In 2016, lawyer and historian Olasupo Shasore was on Toolz’s midday show to talk about his new book A Platter of Gold, an exciting, epic colonial biography of Nigeria. The interview, though based heavily on interesting historical facts, turned out to be immensely enjoyable and illuminating.
A Platter of Gold documents the lives of remarkable lesser-known Nigerians and figures. Like Ahmadu Attahiru 1, the Sokoto Caliph and his calvary who violently resisted the British masters; Eleko and the Lagos Chieftains who first claimed they would rather die than pay tax; Nwanyewura of Oloko and her intelligent trio who said they would not pay tax till the world ends.
Also, the scores of the Opobo women who led the women’s war against taxation; Alimotu Pelewura and the market women who would not sell their country for personal gain but instead asked for free trade.
As extra punch in the interview, Shasore kept asking the questions: How did Nigeria come to be a nation? What manner of country is she? Who are Nigeria’s other heroes? At that moment, I knew there was so much I didn’t know about Nigeria’s history. Which is why I think that adapting these stories into a medium as documentary is brilliant.
In the teaser of Shasore’s forthcoming documentary The Journey of an African Colony: The Making of Nigeria, which he supplies the voice over to, we are taken through several segments of Nigeria’s precolonial history, from the bombardment of Lagos in 1851 to the The Garri War in 1945. Based on A Platter of Gold, the documentary tackles the premise that the British Empire handed Nigeria over on a platter of gold, without struggle or incident. Watch the trailer below.