Over the course of this year, several trends dominated Nigeria’s social media space. With over 27 million social media users, there was no shortage of trending topics across all social media platforms, ranging from scandals to success stories and more.
The trends ranged from funny ones, to controversial ones, raunchy ones and those capable of toppling relationships and businesses. Without further ado, here are the top 10 trends in Nigeria this year.
The challenge is one that went viral from TikTok and spread to other social media platforms like wild fire. It was a predecessor to the Buss It Challenge.
While the Buss It challenge involved women switching up from normal looks to a glammed up look, the Silhouette challenge showed women posing in a doorway before turning into a black silhouette against a red background.
The silhouette challenge theme song starts with “Put Your Head on My Shoulder” by Paul Anka before quickly changing into “Streets” by Doja Cat as the subject changes. It served as a body-positive movement and empowered women to celebrate their bodies and sensual sides.
People of all shapes and sizes began flaunting their frames and received support, admiration, and praise from others on social media.
Celebrities such as Mercy Eke, winner of the Big Brother Naija show season 4, Venita, also a contestant of the BBN reality show, James Brown,etc participated in the challenge.
The challenge however quickly came to an end when some people started removing the filter used to achieve the red look.
This trend started when the video of a neighborhood evangelist, Gbadamosi Ismail, went viral. In the video, the man was warning young people from falling prey to fake love. In the video, he is heard delivering his sermon in a sing-song manner saying “you are my honey, Lori Iro, you are my darling, Lori Iro”.
Lori Iro means “based on lies” in the Yoruba language. The video trended during the valentine season as many were advised not to fall for the traps of lying tongues.
Social media users were quick to use the line in different contexts.
A Nigerian music producer even went as far as making the evangelist’s words into a danceable beat.
Love Nwantiti Challenge
Nigerian artist Chukwuka Ekweani, popularly known as CKay released his love song, Love Nwantiti (Ah ah ah), as an upcoming Nigerian artiste in 2019.
The song went viral on TikTok in the later part of 2021 and became even more popular when Kendall Jenner, a global model walked to the song while on the Met Gala 2021 red carpet.
“The song is in a league of its own. There’s no one who has ever done this before,” said Temi Adeniji, the managing director of Warner Music Group South Africa.
This is a factual statement as Bloomberg named the hit single as the biggest-ever hit out of Africa.
On TikTok, over 3 million videos have been created under the sound and it also became the most Shazamed song in the world in September.
Across social media, it majored as a dance challenge and soon became a tune for covers, showcasing makeup, fashion and other forms of art.
The two-year-old song climbed up several international music charts and shot CKay to global fame.
The song, Ameno, made by a French group, Era, saw a massive comeback this year. It was made popular by the nightlife industry as it was played whenever expensive drinks were ordered.
On social media, the song became a lip-synching and dance trend. Dorime also became a social media slang for spending a lot of money.
The original song, as a dance trend saw a lot of remixes with the infusion of Afrobeat and Amapiano, the most popular of which is the Goya Menor and Nektunez Amapiano version.
Nigerian superstar singer, Joeboy dropped a single titled ‘Alcohol‘. The song went on to become a hit after it was pushed by the accompanying challenge on Tiktok.
Most new songs nowadays have different challenges where listeners dance or mime to the song. It was different this time as people poured different substances like oil and sand on their bodies while the song was playing.
Some even went to the extent of ingesting harmful substances. There was an instance where someone appeared to be drinking what looked like an antiseptic and was convulsing afterwards. It got so bad that the crooner had to come out to implore fans to desist from such acts.
Not all entries for the challenge were bad though, as some still managed to make social media users laugh.
Nobody Like Woman
Talented Nigerian singer, Simi, started the #nobodylikewoman challenge.
It is about women coming out and speaking up against hurtful words thrown at them in everyday life. Following the trend, she also released a song and music video titled ‘Woman’.
People across social media platforms including celebrities jumped hon the trend, posting black and white pictures labelled with different things that have been said against them.
Be Like Ngozi challenge
The trend started following the appointment of Ngozi Okonjo-Nweala, Nigeria’s former minister of finance, as the new Director-General of the World Trade Organization.
This appointment made her the first woman and first African at the helm of affairs in the organization. She also spent 25 years at the World Bank, where she rose to the number-two position of managing director.
Nigerians, quick to appreciate their own, took to social media to express support for her in her new role. The trend showed women sporting Ngozi’s signature headtie in Ankara, an African fabric with the hastag #belikeNgozi.
A competition was also announced that would award the best-dressed woman with prize money of N100,000.
Little girls also took part in the challenge, citing Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as their role model.
Ngozi in turn expressed her gratitude for the outpouring of support.
Stingy Men Association of Nigeria
This trend originated in Zambia where Zambian men pledged not to spend more than K5 Zambia currency on a woman. They called themselves the Stingy Men Association of Zambia.
The trend gained momentum when Nigerian social media users got a hold of it and collectively formed the Stingy Men Association of Nigeria. The motto for the association was “Let me see what I can do”. The objective was to avoid financial exploitation by the opposite gender.
The men went as far as forming social media pages, a logo and even created membership forms and ID cards.
Members of the association including celebrities jumped on the trend.
Milk Crate challenge
This challenge is one that ended as quickly as it started. It involved stacking crates in a tall pyramid and then people were required to climb to the top of the stack and down without falling. Some were successful however a number of people crashed and burned and in some cases, nearly died.
As with most trends that start abroad, Nigerian users participated in the trend. They recorded some success but of course, it came with jokes and warnings.
Nigerian medical practitioners mostly told people to be wary of the challenge as it could result in life-threatening injuries and even death.
The decaying condition of health infrastructure in the country was also used to warn people off the challenge.
Amid the health concerns over the challenge, TikTok disabled the hashtag #MilkCrateChallenge on its site.
“TikTok prohibits content that promotes or glorifies dangerous acts, and we remove videos and redirect searches to our Community Guidelines to discourage such content. We encourage everyone to exercise caution in their behavior whether online or off,”
Welcome to a new dispensation
It is not unusual for Nigerians to leave the country in search of green pastures. This year, however, there was a twist to the departures.
Nigerian social media users announced their departure using a meme from Kemi Adetiba’s King of Boys Netflix series. A character in the series, Laburu is seen holding a wine glass while she declares a new dispensation upon her election as governor.
Social media users who traveled out of the country were quick to jump on the trend.
The trend was also used to announce new achievements or milestones.
There you have it, our top 10 social media trends of 2021 in Nigeria. If you think we left out any trend, let us know in the comment section or across our social media pages.
If you’d like to get featured on our Entrepreneur Spotlight, click here to share your startup story with us.
Get latest Technology news, reviews, business-related content with a deliberate emphasis on the African narrative and insightful analysis in Nigeria – straight to your inbox.