A Happy Independence to all Nigerians! Things have recently been a little tough (or a lot, depending on who you ask) and tensions have been very high, but we seem to have made it through Independence Day without any terrible incidences.
To celebrate, we’re bringing you 5 things from our past, present and future that should be cause for optimism. Here they are:
We Have an incredibly large population
Nigeria has an absolutely huge population. One that is projected to get even bigger in the next few years. This is obvious. What you may not have known is that we are not only the most populous black nation, but we also have more English speakers than the United Kingdom(The English themselves included) and have more Muslims than Saudi Arabia. This population means we have tremendous human capital that can be harnessed to catapult our country, and the African continent as a whole, forward.
Nollywood is a GIANT
The Nigerian Movie Industry, Nollywood is absolutely humongous. In terms of raw output, that is number of movies put out, we have the second largest movie industry in the world. Second only to Bollywood of India. Hollywood is a distant third. Also, in terms of quality, recent movies from Nigeria are beginning to show real quality. With a little more effort from the industry and support from us, we could also easily become number one in terms of output and quality.
Nigerians Love Parties and Are Optimistic
Nigerians love a good party. In 2013, Shoprite reportedly sold more Moet & Chandon champagne in its seven Nigerian branches at the time than it did in its 600 South African stores combined.“Nigeria is a party nation,” says Lanre Akinlagun, director of Nigeria’s largest online alcohol retailer Drinks.ng, “Any wedding, funeral, or graduation is an opportunity to party here”. Such a “vibey” approach to life, even in the midst of severe hardship is a powerful tool for us. It means we can turn adversity into triumph while working hard and wearing smiles on our faces. Now if only we could start doing that and stop complaining so ineffectually.
Mobile phone love affair
Mobile Phone and Internet penetration are continuing to increase at a phenomenal rate in the country.There are over 120 million mobile phone subscribers in Nigeria, although many people will have two or three subscriptions to solve the “network problem” . With the so called “Data Wars” crashing the price of internet access, more people are able to do more online. This will certainly lead to positive social changes as more people have access to information. After all, knowledge is power.
Thriving Tech Community
Nigeria is home to the vibrant tech community made up of startups, established businesses, dreamers and financiers known as Yabacon Valley (according to a Wikipedia post, the name is still being debated so don’t worry). This community is home to some very incredible startups who are set to change the way things work on the African Continent and beyond. In fact, the last few years have seen some of tech’s biggest names come to visit personally as well as make sizable investments in these companies. It’s only a matter of time before we begin to feel the impact in a more direct manner.