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What Nigeria Means To Me | 1st Prize Winning Essay, 2013 NOA Essay Contest

What Nigeria Means To Me | 1st Prize Winning Essay, 2013 NOA Essay Contest

NigeriaHere’s a copy of the delicious essay which clinched the first prize in the 2013 National Orientation Agency (NOA) Essay Competition. It’s published here with the kind permission of the author, Samuel Edet.

You can read it below or download a PDF version of it here.


What Nigeria Means To Me

            The question what does Nigeria mean to you when thrown open on citizen forums and gatherings seem to evoke a mixed basket of comments and opinions; both optimistic and pessimistic. The seemingly pessimistic opinions and comments are always backed up by a legion of reasons which range from the prevailing socio-economic condition to other reasons. Inspite of its understandable shortcomings, Nigeria is my dear nation and means a lot to me. What Nigeria means to me may not be the same to another citizen. Nigeria my dear nation means the following to me.

            Firstly, Nigeria means a giant (of Africa) to me. While controversy rages over the befitting holder of this title, what remains an undeniable fact is that our presence has been felt in every African state from the tip of Kilimanjaro to the sand dunes of Sahara. These influences exist in cultural, linguistic, religious, political forms etc. Our film and music industry have been the choice entertainment in many countries like our neighbours, Cameroun, Kenya, Malawi and even South Africa( whose satellite DSTV has two channels dedicated to our films). Our indigenous musicians like P-square, Inyanya, Tuface, Dbanj, Femi Kuti and others have captured the musical tastes of Africa’s youth in a very big way, from Dakar to Johannesburg, our local music is played in drinking bars, at social functions etc. Our local pidgin has been adopted across the continent, according to Mutuna Chanda (in BBC, 2010), the Nigerian influence has been so infectious (in Zambia) that in some circles friends pick the distinctive West African accent whenever they joke or chat amongst themselves about happenings in their life. Regarding our religious influence, the same writer noted that Zambia is host to churches with origins from Nigeria and a number of them have huge followings. Commenting on our religious influence in Kenya, Kevin Nwachiro wrote (in BBC, 2010) that his relatives even swear on the integrity of our own pastors. On the political front, our nation has been influential in securing the independence of some countries and maintaining the peace in other nations like Mali, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia and others. Our influence be it religious or otherwise across the continent has been great and is a feat which no nation in Africa has achieved.

            Secondly, Nigeria to me means freedom. The ability to do, write, say anything freely and overtly without fear of harassment and intimidation is what makes me love my nation more and more. The freedom I enjoy freely is what citizens of some nations have craved and are still craving for. I have the right and freedom to be what I want to be. It is this freedom I enjoy which makes Nigeria a unique place to be.

             Furthermore, Nigeria in my eyes means resilience. Inspite of the various cataclysmic events and acts our nation and its citizens have gone through, it has endured and stood tall and solid like an iroko. In the little over five decades of its existence, the nation has passed through a bloody civil war, a painful military era, and religious disturbances but it while scathed has remained strong. According to Dongari (2011), many analysts have argued that if Nigeria were another country, some of the crises that have engulfed it over the decade would have turned it asunder. Countries like the Federation of Yugoslav Republics, Czechoslovakia, and the Union of Soviet Social Republics all cracked under the situations Nigeria endured.

Our nation has come a long way since those events, a feat which makes me more and more proud of my nation.

        Also, a nation of icons and hardworking people is what Nigeria means to me. Our compatriots have at various points gone on to impact the world. People like Late Prof. Chinua Achebe, Ngozi Chimamanda Adichie, Wole Soyinka among others are some of the icons the nation has produced. Also, the industrious nature inherent in citizens of this great nation also gives me a cause to brag about my nation. Its citizens strive to excel in any field of endeavour and area they find themselves. Our hardworking nature  has been acknowledged even by our African brothers, Stephen Ofusu, a Ghanaian speaking to the BBC(in 2010) said “what I like about Nigerians is that they are hardworking”. In the Republic of Cameroun, our compatriots own virtually all motor spare part shops. In the Dr Congo’s Kinshasa, the city’s transportation system is only kept moving by our industrious compatriots who provide drivers with precious spare parts. Our uniqueness stems from our hardworking spirit which makes me upbeat about my nation.

            Nigeria is my native land, and is the only country whose citizen I will ever be. The nation has stood through pestilence, and crises which has razed since independence.

Though Nigeria may mean negative things to other compatriots, my nation Nigeria means positive and a whole lot to me.


1.Nigeria: A tribute to a resilient nation (Dangari,2011)

2. How Nigeria has affected the rest of Africa (BBC, 2010)

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About Muhammed Abdullahi Tosin

Writer. Difference Maker. Entrepreneur. Author, Your Right To Write & Vertical Writing. Winner, 11 Writing Prizes.


  1. Post Ur own and dnes own too

  2. consise succint and precise!!! thumbs up bro

  3. Jennifer says:

    Nyc,thumbs up nd congrats

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