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Priceless Happenings by mercyville: 5:40pm On Jun 14, 2018
10 Made-in-Africa Footwear Brands That Are Making Africa Proud (And The Amazing Entrepreneurs Behind Them!)


Everybody needs shoes. We don’t just buy them to protect our feet; shoes are a popular way to express our style and fashion sense.

With a population of over one billion people, Africa remains a virgin market for the footwear industry. It’s not just the size of Africa’s market that’s attractive to the footwear industry. Africa is also richly endowed with the raw materials, impressive talent and affordable labour that gives it the edge to build a multi-billion dollar footwear industry.

African countries like Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria (just to mention a few) are leading the footwear revolution on the continent. Ethiopia, for example, is already home to more than 30 tanneries and several manufacturers that produce shoes and other leather goods for both the local and export markets.

In 2013 alone, Ethiopia earned over $30 million from shoe exports, which ranks it ninth in the global leather goods industry. And this is only the beginning. As more countries join in, the value of Africa’s footwear industry could grow to $1 billion in the next decade.

In this article, you’ll see how 10 “Made-in-Africa” footwear brands are taking the continent by storm. You’ll also see the amazing African entrepreneurs who are applying their talents, creativity and hardwork to make these brands successful around the world.

Let’s meet the top 10 Made-in-Africa footwear brands…

1. Sole Rebels (Ethiopia)

1.1 African footwear industry 2
Photo credit: solerebels.com

SoleRebels is arguably the most popular and fastest-growing African footwear brand in the world! It’s no surprise we featured it in our recent book; “101 Ways To Make Money in Africa.” It sells its ‘eco-friendly’ brand of footwear in more than 50 countries; including the USA, Canada, Japan and Switzerland.

Bethlehem Alemu started SoleRebels in 2004 with less than $10,000 in capital she raised from family members. She came up with her business idea after she noticed most of the artisans in her community, who made beautiful footwear, remained jobless and poor.

Today, Solerebels has more than 100 employees and nearly 200 local raw material suppliers, and has opened several standalone retail outlets in North America, Europe and Asia.

Despite its very humble beginnings, SoleRebels now makes up to $1 million in sales every year, and according to Bethlehem’s projections and expansion plans, the company could be making up to $10 million in sales by 2016.

SoleRebels’ footwear are unique because they are 100 percent made by hand using locally-sourced and recycled materials like old car tyres and hand-loomed organic fabrics. A few years ago, SoleRebels became the first footwear company in the world to be certified by the World Fair Trade Organisation.

Bethlehem was selected as the Young Global Leader of the Year 2011 at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, and was a winner at the Africa Awards for Entrepreneurship in the same year. Bethlehem and her inspiring success story with SoleRebels have been featured severally on Forbes, the BBC and CNN.
2. Della (Ghana)

1.1 African footwear industry 3
Photo credit: dellala.com

1.1 African footwear industry 3aThough based in Los Angeles, USA, Della is a fashion line that features clothing items and accessories that are handcrafted by a community of over 50 women employees in Ghana. It brands itself as ‘a socially responsible fashion line that provides jobs, education and skills training in the community it works.’

Della’s footwear features locally-made batik prints and designs created by a women cooperative in Ghana’s Volta region.

The brains behind Della are US-born Tina Tangalakis, the fashion line’s founder and creative director, and Nii Addotey, a local Ghanaian entrepreneur who co-founded the Della Foundation. Together, they have built a thriving fashion business whose products and pieces are carefully handcrafted using authentic textiles sourced in the Volta Region.

In 2014, Vans, the American apparel manufacturer teamed up with Della for a Capsule Batik shoe collection branded as “Della X Vans”. The collection features six different shoe styles for men and women with accessories offering to match.

The proceeds from the sale of products in the ‘Della X Vans’ collection will be used to support Della’s efforts in offering programs for jobs, education, and skills training in the Volta community that produces its beautiful fashion items.
3. ENZI (Kenya & Ethiopia)

1.1 African footwear industry 4
photo credit: enzifootwear.com

ENZI is a promising footwear brand from Africa that focuses on a specific niche in the global footwear market – luxury leather shoes for men.

