As seen on Quora. Here’s what other Africans think of Nigerians.
Boitumelo Dube from South Africa
I’m South African and used to stay in Sunnyside Pretoria, aka Lagos. I have a good number of wonderful friends, colleagues and acquaintances from West Africa that I met during university days, that I met now professionally as colleagues and clients, those people I know socially and I can safely say my former neighbouring was 50% West Africans. My view of Nigerians are the following, in no particular order:
- They are well spoken: yes there’s pidgin but most Nigerians are eloquent and expressive sometimes a bit over-the-top;
- They are quite industrious: but can also be cut-throat and unethical in business;
- They have a wonderful reputation of being scammers and conmen and this one is felt globally. Yahoo boys, email fraud etc;
- Nigerians are well travelled and will explore any avenue to make money elsewhere which is wonderful. But I do think it’s partially because of their adventurous and get-it spirit and coupled by the fact that millions of Nigerians are desperate to leave Nigeria for a better life somewhere else. And most don’t want to go back or they take long years to visit family. I know a guy who’s been here for 20 years and hasn’t visited, issues of papers, lack of money etc basically excuses I know damn well he has money and can easily fix his papers. His mother has been begging for years.
- I love the West African diet. Omg the food is soooo good and tasty, I’ve had many many soup dishes, jollof with all kinda meat. I’m a foodie and love hot food so it makes sense;
- I love Nigerian music. I listen to a mix of Asa, Mr Eazi with the delicious lips, Timaya, Harry Songs, Runtown whose just so fiiiiine, a few Davido tracks, love Tiwa and Wizkid;
- Nigerians have their many tribal prejudices and discriminatory attitudes but will come together against an outsider;
- I like the accent and Nollywood; the plots, plot- twist and magic im here for all that lol;
- Nigerians pride themselves in their sexual prowess; I mean I cannot even tell you the number of times I’ve been promised a great time in bed. Funny thing is I’ve never been in a sexual relationship with a Nigerian man, which is weird because I mean Nigerian men are hot. They just extremely economical with the truth and incredible womanizers;
- Nigerians don’t like parting ways with money, when they do they’ll negotiate to the lowest possible amount.
- I wanted to visit Nigerian for 2 weeks this December until I found out they don’t have stable electricity supply, I don’t want to be trapped in a whole new country and be confined to a hotel room because the city is dark at night. I wanna be out and about hanging out with people soaking in the culture.
Ziaddinè Chahoud from Algeria
As an Algerian, I think not much about Nigeria, despite being an African myself. But from a view point of Algerian, I think about Nigeria, like this:
- Too over proud. Nigeria is the most populous African countries, while Algeria is the largest in Africa. Nigerians often take their pride very seriously and sometimes behave arrogantly.
- The Nigerians are very good at sports. Not as good as Egyptians, but very skillful. You don’t know how good the Nigerians are, take part in African Games please.
- The country is very divided by religious group. Christians in the south and Muslims in the north. Sometimes it turns into a fight.
- Boko Haram. I think Nigeria shares with Algeria about terrorism. However, Nigerian military has been ineffective on battling them due to rampant corruption.
- Nigerian usually claimed themselves as “liberators of Africa”. Lol, they should have learnt history, Egypt was the first to fight for independence, and Algeria fought and sacrificed it by blood, so the title can belong to Egypt and Algeria. In contrast, the Britons departed away from Nigeria.
- Economically, it is entertaining but it relies heavily on oil. Nigeria has large products, and their products are very popular in West Africa. Not sure about North Africa, since we use Egyptian not Nigerian.
- They have Nollywood, which is not popular in Algeria but very popular in other Sub-Saharan countries. In fact, Algeria has been extremely promotive of our own movies. Although Nollywood is part of African movie entertainment, it is poorly sold in Algeria.
- Many of them are fans of Gaddafi. Yeah, the dictator that is loved by large groups of Sub-Saharan Africans, yet very unpopular among North Africans, including Algerians.
- They speak a weird English, but it is extremely perfect.
- High corruption. Yeah, Algeria and Nigeria have the same troubles.
