Teaching Students About Nigeria


Nigeria, a fascinating and diverse country located in West Africa, is a melting pot of cultures, languages, landscapes, and history. With a rich tapestry of traditions and customs, Nigeria offers an incredible wealth of learning experiences for students. Teaching about this African powerhouse can not only broaden students’ perspectives but also inspire them to delve deeper into global understanding. This article provides insights and suggestions on how teachers can bring the vibrant and colorful world of Nigeria alive in their classrooms.

Geography and Demographics

Begin by giving the students an overview of Nigeria’s geography, demographics, natural resources, and climate. Explain that Nigeria shares borders with Benin, Niger, Chad, and Cameroon. Show them a map highlighting these neighboring countries along with major Nigerian cities such as Lagos, Abuja, Kano, Ibadan, and Port Harcourt.

Discuss the vast population of approximately 206 million people who speak over 500 distinct languages. Emphasize the three largest ethnic groups – the Hausa-Fulani, Yoruba, and Igbo – each with its own unique culture and traditions. Introducing students to Nigerian demographic facts will enhance their appreciation for the country’s immense diversity.


Next, delve into the intricacies of Nigerian culture. Provide students with an understanding of traditional Nigerian clothing such as buba (blouse), iro (wrapper), sokoto (trousers), agbada (flowing gown), gele (headgear), and fila (cap). Display pictures showcasing these colorful attires as well as video clips demonstrating traditional dances like bata or fuji.

Explore Nigerian cuisine by discussing popular ingredients like yams, rice, plantains, cassava flour (fufu), pounded yam (iyan), beans (ewa), pepper soup spices (ata). If possible, offer students a taste test of iconic Nigerian dishes, such as jollof rice, suya, pepper soup, or egusi soup.

Music is an integral part of Nigerian culture. Introduce students to afrobeat legend Fela Kuti and modern afrobeats artists like Wizkid, Davido, Tiwa Savage, and Burna Boy. Play some of their popular songs in the classroom so that students can experience the rhythm and energy of Nigerian music firsthand.


A well-rounded understanding of Nigeria should also include its history. Teach students about ancient civilizations like the Nok culture and the impressive city-states of Kanem-Borno and Oyo. Detail the significance of British colonization, which began in 1861 and culminated with Nigeria’s independence on October 1st, 1960.

Discuss notable historical milestones such as Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa becoming Nigeria’s first prime minister or Alhaji Shehu Shagari being elected as its first executive president. Don’t forget to talk about contemporary events, including Nigeria’s return to democracy in 1999 and growing prominence in areas like sports and entertainment.


Teaching your students about Nigeria provides them with a valuable opportunity to explore a rich, diverse culture that is often underrepresented in many curriculums. By delving into topics like geography, history, ethnicity, and arts, you will promote global understanding and cultural sensitivity among your students. Keep in mind that these conversations should be ongoing learning opportunities designed to nurture an unyielding curiosity about the world we live in.

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