JOURNEY TO THE WEST: BADAGRY
What can you imagine when you hear the name, Badagry? Is it the beaches, the slave trade or the culture? Well, let’s take you on a reading journey into the western land of Badagry, the border region that serves as an entry point into Nigeria from the Benin Republic.
Badagry is a town and lagoon port in Lagos State, Southwestern Nigeria. This city lies on the north bank of Porto Novo Creek, an inland waterway that connects Nigeria (Lagos) and Benin (Porto-Novo).
Badagry was founded in the 16th century by the Popo refugees from the wars with the Fon people of Dahomey. In the 17th century, the Badagry people became notorious exporters of slaves to the Americas. The town was also a trading post that developed as a Palm Oil Port for Egbaland. The city also served as an importer of European clothing into Nigeria.
A RICH CULTURE
Badagry has a rich and diverse culture. Each year they celebrate the Badagry Festival, organized by the African Renaissance Foundation (AREFO). This event reflects the significance of the ancient town during the slave trade era. The display of masquerades, dancers and fire eaters during the festival showcases the African Heritage and convergence of culture.
Any tourist visiting this ancient city will experience its historical significance in the development of Nigeria as a nation. During the colonial era, you will be surprised that Lagos was the official administrative region and the office of the colonists located in Badagry.
When the world decided to end the slave trade, this ancient city that was infamous for being a route for captured slaves into the world unknown became an attractive location for freed slaves from Freetown. It also became the site for the first European mission; The Methodist Church in Nigeria.
The historical significance of this city has made it a central tourist zone. You cannot visit Badagry and be bored because there are lots of historical places to see.
CHECK OUT THE FIRST STOREY BUILDING
Built-in 1845 and used as a district office during the colonial era. Today, the building is a museum known as The Badagry Black Heritage Museum. It houses information on the slave trade and the history of the people of Badagry. A visit to this building will take you on tour back in time.
VENTURE INTO THE SLAVE MUSEUM
The next place of attraction is the slave museum. In there, it will amaze you to know that a significant part of the slave trade was carried out by Africans and not by the Europeans. Slavery was part of the African culture when the Europeans first arrived in the 1400s. Slaves were captives of war and criminals that as punishment for their crimes. It was the increasing European demand that motivated the Africans to continue capturing and selling slaves. This and more is the history that you will get inside the slave museum.
TOUR THE POINT OF NO RETURN
The Point of No Return is the location from where they were all hoarded. The slaves are shipped from this point and bounded in chains into Europe. Once at this point, there is no turning back for them.
SHOPPING AND FOOD EXPERIENCE
As ancient and historical as Badagry is, there are still everyday things found in this city. After you tour the historical part of the city, you can go shopping in any of the leisure malls in the city. You may also want to try the delicacies of the town. You won’t have any problem searching for a nice restaurant because many restaurants offer continental and intercontinental dishes. After a good meal, you can then retire to any hotel to relax and rest in the serene Badagry environment.