10 Things Foreigners Find Odd about Nigerians

Most foreigners have misconceptions about Nigerians because they really do not understand how great we are. Being a Nigerian, I was curious about our general eccentricities and I decided to find out things foreigners find odd about us. Some of the answers I got are overwhelming and pretty hilarious.

Here are 10 things people abroad find odd about Nigerians:

1. Foreigners think Nigerians are noisy and loud.

Like seriously? I don’t believe Nigerians are loud and noisy; we are quiet and reserved people. If we sound loud or speak in high pitched voices, it means we are either having fun or you just stepped on our toes. Nevertheless, we love life and always want to have a good time.

 2. Yikes! They cook with Red Oil!

RED-OIL Foreigners believe we cook most of our meals with red oil (Palm oil).  I met Cheng in China Town, Ojota and he expressed how he felt about eating food made with red oil.  He said, “even though it was dreadful for me the first time I ate Egusi soup made with palm oil, I will never forget the delicious taste and aroma; now I eat Naija soups like a Nigerian”.

If you haven’t tasted soups or moi moi made with palm oil, cooked beans made with palm oil, you are seriously missing. These meals are utterly delicious!

 3. They think Nigerian Languages sound weird


Nigerian languages are sweet and if you don’t understand it, you are missing. Many foreigners spend money to study our languages in Universities abroad. (You think say e easy?)

 4. Bizarre greeting methods

People abroad think our greeting methods and habits are bizarre.


Our greeting methods are part of our culture and that is why we stick to it. Our greeting styles (Ladies kneel down while Men prostrate on the floor) are part of our heritage, a sign of respect, it is who we are and we are proud of it.

 5. Interaction with elderly people is just too formal

Nigerians show the much older people respect by being formal with them. For instance: calling your friend’s parents as Mr and Mrs Lagbaja.  Nigerians are raised with the mentality to be formal and respectful to the elders.


With the blend of the western culture and our culture, this is not the case. Nowadays, the young generation show respect to elderly people based on their experience and affluence. They believe age is not equal to respect.

6. When a woman cooks for her husband everyday

Nigerian wives cook for their husbands not because it is compulsory or they are forced to do it. They cook for their husbands to show how much they love them and also because it is part of our culture and traditions.

Funny Comment!

 7. Exchanging foods on special occasions

Exchanging foods with neighbours and friends on special occasion like Christmas or Ramadan serve as a token of our friendship, love and goodwill. I love this and I always look forward to it every year.

Festive Food Exchange

 8. Foreigners believe Nigerians are not polite and orderly

People abroad think Nigerians are not orderly because they jump queues or do not line up in an orderly fashion.


Why waste time on the queue when it is every man for himself.  Sometimes, the last shall be the first and the first shall be the last. Hehe!

9. Nigerians take education too seriously

People abroad do not believe in studying till you die! That is why they find it odd when they see a Nigerian who has a PhD and is looking forward to study for Litt.D, DSc or LL.d.


We take education too seriously because we believe that it is the key to having a fulfilled life. Though, things are changing – and Nigerians now believe that you can still work hard and be successful rather than studying for ages to become a successful person. However, education in Nigeria is important.

10. Being a Nigerian is odd

Foreigners believe that everything about Nigerians is odd.

Funny comment-

Hehe! We are odd and we like it that way! Makes me wonder why we have lots of expats in Nigeria. Some who have visited Nigeria want to visit again and again, hoping that one day, maybe they might become like us.  Ko joor!

Do you find anything odd about Nigerians? Let us know in the comment box below:

Odd Nigerians


Want to share your travel stories, photos and experiences with the world? Send it to innocent[at]travelstart.com

Our Readers Comments

  1. They are envious of us! Cos anywhere we are we leave a mark! (Good or bad) Naija na ni joooor
    I’ll come as a Naija billion times!!! What about YOU???

    • I de with you, srongly agreed

  2. i love this….. proudly Nigerian

  3. There is nothing odd about Nigeria. We love being ourselves. We are not pretenders. We hold our culture in high esteem and we love God so much.

    • There is nothing special about your culture. Every country has a culture. My father is Nigerian and my mother is Polish. We practice both cultures at home, my mother cooks Nigerian food and Polish food and we wear Nigerian and Polish traditional attire to functions.

  4. Great research. A great combination of Truth and Humour.

  5. We are the best in whatever we do, so saying it is odd get me irritate. We love our style our culture.

  6. Every practice mentioned here are also common abroad. Whatever traditions dat are not associated wit dem over there becomes our peculiarities. We can not be thesame everywhere, Nigeria is a lovely nation, is just corruption dat won’t let us move forward, though its also with dem.

  7. how southern africans find it odd when i eat home food here abroad especially yam and they think we fry bananas

  8. you have not 2 d other part of nigeria where people on hell, that is northeast part of ng.

  9. We aren’t odd,we re just natural…Sounds hilarious though!

  10. On hearing a loud bang, Nigerians run TOWARDS the direction of the noise instead of away

  11. So serious,pls.keep it up.

  12. We Nigerians are good people, well cultured. We are peace-loving, and hardworking too. We honour visitors and foreign strangers and protect them for safety at all times. God Bless Nigeria…Great People! Good Nation!

  13. It is only in Nigeria that people mostly politicians steal money and amass it for ten generations unborn. It is here that every millionaire wants to become a billionaire and a trillionaire.

