If there’s any sub-genre of storytelling that has really suffered in Nigerian media, it is historical non-fiction. With the exception of a plethora of pre-colonial and civil war era books (fiction and non-fiction), pretty much the rest of Nigerian history has gone largely ignored and undocumented. Especially when you start to delve into specific genres like the history of multinationals in Nigeria, or the history of visual arts. Even when this information exists, finding easily digestible versions, that are well researched are near impossible.
But things, they are changing. This week we are being blessed with not one, but two historical non-fiction shows, on different formats no less. The first show is being produced by Olasupo Shashore. Shashore first came into the public’s consciousness in 2014, when he announced his bid for the governorship candidacy in Lagos state under the APC political party. Though he eventually lost the position to former Governor Ambode, he impressed many Lagosians with his superior knowledge about the history and politics of Lagos and Nigeria. A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Shashore has researched and written extensively about the history of Nigeria, writing two historical fiction books, Possessed, about Lagos from 1861 to 1906 and A Platter of Gold about Nigeria’s journey from colonialism to independence.
Both books are mined as resource material for his new 7 part TV series Journey of An African Colony, which debuted on Channels Television last Sunday, and promises to provide a comprehensive look at the the history of Nigeria.
Sharing the official Teaser of ‘Journey of an African Colony; The Making of Nigeria’ pic.twitter.com/c81nvP166R
— Olasupo Shasore, SAN (@suposhasore) May 11, 2018
If audio’s more your thing, Jachimike Odibo’s new podcast The Nigerian History Podcast might be right up your alley. Anyone who knows me knows I am over ‘Millennials Talking’ podcasts (we know you have perfect musical tastes, Francis), and Jachimike’s show takes a more storified approach to podcasting. Only in its second episode, The Nigerian History Podcast is taking a bigger picture view into telling the history of Nigeria, starting all the way back with precolonial history and attempting based on extrapolation and available information to build an immersive world that seeks to thread the past all the way back to the present.
The podcast has a few kinks to sort out, (there are some issues with sound quality) but its off to a great start. Soon to be on Soundcloud, this would be a good place to start.
Edwin Okolo is an author and journalist who has worked with YNaija, TheNativemag and the Naked Convos.