Surviving In Nigeria 101 – Making The Best Out Of The Giant Of Africa


Nigeria, the Giant of Africa, home to 182 million people and problems just as much. Are you going to Nigeria for the first time, or are you a Nigerian returnee, or someone living in Nigeria who still has no clue how to survive this country? Well, this is the post for you. Here are 10 tips to surviving in Nigeria

1. Register For The National Youth Service Corps

This is especially for the returnees. The NYSC is basically the crash course for learning how to survive in Nigeria. Sign up for it if you are below 30 and done with your undergraduate study.

2. Surviving The Exchange Rate

So you are in Nigeria and you have an obsession with ASOS and/other international online retailing sites. You know what that noise in your head is? It’s all your ancestors laughing at you. Except you are Abacha, Dasuki etc, you need to put down your debit/credit cards. If the current dollar/Naira exchange rate isn’t enough to put you off, then I have no idea what else will.

READ: Interesting Facts About Nigerian People And Their Culture

3. Be A Jack Of All Trades

Nigerians can do just about anything. With the nonchalant attitude of the government and customer services of organisations that we make prosper, Nigerians have learnt to do any and everything for themselves. From protecting ourselves, to having our own power supply, to putting out a fire, among others, Nigerians are indeed jacks of all trades.

4. Overcoming Unemployment

The solution to this is having a side job or what is otherwise known as hustle in Nigeria. It doesn’t matter if you currently have a job or you’re still an undergrad, the side hustle is important. So what can you do? Make up, football, music production, software upgrades, laundry? It doesn’t matter as far as you can sense this need where you are, you are good to go. For those who want a white-collar job so bad, make sure you have big uncles and aunties in high places, or you know someone who knows someone that can get you the job of your dreams.

5. Be Married Before 30.

This is for the women. Being Unmarried at the age of 30 is a taboo. In fact, you become a second class citizen. Worse still, phrases like, “aunty, where is your ring”, “go and marry”, ” your mates already have children” will become as common as breathing to you. If the suitors are not coming in, or you have no intention of getting married then give yourself a ring. At least, that will earn you some respect in public places.

6. Surviving The Broke Days.

Having no money is a normal phase of growing up, but fear not for there is a Nigerian party happening near you. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know the celebrant, just walk right in like the celebrant is your bestie. Nigerian parties always have food, drinks, souvenirs. So go on, no one is judging you. Look around your neighborhood on Saturdays and get your party gear on. If you know/have a kid who knows how to dance, all the better because that superstar could rake in some cash for you as he performs what he does best.

READ HERE: 10 Fun And Popular African Dances

7. Withstanding The Heat

Nigeria is not the only country that has been affected by climate change. But the heat makes one forget that the earth is 149.6 million kilometers away from the sun. Another thing is, our home training forbids that we dress weather appropriate. There are 2 options; dress like the good child that you are, or only go out in the evenings.  If you’re going for the former, it would do good to invest in some deodorant. Protecting your eyes from the sun rays is pretty easy and cheap, thanks to our creative Aba brothers. Who needs a Ray Ban when you can get some ‘Royce bon’ or ‘Rei bons’ for cheaper pricer.

8. Electricity Cuts

Although some states in Nigeria are witnessing an “almost stable” supply of power, most states are not. So buy one of the things called “I pass my neighbor”. Have as much power banks as you can. Have your clothes ironed the moment you have power supply and don’t get mad when you get an enormous electricity bill from the Power Holding Company of Nigeria.

9. The B word

So you are at a customer service desk trying to get help, but the assistant is more interested in her Solitaire game than helping you, the B-word will surely make sure she looks into your case. It doesn’t matter that said person is employed to help you. Your money will determine how much you really need his/her assistance.

10. Have A Sense Of Humor

Living in Nigeria may not be all that rosy but having an optimistic spirit will definitely make things easier. Knowing how to laugh when you are sad is very therapeutic. Nigerians were not rated the second happiest in Africa for nothing.

SEE ALSO: Common African Slangs You Should Know