A QUARTERLY MAGAZINE
OF GENERAL INTEREST
Number 40 111
III Price 2/-
These three dictionaries have been compiled for learners of the
English language at three stages. Definitions are given in the
simplest possible terms consistent with accuracy. The words included
are those which the student is most likely to meet with in his
general reading. Pictures are used where necessary to clarify defini-
tions. Special attention is given to the use of structural words and
idiomatic word-groups. A prospectus with specimen pages is
available on application.
A New Family of
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THE PROGRESSIVE ENGLISH DICTIONARY
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This is the simpklet of the three dictionaries, tor the student who has completed
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AN ENGLISH-READER'S DICTIONARY
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This dictionary gives more detailed guidance to intermediate students. 520 pages,
11,000 headwords, 300 illustrations.
THE ADVANCED LEARNER'S DICTIONARY OF
CURRENT ENGLISH 18s. net
By A. S. HORNBY, E. V. GATENBY and H. WAKEFIELD
Thus dictionary is for students who have completed a course of School Cer-
tificare standard. 1,554 pages, 20,000 headwords, 1,400 illustrations.
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NELSON'S ENGLISH COURSE
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by D. W. Grieve, M.A., Lecturer, Institute of Education,
University College of the Gold Coast. The first of course-books
and 3 work-books (with teacher's book) designed to cover
the teaching of the English language to School Certificate
standard in African Grammar Schools. Book i comprises prose
passages for comprehension, questions on vocabulary and ideas,
language study (vocabulary and grammar), oral and written
composition. about 4s 6d
WORK BOOK i The first three course-books is each to be
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lesson by lesson, recapitulating and supplementing its teaching
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THE ABOVE are the first five books in
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NELSON'S EDUCATION HANDBOOKS
Equipping the Classroom
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History contains many references to 'fevers', 'agues' and similar ills, and
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It tells how one of their brethren, falling sick of the 'fever' in South
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i. fe 6
Shopping in Kingsway Stores is a
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choose and a large staff which has
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too and a high standard of service.
These things added to the keen prices
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She leads them a merry dance
Not that Paula is a flirt. It's just
that she often has so many would-be
partners she can't give all of them the
attention they demand. Yet the
partner who has the last dance finds
her as fresh and full of gaiety as her
first partner did. And if she makes a
date for next morning she turns up
bright and early and full of life.
She can't miss being so popular
when she is always so alive, and has
such all-weather, all-day good looks.
And she knows how to stay that way.
She keeps herself fit and lets her good
health do most of her beauty prepara-
tion. How does she do it ?
BOVRIL is the answer. A nice hot cup of
Bovril gives you energy, and a cheerful glow that makes
you feel fine. Bovril helps your digestion to get all the
goodness out of your food and builds up reserves to
resist winter ills. Bovril stimulates your appetite and
your sense of taste.
1-e Bee/ BOV RI L dw yoc pod/
Edited by E. H. Duckworth
No. 40 1953 Price 2/-
The Nigerian Broadcasting Service
Shango Festival at Oshogbo .
Ede-Oshogbo Water Project .
Nigerian Beef: the story of a stock-rearing experiment
Young Farmers' Clubs in Lagos Colony
Easter at Kuramo .
In the Path of the Pilgrims: Lagos to Khartoum by air
LETTERS FOR THE EDITOR
All letters for the Editor should be addressed:
THIF EDITOR, Ni\'geria,
The Exhibition Centre, Marina,
Lagos, Nigeria, West Africa.
Telegrams: Ednigmag," Lagos.
All articles and photographs published in this magazine are copyright.
A quarterly magazine for everyone
interested in the progress of the
country. Compiled in collabora-
tion with Private Contributors
and all Government Departments.
No. 40 1953
I I I'A
Photo by N. Fisher.
Published by the Government of Nigeria and printed by A. Brown & Sons, Ltd., London and Hull.
