7 things you must not do in Nigeria

by Steve Ogbujah

Seven things you must not do in Nigeria…

1. Don’t put your phone in your back pockets while walking in a crowded street, or around the market. You should know why.

2. Don’t make full payments for a business transaction that has not been sealed. Even if it’s been signed, wait until delivery time.

3. Don’t turn to answer when you surprisingly hear your name being called, unless the person walks up to meet you. It could be an unassuming risk.

4. Don’t stay around an area where the Police Force is parading to arrest crime suspects. They could hook up everyone around.

5. Don’t forget to bow or prostrate to greet Yoruba parents/elders. It’s a cultural sign of respect to them.

6. Don’t always doubt the rumors that ring. Nigerian rumors are rarely false.

7. Don’t see Nigeria through the lenses of Nollywood, CNN, BBC, and etc…

We are not as black as we’re painted. Not darker than our skin color. Not so uneducated or ill-mannered or fraudulent or destructive or hopeless as the Media often portrays us.

Some Nigerians are some of the most wonderful and most intelligent people you’d be privileged to meet, or work with, or even marry.

That’s why we’re among the most successful and abundant immigrants in almost every nation. Nigeria is one of the most amazing places you’d visit in a lifetime.


Worthy Mention:

a. Don’t mess with our military at the road blocks:

Seriously, those guys have zero chill. Legend has it that they punished a driver for disobedience so hard he grew six packs from the exercises in just two hours.

b. If you have value for time, don’t argue with bus drivers, bus conductors or the agberos (touts): They don’t mind the company.

c. Don’t assume everyone you meet wants to help you:

One time, a friend visited Lagos and needed to get somewhere from where he was staying, a seemingly harmless ready-to-take-you-there-for-a-small-fee bike man took him to a remote bush and robbed him in broad daylight.

d. Don’t ever steal:

The police might not catch you, but street boys will. And their judgement is as instant as it is gruesome.

Feel free to add yours!


Steve Ogbujah is a spoken-word poet, lifelong learner and a passionate creative.

Read his open letter to Africa here or here.

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