10 Stereotypes of Nigerians That aren’t Always True


When people talk about African stereotypes, the bulk of it generally points to Nigeria. Nigeria might be one of the most popular countries in Africa but most of the stereotypes people hold over Nigerians only give a false impression about them. Here is a list of the top 10 stereotypes on Nigerians that always not true:

See Also: 10 Lesser Known Facts about Nigeria that Every Nigerian Should Know

1. Every Nigerian embraces Black Magic or ‘Voodoo’.

The whole world has a misconception about Nigeria and black magic. Most people think that everything in Nigeria is run by juju – Nigerians black magic. People believe that Nigerian men sacrifice their souls and children to get riches by embracing witchcraft and sorcery. Well, this actually is not true, let alone being close to the truth. Black magic may be a common trend in Nigerian movies, but not every single Nigerian has a hand in black magic. In fact, Nigeria is one of the most religious countries in Africa and most Nigerians are either Christians or Muslims.

Benin's Mysterious Voodoo Religion Is Celebrated In Its Annual Festival

2. Nigerians are Uneducated

No one actually knows where this stereotype came from since Nigerians embrace education just like any other African country. Parents value education and they’d rather go without food than have their children not going to school. Additionally, Nigeria has several renown universities and boasts of having one of the best education systems in the world. The fact that someone met a single uneducated Nigerian does not in any way imply that all Nigerians are not educated. The truth is, Nigerians value education and if there are some uneducated Nigerians, then they are only a fraction of Nigeria’s population.

3. Nigerians are into Advanced Fee Fraud (419)

Every Nigerian has been linked with advanced fraud – popularly know as ‘yahoo-yahoo’ scam or 419. But what people are yet to understand is that one incidence of a fraudulent Nigerian does not make the entire Nigerian fraternity fraud. In fact, it’s annoying to see how foreigners clutch their bag once they spot a Nigerian. Does this mean that all criminals come from Nigeria? Or you’re way safer being in another country than in Nigeria? The truth is, Nigeria has been having several criminal cases of late, but the number of fraudulent Nigerians is just a decimal percentage of the entire Nigeria’s population; and Nigeria has always been at the forefront in the war against crime and corruption.


4. Nigerian people are Remote and Less Advanced

To start with, those that started this stereotype have certainly never been to Nigeria before and must be big fans of the traditional Nigerian movies. But what these people are yet to understand is that movies only carry a limited truth and the rest is entertainment. In addition to that, other countries too have ancient movies despite being well developed, and Nigeria cannot be an exception on this. As a matter of facts, Nigeria is well ranked as one of the most developed countries in Africa; and has everything you’d expect to see in a more developed country. Similarly, Nigerians don’t live with wild animals in the jungle as depicted by those stereotypes, but instead have people that live the high-end life, middle class life as well as those that live on the low -slums or ghetto, just like any other country.

5. All Nigerians look alike

Asians and whites think that all Africans look alike. Well, that’s how Africans think about Asians, more-so the Chinese, too. While these might be a common stereotype from people outside a particular race, it’s not true in any way. In other words, Africans – more-so Nigerians, don’t look alike just like how Chinese or whites don’t look the same. But for you to tell the difference between the people from one particular race, then you have to spend some time with them before drawing a conclusion.


6. Nigerians are Naturally Volatile

The country might have been involved in several chaotic cases that made it unstable, but Nigerians are generally happy and friendly people. Most of the people that have visited Nigeria before can sincerely attest to the friendly nature of Nigerian people. Much of this can be confirmed by looking at the way Nigerians interact with one another in the social media. The truth is, Nigerians are strong people and despite the issues they face in their country, Nigerian people know how to re-collect themselves and embrace one another. Their cordial nature is also extended to the rest of the world as Nigerians can live with people from any other race without discrimination or creating a fuss.

7. All Nigerians speak the Nigerian pidgin

The Nigerian pidgin might be a popular trend in Nigerian movies, but there are so many Nigerians who can actually speak fluent English without incorporating the pidgin. Not all Nigerians speak broken English; in fact, those that speak in pidgin English actually do it on purpose and can actually switch to proper English if need be.

8. Nigerians are Love Machines

While there are a good number of Nigerians who are actually good in love making, there are also some Nigerians who are actually poor at it. Being a Nigerian doesn’t come with love making lessons and those that perfect in the art learn it on individual terms. The fact is, anybody can be a love making machine, regardless of where you come from, if you put some extra effort into it, and there’s still a substantial number of Nigerians who are actually poor in love making.

9. Nigerians are Tribalistic

While tribalism may be rampant in Africa, Nigeria is not affected as much. The only thing that’s affected by tribalism is politics but not the way Nigerians interact with each other. In fact, politics and tribalism have always been inseparable with most of the African countries, let alone most of the European critics. There are dozens of small ethnic groups in Nigeria but the groups that are always in political wrangles are the three major groups – the Ibo, the Yoruba and the Hausa.

Fans cheer on the Nigerian team during their World Cup qualifier soccer match against Algeria in Ora..

10. All Nigerians are giants – very masculine and huge bodied.

This stereotype is not only weird but also very absurd. Just like any other country, Nigeria has people of all sizes – both big and small without anything special feature to look at. No country in the entire world is solely composed of same sized people and it’s even stupid to think that all men in Nigeria are big bodied.

To conclude, these are some of the stereotypes that people hold on Nigeria but are actually not true. Nigeria is just a normal country with so many things that make it special and superstition is not one of them. It has never experienced genocide and it’s native are very friendly and welcoming.