  14. At my workplace, I’m the only Nigerian and everyone thinks it’s weird and extravagant for me to change my hairstyle all the time. “Wow you must be wasting a lot of money” “Is this your real hair?” “Why do you have to change?” “Is it a religion thing to have hair braided like this?” OMDaiz lol

    • hahaha! Seriously? That’s so funny.

  15. Sooo coool,nice research

  16. only if the country will have a good leader.else …all these lovely things about nigeria will soon come to an end


  18. Omo naija ni mi

  19. Some of those tins they said is actually correct. Let me pick 1 from the bunch- ORDERLINESS!

  20. I love this……… Proudly Nigerian

  21. I was in a taxi with my friend and we were talking about something, my mate kept hissing throughout the conversation and the taxi man asked,are you a nigerian? Is weird thinking it’s only that hiss everytime..they also think its only nigerians that talk really loud on the phone lol

  22. What i see to be odd about us is the fact that we do not really love ourselves and our country aswell. What could anyone say is the future of Nigeria with the way things are going?at this age of Nigeria, we have no stable electricity power supply, no adequate security, no good educational standard, no good and able leaders to turn things around for good in this Nation, bribery and curruption is the oder of the day, you do not get posts you deserve based on merit but by who you know, prices of good and commodities never coming down but goes up on a daily bases, unemployment, no good prison facilities, etc. So what are we saying? Nigeria is sick with an ailment worst than HIV-AIDS. And you are there telling us what other countries thinks about us. 9aija is dying.

  23. Can’t just stop crying in my heart for my children’s children to come. Your children’s children to come. Just like we are suffering from the errors of our fathers, so are they going to suffer ours too if we fail to traighten things now in our time. But who will stand up to all these enomours challenges? Can’t seem to find any yet. God help Nigeria.

  24. Can’t just stop crying in my heart for my children’s children to come. Your children’s children to come. Just like we are suffering from the errors of our fathers, so are they going to suffer ours too if we fail to straighten things now in our time. But who will stand up to all these enomours challenges? Can’t seem to find any yet. God help Nigeria.

  25. They see us as odd bcos we are daring and don’t take no for all answer like other blacks. When we refuse to leave our sweet rich culture for their weird culture, then they see us as odd. Recently we said no to gay right, they said we are odd. We are unique. Said to be the happiest people on earth. Cos we are communal and relational. Odd but foreigners will not let us be, both home n abroad.

  26. despite,hw beautiful d culture and heritage is,all this together affect us so badly even our mentality in a way we applied it was always wrong e.t.c on believe in so much in western education and showing too much respect to our elders affected us badly and moreso,our elders failling to let the youngs ones knw more abut the truth of life journey and it encompasses.

  27. Somethings are correct about Nigerians, Lack of doing things in orderly manner is our of the problems we facing . That’s what is individualism concept.

  28. I love d fact dey think we are odd cos we are in a gud way. It makes us diversified,nt predictable.

  29. Nothing about us,we are not odd.we are nigeria,proudly nija.They want to b like us,oyibo can b like couse we are African.

  30. Am a Nigerian but there’s something i feel is odd about Nigerians. Just imagine an unemployed person going to the hospital for treatment and they will refuse treatment because the patience has no money. But in America the doctor asks you whether you are working or not, if you aren’t working, the government settles the bill for your treatment.

  31. nigeria is a terrible place to stay all because of our selfish leaders

  32. Nigerians love God!

  33. Nigeria is so Fabulous…….This so called First World Nations should leave us alone in Peace, all we lack is Honest Leaders!!!!!!!!!!!



  35. Naija is kinda odd u knw cos even in da days of da bible da unity was 2 strng nd dey were buildn da walls of jericho so high till god put confusion in dem givng dem diff. Languages jst like naija bt we r still strivn xcept 4 our corrupt parents who refuse 2 give space 4 a change let’s ope 4 a better naija

  36. I’m in love with a Nigerian man, but do Nigerians date outside their culture?If so any tips on what the men look for in the women? I cook already so that’s good:) . Just curious. He’s outgoing, educated, a total gentleman. Look forward to seeing him at work.

    • Hi DD, I’m actually not an expert when it comes to dating. hahaha. It’s really nice to know. Yes, If he loves you, am sure he will be happy to date you. It’s really good that you know how to cook, that’s one of the ways to a Nigerian man’s heart. :) I wish you all the best.

  37. As an American fraud investigator, my company had a lot of work in Nigeria. I would hear a lot bad talk about Naijas, that they are all thieves and violent. Visiting Nigeria I ran into blatent government corruption as soon as I reached the immigration counter. I was shaken down by police for a few hundred Naira every few miles. HOWEVER, most of the Nigerians I met were honest, protective of their guests, and generous. As my colleague once told me, “98% of Nigerians are good honest people…………so the other 2% have to work extra hard to make up for it”. YES, the Naija sense of humour is remarkable.

    May better days be ahead for Nigeria. A nation that, by all rights, should be a showcase of Afrcan prosperity and progress, but his held down by the greed and selfishness of a few.

  38. Hie.. my boyfriend which is my future husband is a Nigerian.. We are happily in love n I cant wait to come to u guys country soon.. C ya :)

  39. Fakeness, and artificiality of Nigerian women

  40. Most Nigerians are always in a hurry even if it’s against the law. This is responsible for accidents on the roads, air & waterways. Go to traffics, banks and ect. A driver with bad tyres will want to get to Onitsha on dangerous speed limit.

  41. Nigeria is a very special country to me. I love Nigerians infact I would love to get married to one. They value and appreciate life and anything they do they do it well. They love God and I like that. I can go on and on… Nigerians are simply the best! #Truth Be Told

Have something to say...