C ORRESPONDENTS and callers still show considerable interest in
back numbers. Probably it is because the contents are timeless
and anyone with a complete set of Nigeria Magazines has just about
the best guide to this country that anyone could have.
Whatever the cause of the interest, a considerable traffic in back
numbers has sprung up and the Editor proposes to aid and abet. This
office can supply a few copies of Nos. 16, 17, 18, 22, 28, 29, 30, 32, 33,
34, 35, 36, 37, 38 and 39. Up to No. 35, each copy costs one shilling;
No. 36 costs one shilling and sixpence; No. 37 onward costs two shillings.
Anyone wishing to dispose of back numbers other than the above is
requested to write to the Editor giving particulars of condition and his
" last price ". Such offers will be communicated with those clamouring
for the rarer copies.
A very few sets of back numbers are being prepared and will be
available from this office during May. Suggestions that bound volumes be
supplied have been considered but, because of the rarity of some numbers
and because reprints cannot be made available, the idea has had to be turned
down. Many readers have made their own arrangements for binding,
locally, and have obtained very satisfactory results.
During the past two months requests for copies of Nigeria have been
received from the University of Osaka, the Anthropological Museum,
Vienna, the University of Jerusalem and from one of the staff of the
University of Mexico.
How we do get around.
In No. 39 issue of Nigeria, page 247, the illustration of the carving of
an Ibo man and woman tied to a post was incorrectly credited to Mr. J.
Abudu. The carver was Mr. S. Aggu Cukueggu, Art Master, Stella Maris
College, Port Harcourt, who has made a special study of old-time customs
and contributed the article on the Kemalu Juju, page 253.
Mr. Cukueggu is a carver of great originality and combines his valuable
historical researches and skill as a carver in a most interesting way.
GLAZED VITREOUS POTTERY (STONEWARE)
\\ e regret that the pots shown in the picture on page 199 of No. 39
" Nigeria and printed with the above caption were incorrectly stated to
have been made by Mr. Michael Cardew. They were made by pupils
at the Pottery Training Centre, Okigwi, under the direction of Mr. V. A.
HOW TO OBTAIN NIGERIA
In Nigeria this magazine can he obtained from all General and Cash Account Post
Offices, Mission Bookshops, the Principal Stores and Education Offices.
On the Gold Coast, from the Bookshops of the Scotch and Methodist Missions.
Copies can be supplied post free in Nigeria, on forwarding a postal order for
two shillings to the Editor, c/o The Exhibition Centre, Marina, Lagos, Nigeria,
West Africa. The cost to places outside Nigeria is 2/2 post free. If desired, a subscription
can be paid in advance to cover several issues.
Readers in England can obtain copies from the Crown Agents for the Colonies,
4 Millbank, London, S.W.I. Price 2/-, or post free 2/3.
Day in, day out, the six studios of the Nigerian Broadcasting Service's
National and Regional stations broadcast twelve hours and fifty minutes of
locally-presented programmes from their seven transmitters. Local items,
adding another five hours a day, come from the studios of the remaining
eleven wire-broadcasting studios. In all, some 26,000 people either own
wireless sets or (the majority) rent loudspeaker boxes," representing an
average audience of over 140,000.
This is the beginning of an enterprise that may, by its tremendous social
impact, change the face of Nigeria and bring unity in place of discord. In
the accompanying article by the Director of Broadcasting, Mr. T. W.
Chalmers, we illustrate the progress made by the Nigerian Broadcasting
Service in the past two years.
Ethel London (she
built record libraries
in Singapore and
Colombo before joining
NBS) specialises in
beating adverse tropi-
cal storage conditions
She can produce within
o 30 seconds any one of
the 15,000 commercial
records now in stock,
without previous warn-
ing. File cards are
left, record bins right
HE seed of radio in Nigeria was sown in 1935 when a wired
broadcasting station was opened in Lagos. Other such stations were
opened at intervals, until in 1948 the Department of Posts and
Telegraphs and the Public Relations Department operated stations
in Lagos, Abeokuta, Ijebu Ode, Ibadan, Kano, Jos, Zaria, Kaduna, Enugu,
Calabar and Port Harcourt.
