Version classiqueVersion mobile
OpenEdition Books

Les indépendances en Afrique

Odile Goerg
Jean-Luc Martineau
Didier Nativel

Première partie. Acteurs sociaux et militants devant l'évènement

The role of popular music and editorial cartoons in recounting the experience of Independence in Nigeria

David Oshorenoya Esizimetor

Texte intégral

  • 1 A research program lauched by the Institut Français pour la Recherche en Afrique (IFRA–Ibadan) in (...)

1Most analyses of Nigerian Independence have focused on official accounts and media reports of the events; little is known of the ways in which Nigerians, some at the grassroots1 and some in specific observers’ positions, experienced Independence around 1960; and even less has been said about the popular music and editorial cartoons of the era. The choice of popular music and editorial cartoons in the reconstruction of the Independence history of Nigeria is an attempt to seek alternative and newer sources of lesser known perspectives on the experience and celebration of Independence in Nigeria.

Figure 1. – Political Map of Nigeria.

2To understand the ways in which these perspectives on the experience and celebration of Nigerian Independence were captured by the popular music and the editorial cartoons of the Independence era, it is important to start by looking at the social space in which the experience or set of experiences of Independence occurred around 1960 so that we can identify the factors and the locations, and assess their effect on Nigerians thereafter.

3The term social space encompasses all privately-or publicly-owned physical, virtual or mass-mediated space where social interactions take place. Social spaces such as the work-place, town halls, public squares, markets, hotels, night-clubs, drinking houses, schools, religious centres, websites and the media make it possible for people to come together for educational, religious, political, recreational or some other social purpose (Dyer and Ngui, 2010; Lefebvre, 2009). However, a social space does not always have to be a real physical or virtual space; it could also be a metaphor for a series of social activities or the very experience of social life itself (O’Neill, 1972). One remarkable fact about all social spaces is their ability to evolve alongside the interactions, situations, and the individuals and groups interacting within them. The Nigerian social space has not always been the same since the interactions, situations and interacting parties are always evolving. In this case study, we will track the interactions, situations and interacting parties involved in the evolution of the Nigerian social space through the Independence era in order to analyse the specific experience of Independence based on minority perspectives, such as those expressed by the popular music and editorial cartoons of the Independence era.

Of the Nigerian social space and some popular art forms

4While many people still recall how highlife, as the popular music of the 1950s and 1960s, set the mood of the Independence era by electrifying the social space, few people remember the role played by the editorial cartoons or the political and social cartoons of the era in guiding people’s understanding of what Nigeria’s Independence from Britain meant.

5As popular art forms, both highlife music and political and social cartoons reached out to a large and rapidly growing urban population of Nigerians in the 1950s and 1960s. The rapid growth of the urban population of Nigeria was the direct consequence of the colonial, commercial and evangelical activities witnessed by many Nigerian towns in the decades leading up to Independence. It was these urbanising activities that led to the building of a new environment that supported the development of these art forms, which meant two things. Firstly, the urban culture created the need for people to socialize beyond ethno-cultural lines in the new urban space created by the interaction between British and Nigerian peoples, especially in the leisure and media sectors. Secondly, the urban money economy provided the economic means to engage in leisure and media activities. Among the first towns to witness the full weight of such urbanizing activities and the complementary urban economy and culture were Lagos and Calabar. Lagos, in particular, became the centre for commerce as well as the seat of government for the merged Crown Colony of Lagos and the protectorates of Northern and Southern Nigeria into what became the colony and protectorate of Nigeria in 1914 (Aderibigbe, 1989; Olukoju, 2004).

6As the seat of government and commerce in Nigeria, the city came to harbour a new urban population from different cultures and all walks of life. While the city attracted the British government, which made the city a crown colony from as early as 1861 to check the slave trade and monitor British trade investments and evangelical interests in the region, it also attracted local merchants and working class Nigerians from across Nigeria. This included the emerging class of educated Nigerians, ex-slave returnees from Sierra Leone, Brazil and the West Indies who formed the crux of the British colonial administration in Nigeria, members of various European missionary societies, and members of the police forces and war veterans from the two World Wars who settled in the city alongside the indigenous people of the city.

Figure 2. – Tinubu Square in 1960 showing the sprawling city of Lagos in the background. Courtesy: National Archives, Abuja.

7Lagos, like several other major cities in pre-Independence Nigeria and like other capital cities across Africa, witnessed a rapid growth in population. Between 1950 and 1960 alone, its population, as well as that of Ibadan, Kaduna or Kano, increased as many people driven by poverty, landlessness and hope of a new-life in a money economy migrated from rural areas and other towns across the country (Meredith, 2006: 152; Falola, 1989; Falola & Heaton, 2008). The rapid population expansion of these big cities resulted in a boom in such principal sectors as commerce, leisure, education, the media, housing, transportation as well as a swell in the number of cultural and political associations (Aderibigbe, 1989).

8Thus, given the unique position of the cities as both seats of national or regional governments and commerce in Nigeria, the growth and diverse nature of their population, and the boom experienced by these principal industrial sectors, Lagos and other major regional headquarters became naturally positioned as centres for intense political and social activities in the country (Jimoh, 2013).

Figure 3. – A street in Lagos at the time of Independence. Courtesy: National Archives, Abuja.

9While many businessmen and workers benefited from the growth of Lagos in terms of good earnings and wages, the rapid growth in population was matched by a complementary growth in the leisure sector, as hotels, nightclubs, cinemas and pubs opened to visitors and residents all over the city for a variety of leisure and entertainment activities. With a greater purchasing power in the hands of many workers, many people could afford pubs and nightclubs to enjoy and dance to some popular live-band highlife music, especially at weekends. In addition, many city-dwellers could also afford to own record players and radios and so were also able to enjoy and dance to the popular highlife dance music of the era within the family or private social space. As the popular dance music of the 1950s and 1960s, highlife, with its fusion of Western and Nigerian musical elements came to symbolise both the spirit of enlightenment and freedom from colonialism. It was this spirit that pervaded the public and private social space in the leisure sector in Nigerian cities at that time.

10Typically the urban social space in cities like Lagos was defined by its elite class of professionals and civil service workers, businessmen, merchants, educated people and politicians from across Nigeria. As a result of this spirit of enlightenment, a culture of information and nationalism came to thrive in the big city. While the latter led to the formation of and participation in cultural and/or political associations that were at the forefront of the struggle for Independence, the former made it possible for individuals and groups to own media establishments and for many people to become aware and interested in the political and social issues of the day through the editorials, articles and cartoons published in such newspapers.

Figure 4. – Some Nigerian newspapers published at the time ot independence.

