Nigeria is Africa's most populous country and has been independent since 1960. In 1999, Nigeria transitioned to civilian rule after a series of military governments; Goodluck Jonathan, the current president, was elected in 2011. Despite being rich in resources, especially oil, this has also led to widespread corruption and simmering tension as regional groups vie for a share in the profits. In addition, religious divisions between a primarily Muslim-north and Christian-south is an ongoing source of tension. Emeka Aniagolu's Black Mustard Seed explores the ways in which this has destabilised Nigerian politics.
With its multiplicity or ethnic groups, including the Hausa-Fulani, Ibo, and Yoruba, Nigeria boasts of a wealth of international renowned figures, including Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka, Chinua Achebe who is known as the 'father of African literature' and author of Things Fall Apart, the late author and environmental activist Ken Saro Wiwa, and prolific poet-novelist Ben Okri. Buchi Emecheta is a novelist whose works centre on themes of womanhood as well as the struggles of being black in Britain.
A new generation of Nigerian writers continue to gain widespread international recognition. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is the author of Half of a Yellow Sun, which won the Orange Prize for Fiction in 2007. Segun Afolabi is another emerging talent whose collection of stories A Life Elsewhere won the 2005 Caine Prize. Nigerian-American writer and art historian Teju Cole has won critical acclaim for his debut novel Open City. Chris Abani is a Nigerian poet and novelist whose poems are simultaneously beautiful yet harrowing. Looking for Transwonderland by Noo Saro-Wiwa, the daughter of Ken Saro Wiwa, tells of the author's return to Nigeria.
Since the 1990s, the rapid growth of Nigerian cinema has led to its being called 'Nollywood'; it is Africa's largest film industry. Welcome to Nollywood is a 2007 documentary by Jamie Meltzer that traces the eclectic decade-long growth in Nigerian film. Newton Aduaka is a well-known director of whose latest film, Ezra (2007) tells the story of child soldiers in Sierra Leone. Chiwetel Ejiofor is a prominent British-Nigerian stage actor. Recent films that have won acclaim include Rising Moon by Andy Nwakalor and Amazing Grace which tells the story of a slave trader who becomes an Anglican priest.
Nigerian musician Fela Kuti helped to spread awareness of African music. He is one of the pioneers of what became known as Afrobeat music; his songs often served as political and social critiques of contemporary Nigeria.