Social History

Professor Peller Magical Performances In The Early 70s

Professor Peller was the most brilliant in Africa when he was alive. Even after his death, it is not certain that his records has been broken by other magicians in Africa. He performed in almost every country in Africa, and not only before Princes and the elites, but also held Kings spellbound with his magic. Here is how a professor of psychiatry, Femi Oyebode, at the University of Birmingham, described Peller and one of his shows in 1972 at the George V stadium in Lagos, now known as Onikan Stadium.
My last ever visit to the stadium was to see Professor Peller, a magician, and said to be a member of the Magic Circle take on the last of our traditional magicians whose name now escapes me (itself a significant fact). Professor Peller was dressed in black tails, a top hat, a wand in one hand, black shoes and well-cut hair. He was a perfect picture of debonair gentleman and was assisted by an attractive young woman. He flicked his white handkerchief and a white dove flew out. He pulled at his cuff links and flowers bloomed under his command. He was confident, majestic. He was suave and graceful. He levitated his assistant. He cut her in two without drawing blood. He locked her in a cupboard, chained up several times over yet she disappeared! It was a masterly performance. The crowd clapped, hooped. We were seduced against our better judgment. We wished desperately that the traditional magician would enthrall and endear us to his magic, the mysteries of African magic. We were disappointed or shall I say that I was disappointed. When he came on stage dressed only in a loincloth of indeterminate color, you could hear the audience gasp aloud. Was this African magic? This crude, little thin man who seemed recently woken from the dead? He swallowed a stone and turned his backside to us, slipping his loincloth to one side and excreted the stone. Awfulness and shame. He submitted his abdomen to a sharp sword to be sliced open. But by now, the absence of razzmatazz and of finesse had turned us against him. The crowd poured through the gates. That was how disgusted we were. You can say that at George V stadium, in early adulthood I lost two of my childhood dreams.pella2
The source of this speech is from:
Here is another popular performance by Prof. Peller. During this magical show, he sliced his wife into two and then put her back together again.
It was at the National Theatre in Iganmu, Lagos State and the Lagos State Governor, Alhaji Lateef Jakande was present at the occasion to represent Chief Obafemi Awolowo. The event started as planned but then the Peller team decided to throw in a suspense-filled event, as their usual practice when they have events following one another every evening. The essence was to create so much suspense so that they will draw in even more crowd by the next day. So for day one, the idea was to create an illusion that he ran into trouble while sawing his wife in half. But then, the next step involved ‘reviving’ her. After the ‘cutting’, which was obviously done with a lot of dramatic effects, the crowd went into a frenzy and began to shout ‘We want Lady Peller!’, ‘Give us Lady Peller!’. Later in 2012, the 66-year-old Lady Peller was interviewed and asked about the incident and she insisted that Peller actually cut her into two and she even sustained some light injuries.
Professor Peller remained the greatest magician in the history of Nigeria. Many Nigerians believed that magic in Nigeria died along with him.

Cite this article as: Teslim Omipidan. (July 2, 2015). Professor Peller Magical Performances In The Early 70s. OldNaija. Retrieved from


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