11Interestingly, the early newspapers were also linked to the elite class of the era. The Lagos Daily News which began publishing in 1925 under the direction of Herbert Macaulay and West African Pilot founded by Nnamdi Azikiwe on 22 November 1937 made it possible for people, in the 1940s, to support the nationalist struggle for Independence as well as follow the trends in the political development of the country, guided by the views of the elite class of the era. In this regard, the West African Pilot became famous for its anti-imperialist sentiments, human-angle stories and for mixing the pictures of cabinet officials with those of traders, clerks and sportsmen in its pages. As the leading light in the movement for Independence in the 1940s and 1950s, the paper pioneered the use of editorial cartoons for political satire in Nigeria (Aderibigbe, 1989).

12While newspaper cartoons had the role of presenting and satirising critical issues in the Nigerian social space during the Independence era, popular music helped to unite the people of the new urban space who came from all sorts of cultural backgrounds in Nigeria. Between the 1950s and 1960s when highlife achieved the status of the popular music of the era, it became a means of uniting the peoples of the cities who were only loosely linked by their cultures and languages or by their emerging identity as Nigerians (Meredith, 2006). For the diverse population of many cities, the highlife blend of music became a sort of common musical heritage that united the people more that any country name, anthem or flag could do at that time. By the nature of these art forms, highlife was restricted to social gatherings and the electronic media, while editorial cartooning was restricted to the print media. Therefore the restriction of highlife to the social space where Europeans and European-educated and non-educated Nigerians mingled freely gave the music a somewhat populist perspective at the time of Independence. By contrast, cartoons, with their critical and somewhat elitist perspective on Independence, were particularly accessible to the reading class of Europeans and European-educated Nigerians. Thus, in considering the value of these two popular art forms–highlife music and editorial cartoons–and recounting the experience of Independence in Nigeria, one would rather consider them complementarily functional.

Highlife and the Nigerian independence celebration

13While highlife may have started in the late 1800s with the music of European marching bands and various forms of palm-wine music played along the West African coast, it was not until the 1920s that it got the name highlife (Collins, 2009; Akwagyiram, 2007). The term “highlife”, according to M. Omibiyi-Obidike (1981) implies “high living”, a form of modern African music that reflected the attitude and aspiration of West Africans toward a “highbrow”, “class elevating”, “higher social life” of lavish social events at which local brass bands provided musical accompaniment, similar to what the British upper class and colonial officers enjoyed (Oikelome, 2009: 40; Akwagyiram, 2007). Emerging as some deliberate protest to European dance music, highlife seemingly became a sort of urban protest music against what, to West African ears, would have been the rather “flavourless” or “bland-sounding” European music, especially in the British colonies of Gold Coast and in Nigeria (Adeogun, 2006; Collins, 2009). So the music rose from being an experimental band music in the early 1900s to becoming a sort of professional dance music in the 1930s. By this time, two strains of highlife emerged, the dance orchestras and the guitar-oriented bands. While the dance orchestras played at the parties of the elites, guitar-oriented highlife was performed by poorer folk, like rural musicians. By the 1950s, guitar-oriented highlife, with influences from swing, jazz and Cuban rhythms, became more associated with the sound of the pre-Independence years (Akwagyiram, 2007). The music eventually took over social space as the music of the good life, freedom and Independence in Nigeria. Among its early successes in Nigeria were Bobby Benson, Sammy Akpabot, Zeal Onyia, Rex Lawson, Eddie Okonta, Roy Chicago and Victor Olaiya. As a new form of African traditional music with global appeal, highlife successfully combined African and European musical elements into a very catchy African dance music. In many highlife sounds, it is common to hear horns, guitars, and occasionally the keyboard dominating the melody, while the drums, chimes, maracas and clappers provide the rhythmic accompaniment. Some solos can be taken by horns, guitars or the human voice. (Collins, 1972; Oikelome, 2009; Coestera, 2008).

Figure 5. – Remnant of the Colonial Regimented Band. The Mubi Ceremony Band playing as the UN Trustee Territory North Cameroon leaves Nigeria in 1961. Brass band music is known to be one of the major influences in the evolution of highlife music in West Africa. Courtesy of National Archives, Abuja.

Figure 6. – Nigerian Highlife Star Zeal Onyia performing at the Kit Kat Club, Accra, c. 1950-1960. Courtesy: Vanderpuje Abuja.

Figure 7. – A newspaper advert publicising a Grand Dance to celebrate the French National Day on 14 July 1960 at the Abalabi Night Club, Mushin, Lagos. While such adverts were not uncommon in the 1950s and 1960s, it demonstrates the popularity of dancing, night clubs, and the sort of popular music and musical collaborations between West African entertainers at the time of Independence in Nigeria. Courtesy: Daily Service, 1960.

14The highlife boom in the golden era of its development in West Africa saw musicians migrating from towns and villages to the big cities where musical performances were more lucrative. In Nigeria, many musicians moved to cities like Lagos where they could easily secure a deal at one of the big recording companies at that time or could get more rewarding patronage for their music. To ensure steady patronage, many highlife musicians began to run hotels and night clubs of their own where they, their bands and invited musicians could regularly perform. Just as the city of Lagos had a plethora of night clubs, there was also a plethora of dance bands ready to perform. The diaspora also got a dose of Nigerian highlife. It was quite common at that time to see muscians and their dance bands touring Europe and America, entertaining their fans and recording their music overseas for wider global distribution. As West Africa fell in tune with the sound of freedom and enjoyment between the 1950s and 1960s, musicians also started moving across Nigeria, Ghana and other West African countries collaborating and performing at various clubs in cities like Accra and Lagos.

15Even as a new form of urban music in Africa, highlife kept close to its traditional roots by maintaining thematic and linguistic links to African traditional music. So it is no surprise that much of the early highlife songs done in the 1950s and 1960s had folk themes intertwined with folk rhythms that only the indigenous languages could express. They were, in a way, good folk songs that sought to make urban life better by telling stories, and giving advice to the Independence generation.

16Highlife musicians made songs in Yoruba, Igbo, Efik, Kalabari, Izon, Edo, English and Nigerian Pidgin (Naijaì). A single musician could sing in as much three to four different Nigerian languages. Jim Lawson for instance, sang in Efik, Kalabari, Igbo and Ijo as well as in English and Nigerian Pidgin, while Victor Olaiya sang in Yoruba and Igbo, as well as in English and in Nigerian Pidgin. Though many songs were done in English, the use of Nigerian Pidgin eventually surpassed the use of English in terms of the near-traditional rhythm of the language as well as in its wider reach and general appeal.

17Independence Day was a Saturday, the first day of October 1960; markets were closed, businesses were closed; but hotels, night clubs, pubs and public squares were open for parties and ceremonies to mark the day of Nigeria’s freedom from colonialism. The entire weekend was buzzing with official and private celebrations. Social venues in cities like Lagos, Calabar, Port Harcourt or Onitsha were fully booked for the celebrations. Similarly, the social venues of the regional capitals like Ibadan and to some extent some community capitals like those of Epe were also engaged with public and private activities marking the Independence Day celebration (Jimoh, 2013). The popular music of the day, highlife and its variant forms, featured prominently in many of the celebrations held in the Western and Eastern regions of Nigeria at that time. While that day was the special day in which Nigeria’s frontline politicians were sworn-in to take over the governance their country from their British colonisers, it was also a very special day for highlife muscians who took over the governance of the country’s urban social space from the British brass bands to show their skills and worth. For the muscians, it was some sort of victory celebration, as they performed the best of their songs from the small private parties scattered across the rapidly growing city of Lagos to the big official Independence Ball held at the Federal Palace Hotel in Lagos.

