The Native on the rise of Nigerian youth culture

Since launching in 2016, the Native has grown from a magazine and festival into one of Nigeria’s most-respected cultural commentators. We speak to the collective about how Nigerian youth culture is making its mark everywhere from Lagos to London

Nigerian culture is definitely having a moment. The country is home to everyone from afrobeats star Wizkid, who was the first Nigerian artist to both chart and top the US Billboard Hot 100 with Drake collab One Dance in 2016, through to Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, whose novel Half of a Yellow Sun was recently voted the best book to have won the Women’s Prize for Fiction in the last 25 years. Not forgetting the seemingly unstoppable rise of Nollywood, which is now the world’s second-largest film industry behind Bollywood.

Nigeria’s achievements as a cultural powerhouse are unsurprising given the scale of its potential reach. As well as being Africa’s most-populated country, with a population of over 195 million, it also has the largest Black population in the world, is the second largest English-speaking country and boasts the third largest youth market, just behind the US and Asia.

The Native’s co-founders, Teni ‘Teezee’ Zaccheaus and Seni Saraki

The Native collective is widely regarded as the brand with its finger on the pulse of Nigeria’s flourishing culture. Since launching in 2016, the magazine has featured homegrown artists including singer Burna Boy and fashion designer Mowalola, orchestrated Nigerian performance debuts by everyone from Dave to Skepta at its festival Native Land, and played a big part in the hugely successful marketing for the Nigerian World Cup jersey campaign in 2018.