As Nigeria marks its 63rd year of Independence, it is important to take a moment to acknowledge the challenges, setbacks, and failures we have faced. However, it is equally important to celebrate those individuals who have triumphed over these obstacles and achieved success.
Through their creativity, talents, and performances, notable Nigerians have represented our country in various parts of the world in fields such as food, music, films, fashion, arts, and entrepreneurship.
With great care and consideration, BD weekender has carefully chosen a list of 52 individuals who have consistently showcased the positive side of Nigeria across these sectors.
Join us as we showcase these inspiring individuals and their incredible contributions.
Food is a significant aspect of Nigerian culture, known for its diverse and flavorful delicacies. Nigeria’s rich ethnic groups and cultures have contributed to the varied range of dishes found throughout the country. Recently, Nigerian cuisine has gained international recognition, thanks to the efforts of talented chefs both within and outside Nigeria.
This article highlights five individuals who have successfully brought Nigerian food to the global stage. One such individual is Hilda Baci, a renowned chef who recently made history by breaking the record for the longest cooking marathon by an individual. Hilda, also known as Hilda Baci, cooked for an impressive 93 hours and 11 minutes, surpassing the previous record held by Lata Tondon from India.
Chef Obehi, also known as Chef Obehi Ekhomu-El Herfi, is an internationally recognized chef who specializes in preparing a variety of delicious dishes from different countries.
She is the proud owner of ONA Restaurant, a renowned establishment known for its creative use of traditional ingredients in Nigerian cuisine.
Chef Obehi’s expertise lies in transforming staple Nigerian foods into mouthwatering delicacies, with her specialty being snails. This has earned her the well-deserved title of the “Queen of Snails.”
Funso Akinya is the visionary behind Akara House, a unique eatery located in New York, America. Akara House offers an innovative take on fast-food by incorporating the popular Nigerian recipe known as “Akara” into their veggie burgers.
This fusion of Nigerian and American flavors provides a delightful culinary experience for both U.S. citizens and non-citizens residing in New York. At Akara House, customers can enjoy an array of delectable dishes, including the traditional Nigerian breakfast of ogi ‘pap’ (a porridge-like dish) alongside Akara fritters.
Olusegun Akande and Oyetola Akande
Olusegun Akande and Oyetola Akande are a Nigerian couple who initially studied chemical engineering but eventually discovered their true passion for promoting African cuisine on a larger scale in the United Kingdom. They have successfully established a thriving business focused on selling authentic African foods to a wide audience in the UK.
In 2011, the couple established Samis Online, a retail and e-commerce food business specializing in Afro-Caribbean cuisine.
Over time, Samis Online has expanded its offerings to include a wide range of African foods and groceries, such as dry goods, fresh meat, fish, poultry, and vegetables.
They now operate various branches of their business, including a physical wholesale store, mini store, restaurant, and online shopping platform.
Nigerian music rose to global fame around 2015 with popular songs such as ‘IF’ and ‘Fall’ by Davido, ‘Ojuelegba’ by Wizkid, and ‘Ye’ by Burna Boy. These songs propelled the Nigerian sound to an international level of dominance.
Being the most populous country in Africa, Nigeria boasts impressive streaming numbers for its recording artists. Collaborating with Nigerian artists is a smart move for foreign musicians who wish to tap into these numbers. In doing so, both parties benefit – Nigerian artists gain international recognition, while foreign artists gain streaming numbers from the lucrative African music market.
Fireboy DML made history as the first Nigerian Pop artist to perform at the prestigious Wembley Stadium, which can accommodate 90,000 people. He wowed the crowd with a remix of his hit single ‘Peru’ during Ed Sheeran’s concert.
According to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), Sub-Saharan Africa generated $70.1m in revenue from recorded music in 2021. However, Dataxis predicts that Africa’s annual music streaming revenues will increase from $92.9m in 2021 to $314.6m by 2026.
It should be noted that the growth of music streaming in Africa will be limited by internet penetration rates, as stated in the report. The report emphasizes that infrastructure is the main factor determining the speed of streaming growth.
Furthermore, Nigerian music is gaining global popularity. Streaming data reveals that 30 percent of Nigeria’s Alté genre is being streamed in the US, with a significant growth of over 200 percent in the past year. Additionally, more than 40 percent of Afropop from Nigeria is streamed in the US, UK, and France.