18The big bands had rehearsed their best songs in preparation for the big freedom event. Highlife was a crowd-puller in those days. Such that when a live band was performing highlife, people would troop in to dance and enjoy the music (Balogun, 2010). Both school children and adults across Nigeria looked forward to performances from such big dance bands as the All Stars Orchestra, Chocolate Dandies, Abalabi Rhythm Dandies, Humming Bees, Starlite Melody Orchestra, Nigeraphone Studio Orchestra, Nigeria Stage Orchestra, Apata Male Orchestra, the Cool Cats, the Mayors Dance Band of Nigeria among others and their performances drew many excited dancers to the dance floors.

19Weeks before the Independence Day event, on recommendation of the National Planning Committee for the Independence Celebrations, the Nigerian Government decided to choose Victor Olaiya alongside the NBC Dance Band to be the official bands to play at the Independence State Ball of 1960 (Daily Service, 1960, October, 1). Though Victor Olaiya was among the best highlife muscicians at that time, he also had the good fortune of having perfomed four years earlier at the State Ball when Queen Elizabeth II visited the soon-to-be-independent Nigeria in 1956. He was also the muscian chosen to perform at the gala of the 1960 Miss Nigeria Beauty Pageant (Balogun, 2010).

Figure 8. – A 1950s 10-inch LP with Victor Olaiya and his All-Stars Band. Courtesy: Per Oldaeus Music.

20That it was Victor Olaiya who was again favoured by the authorities to perform at the Independence Ball sparked offoutrage among the leading bands and musicians at that time who staged a protest to the House of Representatives in Onikan, the Lagos city political headquarters, demanding that an All Stars band should perform instead of Victor Olaiya and his band. Eventually the Prime Minister, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, intervened through J. M. Johnson, the federal Minister for Social Affairs, by directing other bands to form a coalition band to play in support of Victor Olaiya as the star performer at the Independence Ball (Balogun, 2010).

21Like a number of other Nigerian performing musicians, Victor Olaiya confirms that he also composed a special song for the Independence Day celebration in 1960 (Balogun, 2010). However, it is difficult to identify any one of such songs today. The reason may be that these songs were either already existing songs that were adapted impromptu to suit the occasion or that these songs were composed like other songs but were never really recorded or later released like other songs. So if the songs were impromptu, and/or were never studio-recorded or later released, this may be why it is difficult to find evidence of such compositions today. In examining highlife songs released between 1950 and 1960, we discover that there is a paucity or total absence of lyrics about the Nigerian experience of Independence. In the classic songs of the 1950s and 1960s, the thematic concern was mostly about some personal experiences, love and man-woman trouble, friendship and jealousy, hard work and money (Olorunyomi, 2010). As observed earlier, the highlife songs of the Independence era simply sought to make life better by recounting experiences and handing out advice to the Independence generation. Highlife became the music commonly played in all public and private spaces. After the big Independence Day event, highlife musicians became a regular feature at many social and political events and were regularly invited to play at major state events when presidents and diplomats visited Nigeria in the years of Independence.

Figure 9. – R.-L. Tawafa Balewa, Princess Alexandra and her attendant at the 1960 Independence Ball held at the Federal Palace Hotel, Lagos. Courtesy: National Archives, Abuja.

Figure 10. – R.-L. Nnamdi Azikiwe, wife and some other dignitaries dancing at a State Social Function in the 1960s. Courtesy: National Archives, Abuja.

Editorial cartoons and Nigeria Independence

22Unlike highlife, which was essentially the social expression of the spirit of freedom and enjoyment, editorial cartoons offered a critical evaluation of what Independence meant, or should mean, to Nigerian cartoonists in the years of Independence. As a peculiar kind of visual art that deployed a combination of texts (words) and drawings (pictures) to comment on political and social issues, the editorial cartoons of the Independence era captured, criticised or canvassed support for the ideological positions and actions of people and institutions in those years. The power of cartoons cannot be underestimated in the efforts to transform society, and as such, the “little histories” and “quiet revolutions” depicted by cartoons cannot be neglected in reconstructing the grassroots experience of Independence in Nigeria. Although cartoons may be part of the lesser-known aspect of Nigerians’ response to Independence, they successfully record in peculiar ways the manner in which some Nigerians responded to their newfound freedom from colonialism.

Figure 11. – An editorial cartoon published on the editorial page of the Daily Service of Thursday July 28, 1960. Courtesy: National Archives, Ibadan.

23The development of editorial cartooning in Nigeria dates back to the colonial days when the first newspapers and magazines were published. Although the first secular newspapers were published in Nigeria in the early 1920s, the tradition of editorial cartooning did not take root in news publishing until the 1940s. And the West African Pilot became the first Nigerian newspaper to feature editorial cartoons regularly (Olaniyan, 1998). Following the success of the cartoons of Nnamdi Azikiwe’s West African Pilot in the 1940s, Obafemi Awolowo’s Nigerian Tribune as well as the Daily Service and other newspapers also began to publish their own cartoons (Umokoro, 2009) and in their political and social cartoons, we find authentic evidence of the grassroots experience of Nigeria’s Independence in 1960 and in the years after. The major motivations for doing political and social cartoons were then the issues of bad government, corruption, insincerity of the political class, decaying infrastructures, widespread poverty, and the harsh economic and social conditions.

24Beyond the development of editorial cartooning in Nigeria, our focus here is to examine how effectively editorial cartoons reflect the political and social issues of Nigerian Independence, both from the theoretical and analytical perspective of pragmatics. In doing this, we will need to take into account the historical events and issues behind the cartoons in order to focus on a more interpretative analysis of the selected cartoons for this study. In this instance, cartoon pragmatics offers us a systematic process of determining how and what cartoonists mean, and how readers interpret the cartoonist’s intended meanings vis-à-vis their shared social and political experience. In employing the methodology of pragmatics in the analysis of Nigeria’s Independence cartoons, we are doubly challenged: firstly, to interpret the linguistic and the pictorial meanings of political and social cartoons within the social, cultural and political context of Nigeria at the point when Independence was achieved; and secondly, to reflect on how the experience of Independence, encoded in cartoons, impacted on people in 1960 and in the adjoining years. Therefore we shall attempt a bird’s-eye-view interpretation of the cartoons selected (fig. 12 to 20) for this study.

Figure 12. – “Thanks a Lot for the Horse” by Chucks, published in the Daily Service on March 25, 1959.

