Category Archives: General History

Sarah Forbes Bonetta- The Yoruba Slave Who Became Queen Victoria’s Goddaughter

Sarah Forbes Bonetta (Davies)
Sarah Forbes Bonetta (Davies)

Sarah Forbes Bonetta was originally born ‘Aina’ in 1843 to Egbado parents of the Yoruba ethnic group. Her father was the high chief of Oke-Odan, an Egbado village in western Nigeria, till he was killed in 1848 when King Gezo of Dahomey, one of the notorious slave raiders in the 19th century, raided his village. Sarah’s parents and siblings whose names are unknown were killed in the raid which turned Sarah, an Egbado princess, into a slave. Continue reading Sarah Forbes Bonetta- The Yoruba Slave Who Became Queen Victoria’s Goddaughter

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Babatunde Folorunsho- The First Armed Robber To Be Publicly Executed In Nigeria

Babatunde Folorunsho
Babatunde Folorunsho, Ilobo and Oyazimo at the stakes

The name ‘Babatunde Folorunsho’ seems nice and pleasant, but its bearer was actually a daylight terror and a nightmare to Nigerians in the early 1970s. Babatunde Folorunsho was an armed robber and a hardened criminal who threatened the peace and security of Nigerians in the 1970s with his ruthless group of bandits. He reigned almost the same time as the kingpin of Nigerian armed robbers, Ishola Oyenusi also known as Doctor rob and kill. Babatunde Folorunsho was dubbed ‘Baba oni lace‘ (Mr. Lace) because of his strong affection for lace outfits which he even wore during robbery operations. Continue reading Babatunde Folorunsho- The First Armed Robber To Be Publicly Executed In Nigeria

The story of Cudjo Lewis- The last survivor of Clotilda (the last ship to transport slaves from Africa to America)

Cudjo Lewis (Oluwale Kassola)
Cudjo Lewis (Oluwale Kassola) | The Encyclopedia of Alabama

Cudjo ‘Kazoola’ Lewis was born in 1841 to a Yoruba family who lived in the Banté region of Dahomey, now Benin Republic. Cudjo Lewis, born Oluwale Kossola, lived happily with his parents, siblings and other family members. At a young age of 14, Cudjo began training with other boys as a soldier and was initiated into Oro, a secret Yoruba male society who guarded the community. Continue reading The story of Cudjo Lewis- The last survivor of Clotilda (the last ship to transport slaves from Africa to America)

Photo of a Leopard shot dead after it escaped from a zoo in Lagos in 1912

 

Leopard escaped in Nigeria buy shot
Men inspecting the dead Leopard, Lagos, 1912

This Leopard escaped from a zoo in Lagos in 1912 causing pandemonium in Lagos and neighboring towns . Continue reading Photo of a Leopard shot dead after it escaped from a zoo in Lagos in 1912

Agnes Yewande Savage- The First Nigerian Female Doctor

Agnes Yewande Savage - First Nigerian female doctor Agnes Yewande Savage was born on the 21st of February, 1906 in Edinburgh, Scotland, to a Nigerian father, Richard Akinwande Savage and a Scottish mother, Maggie S. Bowie. In 1919, at the tender age of thirteen, Yewande Savage gained entrance into the Royal College of Music  and was awarded a scholarship to study at George Watson’s Ladies College. Continue reading Agnes Yewande Savage- The First Nigerian Female Doctor

Meet little Folashade Lawson who also presented flowers to Queen Elizabeth II: She is now Mrs Folashade Randle

Folashade Lawson, daughter of the Chairman of Lagos Town Council, was among the girls who presented flowers to Queen Elizabeth II when she visited Nigeria in 1956. As at then, little Folashade Lawson was four years old but now, she is Mrs. Folashade Randle, a qualified commercial lawyer married with children to Bashorun J.K. Randle, former President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN). Below are her then and now photos. Continue reading Meet little Folashade Lawson who also presented flowers to Queen Elizabeth II: She is now Mrs Folashade Randle

Margery Michelmore- The lady whose postcard sparked outrage in Nigeria in 1961

Margery Michelmore
Margery Michelmore | Life Magazine, 1961

Margery Michelmore came to Nigeria in 1961 for the Peace Corps training at the University of Ibadan. She was not used to the life in Nigeria and she couldn’t keep this to herself. So on October 14, 1961, Margery Michelmore Heffron wrote a postcard to a friend back home in the United States of America stating the “squalor and absolutely primitive living conditions” of Nigeria. She said she was totally cut off from the world. Continue reading Margery Michelmore- The lady whose postcard sparked outrage in Nigeria in 1961

Meet Tokunbo Awolowo, the schoolgirl who presented flowers to Queen Elizabeth II in 1956

Queen Elizabeth II was presented flowers on different occasions during her first visit to Nigeria in 1956. One of the girls who presented flowers to the Queen was Tokunbo Awolowo (now Tokunbo Awolowo-Dosunmu), the daughter of Chief Obafemi Awolowo, who was then a schoolgirl. Below are her then and now photos.