The entrepreneurs behind ENZI are an international team of four long-time friends: Christian Ward (UK), Jawad Braye (USA), Sam Imende (Kenya) and Azariah Mengistu (Ethiopia). The idea for ENZI was conceived when Jawad was visiting Azariah in Ethiopia, where they discovered an abundant supply of premium leather and an emerging footwear industry.

ENZI uses high quality, ethically-raised and environmentally-sustainable Ethiopian leather to create footwear. The Company works with partner manufacturing companies in Ethiopia and Kenya to create stylish and “dressy-casual” shoes by using high quality materials and designs.

ENZI’s brands itself as a company that is “out to break the pessimistic view about Africa as well produce shoes of the best quality in Africa, for the world market.”

In line with its mission, ENZI creates sustainable jobs in the local Kenyan and Ethiopian communities it works with, and contributes immensely to the growth of the African continent while producing quality shoes for trendy men across the world.

ENZI’s footwear products are sold on its online store and in boutique retailers in major cities including London, Hong Kong, Paris, New York and Johannesburg.
4. Buqisi-Ruux (Kenya & Uganda)

1.1 African footwear industry 9
Photo credit: buqisi-ruux.com

1.1 African footwear industry 9aBuqisi-Ruux is an interesting new startup in Africa’s footwear industry that is certainly turning heads. The brand features 4+ inch platform heels in locally-made Ankara print designs that celebrates powerful African women and represents the diversity, vibrancy and boldness that lies within the African continent.

The footwear brand was founded three young African entrepreneurs – Nuba Elamin and her cousins, Lynn and Tetsi Bugaari.

The name Buqisi-Ruux literally means “Queen of the Village”. ‘Buqisi’ comes from an ancient Egyptian word which means ‘Queen’ and Ruux is short for ‘Rukungiri’, a village in Western Uganda, where Nuba and her cousins come from.

The Buqisi-Ruux brand is inspired by African women and the continent’s art. The brand is proud of its African roots and this is boldly reflected in its name and its recent “Kwanzaa” collection, which features African names, bright colours and loud patterns (which represent the diversity of the African continent.

Buqisi-Ruux is based in Nairobi, Kenya and has a presence in Kampala (Uganda) and Cape Town (South Africa), and also sells its beautiful pieces through its online store. The footwear label plans to expand into more countries within and outside the continent.
5. T.T. Dalk (Nigeria)

1.1 African footwear industry 5
photo credit: ttdalk.com.ng

1.1 African footwear industry 5aT.T DALK is a Nigerian-based fashion brand that is redefining the African footwear industry. It makes simple, trendy and elegant footwear for both men and women that appeal to a wide range of consumer tastes.

Temilade Osinfade is the founder and Creative Director at T.T Dalk. During his days at the university, he would draw out footwear designs on paper for local shoe craftsmen to make for him. His shoes and slippers caught the attention of other students and that’s how the T.T Dalk footwear business was born.

T.T Dalk is revolutionizing the local footwear business in Nigeria and has been featured on several international fashion shows and runways. He primarily sells his shoes on online stores and a few boutique retail outlets in Nigeria’s major cities.

In a recent press interview, he gave the following advice: “… you need to have passion for the business, it takes a lot of consis­tency and perseverance. Define your brand, and define your target market. You will not find many people who are knowledgeable about the business, so you need to educate yourself and do most of the work at the early stages. You must be very creative, and most especially you need to take risks. Get out of your comfort zone and explore the outside world!”

T.T Dalk is definitely a promising brand to watch in Africa’s fast evolving footwear landscape.
6. Swaheelies (Kenya)

1.1 African footwear industry 10
Photo credit: swaheelies.com

The Swaheelies brand of shoes is fabric footwear made with African cloth. The African prints featured in its designs are sourced from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ghana and Nigeria, while the shoes are exclusively handcrafted by local craftsmen in Nairobi.

The brain behind this brand is Chania Lackey, a young Kenyan entrepreneur who used to work as a corporate lawyer. She has combined her love for African prints with a longtime passion to design footwear that is functional and comfortable.

The Swaheelies footwear brand considers itself as a social enterprise that empowers Kenyan artisans to grow with each sale of its shoes.

Chania decided to work with artisans from the Kibera area in Nairobi after she realized that the gifted artisans had great workmanship and skills and yet lacked income to take care of their families. Kibera is one of the largest slums in the world and unemployment rates in the area are very high. The sale of each shoe also goes a long way in educating unfortunate children in Kibera.

