Top 5 unique features of African Culture

5 Unique features of African culture


With over 3,000 ethnic groups, the African continent is diverse and so is the African culture. Depending on where you visit you will find something new and interesting. Africa has numerous ethnic nationalities all with different qualities such as language, dishes, greetings, and dances. However, all African peoples share a series of dominant cultural traits which distinguish African Culture from the rest of the world. In this article, we will be looking at 5 distinct features of the African culture.

1. Food

From the Nigerian “Amala” or “jollof rice” to the south African Potjiekos, the African cuisine is as diverse as the African culture. African food contains a variety of exotic spices and vegetables that give it its healthy, distinct and natural taste. The way African dishes are prepared is passed down from generation to generation with each generation improving the dish or creating what I like to call “spin-off dishes” ( these are dishes that are created from an original dish).

2. Fashion

African attires are one of the most colorful and vibrant attires in the world. Each African ethnic group has its own unique attire and fabric. From the Ghanaian “Kente” to the Nigerian “ Ankara” also known as “wax print”, Africa has a seemingly endless variety of fabrics and styles to pick from. Each African attire tells a story of their respective culture. Although the world is finally paying attention to African fashion, there is so much more that can be discovered.

3. Language

There are over 2,100 languages spoken all over Africa with each country and /or ethnic group having its own variant. Many African languages are taught at an early age. However, due to the fact that many African countries were once part of European colonies, many people are able to speak Creole or Pidgin versions of English, Portuguese of French.

4. Art

According to an article published by in 2020, Africa is one of the biggest contributors to art in the world today. Africa has produced some of the best visual artists like Laolu Senbanjo ( Instagram: @laolunyc) and sculptors like Wasswa Donald (Instagram: wdwlls). African art tells the story of the African continent, its challenges, diverse beauty, rich traditions e.t.c.

5. Music

Given the vastness of the African continent, its music is diverse with regions and countries having their unique musical traditions. African music includes original genres like Jùjú, Fuji, Highlife, Makossa, Kizomba, Afrobeat and others. African music is rhythmical making use of various percussion instruments. Africa has produced some of the best musical artists in the world from Nigeria’s Grammy award-winning Burna boy to south African Mafikizolo and so many others

In conclusion

There is so much to learn about African culture. The best way to understand the various different customs and cultures is to visit Africa and speak to the people. With some of the most diverse customs, languages and traditions in the world, Africa is truly a fascinating continent.

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