It was in 1974 that the news broke. Chief Bolarinwa Abioro, the Balogun of Ipokia, the Chairman of African Songs Limited, had taken his star musician to court! Everyone who knew KSA knew Abioro. Everyone who knew Abioro knew Sunday Adeniyi. Sunny was the son. Abioro was the father. What could have gone wrong between father and son? Continue reading The Magnate Versus The Musician – The Story of the Epic Battle Between King Sunny Ade and Chief Bolarinwa Abioro
Moshood Adisa Olabisi Ajala, popularly known in Nigeria and across the globe as ‘Ajala the traveller‘, was the man who toured the United States of America on a bicycle, and the world, on a motor scooter better known as Vespa. From the ordinary son of a traditionalist, Ajala rose to a global celebrity and his name became a song sang on every lips. During his prime, Ajala was envied and praised by both the young and old for his courage, determination and success. Even in 1972, the Nigerian music wizard himself, Chief Commander Ebenezer Obey, immortalized Ajala and his adventures in a song included in his album titled ‘Board Members’. Obey sang thus: “Ajala travel all over the world (2ce), Ajala travel (2ce), Ajala travel all over the world.” Below is OldNaija’s detailed account of the life, career and death of the legendary and iconic Ajala the traveller. Continue reading The Story of Olabisi Ajala, The Popular Nigerian Traveller Who Toured The World On A Vespa
Kola Onadipe, born Nathaniel Kolawole Onadipe, was a prolific and renown Nigerian writer popularly known for his interesting, educating and didactic children’s books. He was born on the 14th of July, 1922 in the serene town of Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State, Nigeria. He studied Law at the University of London in 1949 and later established a Law firm with one of his friends named Abraham Adesanya. Continue reading The life, career and death of Kola Onadipe, author of Sugar Girl and Koku Baboni
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The book ‘Eze Goes to School‘ is undoubtedly one of the most popular and widely read classical novellas in Nigeria. Onuora Nzekwu co-authored the book with historian Michael Crowther in 1966 and has since been on the lips of Nigerians.
Onuora Nzekwu was born in Kafanchan on the 19th of February, 1928 to Mr. Obiese Nzekwu and Mrs. Mary Ogugua Nzekwu. He joined the Civil Service in 1956 as an editorial assistant at the Nigeria Magazine Division of the Federal Ministry of Information. He held this post till 1958 when got promoted to an editor-in-chief. Continue reading The Life and Death of Onuora Nzekwu, Author of the popular book ‘Eze Goes to School’
‘Three Roads To Tomorrow‘ is a 23 minutes coloured film shot in Nigeria in 1958 by BP (British Petroleum) Film.
‘Three Nigerian students from different corners of Nigeria come to Ibadan University. While they sit talking in a dance club, the film traces back each of their journeys to the university. Scenes of their homes give a new impression of an old country, and we come to understand how a modern network of communications – all dependent on oil and petrol – has opened up what was not so long ago inaccessible territory’ (Monthly Film Bulletin, 1961, 14). Continue reading ‘Three Roads To Tomorrow’- A Nigerian Film Shot In 1958
Malcolm X, originally born Malcolm Little, was a notorious African-American hooligan who later became a world known human right activist and Islamic leader.
Malcolm X visited Nigeria on two occasions, one in 1959 and the other in 1964. His first visit to Nigeria in 1959 was to arrange a tour for Elijah Muhammad, the leader of ‘Nation of Islam‘, a black Muslim organization in America. Malcolm X’s second visit to Nigeria was in 1964. Continue reading Malcolm X’s Visit To Nigeria In 1959 And 1964
Listen to Majek Fashek’s “Send Down The Rain”
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Majekodunmi Fasheke, popularly known as Majek Fashek, is a well known Nigerian reggae singer and guitarist who was born in Benin City to a Yoruba father and an Edo mother. In the 1980s, Majek Fashek earned his recognition on a television (NTA Benin) show as a member of a band called Jastix of which Ras kimono and Amos McRoy Gregg were members. Evi Edna Ogholi also performed as an upcoming artist with Jastax.