Swaheelies are available in various collections including: Swaheelies Flip Flops, The Mila “Kikoy” Collection, The African Print “Ankara’ Collection and The African Tritik Collection.
7. HTW – Heel The World (Ghana)

1.1 African footwear industry 6
photo credit: HTWshoes.com

1.1 African footwear industry 6a

Fred Deegbe’s “Heel The World” footwear brand is another inspiring success story featured in my recent book, “101 Ways To Make Money in Africa.”

Fred’s foray into shoemaking started with an interesting experience he had a few years ago. After buying an expensive pair of Pierre Cardin shoes, he wondered why Ghana’s highly talented craftsmen and shoemakers couldn’t make shoes that would compete with foreign brands.

Fred used to be a banker before he decided to enter the business of making high-end luxury shoes. Although he knew little about making shoes, or even fashion, he partnered with a friend to start “Heel The World” or “HTW”, a social business that counters perceptions of the quality and capabilities of Ghanaian craftsmanship.

Working out of his parents’ garage in Accra, Ghana, HTW assembled a team of local craftsmen and shoe makers who apply their talents and produce beautiful and high-quality shoes that can compete with international luxury brands. At the moment, HTW shoes sell between $200 to $400 for each pair.

Fred was one of the 32 Global Shapers in attendance at the World Economic Forum in Ethiopia and he’s working to teach more young Africans about entrepreneurship and leadership. Through his company, HTW, he is providing jobs for local shoemakers, and has supported other young entrepreneurs financially.
8. Haus of Hercules (Nigeria)

1.1 African footwear industry 11

Haus of Hercules (HOH) is a footwear and accessories brand based in Lagos, Nigeria. It specializes in simple yet stylish and exquisite handmade shoes.

The HOH collection includes loafers, oxfords, brogues, toms and moccasins made from luxurious fabrics such as velvet and soft suede and traditional fabrics like denim, tweed and batik-patterned fabrics.

The brain behind Haus of Hercules is Christopher Jeje, a young Nigerian designer and entrepreneur. He started this impressive footwear business in 2010 with just over $30 in startup capital. Since then, HOH has showcased on fashion runways in Lagos, Accra and London.
9. Passport ADV (Ethiopia)

1.1 African footwear industry 7
photo credit: passportadv.com

1.1 African footwear industry 7aPassport Articles de Voyage (Passport ADV) is a fast-growing footwear brand conceived and founded by Ethiopian-born designer and entrepreneur, Mikhayel “MikJagga” Tesfaye in 2009.

Originally, Passport ADV’s shoes were produced in Asia. But after discovering the premium grade of leather and suede that were produced in Ethiopia, the company made a conscious shift in 2012 to fulfill a longtime dream to develop products in Ethiopia, Tesfaye’s native home country.

After countless hours of research, extensive phone calls to different manufacturers around the African continent and several production trips spanning 18 months, the first lot of PassportADV footwear adorned with the “Made In Ethiopia”, label arrived in the USA.

Tesfaye spent the early part of his career learning the craft of design and working for large New York City-based fashion labels like Phat Farm, Eckō Unltd and Rocawear.

Passport ADV’s footwear are predominantly sneakers. The sneakers are distinguished by Tesfaye’s bold use of fish skin, sheepskin and even handwoven textile into his footwear.

The company sells its sneakers in its online store and at its flagship boutique store in Los Angeles, USA. Sneaker prices range from $160 to $325.
10. Hesey Designs (Nigeria)

1.1 African footwear industry 8
photo credit: heseydesigns.com

Hesey Designs is an African-inspired fashion label that makes beautiful handcrafted shoes, apparel and fashion accessories (bags, purses etc.).

The brain behind this fashion label is Odiete Eseoghene, the 25-year-old Nigerian-born fashion entrepreneur, who only graduated from university less than two years ago.

Since hitting the market with her creative designs, just after she graduated from university, Odiete has won several awards and hit the spotlight when she designed the sneakers worn by Sir Richard Branson, CEO of Virgin Atlantic, during the launch of Virgin Atlantic’s new uniforms and 30th Anniversary celebration in London.

The young designer started her business with less than $100 in capital, from her savings. Through sheer determination and passion, she has raised about $60,000 in extra capital to further grow her business.

Odiete’s fashion pieces are primarily sold through its website, commerce stores and a few retail and distribution outlets, and she’s looking to partner with more retail outlets.
You Too Can Start Your Own Footwear Brand…
Re: Priceless Happenings by mercyville: 6:00pm On Jun 14, 2018
Meet the entrepreneur behind West Africa’s first indigenous air ambulance service

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Sponsored post

What do you do when you need something so badly that it costs you the life of a loved one?

Most people groan, complain and blame the government.

But entrepreneurs look for ways to fix the problem.

That’s exactly what this inspiring young entrepreneur did about 10 years ago.

Nigeria’s Ola Orekunrin Brown, 32, is an entrepreneur, a medical doctor, a trainee pilot, and the founder of Flying Doctors, West Africa’s first indigenous air ambulance service.

She decided to start the company while at medical school, after her younger sister died because she couldn’t get to hospital in time.

Her long-term dream is to have an Africa where nobody dies because they’re at the wrong place at the wrong time.

The industry for medical emergency services in Africa is still very young. At the moment, it’s largely made up of road ambulance services.

But as the continent’s cities continue to grow, and road traffic conditions worsen, the demand for air ambulance services will very likely increase.

Young African entrepreneurs like Ola are building indigenous companies to take care of these needs in a hugely untapped market.

Ola currently resides in Lagos, Nigeria where she is considered a national expert on disaster medicine and pre-hospital care. Her company has been featured on various local TV and radio stations as well as the BBC and CNN.

We need more like her.

Let’s go, Africa!


Re: Priceless Happenings by mercyville: 10:06am On Jul 04, 2018
British secret files on Nigeria’s first bloody coup, path to Biafra.
Culled from.......THENEWSNIGERIA.COM
By Damola Awoyokun

Damola Awoyokun, an engineer and historian has perused hitherto hidden dispatches from British diplomats and intelligence officers on Nigeria’s first coup—a very bloody one—executed by Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu and Emmanuel Arinze Ifeajuna on 15 January 1966. The coup in which political leaders and military officers of northern Nigeria extraction were majorly killed triggered a counter-coup and eventually declaration of Biafra and a civil war.
TheNEWS today shares the rare insight into the bloody event of 15 January 1966 and we believe it may serve as a good lesson as the drums of war are being sounded in some parts of our country


It was a soundless morning, dark, pulsating, starless. The harmattan spiked the 2am air with prickly cold and fog. With his finger to the trigger, the 28-year-old Major Patrick Chukwuma Nzeogwu addressed the soldiers from Charlie Company of the 3rd Infantry Battalion and some Nigerian Military Training College (NMTC) personnel. They were armed with fury, submachine guns, knives, grenades, torchlights, rocket launchers. Nzeogwu reeled about how the politicians had dragged the country to the cliff of fall and kicked it down into a worst-case scenario. He reeled about nepotism, large scale looting of public wealth, persistent poverty of the people, the yearnings of millions hollowed out by afflictions, the epidemic of insecurities, the Tiv riots, the Western Region’s daily bloodletting, the country’s tireless race to the bottom instead of high up to the plane of regard.

He pointed to Sardauna’s residence right behind him as the ultimate symbol of the filth Nigeria had become. His fellow soldiers were stunned. They did not know they had been turned into reluctant rebels. They thought this was supposed to be another night’s training exercise the brigade high command had approved for them which they started two weeks previously. Nzeogwu then asked the soldiers to concentrate on how to be necessary and to feel proud that they were the ones called upon to rescue the nation, to show the way, to be the new founding fathers of a better Nigeria. In other words, like Homer’s Illiad, he was asking them not to see the epic bloodbath that was about to start as an outbreak of evil, but their generous contribution to the redemption and welfare of the nation.

They Charged Forward

Four hours earlier around 10 o’clock, the last lights in the Sardauna’s household had gone out. They were expected to wake by 4am to eat suhur, the predawn meal to begin the fast. Ramadan started on 23rd December 1965. A week earlier, the Prime Minister Mallam Tafawa Balewa Abubakar met the Queen and the British Prime Minister Harold Wilson. He had invited all the Commonwealth Prime Ministers for a special meeting in Lagos from 11- 12 January to resolve Rhodesian crises. It was the first of its kind outside London. On 19 December, he went to the small village of Arondizuogu in Orlu for the commissioning of his trade minister, Dr Ozumba Mbadiwe’s Palace of the People. Built by Italian contractors, it was a three-storey affair resplendent with blue terrazzo walls, swimming pool and a fountain, grand conference halls and event rooms, red carpet and gilt chairs. All these in a village where most houses were still born of mud and thatched roofs.

Since the first tarred roads were constructed in 1890s in Lagos, and the first dual carriage way in Nigeria – Queen Elizabeth Road – appeared in 1956 in Ibadan, no road in Arondizuogu or in Orlu had ever been graced with bitumen before. Yet Mbadiwe situated the grand palace there as a source of pride for his people. At the commissioning ceremony, the Eastern Premier, Dr Okpara never saw the project as a white elephant planted by megalomania and watered by corruption, rather he hailed the project as “a great achievement for one of the priests of pragmatic socialism to have been so clever to accommodate this building within the context of pragmatic African socialism.” The press placed the value of the house at least half a million pounds. Mbadiwe said it was “at most £40,000.” After the commissioning, Abubakar then proceeded to his farm in Bauchi for his annual leave. On Tuesday 4th of January, he joined the retinue of well-wishers in Kaduna airport to bid farewell to his in-law and godfather, the Sardauna, who was going to Saudi Arabia to perform Umra, a lesser hajj, in the company of 184 other state-sponsored pilgrims. The cost of the one-week pilgrimage to the government was around £17,000.

Nigerian soldiers Drawn from Charlie company of the 3 rd Infantry Battalion believed they were going for another night military exercise!

That morning, The New Nigerian newspaper wrote an unprecedentedly scathing editorial laying the blame for the region’s financial woes and lack of development on Sardauna inefficiencies and ineptitude and asked him to “put his house in order.” When Nzeogwu read the editorial, he went straight to the paper’s newsroom and demanded to see the writer. He was in his uniform and his eyes were red. No one knew him nor had seen his face before. The staff did not know what to make of his demand. The expatriate managing editor Charles Sharp then stepped forward. Nzeogwu shook his hands and said the content and tone of the editorial reflected their thinking in the army and they had resolved to put that house in order. The newsroom did not understand what he meant until the morning of the January 15. The paper was the first to publish for the world the picture of Sardauna’s house still smouldering in the flames of Nzeogwu.

Meanwhile, the premier of the Western Region, Samuel Ladoke Akintola received a tip from his NNDP ministers in the federal cabinet that after the Commonwealth special meeting, the Prime Minister planned to impose a state of emergency on the Western Region, drop him as an ally and appoint a federal caretaker just as he did in 1962. Market women staging protests against skyrocketing costs of foodstuffs, burnout cars, shot and charred corpses, politicians and civil servants’ houses set on fire, intellectuals’ houses emptied onto the street were weekly occurrences in the West. Ever since the rift between Awolowo the Action Group leader and Akintola his deputy, the Western Region that was an Africans-can-do-it model of governance and jaw-dropping development was turned into a landscape of sorrow, blood and tears. With fund from the public treasury and under the command of Fani-Kayode the deputy premier, Akintola’s well-armed hooligans held the upper hand while AG’s bully-boys sponsored by Dr Michael Okpara and the NCNC leadership were on the defensive. After the elections of 11 October 1965, Akintola used the state broadcasting services to announce false counts while the Okpara-sent Eastern Nigeria Broadcasting Service team secretly camped in Awolowo’s house declared the correct results ward by ward. On the night of 15th October, when Akintola was to announce himself the winner, Wole Soyinka, with a generous assistance from his pistol, forced the Western Broadcasting Service to air his own subservice tape asking Akintola to resign and go. Akintola and his supporters went berserk. The police declared Soyinka wanted and he fled to Okpara in the East for temporary refuge until his arrest on 27th October 1965.
Re: Priceless Happenings by mercyville: 10:29am On Jul 04, 2018
On Thursday, 13th January when Sardauna arrived from Mecca, Akintola flew to Kaduna to meet him to dissuade Abubakar from imposing a state of emergency on the West or replace him with an Administrator. Akintola had recently buried his daughter and staunchest ally Mrs Modele Odunjo who on 26th October died allegedly of overdose of sleeping pills. She was married to Soji Odunjo, who was a staunch enemy of her father and he was also the son of the Alawiye’s Chief J.F. Odunjo whom Akintola also sacked as the Chairman of Western Region Development Corporation for being pro-Awolowo. Akintola had also sent his son, Tokunbo (who died in 1973) faraway to Eton College in England. He had imported the first ever bulletproof car into Nigeria: an £8000 Mercedes Benz. As the 13th Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland, he felt unchained and fired up for a total fight. With more men and firepower, he told the Sardauna, he would crush all disturbances from AG’s supporters and their Eastern sponsors. The Sardauna promised to discuss his request with the Prime Minister. Major Timothy Onwuatuegwu, a 27-year-old instructor at the NMTC who was detailed to track Sardauna’s daily movements reported this surprise meeting with Akintola to the Revolution’s high command. From his No 13, Kanta Road residence, Nzeogwu promptly dashed to the Kaduna airport where Sardauna had already gone to see off Akintola. Nzeogwu went to the VIP lounge saluted the Sardauna and wished Akintola safe journey back home convinced that in 48 hours at most, both VIPs would be counted among the dead.

