Check out NPR’s The World feature about our trip to Nigeria: How a Chicago Bluegrass Band Rocked Nigeria's Music Scene
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.
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.
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.
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 visit. 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.