This name was made up artificially. Discover the name of one person, who had the honor to pick a name for a huge country.
The name “Nigeria” originated from the river Niger name. The privilege to name the country was given to a lady called Flora Shaw. In Africa many countries got new names during or after the era of colonization and in particular the Scramble for Africa.
Some of such countries as Liberia or Nigeria have never existed before. Geographically they have been inhabited by a range of tribes. Colonization of this continent has brought about many significant changes. One of them is centralization. Some of them have affected the history of Nigeria and even its very name. Presently this country has over 370 tribes living on its territory.
This is one of the major sources of trouble for Nigeria. It is the largest country in Africa and the 7th one in the world (by its population size). There are over 500 languages spoken in it and the only way to unite the country was to make English one of its state languages. Nigerians come from different backgrounds, cultures, religions and tribes.
The geography of Nigeria clearly manifests all those challenges. The country has 36 states in it. It has three largest tribes: Hausa, Ibo and Yoruba. Lots of the political conflicts derive from the competition of these largest tribes and their strife for power and influence.
So, who named Nigeria? Now, Flora Shaw has become a journalist in 1886 and soon after that she was sent to cover Anti-Slavery Conference in Brussels and was the only female representative there.
Plus, she has become the foreign editor of the famous The Times and got highly appraised and well paid for her efforts.
In 1897 she suggested for the British colony to get the name of Nigeria. Formerly this territory carried a name: Royal Niger Company Territories. By all means that does not sound much like a country name.
This name “Nigeria” replaced it and has been preserved ever since that time. Of course, the river Niger suggested itself to Flora. So the name of this country is not totally made up. It has the native roots. When you wish to learn more about Nigeria, its name and the story attached to it really fascinates and grabs the attention. Most people have no idea this country’s name is not really native or made by Africans. However, it’s a very fine name and it was capable of uniting over 170 million people around one national idea.
READ ALSO: What Is National Development For Nigeria?
Watch brief history of Nigeria in this video: