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
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
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
Below are the names and other details of people killed during the Aba women’s riot of 1929. You can read about the riot here.
Above is the picture of Emmanuel Ifeajuna breaking the British high jump record at 6 ft & 8 inch at the Commonwealth Games in Vancouver, Canada in the year 1954. He competed wearing only his left shoe and still won the jump. Ifeajuna became the Continue reading Picture of Emmanuel Ifeajuna breaking the British high jump record in Vancouver
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
The Queen of England, Queen Elizabeth II, visited Nigeria for the first time on the 28th of January, 1956, four years to Nigeria’s independence, and stayed for 20 days. She was welcomed at the Ikeja Airport, Lagos, with a military parade and by dignitaries such as the then Governor-General, Sir James Robertson, his wife, the Minister of Labour, Festus Okotie-Eboh and the Oba of Benin, Oba Akenzua II. Continue reading Queen Elizabeth’s First Visit to Nigeria (Photos and Video)
‘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
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
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
In 1948, Sir John Stuart Macpherson succeeded Sir Authur Richards as the Governor-General of Nigeria. Soon after he (Macpherson) resumed office, he began to draft a new constitution for the country. He was very patient and careful in the process so as not to repeat the mistake of his predecessor, Sir Authur Richards. Sir Authur Richards’ constitution, also known as Richards constitution of 1946, was severely criticized by Nigerian nationalists on the ground that it was imposed on Nigerians and operated without prior consultation. Continue reading Macpherson Constitution of 1951
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
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
The Egba-Dahomey war, as the name suggests, was a war that broke out between the two neighboring kingdoms of Egba and Dahomey (now the Republic of Benin) over territorial expansion caused by the quest of the latter to stabilize her economy. The Egba-Dahomey war was the third of the destructive wars that plagued the Yoruba nation in the nineteenth century, proceeding the Owu-Ife war: 1821-1828; and the 1840 Osogbo war. Continue reading The Egba- Dahomey War (1851-1864)
On the 9th of January, 1950, delegates from the northern, eastern and western regions of Nigeria met as a body in Ibadan to discuss issues on the new constitution Sir Macpherson was drafting (Macpherson constitution of 1951). Continue reading The Ibadan All-Nigerian Constitutional Conference of 1950