In 1988, Majek Fashek released an album titled “Prisoner of Conscience” which include the song “Send Down The Rain” which became Continue reading Send Down The Rain (1988)- Majek Fashek
Evi Edna Ogholi is a Nigerian female reggae musician who rocked the 1980s with her popular reggae-styled songs. She was born on the 6th of July, 1965 in Isoko, Delta State (then Bendel State). Evi Edna Ogholi is regarded by many people as the first female reggae artist in Nigeria and this is true as it is evident in the title of her debut album released in 1987, ‘My Kind of Music’. Later on, she released three more popular albums tittled ‘On The Move’, ‘Happy Birthday’ and ‘Step by Step’.
Of all Evi Edna Ogholi’s songs, Happy Birthday is the most popular and can also be considered as her magnum opus. The song ‘Happy Birthday’ was released in 1988 under Polygram Records (later Premier Records) and was played all over Nigeria. Even today, people still play the song at birthday celebrations.
Listen to audio here
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Other songs of Evi Ogholi include: *One Kilometre *Message to the Youths *Jealousy *Oghene Me (My God) *Okioghne (God’s Time) *Ririovara (Wipe Your Tears)
Palava is the first film shot in Nigeria in the year 1926. The British film which was written and directed by Geoffrey Barkas was shot among the Sura, Angas, Mangu and Berom people of Plateau and Bauchi in Northern Nigeria and was released on April 25, 1927. The film tells the story of a jealous British tin miner (Mark Fernandez) in Nigeria who with alcohol arouse Continue reading Palava- The First Film Shot in Nigeria, 1926
Valentine’s day is celebrated on the 14th of February, every year, to show affection to a person, people or loved ones by sending cards, flowers, love messages or even having fun together.
Nigerians are not left behind when it comes to celebrating special days like this. Below is a picture showing how some Nigerians celebrated Valentine’s day in 1965, a long way back! So you can see that the lifestyle of Nigerians back in the 60s, 70s and 80s was shrouded in fun, love and glamour.
Let us know how you celebrated your Valentine’s day; kindly share it in the comment box below. Thank you!
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Baby Kilode (Baby, what is wrong) is a popular Nigerian pop song sang in the 80s by the Falsetto King, Dizzy K Falola born Kunle Falola. The heavy disco song was released in 1983 and included in the album “Be My Friend”. Dizzy K Falola was known to have taken after the style of the King of Pop, Michael Jackson, in his music career. Dizzy K Falola sang many other songs such as Excuse Me Baby, Take It To The DJ, Be My Friend, but Baby Kilode still remain his biggest hit. The song sent people dancing wild on the streets, in clubs, parties and musical concerts throughout the 1980s in Nigeria.
The Second World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture, popularly known as Festac 77, was a boisterous cultural celebration which took place in Lagos, Nigeria, starting from January 15 1977 to February 12 1977. The festival celebrated the cultures and traditions of Africa and also presented African art works, literature, religion and music to the universe. The history of FESTAC can be traced back to the 1940s when certain ideas were developed on Pan-Africanism and Negritude by the Senegalese president, Leopold Sedar Senghor, Aime Casaire and some others.
The Festac 77 was the largest pan-African gathering during the period it took place. Nigeria was called upon to host the second Festac festival after the end of the first one which was held in Dakar, Senegal (1st to 24th of April, 1966). The festival was to take place in 1970, but due to the Nigerian civil war that broke out (1967-1970), the festival was postponed to 1977. The Festac 77 festival was attended by about 17,000 people from 56 African nations. The festival paved way for the construction of the Festac Town/Village in Lagos and the National Theatre, Iganmu, Lagos. The Nigerian government built the Festac Village to accommodate the 17,000 and above participants. The main reason the Festac Village was built was to cut the accommodation problem and pressure Lagos was likely to face.
