The other day I was talking to a friend of mine online who I recently made acquaintance with and are fast becoming good friends with and I automatically assumed that he was either Yoruba or Igbo (like many of my Naija friends) but to the shock of me I learned he was Binis or Edo (like his tribe is commonly known). After my initial shock that there are other tribes apart from the three common ones I know: Yoruba, Igbo and Hausa I got thinking (as usual) and decided to do some research on the internet.
In my quest for more Naija knowledge I discovered that there are more than 250 (yes and I thought Kenya had many standing at 48) ethnic tribes calling present-day Nigeria home! The three largest and most dominant ethnic groups are the commonly known Hausa, Yoruba and Igbo. Other smaller groups include (honestly I had never heard of them before) the Fulani, Ijaw, Kanuri, Ibibio, Tiv and Edo or Binis.
Pardon my ignorance but you can’t blame me for not knowing these other groups…I’m a work in progress and my ever growing knowledge of Nigeria is growing by the minute…nice! It is just like I wouldn’t blame any outsider (non-Kenyan) assuming that all Kenyans are Maasai…we are not…we have other 47 tribes calling Kenya home and trust me among those 48 tribes some are so small…almost minute that personally I’m not even aware of their existence!
Where exactly am I going with this you may ask? Well, I got thinking (again) that the best way for both a local and visitor to Nigeria having an in-depth knowledge of at least the nine main tribal groups (Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo, Fulani, Ijaw, Kanuri, Ibibio, Tiv and Edo/Binis) is to have a cultural tour or cultural safari as we call it in Kenya.
There are two ways of doing this:
1. Have a cultural safari under one roof…yes, you read right. Have one day or night once a year where a particular ethnic group show cases its culture in all aspects: tradition; food; drink; dress; song and dance etc. The entrance fee charged is all inclusive and this normally caters for the food, drink consumed and for the entertainment and education being dished out during the event. A win-win solution for the event organizing committee, venue providers and attendees and in nine months in a year one is able to cover the nine above mentioned main groups.
2. Have a cultural safari/tour that will take visitors round the different regions representing these ethnic groups over a couple of days (mostly a week tour) and this tour gives the tour participants the opportunity to see the groups in their natural surroundings at work and at play. This tour usually plays out to be expensive considering that the event planners must consider the logistical arrangements such as transportation, accommodation, meals/drinks etc. in order for the group(s) to be comfortable and secure in order to have a wonderful and memorable experience. Not only does the touring group get a first hand cultural experience but they will also get the opportunity to enjoy the scenery attractions around beautiful Nigeria on their safari!
It is called killing two birds with one stone!
These two concepts are working beautifully in Kenya and I am sure they will be a hit in my beautiful Naija… my other home country if considered seriously.
Until next time I remain yours truly,
Facebook: K-Naija Sista