Nigerian Culture Today

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Nigerian Culture Today

Globalization is something that has left not one place on this earth untouched. Everywhere, countries are constantly changing and adapting their cultures to become more industrialized and urbanized – more modern. Nigeria is one of those countries. Like most globalized countries, Nigeria has strayed far from the path of traditional culture, and adopted numerous new aspects of culture of a global nature. In Nigeria, though, globalization has occurred rather quickly. Nigeria's culture today differs drastically from its culture just half a century ago in the 1960s, having been largely negatively impacted by globalization. One factor of globalization- urbanization- has greatly impacted the lives of Nigerians. The transition from rural areas to urban dwellings has definitely transformed the dynamics of African family life. Decades ago, the Nigerian people lived in small villages, consisting of hand-made huts (Baldwin). Wherever they needed a home, they simply built one. In the cities, where now 30-40% of Nigeria’s population resides, however, housing has become a problem (ERSO). There aren't many available places to live, and people are now living anywhere they possibly can – in fields, in abandoned lots, and on the streets. The demand for housing is high – around 60% of Nigerians are living under-housed or without housing. Residential ownership in Nigeria has dropped to less than 25%, compared to 75%, internationally (ERSO).             Adding to Nigerians' problems, jobs are now also reasonably difficult to find. Unemployment rates are rising, as more people migrate to the cities (Muyale-Manenji). In stark contrast to the traditional ways of African culture, many men are currently without jobs. Because of this, more wives have to work outside of the home, a scenario that decades ago, had never even been deemed a possibility. African women are now a great supplement to their family’s income, with the majority of women holding jobs that involve more than mere housekeeping and caring for their children and families (Muyale-Manenji).

Since the new urban dwellers do not have adequate resources to support extended family living in rural communities, immediate families are forced to become more self-reliant. Instead of being able to depend on extended family for care and support, all immediate family members, children included, are being forced to contribute to their family’s economic situation (Baldwin).

Yet another negative effect of urbanization, individuals’ well being has been impacted as well. Crime rates in Nigeria have jumped dramatically. In a 2008 survey in Nigeria, approximately 1% of the households reported the murder of a member, 9% being the victims of burglary, and 6% being the victims of attempted burglary (Alemika). These are very shocking numbers. As well as the rise in theft, an increase in the rape of young women has also taken place. In the aforementioned survey, 9% of the female participants admitted to being victims of sexual violence. Lethal weapons were reported to have been used in 14% of these offenses (Alemika).

Another aspect of Nigerians’ safety being threatened, their health is also in jeopardy. In recent years, the number of Africans infected with the deadly condition of HIV/AIDS has increased substantially, so much so, that from 1993 to 1998 the occurrence of HIV in Nigerians rose by nearly .7%, and by the end of the year 2009, there were 3.3 million Nigerians living with HIV (Avert). Because of these increases in HIV incidence, death tolls due to AIDS are rising. In 2009, almost 220,000 people died from AIDS in Nigeria (Avert). Because of the deaths from AIDS, the life average life expectancy of Nigerians has been substantially lowered, dropping from around 54 years for women and 53 years for men in 1991, to 48 years for women and 46 for men in 2009 (Avert).            In recent years, the culture of Nigeria has become a lot less-traditional, due to...
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