Ahmadu Bello: killed by Nzeogwu during Ramadan

That evening, Nzeogwu went back to the airport to pick up his best friend Major Olusegun Obasanjo the Officer Commanding the Field Engineers who had just finished his course in India and flew in via London. Obasanjo’s deputy Captain Ben Gbuile was supposed to pick him up at the airport but he was busy mobilising for the Revolution. And so he telephoned Nzeogwu who promptly came to the airport. Though they slept together in the same room, Nzeogwu never told him of the death awaiting certain personalities.

The following day, 14th January, Bernard Floud a British MP and director of Granada TV (now ITV) which partly owned the Northern Region Television Station was staying at the plush Hamdala Hotel in Kaduna. He had met with the Sardauna briefly to discuss funding and expansion of the television reach. They were supposed to meet the following day Saturday 15th January to continue the business talk. But there would be no tomorrow


And Ogbunigwe was not a product of Igbo ingenuity; it was a “bespectacled” American mercenary from Massachussets Institute of Technology, uncovered by the Irish journalist Donal Musgrave ,that was secretly training Biafrans on how to use fertilisers to make bombs (cf 13 August 1968 cable from American Embassy in Dublin to the one in the Lagos).
Re: Priceless Happenings by mercyville: 11:47am On Jul 04, 2018

THE tradition of the Hausas in regard to
their early life and habitat, which was
reduced to writing in the sixteenth century,
and which is universally believed by them,
asserts that having originally come from the
very far east away beyond Mecca, their an-
cestors settled first of all in Daura, to the north
of Kano. Travelling south from there, they
built the town of Kano about 950 years ago,
and established the indigo dye works for
which Kano is still noted. From Kano and
Daura they slowly moved southward, and
drove the aboriginal inhabitants from the
plains to the mountains. Leaving this tradi-
tion for later consideration, let us see what
information is available in regard to the early
history of the central Sudan as a whole.


In the year which followed the battle of
Hastings a Spanish convert to Mohammed-
anism named el Bikri wrote a book on Africa,
parts of which are still extant. His work is
of interest, not so much for any fresh infor-
mation that it contains, but because it en-
ables us to verify several of the dates which
are suggested by native tradition. He agrees
with the native historian, Ahmed Baba, whose
works Dr. Barth saw at Timbuktu, in fixing
the conversion to Islam of Za Kasi, king of
Songhay, at the beginning of the eleventh
century. He tells us that at that date the
king of Bornu was still an unbeliever. Native
tradition fixes his conversion in 1087. At this
time the Hausas must have been a compara-
tively insignificant people situated between
the two great kingdoms of Songhay and
Bornu. Songhay was then nearly half the
size of Europe, stretching from Sierra Leone
to the Middle Niger and beyond, and north-
wards as far as Morocco. The empire of
Bornu was of nearly equal size, In later
time, Timbuktu became the most famous city