Figure 13. – “Come! I Will Teach You a Lesson” by Chucks, published in the Daily Service on April 18, 1959

25The cartoons in fig. 12 and 13 are quite similar in portraying the relations between the political parties and the state of the nation in the year just before Independence. Both cartoons attempt to dramatise the inter-party politicking among the frontline parties of the emerging Nigerian nation, especially among the frontline political actors now “fondly remembered” as the founding fathers of the Nigerian nation. Using the strategy of humour, figure 12 depicts the seemingly conniving relationship between the NPC (Northern Peoples Congress), led by Sir Ahmadu Bello, and the NCNC (National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons), led by Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, in a single panelled cartoon. Having thus received a gift horse from the Ahmadu Bello persona, the Nnamdi Azikiwe persona offers his benefactor a sheep labelled NEPU (Northern Elements Progressive Union, founded by Mallam Aminu Kano), a smaller Northern Nigerian political party considered a thorn in the flesh of the much larger NPC at that time. As historical records show, when the NCNC-NPC alliance did not work, the NCNC later formed an alliance with NEPU in order to gain considerable votes in Northern Nigeria; eventually the coalition won 89 of 312 seats in the December 1959 House Representatives Elections (African Elections Database, 2007).

26While thanking the NPC for the ordinary gift of a horse, Azikiwe offers Bello, in return, an unquestionably tough group that historically cannot be described as a “simple lamb” to be oppressed as the new master pleases. In a one-sided dialogue, the NCNC says: “Thanks a lot for the horse you gave me. Now here is my own present to you, my simple lamb, to oppress as you please.” This also does not truly represent the relationship between these parties at that time. History also shows that the NEPU provided some radical opposition to the domineering politics of the NPC in Northern Nigeria, especially from 1959 through the years of Independence. The pragmatic implication of representing the involvement of the NPC and the NCNC in trying to suppress the NEPU is a rather calculated one. The fact that the Action Group, Obafemi Awolowo’s party, is not directly depicted in this cartoon is itself significant: it logically presupposes the AG is a party of saints while directly presenting the NPC and NCNC as the parties of sinners, given their apparently “unholy alliance” to oppress the NEPU. Because the AG does not feature in this cartoon, the audience would only naturally perceive the AG as a party that is not oppressed and does not oppress, as a party that values true freedom and independence, and therefore a party that should be banked on for good governance. Given the fact that this cartoon was published in the Daily Service, a newspaper owned by the government of the Western Region, the views expressed by the cartoonist are not strange. Yet, the truth is that this sort of political cartooning was a form of political game, played at the time by the various regional governments and politicians who, in the 1950s and 1960s, patronised or employed such mass-mediated means to try to win the Nigerian populace over to their brand of freedom and independence in order to wrestle or inherit the leadership of the country from the British.

27In figure 13, the cartoon depicts the fight for superiority among the political parties in 1959, dramatised as a fistfight. The cartoon typically demonstrates the harsh verbal exchanges and conflicts among politicians and political parties, which was and is still common electioneering practice in Nigeria. In the same way, the do-or-die fight for votes and political dominance that was phenomenal in the late 1950s, especially in 1959, is still a key factor in Nigerian politics, even after five decades of Independence. With the strategy of humour, the cartoonist portrays Awo (Obafemi Awolowo) and indeed the AG as younger, bigger, more muscular and better prepared to take on Zik (Nnamdi Azikiwe) of the NCNC who is inviting him to a fight. And if muscular physique and preparedness to fight counts, Zik would stand no chance of winning against Awo. Yet the more crafty character in the cartoon is portrayed in the persona of K.O. Mbadiwe, a former NCNC member but now an opponent of Zik. Mbadiwe plays the part of boxing coach, urging Awo to take on Zik, implying that Zik’s threat is empty, and that his trainee pugilist, Awo, would teach Zik a lesson. To some, especially within the NCNC in 1959, the action of K. Ozumba Mbadiwe was a treacherous betrayal. Pitching Awo, a Yoruba and non-party member, against Zik, a fellow Igbo and political godfather was as treacherous as the 1958 incident of aligning himself with Kola Balogun, also a Yoruba, to unseat Zik as leader of the NCNC, for which Mbadiwe was summarily expelled from the party (Ohia, 2008). This cartoon clearly demonstrates some of the political issues that took centre stage in Nigeria at that time.

Figure 14. – “Men Come Home and Get-Cracking” by Chucks, published on page 6 of the Daily Service on March 8, 1960.

Figure 15. – “‘Monumental Dress’ in Memory of the Master!” by Akinola Lasekan (aka Baba Lash), published on page 4 of the West African Pilot on Wednesday June 1, 1960.

28In pragmatic terms, it portends that Independence for the emerging political class was more about personal, ethnic and political gains than common national interest. The cartoon presents readers with the political truth that in Nigeria, there were neither permanent friends nor permanent enemies, nor even permanent national interest, but there were certainly permanent individual political interests. Thus, this cartoon forces the reader to question how far such permanent individual political interests would help establish and fulfil the country’s goals as an independent nation.

29The following group of cartoons, depicting the events of 1960, was published between March and August 1960. The cartoons demonstrate how issues about Independence were perceived by Nigerians in the year of national freedom.

30In figure 14, the cartoon uses the immediacy and seriousness of the imperative voice to order all colonialists out of Nigeria. Captioned, “Men come home and get cracking!”, this non-dialogic cartoon evidently orders the last elements of the British colonial administration to beat a hasty retreat out of Nigeria. By instructing them in the imperative to be about the business of getting back home, the cartoon implies that colonialism was no longer a gainful enterprise for Britain, hence the need to quickly pull out its personnel. In capturing the realism of the final stage of the dismantling of the British colonial administration in Nigeria, this cartoon depicts the persona of Colonel Hefford, bent over a desk and busy with some important work which needed to be done before he could leave for home, since he was working late in a rather dark and desolate office, filled with vacant desks of colleagues who had already left. Colonel Eric Alfred Hefford was a retired British Army officer who later described himself as “midwife” to nations such as Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Tanganyika, Malta, British Guiana and Barbados, since he was charged with the task of preparing colonies for self-government and independence in the 1960s. Describing Hefford’s role as the late-imperial administrator who organised the “freedom at midnight” ceremonies like the one held at Tafawa Balewa Square in Lagos that ran from the eve to the day of Independence, Cannadine (2010) writes:

“In one guise, he was the undertaker of the British Empire, orchestrating valedictory colonial observances; in another, he was the impresario of emancipation, planning the independence celebrations by which new nations came to birth. The cost varied, according to the size of the colony and the scale of the spectacle: from less than £200,000 in Malta to more than £2m in Nigeria.”