The celebration of the festival commenced at 9 a.m on the 15th of January, 1977. The opening ceremony took place inside the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos, where many participants held a parade to welcome visiting dignitaries and the Nigerian Head of State, Olusegun Obasanjo. The Festac 77 festival has the royal ivory mask of Benin as its emblem. A shango priest entertained the crowd by setting the festival bowl aflame and a thousand Pigeons were released to signify the liberation and oneness of the Black nations.
Several drama and music shows were staged at the Tafawa Balewa Square in the afternoons and evenings. musicians like Miriam Makeba from South Africa, Stevie Wonder, Louis Moholo, The Sun Ra Arkestral and so on rocked musical concerts sending their numerous fans dancing wild to their songs.
Several countries showcased their artworks at the National Theatre, at the Nigerian National Museum and some places around the Tafawa Balewa Square.
“At the Square, each country represented at the festival was given a booth to exhibit their paintings, musical instruments, woven cloths, books and art objects. Some other notable exhbitons that took place were Africa and the Origin of Man, which was held at the National Theatre, and Ekpo Eyo’s 2000 Years of Nigerian Art, which included Nok terracottas, Benin court art, Igbo Ukwu, Ife and Tsoede bronzes and art objects.”
Another exhilarating event at the FESTAC 77 festival is the boat regatta held at the Queen’s Drive Foreshore in Ikoyi, Lagos, which lasted for three days. The participants of the boat regatta were mainly from Nigerian states such as Ondo, Ogun, Lagos, Imo, Edo, Kwara, etc. More than 250 boats full of acrobats, masquerades and musicians displayed at the occasion.
The Festac 77 participants also made a trip to Kaduna to witness the Dubar festival which took place for three days. There was a gallant display of horse riding, dancing of the Bida Masqurades, blowing of the Kakaki trumpets and many more.
Here are the countries that attended the Festac 77 festival:-
Kenya, Zaire, Congo, Benin, Cameroon, Gabon, Mauritius, Niger, Somalia, Equatorial Guinea, Egypt, Malagasy, Mauritania, Botswana, Lesotho, Chad, Central Africa, Upper Volta, Morocco, Angola, Senegal, Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland, Ghana, Libya, Zambia, Togo, Guinea-Bissau, Sudan, Algeria, Mali, Sierra Leone, Tunisia, Liberia, Ethiopia, Ivory Coast, Tanzania, Uganda and Gambia. Some South American countries were also present at the festival, e.g Guyana, Cuba, Haiti, Brazil. Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados and so on represented the Caribbean. The United states also sent their representatives from different countries.
An anthem was written for FESTAC 77 by Margaret Walker from Alabama, USA, while the music was produced by Akin Euba from Nigeria.
Here is the lyrics of the Festac 77 anthem titled, For My People.
FESTAC ’77 Anthem
1] Let a new earth arise
Let another world be born
Let a bloody peace
Be written in the sky.
Refrain: Festac 77 is here
2] Let a second generation
Full of courage issue forth
Let a people loving freedom
Come to growth
Refrain: Festac 77 is here
3] Let a beauty full of healing
And strength of final clenching
be the pulsing in our spirits
And our blood
Refrain: Festac 77 is here
4] Let the martial songs be written
Let the dirges disappear
Let the race of men now rise
And take control
Refrain: Festac 77 is here
The FESTAC 77 will forever remain a remarkable celebration in the history of Nigeria.
In the 70s, lifestyle in Ibadan, the present Capital of Oyo State, was full of social activities. Hardly would you walk from one street to another without seeing canopies hung above party fellas, eating, drinking and dancing to the songs of their popular musicians, the likes of Sunny Ade, Continue reading IBADAN LIFESTYLE IN THE 70s
The origin of Nollywood, the Nigerian movie industry, can be traced back to the 1960s when the first set of Nollywood movies were produced by great filmmakers like: Hubert Ogunde, Jab Adu, Ola Balogun, Moses Olaiya (Baba Sala), Adeyemi Afolayan a.k.a Ade Love and Eddie Ugboma. These professionals were considered to be the first generation of Nigerian filmmakers. They started their career with stage performance and gradually moved into the world of film production using the Celluloid format.
Continue reading The Origin of Nollywood, the Nigerian Film Industry