in the Songhay empire Both it and the
actual capital, Gogo, are now mere villages.
El Bikri says that the Songhay kings re-
ceived on their accession to the throne a
sword, a ring, and a copy of the Koran,
which had been brought from Egypt. To-
wards the end of the sixteenth century the
Sultan of Morocco crossed the desert with an
army of 4,000 men, armed with muskets, and
succeeded in defeating the Songhay army,
which was then unacquainted with the use
of firearms. Then, as the native historian
says, "peaceful repose was succeeded by con-
stant fear; comfort and security by troubles
and suffering; ruin and misfortune took the
place of prosperity ; and people began every-
where to fight against each other, so that
property and life became exposed to constant
danger; and this ruin began, spread, in-
creased, and at length prevailed throughout
the whole region." Partly in consequence
of this defeat, and partly owing to the intro-
duction of slave raiding, which dates from
this period, the empire began to decline, and


finally split up into a number of independent

Turning from the history of Songhay
to that of Bornu, the native tradition, which
was probably committed to writing towards
the end of the sixteenth century, can be
confirmed in several important details by the
Arabian historian, Ibn Batuta, who wrote in
^-^' ^353' The native chronicles give Ayuma
as the name of the first king, his date being
A.D. I GOO. The first king to embrace Islam
was Hum6, a.d. 1086. The Hausas in early
time evidently regarded the Bornuese people
as being closely connected with the Berbers
of North Africa, as is shown by their calling
a Bornuese man **ba-Berberchi," or the nation
" Beriberi." Possibly the connection between
the Berbers and the Bornuese ought to be
limited to their rulers, as the native chronicle
states that up to the beginning of the thir-
teenth century their kings were of a red com-
plexion like the Arabs. The kingdom ot
Bornu, as it existed in the Middle Ages, em-
braced the whole of the provinces now known


as Bornu, Kanem, Wadai, Baghirmi, Darfur,
and Kordofan. It reached from the Niger
to the Nile, a distance of about 1,400 miles.
In the thirteenth and again in the sixteenth
century it attained a very high degree of
civilization and prosperity. In the middle of
last century an Arab adventurer seized the
throne, soon after which the empire began
to break up. It is now confined to the pro-
vince of Bornu, which is situated on the
western shore of Lake Chad, and is about
the same size as England. By the recently
signed treaty, it is included within the British
protectorate. At the present moment the
country is ruled, or rather grossly misruled,
by an Arab named Rabbah. He was origin-
ally a slave of Zubehr Pasha, and afterwards
became one of the Mahdi's generals, by whom
he was appointed governor of Darfur. Hav-
ing collected an army in Darfur he threw
off his allegiance to the Mahdi, and, marching
westwards, subjugated the provinces of Wadai
and Darfur. He then attacked the king of
Bprnu, destroyed his principal town, Kuka,




autitor's servant at tums.


and overran the whole province. At the
present time he is in blissful ignorance of the
fact that for more than a year past he has
been living within the limits of the British

The history of the two empires, which at
one time or another included the greater part
of the Hausa country, is much easier to get
at than is the history of the Hausa people
themselves. The actual word Hausa is not
used by Leo Africanus (a.d. 1520), who says
that the inhabitants of Zaria, Katsena, and
Kano spoke the language of Gober. This
can only have been the Hausa language, and
it is difificult to explain why he does not actu-
ally use the name. According to the mythical
genealogy of the Hausas, their original an-
cestor was Biram, whose grandson Bawu is
said to have married a Berber wife, the Hausa
race being the offspring of this marriage. This
last statement is of extreme interest as sug-
gesting a probable connection between the
Hausas and the tribes to the north of the
great desert, a connection which is to a cer-


tain extent confirmed by a comparison of the
Hausa and Berber languages.