31Notice how the Hefford persona is depicted in the dark while the vacant desks are in the light. This could be interpreted as the inevitability of the darkness of colonialism giving way to the light of freedom and independence where the vacant desks of former colonial administrators would be occupied by Nigerian minsters. For this cartoonist, a prominent seat should be reserved for “J.M.J.”, probably referring to Chief Joseph Modupe Johnson, who variously served as Federal Minister of Internal Affairs (1957-1960), and as Minister of Labour, Social Welfare and Sports (1960-1963) (Segal, Hoskyns & Ainslie, 1961).

32Also depicted at the top right of the same cartoon are Nigerian ministers and officers who, in preparation for Independence, were conferencing abroad. Taken together, this is an ironic and yet paradoxical way of stating that while colonial officers were being ordered back home, Nigerians abroad were voluntarily making their way back home to fill up the vacancies left by the British.

33This cartoon draws upon the mood of the people in Nigeria ahead of the official declaration of Independence, when staff of the colonial administration were being called home to Britain in the run-up to October 1960. As more and more staff were called back home to Britain, more and more vacancies opened up for Nigerians to run their country themselves. The mood in Nigeria then, as this cartoon suggests, was simply: Britain must go, similar in some ways to the Ghana must go experience in 1983 when millions of Ghanaians were expelled from Nigeria (Estrada, 2004).

34Similarly, figure 15 expresses much of the same national freedom from colonialist sentiment, expressing the need for a truly independent country, especially in matters of national symbols and identity. Captioned “Monumental Dress in Memory of the Master!”, this single-panelled cartoon forcefully brings to the fore one of the important identity questions on the lips of many enlightened Nigerians in the run-up to the nation’s Independence. Published on 1 June 1960, exactly four months before Nigeria’s official declaration of Independence, the cartoon questions why the British should write the words and music of the Nigerian national anthem. The cartoon features two human characters (in the foreground), acting out the relationship between the out-going British colonial government and the soon-to-be fully independent Nigerian nation. While the sad-faced Nigerian persona seems to be suffering from the burden of wearing foreign overalls over his better-fitting traditional clothing, the pipe-smoking, suit-and-tie-wearing imperialist, with arms akimbo and a scornful smile, makes no effort to assist Independent Nigeria to either adjust or take off the seemingly uncomfortable cloak.

  • 2 After “God save the Queen”, used until 1 October 1960, the first national anthem, “Nigeria we hail (...)

35It is ironic that the white man, who wears his own traditional clothing, bestows upon the black man some of his clothing, to be worn over the black man’s own better-fitting traditional clothing. Any good observer of this cartoon today would certainly realise how effective the satire in this cartoon was, as that this ill-fitting foreign overall became a burden Independent Nigeria had to bear for a long time. However, one important aspect of this cartoon is the labelling on the items bestowed on Independent Nigeria. While the hat bears the label “‘N’ (National) Anthem (words)”, the overall bears the label “‘National’ Anthem (music)”. These labels effectively help to situate the cartoon’s thematic focus on the words and music of the Nigerian National Anthem. Notice the use of inverted commas on “N” and “National” which are used to communicate the fact that the seemingly British-imposed national anthem cannot therefore be national; and neither can it represent the unique identity of the biggest black nation on earth. The pragmatic implication of the word “outgoing” is also crucial here, for it logically presupposes that the imperialist is not outgone and that he still exercises a great influence on the Independent Nation. Outgoing, yet he waits by the side to see if his incoming successor, Independent Nigeria, would falter. With the words and music of the country’s national symbol of identity bestowed by foreigners, it is not difficult to see why they are unsuitable to represent the country’s true national identity as a black nation. This cartoon plays out the cultural conflict and national identity question generated by the choice of words and music for the Nigerian National Anthem when the country was preparing for its Independence2. Accepting to use a national anthem not written by its citizens but imposed by its colonisers certainly injured the national pride of many enlightened Nigerians at that time. For many Nigerians, the measure of true freedom and national pride was the joy of creating their own national identity in form of the words and music of the country’s national anthem. Not having their own truly national anthem really doused the expected euphoria of celebrating Independence in 1960 among the country’s intellectuals. The Independence performance of Soyinka’s (1960, 1963) A Dance of the Forests and Achebe’s (1960) Independence release of No Longer at Ease both dramatised and chronicled the pervading feelings of disillusionment among Nigerians in 1960.

36For cartoonist Akinola Lasekan, the choice of such foreign-composed National Anthem was an object of monumental shame, not a measure of true independence. The expression “monumental” is rather satirically ironic: monuments should usually be erected in memory of heroes and historic events, but the choice of a national anthem for the Nigerian nation was seemingly done or “erected” in memory of the colonial master and his “heroic” invention known as colonialism. Here the words and music do not constitute a “monument” in the normal sense, but become monuments since they continue to remind the nation of its outgoing British coloniser. The satire here is derived from the fact that the cartoonist, through the use of inverted comas, ridicules the choice of European-supplied music and words for the nation’s anthem over traditional words and music. Again, the scale at which it impacts on the country can only be monumental. One thing is clear for this cartoonist: Independent Nigeria, or soon-to-be Independent Nigeria, cannot fully enjoy its independence by relying on the words and music provided by or borrowed from the British imperialist who, according to this cartoonist, is a thing of national disgrace and not a cause for celebration. Although this cartoon does not really make one laugh, it does make effective use of satire and body language to demonstrate the social relations between the imperialist, who is portrayed as master, and the independent Nigerian, portrayed as some servant who (un) willingly does what the master wants. While the master smiles in a snide fashion, the servant is saddened by the weight of the huge cap and heavy overalls he has to wear for “the master’s sake” or “in memory of the master”, as the cartoon puts it. The cartoon strongly implies the following questions. Why should independent Nigeria borrow the words and music of its national anthem from its outgoing colonisers who seem not to mean him well? Should not an independent nation have its own words for its national anthem and music that reflects its national or indigenous identity? While “Arise O Compatriots” is now the official national anthem in Nigeria, one today can still hear “Nigeria We Hail Thee” as the unofficial national anthem sung at protest marches and student demonstrations and rallies across the country.

Figure 16. – “A Nigerian Huband’s Problem” by Akinola Lasekan, published on page 4 of the West African Pilot on Thursday June 9, 1960.

Figure 17. – “We are Sorry to Miss Him” by Chuks, published on page 6 of the Daily Service on Wednesday July 6, 1960.

