You’ve probably heard some gist about different places in Nigeria, and the north is one of them. Things like “everywhere’s hot up there” or “one man can have 35 kids”. We’ve asked the northerners themselves, and here are a few myths they want you to stop believing.

“It’s always very hot up there”

Samuel, 25. Lives in Taraba

“I always thought this was weird because where I live is a lot colder than most places down south. I live in Gembu, Taraba State, and I don’t feel the heat people talk about when they speak of the north. I think people forget some parts are high above the sea level, and therefore, have higher temperatures.”

“All northerners are Muslims”

Deborah, 32. Lives in Kaduna

“I think people have this opinion because they assume northerners are Hausa, and that’s not true at all. A lot of states in the North have tribes that are hugely Christian or even multireligious. There’s more diversity than one would expect.”

“It’s very unsafe”

Ibrahim, 29. Lives in Kano

“While there has been a lot of destruction in some parts of the north. Most places are still relatively safe. Southerners tend to forget the north is really big, and the same way these things come as news to them is the same way they do to us. That’s not to excuse the horrific things that’ve been happening.”

“It’s a very conservative place”

Aisha, 20. Lives in Sokoto

“You’ll be surprised to go to a party and find people dancing to Naira Marley’s songs with crazy passion. While it’s certainly more conservative than other parts of the country, there’s still a lot more freedom than people expect. This leaves them shocked whenever they come here.”

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“Northerners are Fulani/Hausa”

Gidado, 44. Lives in Maiduguri

“Whenever I mention my name, people just assume I’m Hausa or Fulani. I don’t mind it, but please, there are hundreds of ethnicities here, and it’s more diverse than most people think. It’s not a monolithic place like that.”

“Life is very cheap, and you don’t need much”

Josephine, 24. Lives in Jos

There’s a going falsehood that things such as food and other perishable items are cheaper to get here, and nothing is more absurd. It’s even worse here sometimes because of the cost of transportation from farms to markets. I think people have been sold a lot of lies about this place.”

NEXT: Read This Before You Travel Up North


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