Re: Priceless Happenings by Ritchiee: 11:47pm On Feb 02, 2020
IGALA COLONISATION OF NORTHERN IGBO STATES* (1450–18th century). Michael Achile Umameh The Igala mega state attained the height of its fame during the mid-17th century. The rise of the Igala mega state disrupted and contributed to the shift of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade from the Bight of Benin to the Bight of Biafra and the decline of the Benin Empire between the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The Idah-Benin war (1515-1516) was a war of mutual independence. The Igala state reached its political and commercial supremacy afterwards, when it became a leading exporter of choral beads, horses, medicine, skills and of course, slaves to the coastal region. Its growing power, nevertheless, changed the dynamics of the earlier complex relationships with several northern Igbo communities. Joseph Hawkins in 1797 already captured the relentless raiding of the extreme northern Igboland by the Igalas. In his “A History of a Voyage to the Coast of Africa” he noted the growing conflicts between the 'Ebo Country' and 'Galla'. By the late 17th century, the Igalas conquered and held socio-economic, political and religious control of the indigenous northern Igbo mini-states. From Opi, Nsukka, Nsugbe, several Igbo communities on the
Anambra river, the lower Niger, through Okpanam to Asaba the Igala held sway. Trading out post with Onitsha and the Ijo middlemen were fully established. The mythical Omeppa, Inenyi Ogugu set up garrison at Opi and several Igala warlords played their part in the build up of the Igala colonial take over of these northern Igbo states. But no other individual played a greater role in shaping Igala-Igbo colonisation during the 18th century than Onoja Oboni, the legendary Igala warrior and slave trader. Onoja Oboni’s personality and heritage has been shrouded in mythical imagery over time. Ranging from being the Son of Eri, the grandson of Aganapoje to being a descendant of one of the Idah royal families; the priestly sub-clan of Obajeadaka in Okete-ochai-attah. The key areas of consensus are; he was a master strategist, slave raider and trader, conqueror, coloniser and imperialist. Added to these were his diplomacy, expansionist traits and the acculturation of conquered territories. He built himself a walled city in Ogurugu and recent archaeological findings of the remnant of the ruins of his fort on the grounds of the University of Nsukka confirm this. The Igala soldiers built forts and fortifications that stretched from Ete down to Opi and then to Anambra. Oboni’s rise to power affected the history of the North-western Nsukka and the Igbo communities on the Anambra River and the Lower Niger during the Igala commercial and socio-cultural ascendancy and domination. This was the reinforcing of the golden age of Igala imperial expansion. In this way, Igala mega state took control and allegiance were paid. Until the decline of Igala power, the Ezes of Enugu Ezike, Akpugo, Nkpologu, Ibagwa Ani and Opi continued to receive their titles from Idah; investiture, installation and confirmation of their office was only by the royal blessing of Attah Igala in Idah. The Eze were only validated when the returned home with Igala choral beads ‘aka’, staff of office believed to be imbued with protective charms to ensure longevity and security of the Eze as well as prestige animal (horse) to bolster up their ego. There were also periodic royal visits to the Atta Igala to pay tributes and as well intended to strengthen diplomatic ties and inter-group relations, renew allegiance, and assured insurance from slave raids

In terms of indigenous technologies, the Igala soldiers built factories (forges) for manufacturing Dane-guns, ironworks, carving, introduced arrowheads with tip-poison from sting ray; cloth knitting, terracing of Nsukka hillsides and brought in a well developed political and social hierarchies. At this time Igala empire had become a cultural exchange hub for other merging states; the influence was felt as far north as the Nok civilisation and down east to Igbo-Ukwu civilisation. Till date many of the Igala-Nsukka borderland remain bilingual. On the religious level, the Igala installed their own priests- the Attama- as the custodian of the dangerous ‘alusi’ shrine, took control as mediators between the spirit and the Igbo communities, presided over divinations and fashioned ‘Ikenga’, ‘Okwute’ (ritual staffs) that combined both Igala and Igbo religious elements. The Attama thus became the major agents of Igala socio-cultural control. Several efforts to keep the Attama lineage Igala failed, eventually the priestly office have been greatly igbonized, even though the nominal Igala identification is still predominant. Many of the northern Igbo state settlements have lineages with Igala names, cultural practices with marked Igala modification and adaptations. The use of Igala circular basket in contrast to the Igbo rectangular types persists till this day. By the turn of the 19th century, the Igala empire was too large for any reliable and robust central control. Internal decay and implosion set in. The Fulani jihadists started contracting the Igala imperial power, conquered territories in the north switched tributes, forced or/and seceded from the Igala empire. The Bassa war added more pressure to the war-weary empire. The abolition of slave trade brought in untold economic recession. In 1914 the British burnt down Ibagwa and Obukpa as a punitive measure. By the 1920s, Igala empire was a spent force and a limping shadow, the British easily took over control of both Nsukka and the Igala territories

Re: Priceless Happenings by Obamaofusa: 10:17am On Sep 23, 2020
Research gate takes all sort of nonsense,ba..https://www.nairaland.com/6126975/see-list-over-95-elected

I am trying to find Intel on each and everyone of them.Help if you can.Just drop the links.Thanks.

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