37The scepticism of cartoonists about the effectiveness of the coming independence is also obvious in figures 16 and 17, which both deal with post-independence domestic problems. In figure 16, the cartoon depicts how aso ebi becomes a huge problem for the Nigerian husband in 1960. Aso ebi is an identical group dressing which originated in South West Nigeria and which is commonly used to express communal solidarity and love, and to commemorate events like birthdays, weddings, burials and other ceremonies (Aremu, 2006) Clothing materials such as aso oke, an indigenous Yoruba clothing, lace and other African fabrics like Ankara, a printed West African clothing, have been variously (Makinde et al., 2009) used for aso ebi since the Independence era. Ordinarily, one or two aso ebi shouldn’t be a problem for a regular husband or wife to purchase for an event, but as depicted in this cartoon, it is the huge number of aso ebi, which is as large the woman herself, that is the problem. And because aso ebi are normally handed out months before an event and payments can be made later or in instalments, the woman in the cartoon, probably for her membership of many social or political groups or for her involvement in too many activities, succeeded in heaping herself a massive bale of aso ebi, a burden that falls on the husband to financially bear. With four months to go, and preparations for Independence underway, it was only normal for social and political groups, especially women’s groups, to start making various kinds of aso ebi of buba (blouse), iro (wrapper) and gele (scarves) that would make such group(s) stand out during the celebration. As this cartoon depicts, the huge burden of paying for these items of commemoration was placed on the husband’s back as if he were some beast of burden. Although the cartoonist caricatures a big man who is three times larger than the woman, the man still falls down and crawl on all fours under the weight of the woman herself (her physical and domestic needs) and her huge load of aso ebi (her social and cultural needs).

38While evoking laughter, the cartoon satirises Nigerian society at a time when the husband was literally perceived as a superman, able to provide for all his wife’s needs, his children’s needs, his entire household and that of his extended family. If Independence meant freedom for the country, it seemed not to mean the same thing for the Nigerian husband, burdened and enslaved by his wife’s needs in order to celebrate the country’s Independence. Thus, the cartoon pragmatically suggests that for the Nigerian wife, Independence was more of a social and cultural celebration than a political or nationalistic event, while for the man, it meant huge crippling bills to pay.

39In figure 17, the cartoonist foreshadows the Independence celebrations, then about three months away. He foresees an Independence ball at which a high table is set for colonial and local leaders in the country, but only the local leaders from the northern, western and eastern regions, the minorities and women groups attend. Notice in the cartoon that, at this epoch-making Independence event, an important British Colonial Officer’s chair is vacant. The vacant chair at the head of the table is clearly marked “President Tubman [sic]. This “Tubman” was in fact known as Sir George Dashwood Taubman Goldie of the Royal Niger Company who laid the foundation for what became the British Colonial Administration in Nigeria (Goldie, 1898; Flint, 1960). Taubman’s role in the conception and administration of what later became Nigeria perhaps makes him one of the most unforgettable figures of colonialism in Nigeria. At Independence in 1960, George Taubman (1846-1925) had already been dead for 35 years. Thus the use of the label “President Tubman [sic]” was symbolic of the entire British colonial enterprise in Nigeria and it simply meant that Nigerians would be happy, instead of being sorry, to miss the absence of the British colonial administration in Nigeria. Hence the absence of “President Tubman” meant victory for nationalism. Similarly, the caption “we are sorry to miss him,” with the “miss” underlined, is ironically saying: “We are happy to miss him.” And this could also mean, “We miss him” i. e. “wherever he is in the afterlife, he must be furious we survived him and are still alive”. Thus the pragmatic goal of the cartoon is to show that when at Independence Nigeria becomes free of British colonialists, Nigerians shall be masters of their own destiny in a free nation.

40In figure 18, the cartoon dwells on the countdown toward the 1 October 1960 Independence celebrations. For this cartoonist, it seems that while social preparations were already in full swing, the physical and environmental preparation of the Federal Capital city of Lagos lagged far behind. The cartoonist depicts a single worker, labelled “Nigeria”, with a sledge hammer, looking upon a heap of rubbles or rubbish or both, where a whole army of workers would have been needed to get the job done. Yet this lone worker is not even working but thinking about the huge amount of work needed to complete the preparations for Independence in the 81 days left.

Figure 18. – “Plenty of Time” by Chucks, published on page 4 of the Daily Service on July 13, 1960.

41This cartoon certainly indicates the lack of seriousness with which the people and the authorities of the Federal Capital regarded urban rehabilitation and environmental beautification, even when Independence was just 3 months and 3 weeks away. This was indeed appalling because the Federal Capital, as the centre of the big freedom events in the country that would welcome personalities from all around the globe, was expected to be a beautiful city that was ready for the celebration of freedom and independence–not the jungle of rubbles and rubbish it was at that point in time. This satire was a pragmatic call to the government and citizens of the soon-to-be independent country to clean up their city and put up befitting structures for Independence before time ran out; otherwise, as the cartoon implies, the nation’s Independence may well be celebrated in filth.

Figure 19. – “Nigeria Passivity Cartoon” by Wumi Odukale published in the Daily Times of perhaps October 1, 1965. Original copy of cartoon. Courtesy of Lanre Odukale.

42Scepticism in cartoons was not only on the front pages of newspapers in 1960: it was part of the balanced experience of the Nigerians themselves according many witnesses. Leaders as well as grassroots citizens often shared various feelings: being enthusiastic, having been guilty of passivity or intolerance or having been victims of a disastrous trend whose origins were undefined. Because of the crisis they have faced for 50 years, it is not surprising that Nigerians and cartoonists still consider this “passivity” or the difficult conditions of independence as a major issue whenever independence was celebrated years later. This cartoon from 1965 (figure 19) is perhaps the most illustrative of the cartoons concerning Nigerian Independence in 1960. Just a few years after Independence, a cartoonist foresees that the country is headed for the “precipice of disaster” if its leaders and people continue to remain passive. In the three sequences of this multi-panelled cartoon, the artist demonstrates that the forces of the bad are never tired of trying to pull the country backward and that when the good lose interest in pulling the country up the hill of progress, both its passive leaders and its people –good and bad– will suffer the resulting disaster.

43This cartoon makes use of captions and labels, while the stick images of the cartoon persona tell the whole story. In many ways, the cartoon predicts every one of the country’s problems after independence, including the 1966 coups, the Nigerian Civil War (1967-1970) and the failures of the military and civilian regimes because of the country’s political, economic and social problems. Instead of telling the reader/viewer that passivity is dangerous, the cartoon episodically dramatises the consequences of passivity on Nigeria. The cartoon therefore implies that the British seem to have done more before Independence to move the country forward than the country’s new leaders and newly-independent people have done to move the country forward after independence.

Figure 20. – “Happy 43rd Birthday” by Mooyinwa Adetula, published in The News Magazine on Monday October 13, 2003.