But the war of 1939-1945 made people aware, as never before, of the
good uses to which radio could be put, and the undoubted progress of
Nigeria towards political self-realisation led the Government to decide
to introduce a proper broadcasting system in place of the separate,
unco-ordinated wired broadcasting stations.
In 1949, therefore, at the request of all the West African Governments,
L. W. Turner of the BBC and F. A. W. Byron of the Crown Agents for the
Colonies surveyed the scene in the four countries, and issued a corpre-
hensive report. Nigeria alone adopted the recommendations, and as a
result, the author of this article arrived in Lagos on January 2nd, 1951.
The task before him was, briefly, to build a broadcasting system in
Nigeria that would enable people in any part of the country to hear news,
talks and entertainment in their own language by wireless, and to integrate
into this pattern the existing (and expanding) network of wired broadcasting
stations, or, as they are commonly called, Radio Distribution Service
stations, or R.D.S. for short.
The plan finally adopted differed considerably in detail from that
1 J I
Behind the Scenes
P. D. Egbuson (above) at control panel of Studio One in Broadcasting House, Lagos,
changes over from one record to another without the listener hearing a break in the
music. Senior producer Arthur Langford (below) holds a script conference in the
canteen with (left to right) announcers Victor Badejo, Sonny Okongwu and Joseph
Atuona. Canteen steward Smith serves coffee
S News editor Norman
.. / England scans tele-
gram brought in by
messenger Paul Nwosu.
S" Soon typewriters will
be rattling out hot
story for 1-30 p.m.
^. \| "~ News
proposed in the Turner/Byron report. There were two main reasons for
this; first, the imminent introduction of the new Constitution with its
emphasis on regional consciousness, development and responsibility;
second, the rise in prices of radio apparatus due to the rearmament pro-
gramme. The scheme finally adopted was that shown in the sketch, which
shows the R.D.S. Stations as in January 1953.
The scheme is complementary to the constitutional division of the
country into three regions. Each regional headquarters is given full
facilities to run a self-contained broadcasting service tailored to the needs
of the region. Each region is in charge of a Controller who works to the
Director of Broadcasting in Lagos. Apart from laying down broad lines of
policy and ensuring that the same standards, both in programmes and
technical matters, are observed throughout the NBS, the Director delegates
full responsibility to the Controllers.
At certain times of the day and between 7-30 and 10 p.m., the Regional
transmitters broadcast their own special programmes; during the rest of
the day they relay the National Programme from Lagos, which in its turn
takes a considerable quantity of material from the BBC.
The Western Region presents a special case, in that the National
transmitter in Lagos radiates not only the National, but the West Regional
programme as well. To this end a complete broadcasting unit is in course
of construction at Ibadan in a building shared with the Oxford University
Press. By this means the culture of the West will be available for trans-
mission through the Sogunle (Lagos) transmitter, and the responsibility for
providing the evening West Regional programmes will fall largely on
In a country as vast as Nigeria it is impossible for speakers and singers
outside the main towns to come to the studios, however many there might
be; so the NBS has developed mobile recording units in each Region
which can tour to the most isolated village in search of material. In this
connection the R.D.S. Stations form useful collecting points. In 1952 the
NBS recorded nearly 150 complete programmes from sources outside the
studio as far apart as Tiko and Sokoto. Recording is done on magnetic
tape recorders, the tapes being later dubbed or copied on to long-
playing records. Such records can be kept and filed in the gramophone
library (which already possesses 15,000 ordinary commercial records)
for use by the programme staff in the usual way.
When the writer arrived in Nigeria, one very experienced expatriate
Soulful Nestor Hollist plays in the Lagos studios. He was trained locally and
is now a most popular young broadcaster
The cast for a radio play
sit comfortably in studio
armchairs until required at
the microphone to speak.
