded, and it is these same mediocre graduates that will grow up to populate out bureaucracies. Nevertheless, one must not despair because there is nothing in this life that is permanent: not even life itself lasts for ever, and so shall the current state of of affairs in Nigeria not last for good. I take solace in this fact because just as the Country was once given a man in the nature of Murtala Mohammed, so shall Nigeria be rewarded with such a leader in the future and hopefully by then all of us would have come to our senses and realized that selflessness is a virtue and not a curse.

  • Comment number 9.

    i live in joburg and have had contacts with nigerians especially when i was still a student.here when someone mention nigerians the first thing that come to mind is drug dealing,selling of stollen goods,abductions,pimping,419 scams etc.this is a sad reality. am not really sure why they migrate so much,you visit a place like hilbrow in joburg it is packed with nigerians. when it come to art they excel and seem to make the best out of nothing. the nollywood movies(on africa magic) look cheap with good story lines.for a country with 150mil civilians more should be accomplished.i also feel life is not respected enough in nigeria cause you will hear of 400 people dying on a single day becase of lead poisoning/muslim christian battles but it wouldnt make headlines which is what i never grasped.when 7 people die in a day in the us the whole world knows about it

  • Comment number 10.

    To be honest,i think naija is avery nice country though over populated with areason or two.Imagine the beautiful people with "beautiful" pegeune language,the marvelous Nigerian movies and thier beautiful music as well,their unique dress code and above all their education system which is so rich and diverse but however the continued stories of kidnapping,"witchcraft",e.t.c worries me alot.Otherwise i wish you people of Naija good celebrations and very soon iwill come there to have afeel of the Naija Community.Peace and love 1,send greatings to so far my only Naija friend Osofia whom i met in London.
    [Personal details removed by Moderator]

  • Comment number 11.

    There is no under estimation concerning nigerian influence in africa or worldwide.This is the greatest nation on mother earth, sadly, the plane has no good pilot, but it will land anyhow; that is the ingenuity of a typical Nigerian.According to Respected Madam Thacther, push Nigerians to the wall, they will break through the wall and find another way out!
    I met one Akin OMOKOGBOH in France, He said to me, I am always proud of Nigeria. I asked him why? He said, You can never under estimate Nigerian cultural values.Her values abound every where from Madam Eweala to Musicians ASA, Psquare, even the william sisters are traced to Nigeria,What else can I tell you"apologies to Monsieur Cloney"


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