July 20, 2019

Nigeria at 57: Seven classic songs that celebrate our country

57 years ago today, Nigeria got her independence from the British.

What could be more satisfying than sitting in your comfort zone and seeing these songs that celebrate Nigeria and the spirit of her citizens.


These songs below capture the Nigerian culture, journey of unsung heroes and the strength of Nigerians as a people.

1. Onyeka Owenu – One Love

Onyeka Onwenu is one of the most celebrated female singers in Nigeria. One Love is the lead song off her fourth album ‘One Love’ released in 1986. The song promotes love, unity and oneness amongst Nigerians and this can be deduced from the first line of the chorus.

2. King Sunny Ade – The Way Forward

In 1994, Ade brought together over 32 Nigerian musicians/actors to record a song against ethnic violence called ‘The Way Forward’. They sung it in different Nigerian languages; synthesized the English and surrounded it with Hausa from the north, Yoruba from the west, Ibo from the east, and other languages. The song encouraged politicians to bury their hatchets; reminding them the efforts of Nigerians to obtain Independence, and today feels as right a time as any to listen to the record again.

3. Veno Marioghae – Nigeria Go Survive

Nigeria Go Survive is one of Veno Marioghae’s greatest compositions, which was released in 1984. This song was released during the military regime when Nigerians called and clamoured for basic amenities of life. The lyrics of the song gave hope in perilous times (tribal, religious and economic crisis) within the country. Regardless of the state of the country she said, Nigeria will survive and we’ll pull through, pleading with all Nigerians that wanted to flee to have hope and fate in their nation.

4. Evi Edna Ogholi – One Kilometer

Evi Edna is one of Nigeria’s most celebrated Raggea artiste – some called her Queen of Reggae. Known for her unique style and native lyrics, ‘One kilometre’ was a hit song off her 1988 album titled “On the move”. The song spoke about all the tribes in Nigeria from the East, West, North and south and how they are separated by kilometers.

5. TY Bello – Green Land

This perhaps is the most popular patriotic song among millennial. Off TY Bello’s debut album Green Land in 2008, it carried a message of love and hope. The track title track fast became a national chant as it inspired Nigerians to keep hope alive and keep believing in ourselves and our nation.

6. Timi Dakolo – Great Nation

Released in November 2012, Great nation is that one song that will shoot you right into patriotic mood. The lyrics of the song tell us how we can build this nation together through peace, unity and Justice.

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7. Sound Sultan – Motherland

In 2006, Sound Sultan dropped a record titled ‘Motherland’ while he was still a Kennis Music signee. The song was basically plea to all Nigerians in diaspora that left Nigeria with the promise of returning home and never did. It further buttressed that however rosy, beautiful and blessed a foreign land may be, home is home and we should always remember that. No one can build Nigeria but Nigerians.

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Kenneth Atisele

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