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Pop Culture in Nigeria

By: Allison Lambdin and Mackenzie McGraw. Honors English, Period 4
by

Allison Lambdin

on 22 April 2013

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Transcript of Pop Culture in Nigeria

Okechukwu Ofili is a motivational speaker and a bestselling author of How Stupidity Saved My Life and How Laziness Saved My Life Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie wrote Purple Hibiscus, a novel about a seemingly perfect wealthy family in Nigeria that faces hardship under a controlling father and when the kids go to live with their aunt for a while, because of a military coup, they are exposed to a different lifestyle. She also wrote, Half of a Yellow Sun, which is based on Biafra's war and shows the reaction through 5 characters. Nigerian pop culture draws many similarities to American pop culture, and America draws from Nigeria through music specifically. Nigerian music is predominated by the genres of pop, R&B, hip-hop, and reggae. One popular record label is Kennis Music, with many members such as Kenny Ogungbe and Dayo Adeneye, focusing on Nigerian pop, R&B, and hip-hop. Among other popular artists are D'banj, and in the world genre, Femi Kuti. Some of the lyrics of songs are so coarse and inappropriate that there have been complaints to get the artists banned. Nigerian television is based on US television programs and modifies them to fit the lifestyles of many typical Nigerians.
Popular shows include: Nigerian Idol, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, Big Brother Africa, Project Fame West Africa, Nigeria's Got Talent, and Sesame Square. Popular songs include: Pop Culture in Nigeria By Allison Lambdin & Mackenzie McGraw Current Political Issues in Nigeria:
Nigeria is a technically a Federal Republic, like the United States of America, but with a large Islamic influence in law, especially in the north, where some instances of Sharia have been passed into the legal system. Leaders are incompetent and corrupt, leading to disputes and divisions, and the constitution is under "revision." Warring Christians (in the southern states) and Muslims (in the northern states) threaten the peace. Anything by PSquare Jupa by J. Martins Nigeria has a huge film industry, the second largest in the world (by number of movies produced annually). It has been dubbed Nollywood, surpassing Hollywood but not Bollywood in India, produced 200 movies a month. It is a $250 million dollar film industry.

Many movies reflect upon current issues, such as the dispute between Christian and Muslims
The bestselling Movie of all time is "Ije", a movie about a woman accused of 3 murders and the "dark side" of the American dream

Other big movies include "Through the Glass" (2008), "Anchor Baby" (2010) and "The Figurine" (2010) Nigerian Clothing Long ago in Nigeria, clothing was worn to clothe the body only, not for style and status, but now clothing is an effective form of expression to many Nigerians. Both traditional clothing and Western clothing are now worn. In the South and urban areas, Western clothing is more common, and in the North and rural areas, traditional clothing is more typical. The youth of Nigeria prefers to wear Western clothing. The clothing tends to be very colorful, either way. Nigerian Art
Yams are still the most important crop in south Nigeria, and grains in the north. Most Nigerians are too poor to afford the Western prepackaged food and conveniences available in supermarkets in the big cities, but most Nigerians prepare food the traditional way, with a few Western conveniences. Silverware is just starting to trickle down from the upper to the lower classes.

It is considered filthy to eat with your left hand in Nigeria. The left hand is reserved for personal functions and toiletries. Food is eaten with the right hand, and that is the hand that people shake with.

The picture to the right is Obe-Eja, or Nigerian Fish Soup Governor Amaechi, who told the people that they were too "timid" to revolt. The people of Nigeria disagree. Before the West came in, Nigerian art was used mainly in religion, but also as a form of expressing the culture. Art has somewhat declined since Western influence became more prominent. Now, art tends to focus on the customs and culture of Nigeria, especially influenced by tribal aspects, and also holds a place for remembering the roots and past injustices, but this return to the old culture is probably due to the overwhelming and increasing interest with the Western world. Current Literature Chris Abani is another current author that writes novels about Nigeria that have been acclaimed in the US, with GraceLand being featured on the Today Show. GraceLand tells the story of a boy nicknamed Elvis in Nigeria, taking place when Western influence was invading the thoughts of the younger generation. Becoming Abigail is about a girl's escape from prostitution in London, while also trying to remember life in Nigeria, and the thought of living up to her successful mother who had recently died. Nigerian Movies Political Situation Nigerian Cuisine Nigerian Television Nigerian Popular Music Nigerian Oil Conflict: Oil is what Nigeria is essentially known for around the world. It is the 12th largest producers of oil in the world, at 2,525,000 barrels per day. Unfortunately, the oil rich Niger Delta has become a conflict hotspot for environmentalists (not enough social measures taken, lots of damaging oil spills), human rights activists, fair trade activists, and military personal all around the world. Thousands of people have been killed per year in the conflict. Personal Reflections: When asking oneself if Nigeria is cultured or not, one has to ask oneself what culture is. Culture is defined by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary as "the customary beliefs, social forms, and material traits of a racial, religious, or social group; also : the characteristic features of everyday existence (as diversions or a way of life} shared by people in a place or time."

So by this definition, Nigeria has a beautiful and very diverse culture, even if it is riddled with problems. They have a rich cultural and religious history. Not only that, but they draw much of their popular culture from the United States, and to call the Nigerians uncultured would be to call ourselves uncultured. Besides, the problems that Nigeria faces are either the exact same as ours, or the same problems manifested in a different form. So our verdict is that the Nigerians are extremely cultured, but Westerners tend to think that they are not because there is a stereotype ingrained into our culture that everyone in Africa lives in straw huts and hunts lions. That may be a bit of an exaggeration, but it reflects the communication gap between the cultures. When misconceptions aren't corrected, they manifest themselves and grow thick roots. This year's winner of Nigerian Idol (as of April 13, 2013) is Moses Obi-Adigwe. The first male to ever do so. Sesame Square is the Nigerian version of Sesame Street which features Kami and Kobi, with Kami being HIV-positive, and both a male and female character to encourage gender equality. The show also covers the importance of mosquito nets to prevent malaria, and also encourages unity despite differences in religion. When promoting the show, they couldn't even feature the main characters hugging, because of a sensitive Muslim north.
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