Nigeria Everyday Life

By | June 13, 2021

Families are big in Nigeria. Each woman has an average of more than five children (5.4). That is why there are many more children and young people than here. Half of the population is under 18 years old.

Life takes place outside, especially in the country. There is usually cooked on an open fireplace. The people in the country do not own electrical appliances such as refrigerators or washing machines, but only a few in the city. Power outages are just as much a part of everyday life as a lack of running water.

All the water that is needed, whether for washing, cooking or drinking, has to be brought to the villages in buckets and bowls. Villages that have a well are happy because then the water comes from the depths and is clean. Otherwise you have to take water from a pond or stream and that can make you sick.

Unfortunately, fear and horror are part of everyday life in the north-east of Nigeria, including children. There are attacks in which entire villages are destroyed and the inhabitants are displaced. They are carried out by terrorists who persecute anyone who is not of their faith. For example, in April 2014 they abducted 200 Christian schoolgirls and threatened to make them slaves. Many people, including of course many children with their parents, are fleeing, for example to neighboring Cameroon.

In the streets of the cities of Nigeria you can see countless cars and motorcycles roaring around. As everywhere in West Africa, motorcycles also serve as taxis. They are called okadas here. By the way, nobody here wears a helmet.

What do people in Nigeria eat?

The staple foods in Nigeria include yams, sweet potatoes and plantains, as well as corn and millet. Rice is fried, with coconut milk or as jollof rice with tomatoes and onions.

Fried plantains are called dodo in Nigeria. You can eat them as a side dish or as thinner chips as a snack between meals. Iyan is a mashed yam – like mashed potatoes, only made from yams. Shuku Shuku are a sweet treat. For example, soybean milk or kunu, a drink made from millet, or zobo made from roselle juice are drunk.

Soups and stews

According to, people in Nigeria like to eat soups and stews. Since it is very hot here, soups help to absorb a lot of fluids. How about egussi soup? It’s a stew with meat, dried fish, vegetables and melon seeds. Meat, peanuts and tomatoes belong in Maafe.

People in Nigeria

Akara made from cowpeas

Do you know cowpeas? These are white beans with a black spot on the end of the stem that looks like an “eye”. They grow in West Africa and are the basis for Akara. To do this, the beans are ground and kneaded into a dough that is then fried, i.e. fried in hot fat (palm oil). For eating, you cut them open and fill them with seasoning pastes or tomato salad. In the north of Nigeria this dish is called Kosai. Akara is popular for breakfast. There is also Ogi, a corn porridge.


Kilishi is a typical food from the north of Nigeria. These are thin strips of meat. The beef, sheep or goat meat is air-dried and repeatedly coated with a seasoning paste. It is roasted before eating.


Suya are called meat skewers. Marinated beef or chicken and sometimes offal such as kidney or liver are skewered and grilled. Sometimes fish is also skewered. Suya is also commonly sold at roadside stalls.

Only with the right!

The right hand is used to eat. The left hand is considered an unclean hand in all of West Africa. You like to eat anything spicy.