Art, Galleries and Museums

The Experiencing Naija Gift Guide

Tis the season to be jolly and generous!

Part of the ethos of Christmas and End of Year Festivities is gift giving. Think Santa Claus, St Nicholas and Father Christmas.

We all will like to receive a little something for Christmas.

Today’s we made a small list of things that you can gift a special person in your life. Gift possibilities are endless, so this list is by no means exhaustive. If you expected to see a house on Banana Island or Maitama or even a brand new Tesla, I am sorry to disappoint you. In fact, with such brilliant ideas you barely need any help getting gifts. But we are not judging. All gifts are welcome in the grand scheme of things.

Nothing is too big to gift a loved one and usually, it’s the thought that counts. Of course, heartfelt gifts will suffice at times like this. Trust me, boxers and singlet do not feature on this list although it’s not a bad add-on to your gift set contrary to the complaints from disgruntled recipients.

If you happen to stumble upon this list after an arduous office or friend group Secret Santa where you had no clue what to get the person you picked, I am very sorry. I can assure you that my list will still be good for the end of the coming year, so consider it as help in advance.

As with many things, a few caveats are crucial when giving gifts, quality over quantity is the watchword and please only gift what you can afford to give. It is important to cheerfully give with the gift recipients best interest at heart. A bitter and unappreciative gift recipient is a horrible experience to have although it happens a lot. In addition, we all wish that the gift recipient will reciprocate the gesture but please understand if they genuinely cannot give a gift considering all that they had been through in the past year. Kindly note if the gift recipient is not matching your energy both in attitude and quality gift exchange and be accordingly guided because like most things in life, there will be a next time. Whatever is the outcome, it is painful to receive subpar gifts and so don’t be the person who gives a subpar gift. Please, fighting is not encouraged no matter how much your feelings get hurt. Emphasis on jolly season.

Swiftly moving to our list…


No 10: Vacation/Staycation

Depending on your income, a vacation or staycation is a great gift that can even be beneficial to the gift giver depending on the relationship. A lot of travel happens at the end of the year so the options are limitless as to where a person can go. National or international or even a hotel or short let stay, this gift option needs no introduction and it is perfect for people who enjoy traveling or just want to take a break away from their regular environment. It can get expensive so it may not be an option for everyone but it’s a worthy contender on the list.

No 9: Electronic Gadgets

To the kid in us all, that never stopped loving new toys and gizmos; this is definitely the season for you! Usually, everything goes on sale this period and Nigeria is no exception. After a robust Black Friday sales period on various commercial platforms, a good majority of brands host end of the year sales featuring great deals that will help you clinch whatever device or contraption you heart desires. There are a wide range of gift options in this category  from phones, tablets, laptops and other tech gadgets to home appliances such as fridges and vacuum cleaners and other apparatuses that make our work easier and faster. A well-deserved spot on the List and a sure-fire gift item.

No 8: Accessories

Understated or statement piece jewelleries, shoes and bags, cookware, family heirlooms passed from generation to generation, the possibilities are endless! We all know a Nigerian vendor or personal shopper that stocks the goods and our Instagram feeds are awash with the latest deals. In this category as well is skincare, you can always gift a loved one their favourite brand of skincare. One of the most budget friendly contenders on this list, there’s no limit to what you can get for people nearest and dearest to you.

No 7: Clothes

We all had holiday periods where we received new clothes at the end of the year and if you kept the Christmas Clothes tradition alive till this point of your adulthood, we commend your laudable efforts. The fact of the matter is that clothes make a really great gift to people and it must not be brand new! Boutiques and thrift stores popularly known as okrika or bend-down-select, from whichever market close to you, offers choice selections. We all know where to get them. You can also buy Nigerian as many a fashion creative have taken their business online so good quality clothes are easily accessible. In addition, hand-me-downs to your family members are also acceptable gifts this season

No 6: Perfumes

Perfume is truly in a league of its own and the preferred gift option for quite a few people. Everybody likes perfumes so this particular item on the list needs no introduction. There are so many options on what to get people here, from perfume sprays to cologne; perfume oils to perfume solids, the options are endless. While the price points of perfumes vary in brand and quality, some people are more particular than others about their perfume so it wouldn’t be advisable to pick this gift option for those people if you can’t afford to invest in a great perfume. For the most part, this gift option is pretty easy to obtain and can be affordable depending on the time, vendor or quality.

