LAGOS STATE @ 50 May 27, 2017

My feet first touched Nigerian soil in 1972. Lagos State was a mere five years old. Eko Bridge (1975) had not yet been built; the only bridge that connected the mainland (and Apapa where we lived) with Lagos Island was Carter Bridge.

Nigeria Magazine 1961, Carter Bridge

Of course, Lagos (Èkó in Yoruba) has a much longer history than 50 years, in fact, people have inhabited these islands for centuries. The actual founding of the area is lost; however, it is recorded that the first people to settle in the fifteenth century were known as Awori, a Yoruba subgroup.

Scan 13

Nigeria Magazine 1961

Lagos meaning ‘lakes’ named by the Portugese explorers around 1472, naming the Lago de Curamo. Lagos was first a port city originated on a collection of islands that are separated by creeks. Open to the Atlantic Ocean, it was protected by long sand bars, now completely urbanized. The islands consist of Victoria, Ikoyi and Lagos Islands are the network islands which are separated from the Mainland.

Before the creation of Lagos State on 27 May 1967, Lagos, which was the country’s capital. Eventually towns—Epe, Badagry, Agege, Ikeja, Ikorodu— from nearby regions were incorporated into Lagos State.

Nigeria Magazine 1961

Nigeria Magazine 1961

To celebrate Lagos State at 50, I am posting a series of articles (from my private collection) written in 1961 for the Nigeria Magazine, which published a special centenary supplement to celebrated one hundred years (1861-1961) since the Yoruba Kingdom of Lagos was ceded to Britain by its ruler, Dosunmu. On the 1st of October 1960, Lagos became the capital of Nigeria. Today, Abuja is the capital of Nigeria but Lagos remains the a mega commercial centre of Nigeria and Africa.

Read about Lagos :

British Occupation of Lagos 1861-1961

The Beginning of Modern Lagos

LAGOS—Nigeria’s Melting Pot

A Walk Through Lagos Island

To view captions, pass the cursor over the photograph.

All rights reserved by Lesley Lababidi.

2 thoughts on “LAGOS STATE @ 50 May 27, 2017

  1. Dear Lesley,

    Thanks for the article. As usual, like prior writings, it’s very informative and shows the rich culture and history of the Yurba and others who lived in the region. It’s a privilege to learn new things from your articles.

    I hope the family is well and everyone is enjoying what they are doing. I hope Maan is not exceedingly upset in what is happening in his home land. How about you and the kids? I hear something about Zane now and then from Omar. Omar accepted a teaching job in Denver this summer and will be close to his older brother Sami.

    Mellen is doing fine and works PT jobs and is enjoying it. I am fully retired and don’t regret it. Currently, in Egypt. Spent time in El Gouna and heading home in a few days. Best regards and please say hi to your lovely family. Mohamed Tanamly

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    • Dear Mohamed,
      Thank you so much for your comment and particularly for following my wanderings and writings. It is really great to hear about your family. I hope you had a lovely time in el-Gouna. Give my best to Mellen.

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