Ultimate #ThrowbackThursday – 50 pictures of Nigeria giving us nostalgia, pride and hope

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Nigerian woman threaded hair
Nigerian woman threaded hair

A #ThrowbackThursday worth doing is always worth doing well, so as this is the last day of the year, we thought – why stop at looking at the past year? Why not look back to more glorious times and strive to recreate a Nigeria that we can be proud of?

Between Boko Haram, bleaching cream and bad-ass traffic jams; between yams, goats, Orubebes and clothing allowances; subsidy in, subsidy out, and serious Aristo shenanigans, I’m left with a Nigeria I do not recognise, a Nigeria that is a mongrel, a bastard of a nation that has no father and no heritage.

We could wax lyrical from now till eternity as to what caused it. We can sit here and talk about the white man, the rising cost of living or just ascribe it to spiritual goings on; I will leave that to the expert to deal with.

But while they are doing that, why not be the change you want to see? Strive to own at least TWO pieces of native attire native to YOUR birth place, not just the indiscriminate white lace material (unless you’re a Yoruba Demon, in which case you’re excused; do you).

Perhaps give your child a name that speaks strength and success into their lives? We are blessed to still have names that are translatable, so maybe have children who answer to: warrior, joy, strength, peace, quietener of sorrows, overcomers, bringer of dignity, pride and family elevation.

Seriously, if you name your child ‘Apple’, ‘Ebelebor’ or ‘Room 419 in Protea Hotel Where You Were Conceived’ in 2016 because you heard in some Wendy Williams show that the celebs were all doing it, may the spirits of a thousand cockroaches infest your crotch. Selah.

And if you insist on being referred to as ‘Hartheybympeh’ because Adebimpe just seems too common for you…well, don’t call anybody if random people just walk up to you and slap you. This is the year of a new Nigeria that looks like the old one. But better. Collect your slap and keep it moving.

Learn to cook a complex dish of your birthplace. Not everyday Indomie noodles; some days ekpang nkukwo, ikokore or ukodo. This advice is NOT gender specific.

Speak your language to your offspring. Insist they respond in the tongue of their fathers. Communicate with them in proverbs. Tell them a story; Mr Tortoise still has some sense to impart yet.

Done all that? Excellent! Now that you’ve done your part, here are some pictures of why all of this is a matter of life and death. With the most humble of thanks and a heart filled with gratitude to Olayemi* of Nigerian Nostalgia. Thank you for the memories.

1. Ben Ekanem’s equestrian statue of Queen Amina at the National Theatre, Lagos, 1980

Ben-Ekanem’s-equestrian-Statue-of-Queen-Amina-National-Theatre-Lagos-1980

 

2. University of Ife, now Obafemi Awolowo University. Greatest Ife! Looking like it was actually built to a plan

University-of-Ife-now-OAU

 

3. University College Hospital, Ibadan. c1960sUniversity-College-Hospital-Ibadan-c1960s

 

4. Ain’t it though?? Vintage transport system

Transportation-Old-Vintage-Bus

 

5. The London and Kano Trading Company in Lagos

The-London-and-Kano-trading-company-Lagos

 

6. The Lagos Railway – 1900s. The green grass of my home.

The-Lagos-Railway-1900s

 

7. The Lagos-Kaduna railway. Taken in 1936, this picture holds significance for me because I heard that my grandfather was a railway manager and I used to think “Of where to where? Where are the trains? The tracks?” Now I know.

The-Lagos-Kaduna-railway.-This-picture-was-taken-in-1936

 

8. Shades of Swagger 51- From a Nigerian great, Studio portraiture by J.D. Okhai Ojeikere ca 1968

Shades of Swagger 51- From a Nigerian great, Studio portraiture by J.D. Okhai Ojeikere ca 1968

 

9.Regiment of mounted armed guards in a procession during the festival of Sallah – Katsina, NigeriaRegiment-of-mounted-armed-guards-in-a-procession-during-festival-of-Sallah-Katsina-Nigeria-780x532

 

10. Old carter bridge, Lagos. There’s literally…EIGHT vehicles on that road

Old-Carter-bridge-Lagos-480x256

 

11. A Northern Nigerian lad, circa 1950s.

Northern Nigerians 1950s

 

12. Northern Chief talking on the telephone Kano, Northern Nigeria, 1937

Northern Chief talking on the telephone Kano, Northern Nigeria, 1937

 

 

13. It’s not Brazilian, but it’s beautiful

Nigerian woman threaded hair

 

 

14. Nigerian leaders and government, all seated nicely like good boys.

Nigeria-Leaders-Olden-days-480x305

 