No 5: Money:

Bills are the bane of adulthood and everybody appreciates attempts at offsetting them. You can opt to help out with subscriptions ranging from data and Netflix to gym and club membership, the choice is yours. We can all agree that the importance of any financial aid in these trying times cannot be over looked. This is your opportunity to help out friends and be charitable to those in need. It is also your opportunity to attain Rich Uncle and Rich Aunty status by giving away money to the kids in your life. Also, some people just straight up want the money not gifts and there is nothing wrong with that. Easier for all the parties involved, if you ask me.

No 4: Tickets & Experiences:

If you like experiencing Nigeria, it’s no news that our creative arts scene is the stuff of legends and few people work harder than Nigerian show organizers. Whatever you are into, art, comedy, music, parties etc. something is going on in a city near you that you can attend and have fun. For people who like to socialize and be out and about, this is the perfect opportunity to buy them ticket to see their favourite comic, movie or art show. Like other items on this list, this gift option can be brought to scale with a little creativity no matter the budget.

No 3: Books:

Now, hear me out. If the last time you read a book was over a year ago, please help yourself out and gift this one to yourself. The most underrated contender on this list, books are a great gift to give someone especially if they are always reading or they love to read. Nigerian authors stock a wide array of really great reads so this is your cue to get a few books if you have none yet and better still, give some to a friend. Tis the season! Don’t limit yourself to a particular genre because there are various options to choose from. Let’s face it, we all know a good bookshop in town or a guy at a street corner somewhere who stocks a wide array of books offered at a giveaway price. There is something for everyone.

No 2: Food: 

A box of chocolate, wine, dinner at their favourite restaurant, snacks from their favourite place or even hiring a private chef, you cannot go wrong with food and drink. Whether it be dinner or hampers, food is always a good idea. Personally, it’s a great idea considering the amount of time and effort that is spent on planning and preparation of food during festive periods. Any addition is always welcome. You can always pick up a nice bottle of wine or a hamper for your boss, banana bread from your co-worker’s favourite place, a platter for the small chops aficionado in your life, the list goes on and on.

No 1: Whatever The Person Is Passionate About

There’s a reason we choose this as number one. It is so tempting to get caught up in our idea of what to gift a person, if it is our desire to gift a person actual things that they can utilize we need to take into consideration that the person may want something entirely different from what we have in mind or is simply not interested in a particular gift option. If the gift recipient’s wants and needs aren’t in consideration, it helps to gift a person something that they can at least enjoy. Some people would just want any gift so this is not a big deal but it doesn’t hurt to be a little considerate of who you wish to gift this season. Gifts towards a person’s interest and endeavour will be more appreciated than gifts that they have no interest or need for. Still, some gift is better than no gift at all so don’t be deterred.

And there you have it, an acceptable holiday gift guide. Although times are hard, please try to extend your generosity to the less privileged around you this season. As always, we are curious to hear about your Nigerian Experiences. Did you receive gifts growing up? Do you still receive gifts from friends and loved ones? Please leave your gift experiences and suggestions in the comment section and keep the conversation going on our social media platforms. Have a wonderful festive season from all of us here at Experiencing Naija!

read more

The truths about Nigerian Art: What makes Nigerian artworks special around the globe?

Nigerian art is an “ancient art” that has continued to evolve through time. It has been able to successfully blend its ancient history with contemporary artistic trends, making it quite popular among art enthusiasts. However, despite Nigeria’s growing popularity as an established tourist destination, there are questions about the portrayal of any Nigerian art exhibitions in the world view.

Over the years, we have gotten used to hearing about the amazing works of arts created by Nigerian artists. In FESTAC 77, even official Nigerian delegates could not part with their “Nigerian art” as they were shipped all the way to Lagos from where they were picked from. The fact that Nigerian art is well known globally is a feat in itself as Nigeria is a developing country with lots of challenges.

