Every first weekend in the month of October Nigerians paint New York City green in lieu of the beloved West African country’s independence from British rule. Annually presented by the Organization for the Advancement of Nigerians (OAN, Inc) is the timely commemoration through strict entertainment. Primarily, the enticing craft of the young is out on display during the celebration’s Culture Night and infamous Manhattan parade.

Courtesy of Angelo Aboyke

The talent show portion of the celebration, Nigeria’s Got Talent also slated as “Culture Night” took place on Friday, Oct. 5 at the Jamaica Performing Arts Center in Queens. Hosted by MC Lolahistic, young Nigerian creatives showcased their especial talents ultimately facing critique from judges in the likes of Miss Nigeria 2017-18 Felicia Adesina, Segun Williams, and Miss Nigeria 2016-17 Zainab Shittu. Most prime talents such as dancing, fashion, and singing were showcased commonly expressing elements of Yoruba and Igbo cultures.

Taiwo Aloba performing poetry/ Courtesy of Angelo Aboyke

This year, spoken word made a distinguished appearance. Of course, the style of Hip-Hop’s rap element takes part of that responsibility. The history of Hip-Hop’s rap element is telling of the act’s original popularity reigning from the identity of the West African griot. Respectfully reflected in the light of Nigeria, Taiwo Aloba engaged in a poetic recital that was non-apologetic to the vibrant way of life that swarms Nigeria. “The motherland is a wonderland of many eroded spots of great beauty,” Aloba leads the show.

Bringing on a dosage of pure Hip-Hop, Chukwubuikem Oguagha gave the audience a portion of real rap in the face of Nigerian independence hysteria. Just like in any other culture or collective, the youth is bound to reflect the current temperature of all trends and customs. While the audience was expecting a bubble of mumble rapping, Oguagha took them to the true school life and in acapella style with transparent house rockin’ appeal, the aspiring rap titan left the crowd on.

“I’m too good, that’s why they don’t really like me/Man a couple of y’all even tried to fight me/So feel me now please feel me now/Once I get on they’ll be like Chukky kill them now”

Courtesy of Angelo Aboyke

The independence day celebration came to a close the following day with a grand parade on the east side of midtown Manhattan. In light of midterm elections, a rather tense time in Nigeria, OAN President Solomon Olu Bakare views the epoch as a time to recall the meaning behind democracy and hit the voting booths.

“Dear friends, family, and fellow citizens in Nigeria be certain that you register to vote and exercise your civic right and responsibility by voting when elections begin.”

The modern epoch of Nigeria both at land and abroad calls for the hands of all youth to hit the voting booths, just as liberal advocates push in the United States. Naija owns a long and vivid history of corrupt government in lieu of its rich identity as an oil resource and a compromised grizzled military. Nonetheless, Nigerians in America are striving to push the country’s potential of being the African continent’s first super global power.