NIGERIA

 make sure to check out the NPR "the world" story about our trip to Nigeria.  

Click here ➡ "How a Chicago bluegrass band rocked Nigeria's Music Scene"

Historically Speaking:  Nigeria, the ancestral home of many American slaves, located on Africa’s Atlantic coast north of the Equator, is the continent’s most populous nation and the fifth most populous English-speaking nation in the world. It’s modern existence dates to colonial times when Britain, in 1914, combined populations of Yoruba, Hausa, and Igbo with hundreds of smaller ethnic groups into a large state with a single government. Facing problems of unity following independence in 1960, Nigeria worked out religious and ethnic differences and in recent years has gained a reputation for fair elections and government stability. Since 2014 Nigeria has had Africa’s largest economy, based in part on its vast petroleum resources.

Our Trip:  We were in Nigeria for two weeks, split evenly between the capital of Abuja and Lagos (one of the largest cities in the world).  The band visited schools ranging from massive middle schools to smaller universities.  We were able to get a real sense of the country as we bounced from place to place.   Below are pictures and video from just one of the stops.

 Each classroom had around 30 students and the band would do 15 minute workshops, running room to room.

Each classroom had around 30 students and the band would do 15 minute workshops, running room to room.

 Sometimes the band breaks the classes into smaller groups, bringing them back together in for collaborative sessions.

Sometimes the band breaks the classes into smaller groups, bringing them back together in for collaborative sessions.

 One of the chalk boards in the many classrooms we visited in Lagos. 

One of the chalk boards in the many classrooms we visited in Lagos. 

 After a long day of teaching, everyone got together for a final photo.

After a long day of teaching, everyone got together for a final photo.

We've never posted the below video before.  It's the moment we were pulling out of the school pictured above and the students started pounding on the sides of our van.  The whole day was emotional, but leaving really hit home.  

 As ever, we get to try on traditional clothing on almost every trip.

As ever, we get to try on traditional clothing on almost every trip.

 These are pretty epic.  Dan the Grand Master.

These are pretty epic.  Dan the Grand Master.

The video below gives a little window into what it's like to walk through a market in Lagos, Nigeria.   We try to hit a market in every country we go to.   There's something about the bustle and energy of these incredible places that makes you feel like you have your finger on the pulse of a country, if only for a moment.