15. Nigeria Airways Fokker 28 at Calabar Airport, 1970s. Proper ladders and everything…

Nigeria-Airways-Fokker-28-at-Calabar-airport-1970s

 

 

16. The River Niger at Jebba, 1930.

Niger-at-Jebba-in-1930

 

17. Mary Slessor’s house. For no reason other than the fact that it is still standing. We did it then, we can do it now.

Mary-Slessor-House

 

 

18. Mapo Hall on Mapo Hill, Ibadan.

Mapo-Hall-Mapo-Hill-Ibadan

 

 

19. University of Ibadan looking simply pristine in the 1960s

Main-Gate-University-of-Ibadan-1960s

 

20. Lugard Memorial Hall, Kaduna. Fashi the name, isn’t it a beautiful piece of architecture?

Lugard-Memorial-Hall-Kaduna

 

21. Lagos harbour, 1974

Lagos-Harbour-in-1974

 

22. Lagos Airport

Lagos-Airport

 

23. Kano Mosque in the 1960s, Nigeria

Kano-mosque-1960s

 

24. The historic and magnificent city of Kano.

KANO-CITY-Nigeria-1950-1970s-General-View-Of-Historic-Kano-City-780x562

 

25. Itsekiri wa do! Well dressed women of the Itsekiri tribe circa 1910 – looking flawless.

Itsekiri women circa 1910

 

26. Independence fountain on the main road leading into the city of Kaduna, Nigeria. I wonder if it still flows…

Independence-Fountain-on-the-main-road-leading-into-the-city-of-Kaduna-Nigeria

 

27. Ikorodu express way in the 1970s. I can imagine Lagosians looking at this like it’s some sort of dream!

Ikorodu-expressway-Lagos-1970s

 

28. Ibadan as the capital and the seat of government, Western Nigeria.

Ibadan-Capital-and-Seat-of-Government

 

29. Humuani Mosque, Lagos – 1933

Humuani-Mosque-Lagos-1933

 

30. Hair braiding and the trailblazing styles that were available – 1960

Hair-braiding-1960

 

31. Gurara Waterfalls, Minna, Northern Nigeria

Gurara-Waterfalls

 

32. General Post Office, Lagos – 1973

General-Post-Office-Lagos-1973

 

33. Fulbe women, Zaranda village, east of Jos, Nigeria

Fulbe women with brightly tasseled hat, Zaranda village, east of Jos, Nigeria

 

34. Fulani milkmaids 1960s-1970s

Fulani-MilkmaidsJohn-Hinde-Collection-1960s-1970s

 

35. Royalty and magnificence at the Emir of Zaria’s palace in Kaduna – 1973

Emir-of-Zarias-Palace-in-Kaduna-1973

 

36. Delta woman wearing damask in 1977. My mama get this cloth o! 🙂

Delta woman wearing damask 1977

 

37. CKC – Christ The King College, Onitsha Central – 1961

CKC-Christ-the-king-College-Onitsha.-Central-buildings-1961

 

38. Central Bank of Nigeria, Lagos. It certainly was the Centre of Excellence

Central-bank-of-Nigeria-Lagos

 

39. Carter Bridge – street scene – Lagos Island, 1950s.

Carter-bridge-street-scene-Lagos-Island-1950s.-Published-by-Federal-ministry-of-Information

 

40. Barclays and Shell Petroleum buildings, Lagos

Barclays-and-Shell-Petroleum-Buildings-Lagos

 

41. A stunning view from Ikoyi Park, Lagos

A-view-from-Ikoyi-Park-Lagos

 

42. Asaba-Onitsha ferry crossing, 1959. Just all nice and civilised!

Asaba-Onitsha-ferry-crossing-1959

 

43. Yoruba woman in traditional aso-oke attire. Just look at the gold!

A-Nigerian-woman-in-Traditional-dress.-Photo-by-John-Hinde

 

44. A Northern Nigerian chief with his family in 1910

A-Nigerian-chief-with-his-family-1910

 

45. A man and a lady on a motorcycle in 1969. Now that’s how you do okada with class!

A-man-and-a-lady-on-a-motorcycle-in-Lagos-Nigeria-1969

 

46. Chief Festus Sam Okotie-Eboh, one time minister for finance. I’m not sure about his young accessory, but he was certainly known for his flamboyant dress sense.

African-Visionary-Chief-Festus-Sam-Okotie-Eboh-1919-1966

 

47. A group of Igbo warriors in ancient battle-ready war attire, 1956

A group of I[g]bo warriors in ancient battle ready war costume 1956

 

48. The Western House of Assembly, Ibadan; once the seat of governance for Western Nigeria

Western-House-of-Assembly-Ibadan

 

*Olayemi – wealth/prosperity/abundance befits me. You see wharram saying now??

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