Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa, with an estimate of 188 million people, as of 2017. The multilingual country comprises of different ethnic groups; Hausa in the northern region, Yoruba in the western region and Igbo in the eastern region. The official language in Nigeria is English due to the country’s colonial period. It all started with Christian missionaries sharing English among Nigerian natives. Suddenly, the bridge between the two different cultures was build and the process of language integration took off. The English used in Nigeria ended up having its own special norms, because the Nigerian natives added something special to the language.
Let’s get more in detail about the Nigerian history. In 1841, British missionary and activist groups entered the African continent, which raised the adaptation of English language even more. They used three British iron steam vessels to travel to Lokoja, at the confluence of the Niger River and Benue River, in what is now Nigeria. The British government made treaties with the native People and introduced Christianity. This promoted trade as well. Sadly, the crews of the boats suffered from disease. Nowadays, children in Nigeria learn English as their major and main language. Most of them doesn’t even know a couple of words in their native language. That being said, there are still places in Nigeria where it is opposite. However, in the big cities there are lots of English speakers.
Nigerian English is based on British English, but in recent years it has been influenced by American English as well. In addition, some new collocations and new words have emerged from the language. For instance; “trafficate” is a Nigerian English word which refers to the use of indicator lights in your car to show that direction you intend to turn.
Wole Soyinka is a Nigerian writer, playwright and poet who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1986. His writing focuses on oppression and exploitation of the weak by the strong. He has also played an important role in Nigerian politics. For instance; the government of General Sani Abacha (1993-1998), pronounced a death sentence on him “in absentia”. One of his most famous novel is “You Must Set Forth at Dawn”, but I really like the quote down below by him as well.
“My horizon on humanity is enlarged by reading the writers of poems, seeing a painting, listening to some music, some opera, which has nothing at all to do with a volatile human condition or struggle or whatever. It enriches me as a human being”
This quote says to me that reading poems or listening to some music very much escapes the brutal reality for some time. The reality of a volatile human condition or struggling with something in life, is so harsh, that it has to be ignored and overlooked sometimes. No human being can put all their effort into problems. Sometimes you need space to live life on your own and evolve and grow from own mistakes. The theme of the poem is humanity and happiness, because it touches on what makes you happy in the long run and that everyone should and needs to escape a little from the harsh reality.
According to PressTV, 34 villagers in Nigeria were recently killed by armed bandits on motorcycles. This happened on Friday, in Nigeria’s northern Zamfara state, where criminal gangs have been terrorizing distant villages. The bandits opened fire on several farmers’ fields and pursued those who fled. It is shocking and horrible news for someone like me to hear about, because I can’t imagine this killing spree happening in Norway. The local residents are absolutely frightened about the situation, and put the death toll higher, at 35. Witness Shehu Shinkafi said she heard gunshots and saw people running for shelter and their own life, being chased by men on motorbikes.