by Cynthia Uguru   on Fri, October 12, 2012  - 3 COMMENTS
Nigerians in Diaspora | 5 things you will find in every Nigerian home Abroad


Nigerians in Diaspora | 5 things you'll find in every Nigerian's home Abroad 


Moving from your home country to a new country is one of the hardest things anyone can do. To adjust to our new environment we try to surround ourselves with products that we used back home or remind us of home (consciously or unconsciously). Nigerians are no different, and here are 5 products you are sure to find in a Nigerian’s house abroad.


1.      A  Calling card:

Silver Phone Card  Bronze Phone Card

Which Nigerian living abroad do you know that does not have some form of calling card?  That is our life line. You can always find one around the house and we even carry it around in our wallets, you never know when there is that emergency to “send $500 right now or the world will collapse.” Calling cards  is how Nigerians Abroad connect with families and friends back home in Nigeria because God knows we cannot use our regular home phones or cell phones to make direct calls to Nigeria.  Nobody wants to see that phone bill. And Oh Yes, Nigerians Abroad are very familiar with the thievery of the calling cards companies, buying a $10 call card and having only 30 minutes available because of all the added fees, and if you do not finish using up the card at that time, you lose the minutes. 


2.      A Flask to keep out water

Flask Flask

Now, I am not referring to the regular coffee warmers that you see people carry on their communte to work on the trains. I am talking about the kind of flasks that we use in Nigeria to keep warm water because there is no steady light to microwave or quickly boil water. I remember when I was a child growing up in Nigeria, one of my chores before I went to bed, was to boil water and fill up the flask for my baby sister’s food in case she wakes up at night. However, being abroad where there is 24 hours of steady light and kettles that boil water in a matter of seconds, you might argue there is no need for flasks. However, I recently went to a Nigerian friend’s house and right there in the kitchen was a tray with all the tea condiments and a flask filled with hot water. I have even been to people’s house abroad where tea (chocolate drink) or pap (akamu) is kept in the flask  instead of making a fresh batch each time.


3.      A Tray to serve people


Every Nigerian woman abroad I know, has a serving tray in their house; they usually have 3 or 4 of them. Most of the time these trays are given out at Nigerian parties as a thank you for coming gift. The use of trays to serve people is a gesture embedded in us from childhood in Nigeria. While growing up in Nigeria, I cannot remember an occasion where visitors were not served drinks or snacks without a tray, especially when serving many people at once.

I have a theory, that a tray was just invented for Nigerian food, think about it for a moment, to serve a proper Nigerian food involves Garri , soup, water for washing hands, drinks, toothpick, (maybe another separate plate for meats). This would mean you going back and forth to the kitchen 3 or 4 times to serve someone, but with a tray your journey is cut down in half. Tray- the perfect invention for Nigerian Food! In fact, I don’t think the tray has any other function or purpose besides helping to serve Nigerian food.


4.      Wrappers


Yes there are fancy night gowns, pajamas and sexy Victoria secret lingerie but for the ultimate comfort just tie a wrapper and go about your business. Nothing reminds you of home or screams that you are a Nigerian than a wrapper.  When visitors arrive at my house, I always have a towel and a wrapper placed on the bed in the guest room and this is true of all the Nigerian houses I have visited abroad.

5.  A Garri Turner  

Garri Turner

Pounded Yam, Garri, Fufu, these are meals that Nigerians Abroad have at least once a month, for some of us every day, if we are lucky to have an African shop in our community.  This is why a turner is an essential utensil in a Nigerian’s home.  Yeah, you can always use a spoon but for correct turning you need a Garri Turner to do the job. In case you have forgotten how to make some your favorite Nigerian soups, here are some recipes below to check out.


1)   Egusi Soup

Egusi Soup



2)   Efo Riro

Efo Riro



3)   Ila Alasepo (Okra Stew)

Ila Alasepo (Okra Stew)



4)   Oha Soup

Oha Soup


5)   Otong Soup with Tuo Shincafa

Otong Soup with Tuo Shincafa


So there you have it, if you know a Nigerian that just came from Nigeria (JJC) buy them these 5 things as a welcoming gift. They will forever be grateful. Because it is a gift that keeps on giving and they will surely use it all the time.

Now is your turn, are there some things that we forgot to mention? What are some things that you think a Nigerian living Abroad cannot do without?


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