My Experience in Nnewi: The Japan of Africa


We took Wakaholic Adventure to Nnewi, a city in southeast Nigeria popularly known as ‘The Japan of Africa”. Nnewi is a major trading and manufacturing centre in Nigeria. It is not just home to the first indigenous car manufacturing plant in Nigeria, it is a commercial city with large economic activities and therefore, a major contributor to the Nigerian economy.

While in Nnewi, I did a tour of the town and learned about the history and culture of the people as well as the lifestyle of prominent sons/daughters of the soil. I made stops at the palace of the Igwe of Nnewi, Innoson vehicle manufacturing plant, drove by some of the notable landmarks and homes of prominent Nigerians from Nnewi.

I also had ngwo (palm wine), azu (fish), ahihianni agworogwo na ukpaka (vegetable mixed with castor seed) at a local bar.

There is no doubt that I was impressed at the industrious nature of the people and their ability to give back to the community they belong to. This southeastern town has more naira billionaires than anywhere else in the country.


The present reigning monarch is His Royal Highness Igwe Kenneth Onyeneke Orizu III. He is the longest-serving monarch in Nigeria. In Nnewi, the Igwe is the isi obi (head of the Obis) and hence the Igwe, which literally translates as the heavenly one or highness as he is the holder of the Ofo, the religious and political symbol. He is born and not made or elected, and the institution of inheritance is the traditional right and privilege. The position is neither transferable nor negotiable.


Nnewi is home to many major indigenous manufacturing industries including Ibeto Group of Companies, Cutix and ADswitch, Uru Industries Ltd, Omata Holdings Ltd, Cento Group of Companies, Coscharis of Companies Group, Innoson Group of Companies, Ebunso Nig. Ltd, John White Industries, Ejiamatu Group of Companies, Chicason Group, Louis Carter Group, etc.

My view from Asaba Airport
Asaba Airport

Have you visited the Japan of Africa? Do you create time to explore the destinations you visit? Share your experience with us.

Read More: What You Should Know Before You Visit Lagos, Nigeria.

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