What 'western' gifts would you give a host family in Nigeria?
Replies: 19 - Last Post: May 22, 2013 3:47 PM Last Post By: kisskissbangbang
Jan 21, 2013 1:40 PM
What 'western' gifts would you give a host family in Nigeria?Imagine you were going to stay in a community in Nigeria. A family were allowing you to stay with them. What kind of small gifts would a typical Nigerian family really appreciate?
Any ideas would be much appreciated.
Jan 21, 2013 1:50 PM
Jan 21, 2013 2:24 PM
Jan 21, 2013 5:03 PM
3It does depend on the circumstances of the family as well as how much money you wish to spend. Things that we took to rural Malawi/Zambia that were well received were:
•D.light S1 solar lamp. Particularly useful if they do not have electricity but do have students who may wish to study at night.
•Solar powered radio
•Folding saw and/or really good kitchen knife
Jan 21, 2013 6:02 PM
Jan 21, 2013 8:08 PM
Jan 21, 2013 9:19 PM
Jan 21, 2013 10:52 PM
7Where in Nigeria? The difference between families in the north/south, urban/rural, muslim/christian, igbo/yoruba/hausa will greatly determine what kind of gift you would want to give them. Details, please!
Jan 22, 2013 12:04 AM
8I stick to inviting them to a good restaurant. But here we go...
A poster of Pamela Anderson, Farrah Fawcett or the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders for the children probably won't do.
So make it a mix. A mix for the parents/the father and for the children.
A bottle of good whiskey or a good knife (a "skinner"/these knives for hunting, you can get a good one already for EUR 30,--) for the father and a big, a really big worldmap for the children. 2 meter x 1, 40 meter. To hang it on the wall.
I had such a worldmap once hanging over my bed. When I was at the beginning of my 20ies. Educational purpose, inspiration and fun.
I don't know how to transport such a big worldmap. But this will be your problems.
Jan 22, 2013 3:00 PM
9What the average Nigerian appreciates the most is cash. Give them some notes in hard currency, they will change it at the black market. Or go with shoes, sneakers, shirts, t-shirts or wrist watches. It's not important that they last, they don't need to be expensive. They just need to look good.
I wouldn't buy any food items, snacks or candy, Nigerians are very picky when it comes those things. Don't buy any alcohol unless you are 100% sure that they drink (goes for both, Muslim and Christians)
Jan 22, 2013 4:35 PM
Jan 22, 2013 5:43 PM
11The world map is a great idea. It could go in a mailing tube. Perhaps you can find one that has a plastic cover, or cover one that you buy. There are also world maps on plastic shower curtains.
Cash is a bit cold-blooded, but it indeed chancy with alcohol, and unusual food will probably be received without enthusiasm.
We don't know where the host family lives, their income, the size of the residence, or the region, which may indicate the tribal group and even religious associaiton. A one-size-fits-all present for Nigerians is hard. To avoid insulsts, more details would help.
Jan 22, 2013 11:01 PM
12If you are in the country longer than 3-4 weeks, you can give once additionally cash. Let's say an amount of EUR 20-30,--.
But cash as a presents is a big no-no. A present always wants to be personal. Apart from marriages in Iran where you would give indeed cash.
Cash as a present is bad karma.
Jan 22, 2013 11:22 PM
13And there is another possibility. Just to mention it. (I still would invite them to a good reauraurant.)
When I visited once a good friend of mine in the South of Spain for a few days I drove once with his girlfriend to the town nearby. We went shopping in a large supermarket outside of the town and I told her she would have EUR 100,-- for shopping. I would pay the bill.
My friend was without job at this time, had almost no money and his girlfriend did not want to shop with me something to dress. So I got the idea with the supermarket.
She bought plenty of stuff she couldn't have afforded otherwise at this time. Fun for me, fun for her.
Jan 23, 2013 12:20 AM
14Cash might be cold blooded for Europeans or Americans. In Nigeria, however, everything comes down to money. it's a very common gift at birthday parties, weddings, etc.
Nigerians are very practical: You might buy them an expensive shirt (they don't have the faintest idea anyway how much it costs in Europe/US) but they probably prefer if you give them the equivalent in cash so they can by three less fancy shirts and some trousers.
Used mobile phones or laptop as previously mentioned are ok, especially the former. As far as laptops are concerned it depends on the people you are visiting: Many Nigerians don't know how to operate computers and have little interest to learn it.
The restaurant could work, again depending on the people you are visiting. In Nigeria, dining out is not very common. Many people don't see the purpose of it. I'd go for a "beer parlour" or bar instead: Buy some drinks, order some pepper soup, barbecue fish or other snacks (depending on the area you're going).
I'm not sure about the world map: I've never seen one. Often even the well-educated can't get used to the "western concept" of maps, many can't read them. They usually decorate their walls with family pictures, calendars, proverbs, bible or quran verses.
I guess you might as well ask them: Again, Nigerians are not Europeans/Americans. A gift does not need to be a surprise.
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