To be Nigerian-American is to be inherently unique. It’s a little extra volume in your voice, some extra peppa in your soup.
Nigerian-Americans make up a large number of African immigrant population in the United States. If you are one of them, and were raised like me, your suburban home was transformed into a small Igbo village with four Toyotas in the driveway. The smell of stock fish wafts from the kitchen while your dad sings Flavour's Greatest Hits, and your mom scolds you for not yet having all of your times tables memorized.
As a child, I just wanted to be 'regular Black,’ Frankie Beverly and Maze Black. Now I understand that Blackness is rich with different experiences, so there is no such thing. Like the textured variances of cultures within Africa, to be Nigerian-American is to be inherently unique. It’s a little extra volume in your voice, some extra peppa in your soup.
I have collected 5 things you should know about Nigerian-Americans:
Jollof Rice Is Life:
Jollof Rice, which is a tomato based rice pilaf dishes with traditional spices is the culinary staple of every Nigerian experience. You learn to make Jollof before riding a bike, braiding hair, counting money. Most west African nations have their own signature jollof recipe, but Nigeria reigns supreme. I am not biased. They won the Jollof Wars.
We Do the bridesmaids things a bit different:
Bridesmaids are cute, but the Asoebi is everything. Asoebi, is a Yoruba (a Nigerian tribe) word for "clothing of kin." It is a uniform worn by women at special formal events to signify who is really with you. Before a thanksgiving, wedding, or a funeral, the celebrants will select friends and family to be in their asoebi groups. For my wedding, there were three Asoebi groups: One of my friends and family, and my mom had her crew, and then one for my in laws.
Throwing money has nothing to do with strippers: Wale caught some flack around his daughters the first birthday
about spraying her with money. To someone unfamiliar with the culture, this may trigger strip club memories. Everybody needs to STAHHHHHP!