Pius Utomi Ekpei/AFP/Getty Images
  • Nigeria is nicknamed "the Giant of Africa" because of its population--at 174 million citizens, it is the most populous African nation, and is the seventh-largest country in the world. Pictured, a crowded street in Kano, Nigeria, population 3.5 million, Apr 19, 2014.
    Shashank Bengali/MCT/Newscom
  • Nigeria is home to several literary luminaries, including the Nobel Prize-winning Wole Soyinka, and the late Chinua Achebe, the author of "Things Fall Apart," the widest-read and best-selling book in African literature. The country is also home to a thriving newspaper climate, with millions of readers daily. Pictured, a man reads a newspaper featuring a headline on Nigerian novelist Chinua Achebe's death at a roadside in Calabar, Nigeria, March 23, 2013.
    Pius Utomi Ekpei/AFP/Getty Images
  • Historically, Nigeria has been home to an innovative music scene, with its artists contributing to the rise of entire genres of music. One of its most famous ambassadors was Fela Kuti, whose politically driven musical stylings formed the bedrock of the Afrobeat genre. His contemporaries and successors contributed to new styles of Jazz, Soul and Funk, and there is a growing Hip-Hop movement--music often made with Afrobeat and Jazz samples. Pictured, fans hold a photo of Fela Kuti at a night show marking the end of a week-long celebration in his honor in Lagos, Nigeria, Oct. 22, 2012.
    Akintunde Akinleye/Reuters
  • Nigeria's film industry is known as "Nollywood," and though it borrows its name from the United States, it actually exceeds the United States in the number of films it produces each year, making it the second-largest movie industry behind Indian cinema. Marketing efforts, as well as the fact that many films are done in English rather than local languages has contributed to its success across Africa and the rest of the world. Pictured, a cameraman films "October 1", a police thriller directed by Kunle Afolayan, at a rural location in Ilaramokin village, southwest Nigeria, Aug. 24, 2013.
    Akintunde Akinleye/Reuters
  • Straight-to-video films account for a sizeable amount of the movies produced each year by Nigerian filmmakers, which are often shot digitally on extremely small budgets. Pictured, a sales girl sorts through DVDs in a shop at the Nigerian Film Market in Lagos, March 26, 2010.
    Pius Utomi Ekpei/AFP/Getty Images
  • Nigeria has substantial oil reserves, and since the 1970s that resource has played a role in its economic growth; ethnic violence in the oil-rich Niger Delta region has also been a persistent issue. An aerial photo shows Shell Cawtharine channels at Awoba in the Niger Delta, March 22, 2013.
    Pius Utomi Ekpei/AFP/Getty Images
  • The Nigerian national team is one of the highest-performing teams in Africa, and in 1994 they ranked 5th in FIFA's worldwide rankings, the highest an African nation has achieved. They have qualified for five of the last six World Cup tournaments, and won the African Cup of Nations for the third time last year. Pictured, Christantus Ejike of is congratulated for scoring by Kwambe Solomon, Abdullahi Shehu, Erhun Obanor and Bright Eseme of Nigeria during the 2014 African Nations Championship match between South Africa and Nigeria at Cape Town Stadium in Cape Town, South Africa, Jan. 19, 2014.
    Shaun Roy/Gallo Images/Getty Images
  • Nigeria has one of Africa's strongest economies, and in 2013 overtook South Africa as the continent's largest economy, measured by GDP. Pictured, a boy seals sacks of grain at Dawanau grain market, the largest grain market in west Africa, on the outskirts of the northern Nigerian city of Kano, March 21, 2014.
    Aminu Abubakar/AFP/Getty Images
  • Nigeria is a member of the "MINT" grouping of countries, which is the successor to the "BRIC" nations indicating a country's rising economic strength. By 2050, it is expected to become one on the world's top economies. Pictured, a security officer checks a man outside the Nigerian Stock Exchange in Lagos, Nigeria, April 8, 2014.
    Akintunde Akinleye/Reuters
  • Nigeria is ethnically and religiously diverse, with 49.3% of its citizens identifying as Christian and 48.8% identifying as Muslim according to a 2012 poll by the Pew Research center. There are several important festivals held throughout the year for both religions, and Easter Sunday is a particularly important public holiday, with parades and dancing. Pictured, performers dance through the street during the Lagos Carnival in Lagos, Nigeria, April 21, 2014.
    Sunday Alamba/AP Photo
  • Lagos is the largest city in Nigeria, and by most estimations is the largest city in Africa, surpassing Cairo in 2012 with a population of 21 million. Though it is also Nigeria's economic center and home to some of its richest citizens, it also has a sizeable slum population, and pictured, people walk past homes in the Badia East slums of Lagos, Nigeria, Aug. 12, 2013.
    Pius Utomi Ekpei/AFP/Getty Images
  • Ethnic and religious conflicts have a regional aspect in Nigeria, as the majority of the Christian population lives in the South of the country, while its Muslim population resides mainly in the north. The Boko Haram terrorist organization is based in the northeast part of the country. Pictured, a man inspects a burnt student hostel in the Government Secondary School of Mamudo in northeast Nigerian Yobe state where Boko Haram gunmen launched gun and explosives attacks on student hostels, Aug. 6, 2013.
    Aminu Abubakar/AFP/Getty Images
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