By the end of the century, Africa is expected to have a major growth in population. Much of that growth will be in Nigeria, which is expected to surpass the US in population by 2050. Two of our students from Nigeria, Seniors Miracle Pedro and Chuma Okolo, have brought much of their culture here to Columbia, Maryland.
Pedro was born in Nigeria as was her mother; her father is from Lagos. “We are from the Yoruba tribe, and Nigerians often identify themselves with their languages.” She states that there are three main languages including “Yoruba, Ebo, and Alsa.”
Both students participate in various activities with their families, which make them feel closer to home. “We have this game called ten-ten which is basically a dance competition. One person leads the dance and the other player must copy the dance moves of the leader. The player then must get three dance moves right in order to win. The winner becomes the new dance leader,” says Pedro.
Based on the foods they grew up with, their palates are also different from people born in the US. “One of my favorite foods relating to the Nigerian culture is Jollof Rice,” says Okolo. Jollof rice is filled with many spices and a variety of flavors.
Pedro prefers “Jollof Rice, dodo, and pounded yam with vegetable stew.”
Both students have felt welcomed by the diversity at Long Reach. Okolo notes, “Long Reach makes it easy to integrate due to different school activities such as the Culture Show and Latino Lightning. These different events make students feel comfortable and bring us closer together.”