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   Information Center Nigeria
Nigeria General Information
 
History of Nigeria
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Culture in Nigeria
 
 
 

Literature

Nigeria has a rich literary history, and Nigerians have authored many influential works of post-colonial literature in the English language. Nigeria's best-known writers are Wole Soyinka, the first African Nobel Laureate in Literature and Chinua Achebe, the legendary writer best known for the novel, Things Fall Apart and his controversial critique of Joseph Conrad. Other Nigerian writers and poets who are well known on the international stage include John Pepper Clark, Ben Okri, Buchi Emecheta, Helon Habila, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Ken Saro Wiwa, who was executed in 1995 by the military regime.

Nigeria has the second largest newspaper market in Africa, after Egypt, with an estimated circulation of several million copies daily in 2003.

Music

The music of Nigeria includes many kinds of folk and popular music, some of which are known worldwide. Styles of folk music are related to the multitudes of ethnic groups in the country, each with their own techniques, instruments and songs. Little is known about the country's music history prior to European contact, although bronze carvings dating back to the 16th and 17th centuries have been found depicting musicians and their instruments.

Nigeria has been called "the heart of African music" because of its role in the development of West African highlife and palm-wine music, which fuses native rhythms with techniques imported from the Congo for the development of several popular styles that were unique to Nigeria, like apala, fuji, jùjú, highlife and Yo-pop. Subsequently, Nigerian musicians created their own styles of United States hip hop music and Jamaican reggae. Nigeria's musical output has achieved international acclaim not only in the fields of folk and popular music, but also Western art music written by composers such as Fela Sowande.

Polyrhythms, in which two or more separate beats are played simultaneously, are a part of much of traditional African music and Nigeria is no exception. The African hemiola style, based on the asymmetric rhythm pattern is an important rhythmic technique throughout the continent. Nigerian music also uses ostinato rhythms, in which a rhythmic pattern is repeated despite changes in metre.

Nigeria has some of the most advanced recording studio technology in Africa, and provides robust commercial opportunities for music performers. However, political corruption and rampant music piracy in Nigeria has hampered the industry's growth.


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