44In this post-Independence cartoon (figure 20) we see how after 43 years of Independence, Nigerians react to the experience of national freedom. Colonialism has come and gone but the country’s own problem is caused by the passivity of its people. Unchallenged, the country’s leaders have become vampires of sorts who suck on the country’s resources. The pictorials of this cartoon shows the country’s main politicians, led by the caricatured persona of Olusegun Obasanjo (then the civilian president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria), gathering at the bedside side of a near-skeletoned, near-dead Nigeria with whom they are so happy to celebrate 43 years of Independence, in spite of his “Acute Anaemia” caused by the same leaders the cartoon calls “Humano Parasites”. This is a forty-three year old malnourished man, dying from the acute blood draining (or life sucking) illness brought upon him by the greed of his own politicians, who are not at all sad about the country’s terminal condition but are all too happy to siphon all of the country’s resources (blood) to the death of the sick Nigeria persona. Here the cartoonist gives a face to corruption and greed as the bane of the country’s problems. Just as it was not so clear for cartoonists in 1960 that it was worth celebrating Independence, the 2003 cartoon implies that there is no real need to celebrate the anniversary of the persona whom the leaders have stripped of all flesh for their selfish and material prosperity, as opposed to national economic and social prosperity. While the politicians are obviously happy to celebrate 43 years of corrupt leadership, the Nigeria persona clearly suffers from the compound pains of 43 years of cruel economic and political violations. Hence, what Independence meant for the politician in 2003 was the direct opposite of what it meant for the ordinary Nigerian or the country itself on the day of Independence in 1960. The pragmatic goal here is to draw attention to what may be considered the biggest obstacle in the country’s way to the full realisation of its goals as an independent and progressive state, rather than the mere wasteful celebrations of purposeless leadership by those who are not concerned about the welfare of the people or the health of the nation.

45In this last cartoon, like in all other cartoons in this study, the focus was not just on Independence as a celebration but on how the evolution of the Nigerian state could render the notion and value of Independence meaningless. Popular music and editorial cartoons, in recounting the experience of Independence in Nigeria around 1960, give some information on the mood of some actors of Nigerian society at the time. Highlife between 1950 and 1960 was strongly associated with the rosy face of the celebrations, as the popular form of music played at night-clubs, official celebrations, private parties and at cultural, political and social gatherings in the country; cartoons – the dark face of the consciousness – were more ambiguous in targeting what could have been expected and did not come. Although the music contributed nothing substantial in terms of lyrics to the struggle and celebration of independence in Nigeria, highlife certainly was the music of happiness and celebration, as its catchy rhythms and musical style drew millions to the dance floor within the independence decade, from small local parties to the big Freedom Ball on 1 October 1960. Cartoons, as well as the editors and newspaper owners who were behind, were more balanced in their approach to the events. The cartoonists of the era were asking Nigerians to examine critically how Independence should be received. Unlike highlife music that was accessible to both the literate and non-literate Nigerian public at that time, cartoons were mostly available to a rather small group of literate Nigerians and therefore targeted more specifically the people in charge of the country’s affairs.

46By expressing concern about who should compose the words and music of the Nigerian national anthem, who should bear the burden of the social celebrations for Independence, and how prepared the nation’s infrastructure for independence was, editorial cartoons expressed concerns over the critical issues of independence. As fine artists who sketch and caricature social and political subjects with a view to humouring, informing, criticising and challenging the status quo of things, the Nigerian Independence cartoonists have proven that cartoons can be a very effective instrument for recording historically relevant details of the history of Nigerian Independence. According to the cartoonists of the time, Independence should not be a mere celebration of national freedom from colonialism but the true emancipation of the people from poverty, corruption and bad government.



Achebe Chinua, No Longer at Ease, Ibadan, Heinemann, 1960.

Adeogun Adebowale Oluranti, Music Education in Nigeria, 1842-2001: Policy And Content Evaluation, Towards A New Dispensation, PhD Thesis, Pretoria, University of Pretoria, 2006.

Aderibigbe, Segun, A Basic Approach to Government, Lagos, Joja Educational Research and Publishers Limited, 1989.

Akwagyiram Alexis (2007), “Timeline: Ghana’s modern musical history.” Retrieved October 7, 2010 from

Aremu P.S.O. (1982), «Yoruba Traditional Weaving: Kijipa Motifs, Colour and Symbols», Nigeria Magazine, no 140, 1982.

Anonymous, “Two Bands Named for the Freedom Ball”, Daily Service, Thursday July 14, 1960, p. 1.

Cannadine David, “A Point of View: How Britain said farewell to its Empire”, July 23, 2010, retrieved 18 September 2012 from

Coester Markus, “Localising African popular music transnationally: ‘Highlife-Travellers’ in Britain in the 1950s and 1960s,” Journal of African Cultural Studies, 20: 2, 133-144, 2008.

Collins John, “Popular Dance Music and the Media” in Kimani Njogu & John Middleton, Media and Identity in Africa, Edinburgh, Edinburgh University Press for the International African Institute, 2009.

Davidson Basil, The Black Man’s Burden: Africa and the Curse of the Nation-State, New York, Three Rivers Press, 1993.

“Elections in Nigeria”, African Elections Database, retrived June 5, 2007 from

Estrada Ivelisse, “Ghana Must Go”, Radcliffe Quarterly’s “Institute Explorations”, Volume 89/2, Spring 2004, Radcliff Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University (

Falola Toyin, Politics and Economy in Ibadan, 1893-1945, Lagos, Modelor Design Aids, 1989.

Falola Toyin & Heaton Matthew M., A History of Nigeria, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2008.

Flint John E., Sir George Goldie and the Making of Nigeria, Oxford, Oxford University Press, West African History, 1960.

Goldie George Taubman, “Introduction” in Vandeleur, Seymour, Campaigning on the Upper Nile and Niger, Londres, Methuen & Co, 1898.

Jimoh Oluwasegun Mutafau, “Independence in Epe: Political Divisions Leading to Dual Celebrations” in O. Goerg, J.-L. Martineau et D. Nativel, Les indépendances en Afrique. L’événement et ses mémoires 1957/1960-2010, Rennes, PUR, 2013, p. 273-292.

Lefebvre Henri, State, Space, World: Selected Essays, Minneapolis (MN), Minnesota University Press, 2009.

Makinde Olajide D., Ajiboye Olusegun Jide & Ajayi Babatunde Joseph, “Aso-Oke Production and Use Among the Yoruba of Southwestern Nigeria”, The Journal of Pan African Studies, 2009 sept., vol. 3, no 3, p. 55-72.

Martin Meredith, The State of Africa: A History of Fifty Years of Independence, London, Free Press, 2006.

Ngui Marc & Dyer Hadley, Watch this Space: Designing, Defending, and Sharing Public Space, Toronto, Kids Can Press, 2010.

Oikelome Albert O., “Highlife Jazz: A Stylistic Analysis of the Music of Felaì Anikulapo Kuti”, The Journal of Pan African Studies, vol. 3, no 4, December 2009, p. 37-54.

Okunoye James O., Nigeria: From Colonialism to Post-Independence (Geo-political Perspective), Ibadan, James O. Okunoye, 2007.

Olaniyan Tejumola, “The Traditions of Cartooning in Nigeria”, African Quarterly on the Arts, 2.2, Lagos, Glendora, 1998, p. 92-103.

Olukoju Ayodeji, The Liverpool Of West Africa: The Dynamics And Impact Of Maritime Trade In Lagos, 1900-1950, Trenton (NJ)-Asmara (Erithrea), Africa World Press Inc., 2004.