Continue reading Meet Tokunbo Awolowo, the schoolgirl who presented flowers to Queen Elizabeth II in 1956

The Legend, Mysteries and History of Dala Hill, the Pride of Kano

Dala hill

The history of the Dala community and Kano cannot be told without including the significance and importance of the magnificent Dala hill also known as ‘Dutsen Dala’ in Hausa language. The mystery-filled Dala hill majestically stands 534 meters high and covers a land mass of 289,892 metres in the Dala Local Government Area of Kano city, Kano State. The hill has a beautiful outlook that gives tourists an irresistible urge to climb to the top. At the base of the hill, there are potsherds and remains of dyeing pits and graves which are evidences that some early settlers have inhabited the place long ago. These early settlers were craftsmen who took to mining and iron works of different kinds due to excessive iron ore found on the hill. Continue reading The Legend, Mysteries and History of Dala Hill, the Pride of Kano

Jalumi War of 1878 (Battle of Ikirun)

Sketch plan of 1878 Jalumi War aka Battle of Ikirun
Sketch plan of 1878 Jalumi War aka Battle of Ikirun

The Jalumi war, also known as Ogun Jalumi or Battle of Ikirun was a bloody war fought by Ibadan on the side of Ikirun against the allied forces of Ilorin, Ila, Ekiti and Ijesha on November 1, 1878 in the northeastern part of modern day Osun State. The Jalumi war was among the devastating civil wars that plagued the Yoruba nation in the 19th century. Others are, Osogbo war, Ekiti parapo/Kiriji war, Ibadan-Ijaye war e.t.c. Continue reading Jalumi War of 1878 (Battle of Ikirun)

How Prophet Daniel Abodunrin Was Torn Apart By Lions at U.I. Zoo In 1991

Prophet Daniel Abodurin's Corpse
Prophet Daniel Abodurin’s Corpse | Abiyamo

Ibadan, the capital of Oyo state, is the largest city in Nigeria and the third in Africa after Cairo and Johannesburg. The city which lies in the south-western part of Nigeria is known for its rich and fascinating cultures, lifestyle, history and spellbinding tourist destinations. One of the most visited tourist destinations in Ibadan is the University of Ibadan zoological garden which proudly houses different animals ranging from lions to rabbits. It is a popular custom of many families living in Ibadan to visit the zoo during festive periods to hang out and have fun as well. So, on a fateful (later bloody) day in the Easter season of the year 1991, visitors stormed the U.I zoo as usual to enjoy the serene environment of the enclosure and have fun seeing different animals they have only seen on screens. Of all the animals in the zoo, the lions attract the highest number of visitors. It can even be concluded that a visit to U.I zoo without seeing the lions is not complete. Continue reading How Prophet Daniel Abodunrin Was Torn Apart By Lions at U.I. Zoo In 1991

First Plane Crash In Nigeria, April 1942

Site of first plane crash in Nigeria
Site of first plane crash in Nigeria

The first plane crash in Nigeria occurred on the 12th of April, 1942 about 8:15pm on a hill (Igbo Ilapa) in the serene and rustic town of Ikogosi, Ekiti State, the same town that houses the popular tourist attraction where warm and cold spring co-existed on a spot. Continue reading First Plane Crash In Nigeria, April 1942

The History And Mystery of Bilikisu Sungbo Shrine In Ijebu Ode, Ogun State

Bilikisu Sungbo Shrine
Bilikisu Sungbo Shrine | Naijatreks

The burial place of the legendary and biblical Queen of Sheba, locally known among Yoruba people as Bilikisu Sungbo, has turned a place of worship and tourism in Nigeria. Millions of people visit annually from different parts of the world to share the mystery surrounding Bilikisu Sungbo grave-turned-shrine located in Oke-Eri, Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State, Nigeria. The historical queen, Bilikisu Sungbo, was said to have traveled all the way from Ethiopia down to Ijebu-Ode where she died and was buried. The natives of Ijebu-Ode hold strong and popular claims about the identity of the controversial Bilikisu Sungbo. They claimed that she was the Queen of Sheba mentioned in the bible to have visited the wise king Solomon at height of his powers. They also claimed that Bilikisu Sungbo was the Quranic Queen Baliqs of Ethopia (from which the name Bilikisu was derived) who visited king Sulaiman. Another source has it that Bilikisu Sungbo was a wealthy woman and the leader of a group of women potters who traveled to far away places. Also, she was believed to possess supernatural powers with which she dug ditches around villages in Ijebu-Ode. Continue reading The History And Mystery of Bilikisu Sungbo Shrine In Ijebu Ode, Ogun State

The Osogbo War of 1840

Osogbo map

After the Fulanis systematically captured and made Ilorin their territory, they sacked the old Oyo Empire in 1835/1636. They were still not satisfied with their victory; they wished to extend their rule deep into the heart of Yoruba land. Thus in 1840, they set to capture Osogbo, a Yoruba town. The Fulanis, under the command of Ali, the Hausa balogun of Ilorin, laid siege on Osogbo. When the king of Osogbo realized that the Ilorins were too strong for the Osogbo army, he summoned the Ibadans for help. Ibadan immediately sent some auxiliaries to Osogbo under the command of Obele alias Mobitan, and Alade Abimpagun. As this force could not stop the Ilorins, another contingent was sent to Osogbo under a more experienced leader. But still the Ilorins won every battle and gained more ground. Continue reading The Osogbo War of 1840

The Mugbamugba War- Second Attempt of a Failed Expulsion

Fulani Warriors

After Are-Ona-Kakanfo Afonja was murdered and Ilorin was seized by the Fulani Jamma, Alimi (the son of Abdul Salam) became the first Fulani ruler of Ilorin not with the title of Oba or Baale but Emir which solidifies that the total control of Ilorin, a Yoruba town had gone to the Fuanis. In a bid to restore the control of Ilorin in the hands of the Yorubas, Toyeje, the Baale of Ogbomoso and the new Are-Ona-Kakanfo, led an attack on Ilorin to expel the Fulanis, but unfortunately, he failed drastically. After sometime, between the months of March and April (when locus fruit i.e Igba was ripe for harvest), another attempt was made by the Yorubas to chase the intruding Fulanis out of Ilorin but failed again. Continue reading The Mugbamugba War- Second Attempt of a Failed Expulsion