Fr. Lawton and the
Catholic Dramatic Society
are seen rehearsing
"Journey by a Star"
Daily readings from the Bible and the Holy Koran are transmitted. Highlight
of Christian broadcasting is monthly service from Lagos Cathedral. Here
Rt. Rev. A. W. Howells, O.B.E., Assistant Bishop of Lagos, gives the sermon
officer expressed grave doubts whether he and his staff would find enough
programme material. Not find enough!
The amount available is like a vast pyramid of groundnuts, and we
are only just picking away at the edges of it. As time goes on, and the
NBS trains its staff more fully, we shall be able to tackle some of those
programmes that we so dearly want to do: special broadcasts for farmers,
more vernacular news, schools' broadcasts and feature programmes. But
even now, only nine months after proper studio accommodation became
available, the NBS is transmitting a National programme of which seven
hours a day (out of seventeen) come from its own studios. The North
Region transmits about three hours a day, the East slightly less as yet.
F. C. 0. Aniweta reads
the news in Ibo over the
Enuyu transmitter to the
An Ibo ladies' choir broad-
casts from the studio at
The programme content is varied, and its positioning is determined
by the BBC News Bulletins, which form rigid fixed points throughout
the day. Both the North and West Regions have a reading from the Holy
Koran early in the day, the North relaying the BBC Arabic Service, the
West doing its own reading in Arabic and Yoruba from the studio.
Local programmes, however, do not start in quantity until 11 a.m.,
when a great deal of African music and light European music is broadcast.
Certain programmes broadcast the previous night are repeated by means of
recordings, thus giving a different audience a chance of hearing them. A
special Nigerian News Bulletin is broadcast at half-past one, and the local
programmes conclude at 2 p.m. After that, BBC programmes are relayed
until 5 p.m., when the NBS studios are continuously active until 9 or 10 p.m.
Almost every kind of programme is covered: news, both in the vernacular
and in English; talks on current affairs, health, sport and subjects of general
interest; music, both light and serious; plays, stories, young people's and
women's programmes; and religious broadcasts both Christian and Moslem.
Considerable use is made of programmes recorded in the field," that is to
say, outside the studio. The photographs of a recording session at Ife
illustrate this point.
A short note on the technical side may be of interest. Transmission of
the Northern Programme at the moment is carried out by a 7! kilowatt
R.C.A. transmitter housed in a caravan near Lagos. It originally saw
G. B. N. Ugorji
-- operates recording
machine at Enugu. He
is transferring a pro-
gramme from a tape
(background) to a
left is part of the
0-3 kw. transmitter
used to broadcast the
S East Regional Pro-
Programmes and Planning
Malam Ladan (above), Senior Broadcasting Officer North Region (second from right),
holds a programme conference with three of his colleagues at Kaduna. Eric Gill (below),
Assistant Engineer-in-Charge, Northern Region, records local singers in Tudun Wada
service in the Normandy invasion of 1944, when it was used by the BBC
to send back nightly programmes for War Report. It is doing yeoman
service and has yielded much valuable data. It will be replaced in April
1953 by a 20 kilowatt Marconi transmitter, after which it will be rebuilt
and used to supplement the main service when required.
In each of the Regions there are at present two 0-3 kilowatt transmitters
which are providing the engineering staff with the necessary data and
training facilities before their more powerful transmitters arrive later in 1953.
The studio equipment is the most modern type made, and is similar
to that recently installed by the BBC in some of its studios. Apart from its
handsome appearance and neat electrical layout, it has the advantage that
its component amplifier units can be slid in and out rather like the drawers
of a cabinet. Replacement of a faulty amplifier is thus a matter of seconds.