Ambo Godson from Cameroon
Nigeria. The rock star nation of Africa. Here’s how this Cameroonian views Nigeria;
- Nigerian music is awesome! Not just the modern afro-pop style of music which is extremely popular in my country these days. Even the highlife music from the 70s and 80s is great. Artists such as Fela Kuti told stories we all shared as Africans. I do however hate that Naija music has infiltrated our own industry so much so that it’s slowly eroding our Makossa.
- Nigerians are NEVER satisfied. Now to be fair I’ve never been to Nigeria but it’s close enough for me to have an idea of how it is. The Nigerians I’ve met are almost always complaining about their government. They literally don’t run out of reasons to slag off their government. I find it puzzling because I think they have it much better than us. In fact I envy them at times.
- They give Africa a bad name as far as immigration is concerned. Nigerians are infamous for their crooked dealings in other countries, mostly Western. I’m not saying they’re they only ones but boy do they take it to another level. This makes it harder for people trying to immigrate from Africa.
- I think the Nigerian football team sucks. Enough said.
- I always wonder why they’re so many Nigerians everywhere. It seems like every place you turn you can spot one of them. How did y’all get to be so crowded?!
- I don’t trust anything made in Nigeria. They’re the China of Africa. I always feel like anything made in Nigeria is a rip off. No offense.
- I absolutely love Nigerian clothing. Especially the traditional regalia of the Igbos.
- On a historical note, I think Nigeria is closer to being our Colonial masters than Britain. At least the English speaking part where I come from. After the Germans were defeated in Cameroon, we were handed to the British and French as a mandate territory. I’m certian Britain didn’t know what to do with their portion so they just administered us as part of Nigeria. Hence, we were more under their control than the British. Proof that Africans would have made just as terrible colonial masters as Europeans but that’s a story for another day/answer.
- Nigerians are great storytellers. Those guys can talk.
Salamo Afro from Kenya
Habits vary greatly depending on which part they come from and religion.My observation:
- TRIBALISM – impossible to have a cohesive Nigerian community. They will always dwell on differences instead of common heritage. The less educated, the worse it is.
- On the positive flip side though, I have seen them support one another in matters weddings, funerals etc. They will not raise funds when you are in hospital but will gladly contribute to the repatriation of your body.
- APPOINTMENTS: Do not bother booking one in advance. If you are travelling to their country or State they will tell you – CALL US WHEN YOU ARRIVE. Almost as if arrival is not granted so why book appointment in advance?
- MOB & VICTIM-HOOD MENTALITY: Always on guard I guess due to the awareness of the bad 419 reputation. Always think someone is out to dupe them. An altercation with one of them and a dozen will appear to assist their ‘brother or sister’ – never mind that they do not know each other from Eve.
- LOUD: Talk over each other – horrible listening skills. Even among the so-called elite.
- MADE IN NIGERIA: Exists mainly as a slogan – they love all manner of imported things. Even the so called African/Nigerian fabric is from Holland now made in China, Pakistan and all over except Africa where it’s most used. Sigh!!
- SKIN BLEACHING: Pandemic and common in both men and women.
- FLASHY VAIN MATERIALISM: My jet is bigger than yours all the way down to my slum is better than yours. Glitz and glam..fake it till you make it.
- DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: Not only among Nigerian couples but many women married to Nigerian men seem to suffer this. Misogyny seems prevalent although Nigerian women have made great strides in female liberation, a lot still needs to be done.
- MELODRAMA: Over-react to everything, pomposity, loud..my people calm down.
- RULE OF LAW: Constantly looking for short cuts and ways to beat the system – this often lands many in trouble. Another Quoran made an interesting observation that every jail in over 90 countries or so he worked in – has a Nigerian inmate and for all manner of crimes unrelated to drugs or yahoo scams.
- Many positives have been highlighted – industrious, warm, friendly, grit/tenacity, intelligent, very direct/loud and not pretentious, rich and diverse culture – but all the above be they positive or negative can be found in any African society.
- The negatives many be more pronounced because of the huge population.