Although Nigeria has a rich culture, what exactly makes Nigerian art attractive to people all over the world? There are a number of works created by our local artists that remain in the international art market, one of the example of these are the works of Ladi Kwali, the master potter. So, what makes Nigerian artworks attractive to buyers across the globe?

Let’s take a look at the top factors that contribute to the value of Nigerian art.

Abuja, being the capital of Nigeria has a couple of these creative art centres that are worth exploring. The creativity or the story behind each artwork alone will definitely blow your mind. So, where in Abuja, can you have these educational art tours? Let’s me show you some of the top picks.

  1. Asahbara (@asah_bara)

Artistry is a gift that keeps on giving. I think this is the reason Asahbara keeps giving their uncommon breed of creativity to the world through their handcrafted artworks. Located within the Maitama Amusement Park, Asahbara pride themselves on genuine and authentic, handcrafted African artworks.

In an interview with the boss, Zoza Icha, She demystifies the meaning of Asahbara being a combination of two old Hebrew words which signifies the creative power of God and man. And also stated that Asahbara started from the intention to immortalize fabrics.

There are varieties of artworks in the centre like the talking mugs such as No Wahala, Suru Lere, The Gele Girls, Longer Throat cups and soup bowls, and lots more. With all pieces of the artworks embedded with the Nigerian Flag. It is a way of saying there is good in Nigeria; there is smart, quality, and genius in Nigeria.

  1. Nike Art Gallery (@nikeartgallery)

Scattered around several locations in Nigeria (Specifically in Lagos, Abuja, Oshogbo and Ogidi Ijumu), Nike Arts Gallery has won for itself a name known all over the world. With the knowledge of the master potter, Chief Nike Davies-Okundaye. Nike Art Gallery is arguably the largest art centre of its kind in West Africa. It boasts a collection of about 8,000 diverse artworks from various Nigerian artists like Chief Josephine Oboh Macleod.

Nike art gallery is popularly known as a centre for art and culture. Nike found out that the traditional methods of weaving and dying that had been her original inspiration were fading in Nigeria. She used her international success to launch a cultural revival, building art centers where young Nigerians can master traditional arts and crafts. You can now visit the world of the Yoruba, to explore a culture that has flourished in Western Nigeria for well over 1000 years.

Whether you are a specialist in the arts, an enthusiast of African arts or merely interested in a brief immersion in a new culture, Nike offers the opportunity to see Nigeria with fresh eyes.

  1. Thought Pyramid (@thoughtpyramidabuja & thoughtpyramidlagos)

Located in the heart of Abuja (Wuse II), and Lagos (Ikoyi ) as a space to enable new ideas to be incubated and nurtured; where there are no boundaries between art, craft, design, and thought; and where thinkers will meet to dialogue on new directions for African art. Thought Pyramid has been in existence since 2008.

One of the cornerstones of Thought Pyramid’s ethos is to promote understanding, appreciation, and enjoyment of art and its values in an accessible, contemporary and unpretentious environment. This centre has been visited by delegates and diplomats from all around the world including a visit from the past president of Germany Joachim Gauck, Duchess of Cornwall, HRH Camilla, and a host of others.

The mission of The Thought Pyramid Art Centre is to collect, conserve, and study modern and contemporary art of Africa, and the African Diaspora, So as to advance creativity, artistic excellence and innovation for the benefit of humanity and our environments.






For us, checking out what’s happening around us is a top priority on our agenda every time as we set out daily in search of beautiful places of interest where we can know more about Nigeria and what makes Nigerians a special breed. Although, there are several tourist attractions in Nigeria, but still most are in hidden places which we determine to unravel to you per time. From natural landscapes to cities and heritage sites, Nigeria has it all. To learn more about art centres in Abuja or Nigeria at large, follow us closely as we unravel to you the beauties of Nigeria on @experiencingnaija.

read more

Dajo Pottery: The amazing work of art you can’t afford to miss

Art, they say, is a part of life that plays a whole number of roles and executes a range of functions. The history of art in Nigeria is interesting. The 15th century was the beginning of great explosion of the work of art with the carving of the famous figurine. The figurine became popular and placed the Benin Kingdom into the world of arts. Other ancient civilizations also came forth with their different art forms which included but not limited to painting, carving, sculpture and poetry. The 19th century also saw the prominence of arts from the Nok, Benin, Igbo Ukwu, Owo, Esie and Ife artworks. Today, these artworks energize Nigerian creatives to produce works within obvious traditions and practices.

