Nigerian citizens have authored many influential works of literature in the English language since the middle of the twentienth century withthe erstabihment of the University of Ibadan, which produced many of its finest writers. Nigeria's two best-known writers of this early generation are Wole Soyinka, the first African to win a Nobel Prize in Literature and Chinua Achebe, best known for the novel, Things Fall Apart, which is Africa's most popular and best selling literary piece, translated into over 40 languages across the world.
Other internationally well known Nigerian writers include John Pepper Clark, Elechi Amadi, Ben Okri, Cyprian Ekwensi, Buchi Emecheta, T. M. Aluko, D. O. Fagunwa (who wrote the 'Ogboju Ode' series in Yoruba), Femi Osofisan, and Ken Saro-Wiwa who was executed in 1995 by the then military regime of Sanni Abacha. Currently, Nigeria has the second largest newspaper market in Africa with an estimated circulation of several million copies daily.
Critically acclaimed Nigerian writers of the younger generation include Nnadi Okorafor and Sarah Ladipo.
The Nigerian film industry is known as Nollywood. It is now the second largest producer of movies in the world. Based mainly in Lagos and Enugu, the creation, marketing and distribution of Nollywood movies on DVD’s now form a major portion of the local economy of Nigeria. Nigerian cinema is Africa's largest movie industry in terms of both value and the number of movies produced per year.
Although films have been produced by Nigerians since the 1960s, the country's film industry was aided significantly in the last three decades by the rise of affordable digital technology, aided by an avid local and international demand.
Nigerian food is known for its richness and variety. Many different spices, herbs and flavorings are used in conjunction with palm or groundnut oil to create exotic sauces and soups flavored with hot chili peppers. Nigerian feasts are colorful and lavish, even here in the United States. Favorite dishes at Nigerian parties include moin-moin, akara, jollof rice, or efo eaten with pounded yam or cassava paste (gari) collectively known as ‘fufu’. Modern Nigerian cuisine also includes western inspired menus and snacks such as meat pie, chin-chin and ‘Scots eggs.’
Back home in Nigeria, roadside ‘bukas’ and hawkers with bowls of food balanced on their heads are still a common scene even in the largest cities, producing an enduring aroma that permeates the air. This 'fast food' is often eaten in the street. Lately, American style fast-food establishments like ‘Mr Biggs’ and ‘Chicken King’ have dominated the eatery scene, while expensive Chinese restaurants can be found in big cities like Lagos and Abuja, catering to a more wealthy clientele including the expatriate community working for the oil industry.
'Three Kings' by Dele Olusanya, acrylic on canvas 36"x48"
Nigeria has always had a deep history and culture in arts from prehistoric times to the present era. The earliest Nigerian cultural artifacts which now fill museums in Europe and North America range from the famous terra cotta heads of Nok near present day Jos to the bronze sculptures of ancient Ile-Ife and Benin. Contemporary Nigerian artists have used the media of oil, wood, bronze and mixed media to great image usng themes from their rich heritage of masks and festivals. Major modern Nigerian artists include Ben Enwonwu, who sculptured the famous 'Shango' along the Lagos Marina, Twin Seven Seven, famous for his mixed media collages, and Tayo Adenaike, an avante garde artist in oil and acrylic.