Olorunyomi Sola, “West Africa’s Popular Culture and Music Around 1960”, présentation au colloque international Vivre les indeìpendances africaines au tournant des anneeìs 1960, SEDET-Universiteì Paris Diderot-Paris 7, 2-4 December 2010.

Omibiyi-Obidike M., “Nigerian Musicians and Composers”, The Nigerian Magazine, 128-129, 1981.

O’Neill, John, Sociology as a Skin Trade: Essays Towards a Reflexive Sociology, Londres, Harper & Row, 1972.

Segal Ronald, Hoskyns Catherine & Ainslie Rosalynde, “Joseph Modupe Johnson” inSegal Ronald, Hoskyns Catherine & Ainslie Rosalynde, Political Africa: A Who’s Who of Personalities and Parties, New York, Frederick A. Praeger, 1961, p. 115.

Soyinka Wole, A Dance of the Forests, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1963.

Umukoro, Arukaino, “Cartoons as Social Commentaries”, Tell, December 14, 2009, p. 48-50.

SITES INTERNET, “Nigerian National Anthem”, retrieved October 5, 2010., African Elections Database, “Elections in Nigeria”, June 5, 2007 retrieved October 5, 2010., Akwagyiram, Alexis, “Timeline: Ghana’s modern musical history”, BBC News, March 3, 2007, retrieved October 7, 2010. continue, Balogun, Sola, “Independence concert: Tafawa Balewa inisisted that I must play on that day – Victor Olaiya”, September 2, 20102003 retrieved January 5, 2011.


1 A research program lauched by the Institut Français pour la Recherche en Afrique (IFRA–Ibadan) in 2009-2010 and an IFRA conference held at University of Ibadan in July 2010 have drawn attention to this issue. This paper is partly the result of these initiatives.

2 After “God save the Queen”, used until 1 October 1960, the first national anthem, “Nigeria we hail thee” came into effect on 1 October 1960 as the country’s national anthem. It was composed by Lillian Jean Williams, a British citizen, and its music was written by yet another British expatriate, Frances Benda. This anthem lasted for twelve years until 1 October 1978 when, under the Obasanjo military government, a new national anthem, “Arise O Compatriots”, came into use (Okunoye, 2007, 10). This new national anthem which was home-grown (even though it bears some similarities to the 1960s national anthem) was a merger of the words of the winning entries for a national anthem competition. The merged lyrics were drawn from five winning entries by John A. Ilechukwu, Eme Etim Akpan, B. A. Ogunnaike, Sota Omoigui and P.O. Aderibighe and its music was composed by Mr Benedict Elide Odiase, then the director of the Nigeria Police Band (Okunoye, 2007, 11; “Arise, O compatriots” n.d.). Although this new national anthem is mainly expressed in English, it is also sung in some indigenous Nigerian languages once in a while.

Table des illustrations

Légende Figure 1. – Political Map of Nigeria.
Fichier image/jpeg, 115k
Légende Figure 2. – Tinubu Square in 1960 showing the sprawling city of Lagos in the background. Courtesy: National Archives, Abuja.
Fichier image/jpeg, 121k
Légende Figure 3. – A street in Lagos at the time of Independence. Courtesy: National Archives, Abuja.
Fichier image/jpeg, 82k
Légende Figure 4. – Some Nigerian newspapers published at the time ot independence.
Fichier image/jpeg, 205k
Légende Figure 5. – Remnant of the Colonial Regimented Band. The Mubi Ceremony Band playing as the UN Trustee Territory North Cameroon leaves Nigeria in 1961. Brass band music is known to be one of the major influences in the evolution of highlife music in West Africa. Courtesy of National Archives, Abuja.
Fichier image/jpeg, 248k
Légende Figure 6. – Nigerian Highlife Star Zeal Onyia performing at the Kit Kat Club, Accra, c. 1950-1960. Courtesy: Vanderpuje Abuja.
Fichier image/jpeg, 69k
Légende Figure 7. – A newspaper advert publicising a Grand Dance to celebrate the French National Day on 14 July 1960 at the Abalabi Night Club, Mushin, Lagos. While such adverts were not uncommon in the 1950s and 1960s, it demonstrates the popularity of dancing, night clubs, and the sort of popular music and musical collaborations between West African entertainers at the time of Independence in Nigeria. Courtesy: Daily Service, 1960.
Fichier image/jpeg, 87k
Légende Figure 8. – A 1950s 10-inch LP with Victor Olaiya and his All-Stars Band. Courtesy: Per Oldaeus Music.
Fichier image/jpeg, 178k
Légende Figure 9. – R.-L. Tawafa Balewa, Princess Alexandra and her attendant at the 1960 Independence Ball held at the Federal Palace Hotel, Lagos. Courtesy: National Archives, Abuja.
Fichier image/jpeg, 111k
Légende Figure 10. – R.-L. Nnamdi Azikiwe, wife and some other dignitaries dancing at a State Social Function in the 1960s. Courtesy: National Archives, Abuja.
Fichier image/jpeg, 111k
Légende Figure 11. – An editorial cartoon published on the editorial page of the Daily Service of Thursday July 28, 1960. Courtesy: National Archives, Ibadan.
Fichier image/jpeg, 212k
Légende Figure 12. – “Thanks a Lot for the Horse” by Chucks, published in the Daily Service on March 25, 1959.
Fichier image/jpeg, 89k
Légende Figure 13. – “Come! I Will Teach You a Lesson” by Chucks, published in the Daily Service on April 18, 1959
Fichier image/jpeg, 77k
Légende Figure 14. – “Men Come Home and Get-Cracking” by Chucks, published on page 6 of the Daily Service on March 8, 1960.
Fichier image/jpeg, 129k
Légende Figure 15. – “‘Monumental Dress’ in Memory of the Master!” by Akinola Lasekan (aka Baba Lash), published on page 4 of the West African Pilot on Wednesday June 1, 1960.
Fichier image/jpeg, 142k
Légende Figure 16. – “A Nigerian Huband’s Problem” by Akinola Lasekan, published on page 4 of the West African Pilot on Thursday June 9, 1960.
Fichier image/jpeg, 128k
Légende Figure 17. – “We are Sorry to Miss Him” by Chuks, published on page 6 of the Daily Service on Wednesday July 6, 1960.
Fichier image/jpeg, 133k
Légende Figure 18. – “Plenty of Time” by Chucks, published on page 4 of the Daily Service on July 13, 1960.
Fichier image/jpeg, 67k
Légende Figure 19. – “Nigeria Passivity Cartoon” by Wumi Odukale published in the Daily Times of perhaps October 1, 1965. Original copy of cartoon. Courtesy of Lanre Odukale.
Fichier image/jpeg, 202k
Légende Figure 20. – “Happy 43rd Birthday” by Mooyinwa Adetula, published in The News Magazine on Monday October 13, 2003.
Fichier image/jpeg, 327k


National Open University of Nigeria, Nigeria

© Presses universitaires de Rennes, 2013

Conditions d’utilisation :