Kids from Nigeria

  • Continent: Western Africa
  • Climate: Hot—averaging around 90 degrees in much of the nation. Nigeria has two seasons, the rainy season and the dry season. Each lasts about half the year.
  • School:
    • The school year in Nigeria runs from January through December. Typically, there are three semesters, with a month off following each one.
    • Most schools have strict dress codes. There are not only required uniforms but also rules about hairstyles, jewelry and accessories.
    Play:
    • A board game called ayo, played by two people using seeds and a board that has twelve cups, is widespread. So are checkers and hand-clapping games.
    • Soccer is a national craze in Nigeria, as in much of Africa. Volleyball, wrestling and boxing are also popular.
    Family:
    • Age earns respect in many families. As a mark of honor, an older sibling may be addressed as “Senior Brother” or “Senior Sister” instead of their name.
    • Traditionally, most Nigerians lived in extended families, either within the same home or in separate homes clustered close together.
    Signature foods:
    • Spicy pepper soup, made with onions, hot chili peppers and meat or fish
    • Plantains (a member of the banana family), which can be fried, stewed with meat, toasted or made into pastries
    Interesting animals:
    • The rare Sclater's guenon, a small (6–9 pound), wiry gray monkey that dwells in swamps and moist forests
    • The West African manatee, a thousand-pound water mammal with small flippers and a mouth full of molars
  • Unique holiday: October 1 brings the biggest festival in Nigeria—Independence Day, which celebrates Nigeria's independence from Great Britain in 1960. The day begins with a presidential address and includes parades and festivities in all 36 Nigerian states.
  • Did you know? Nigeria is Africa's most populous country, accounting for about one-fifth of the continent's people. It is very diverse, with more than 250 ethnic groups; the largest are the Yoruba, the Hausa and Fulani and the Ibo (Igbo).

For more information, go to the Fact Monster page about Nigeria.