This has documented the history of Nigeria with art as that unifying factor that sells the country to the rest of the world. No doubt, Nigeria is rich. Not just the land, Nigeria, but also the people. Nigerians are super talented individuals with great creative skills and thinking ability. Being the giant of Africa is not just a gain saying but an accolade that’s worth it. Though the art of ceramics and pottery making itself is older than the nation Nigeria. Remember Nok Arts, Igbo- Ukwu arts, Ife Bronze heads, sculptures were the art works that put Nigeria on the art map of the world.

Benue state, being a land full of immense opportunities and possibilities also possesses immense tourism potentials in which one of the most exciting places to visit is DAJO POTTERY LIMITED. A privately-owned pottery, located at Dajo Close, Makurdi-Gboko Road, Makurdi, Benue State, Nigeria. The pottery has made thousands of unique potteries for local and international tourists who fancy owning a fascinating pottery. The pots come in various sizes and designs and made under various conditions to preserve its uniqueness and peculiarity wherever the local work of art is taken to in the world. The work of art there is amazing and indeed they’ve justified the saying “being creative is not a hobby, It’s a way of life”. The level of creativity coupled with the mind-blowing innovations displayed here is outstanding. No wonder this has earned the company a lot of international recognition and awards in and outside the country and has put the company on a pedestal in the ceramics and pottery making business.

The Dajo pottery being an international, multi-award winning ceramics industry in Nigeria, is the first ever to produce in commercial quantities marble ceramic wares in the country and first in Africa to attain the digital ceramic technology. It has put the nation on the map with their unique designs and share will of its owner. The pottery was conceived in 1984 by the master potter and an international ceramic icon, Mr. Levi O’bem Yakubu. a graduate of Ahmadu Bello University and a former Ceramics Lecturer at the Benue State Polytechnic formerly known as Murtala College of science and technology then. He resigned his lecturing job to focus on filling the gap for the industry based on the policy pronouncement of restriction or banning of importation of table ware ceramics in the country in 1984.

The pottery has grown from the initial staff of ten to fifty-two, thereby creating job opportunities for the immediate community as well as encouraging art lovers. Over time, this tourist site has attracted many from all over the world. Since its inception, the pottery has won some of the most prestigious award in ceramics and pottery. This include the three consecutive year’s international ceramics excellence award in China. For 30 years, the Dajo pottery also provides a training pro-bono for university students in the industrial training scheme to encourage the future generation of pottery artist and enthusiast. Mr. Dajo emphasized the essence of giving great practical hands-on training for the university students.

Even with all of these achievements, the pottery faces an enormous challenge of funding. On the visit by experiencing naija team, the structures looks worn and finished products were covered with dust. An interesting fact about Dajo pottery is that clay needed for production is sourced from the vast land on which it is located and the gorge created from digging the clay was eventually turned into a fish pond creating another source of income. For Mr. Dajo, access to loans and government recognition will go a long way in the survival of the pottery. He stated that the demand for Nigerian pottery especially Dajo pottery brand is very wide.

Dajo Pottery combines the best of the pottery tradition of several generations with contemporary techniques with the integration of the most current technology of the industry to create works of spectacular and unique appeal that is comfortable with today’s lifestyle. The pottery also ensures a happy combination of aesthetic utility in its wide range of products for its varied clientele. Products produced at Dajo pottery include but not limited to Flower Vases, Kitchenware, Lamp stands, Digital murals (photo tiles) and African Art Icons.

Dajo pottery is definitely a place to be, especially for the art lovers and all who appreciate creativity. Want to know more about other tourism sites and tourism potentials of Benue State? Feel free to contact us now, as we take you through several experiences in Nigeria. Do follow us on our pages: FacebookInstagramTwitter and Youtube. We promise to give you the best and accurate information about Nigeria and Nigerians.

read more