Taber: "This week we'd like to share some facts about the cities in our story, Capital D. First up is Nigeria."
Silka: "In the book the Basal Hakim is loosely based on the Boko Haram Terrorist Organization that runs havoc in Nigeria."
1.DID YOU KNOW THAT SEVEN PERCENT (7%) OF LANGUAGES ON EARTH ARE SPOKEN IN NIGERIA?
Taraba State alone has more languages than 30 African countries put together. This means Nigeria can look inwards and drive itself to become the greatest hub for cultural tourism on earth, and consequently empower its citizens tremendously in the process.
2.DID YOU KNOW THAT THE WALLS OF BENIN (800-1400AD), IN PRESENT DAY EDO STATE, ARE THE LONGEST ANCIENT EARTHWORKS IN THE WORLD, AND PROBABLY THE LARGEST MAN-MADE STRUCTURE ON EARTH?
They enclose 6500 square kilometers of community lands that connected about 500 communities. At over 16000km long, it was thought to be twice the length of the Great Wall of China, until it was announced in 2012 (after five years of meticulous measurement by Chinese surveyors) that the Great Wall is about 21,000km long.
3.DID YOU KNOW THAT THE YORUBA TRIBE HAS THE HIGHEST RATE OF TWIN BIRTHS IN THE WORLD?
Igbo-Ora, a little town in Oyo state, has been nicknamed Twin capital of the World because of its unusually high rate of twins that is put as high as 158 twins per 1000 births. Igbo-Ora locals boast that every family in the town has at least one twin!
4.DID YOU KNOW THAT SARKI MUHAMMAD KANTA THE GREAT OF KEBBI WAS THE ONLY RULER WHO RESISTED CONTROL BY SONGHAI, WEST AFRICA’S GREATEST EMPIRE AT THAT TIME?
He founded and ruled the Hausa city-state of Kebbi around 1600 A.D and built Surame its capital, a planned city which was almost impossible to penetrate during war. In fact UNESCO describes Surame as “one of the wonders of human history, creativity and ingenuity”, and probably the most massive stone-walled constructions in West Africa. He is listed in Robin Walker’s 50 Greatest Africans.
5.DID YOU KNOW THAT AFRICA’S OLDEST KNOWN BOAT, THE DUFUNA CANOE, WAS DISCOVERED IN YOBE STATE?
The discovery was made by a Fulani Herdsman in May 1987 at Dufuna village, while he dug a well. Various radio-carbon tests conducted in laboratories of reputable universities in Europe and America indicate that the canoe is over 8,000 years old, thus making it the oldest in Africa and 3rd oldest in the world. The discovery of the canoe has completely changed accepted theories of the history and sophistication of marine technology in Africa.
6.DID YOU KNOW THAT SUNGBO’S EREDO, IN PRESENT-DAY IJEBU-ODE, OGUN STATE IS REPUTED TO BE THE LARGEST SINGLE PRE-COLONIAL MONUMENT IN AFRICA?
This 160 km rampart equipped with guard houses and moats was built a millennium ago.It required more earth to be moved during construction than that used for building the Great Pyramid of Giza (one of the Seven Wonders of The Ancient World). The most astonishing thing is that Sungbo’sEredo was the biggest city in the world (bigger than Rome and Cairo) during the Middle Ages when it was built!
During his reign, Hausa became the biggest indigenous language spoken in Africa after Swahili. He is on the list of 50Greatest Africans in Robin Walker’s book.
8. DID YOU KNOW THATNIGERIA HAS THE HIGHEST VARIATION OF PLANT AND ANIMAL SPECIES IN THE WORLD?
According to the World Resources Institute, Nigeria is home to 4,715 different types of plant species, and over 550 species of breeding birds and mammals, making it one of the most ecologically vibrant places of the planet. For instance, The Jos Plateau Indigobird and theAnambra waxbill bird are found only in Nigeria.
9. DID YOU KNOW THAT THE NIGER DELTA IN NIGERIA IS THE SECOND LARGEST DELTA ON THE PLANET?
It also has the highest concentration of monotypic fish families in the world, and isalso home to sixty percent of Nigeria’s mangrove forests. You should know too that Nigeria’s mangrove forests are the largest in Africa and third largest on earth.
10. DID YOU KNOW THAT NIGERIA IS ONE OF THE OLDEST LOCATIONS OF HUMAN EXISTENCE?
Archaeological evidence has shown that signs of human existence dating back to 9000 BC have been discovered in Nigeria. Till date, NOK civilization in Nigeria is still regarded as the earliest known civilization in the entire planet.
11. DID YOU KNOW THAT NIGERIA HAS THE LARGEST DIVERSITY OF BUTTERFLIES IN THE WORLD?
Nigeria boasts of being the most suitable habitat for the world’s teeming butterfly population. Areas around Calabar in Cross River State harbor the largest diversity of butterflies in the world. Some of these butterfly species cannot be found anywhere else on earth.
12. DID YOU KNOW THAT THE OSUN GODDESS IS WORSHIPPED IN SEVERAL COUNTRIES IN SOUTH AMERICA?
Osun goddess, a popular deity in western Nigeria (Osun State to be precise), is worshipped in some parts of Central and South America. Every year, hundreds of Oshun devotees from such countries as Brazil and Argentina flock to Nigeria for the annual Osun Festival in Osun State.