As might be expected, the proper maintenance of such delicate electrical
and mechanical apparatus is no easy matter in a tropical climate, where a
spot of dust or mould on a contact may cause a crackle that will deafen
thousands. Continual unremitting care and inspection, and the lavish
provision of spare parts, seem to be the only ways of ensuring that the
programmes stay on the air. The provision of air-conditioned studios and
control rooms will, however, do much to ease the engineers' maintenance
Listening facilities still provide the biggest problem. Experience in
One of the National
popular entertainers is
the blind singer
popularly known as
Kokoro. He is here
seen singing with what
he calls his "ju-ju"
Short wave transmissions require comparatively small aerials. Here, at Kaduna, is the
0-3 kw. transmitter which can be heard all over the North Region
A: %I J.,
Young Girls Sing
Microphone nerves do not exist for these young singers of Tudun Wada, recording
for the North Regional programme of the NBS
Northern Rhodesia has shown that cheap battery-driven sets can be success-
fully used in rural areas given the co-operation of trading interests in
supplying new batteries. In the writer's opinion the big towns are best
served by wired-wireless which, however, becomes uneconomic in rural
areas where there is a low population density. The sale of sets is increasing
rapidly, as is the provision of loudspeaker boxes both by Rediffusion
(Nigeria) Ltd. and the Department of Posts and Telegraphs, the former in
the West and the latter in the Northern and Eastern Regions. At the end
of December 1952 there were approximately 26,000 people owning either
sets or boxes," which means an average audience of over 100,000, since
listening in Africa is a group or family occupation, and one rarely finds less
than five people round a box."
The purpose of this article, however, is not so much to look into the
future as to assess what has been done so far. Most important, in the
writer's opinion, is that professional standards have been set-BBC
standards, which are the highest in the world. The BBC-seconded staff is
training Nigerians both at its own Headquarters and at the BBC Staff
Training School in London to become broadcasters, administrators and
NBS at Ife
Mobile team records a pro-
gramme of traditionall
music in the courtyard of
the Ife Museum whilst C.
A. Bako (belkw) operates
his tape recorder in the
W"L L J
Recorded programmes can be made at times convenient to artistes and producers,
irrespective of the time of broadcasting. Victor Badejo (above) records R. Bello
and his group in compound of Broadcasting House, Lagos. Traditional songs
of Ife are being recorded (below)
> ~ - .
< A X--.
Call of the Drums
Television has not yet come
to Nigeria but during sound
recordings of traditional
music at Ife both artistes
and bystanders (above)
started t3 dance round the
microphone as the musicians
(below) warmed to th2ir
S Miss Udo Affia (20) is one
(f of the first two women
technicians to join NBS.
Educated at Queen's
Sj College, Lagos, she is an
,. expert spinner "-radio
word for the operator who
plays and joins together
music on records. NBS
in place of men for con-
tinuity announcing and
S similar jobs. Vacancies for
m ad properly qualified female
staff are likely to increase
as the Service expands
technicians. The BBC, incidentally, also trains those few European officers
seconded by Government to the NBS. The present NBS programme
schedule of news, talks, music both grave and gay, outside broadcasts and
religious services (both Christian and Moslem) is one that no broadcasting
organisation need be ashamed of; and it is only the beginning. We believe
firmly that the NBS can do more than any other agency to bring enlighten-
ment and entertainment to the thirty million people of Nigeria.
That is the reason for the choice of title: the Nigerian Broadcasting
Service. It is to the service of Nigeria that the 250 men and women of the
NBS are dedicated.
(on opposite page)
Map showing the National and Regional transmitters of the NBS, with present
and projected wired-broadcasting centres
I OSohoto 0 ^^ '- ,
t 0(O Jos '
@ Reg or. al or Nationat
H 0 with R.D.S. stations.
o R.D.S. stations.
" R.D.S station under
Shango's calabash passes through the town. To some, an object of awe; to others, a
OSHOGBO celebrates festival of
OSHOGBO is just one of the many Nigerian towns where tradition
and progress are marching side by side. They may not be perfectly
in step and progress seems to have the better stamina; but each
is an essential characteristic of the town as it is now.
Workers going home from one of this country's latest water schemes
were seen to duck quietly out of the way as an old woman carried a rather
special calabash through the town. There was little unusual about it except,
perhaps, the escort of drums and dancers. The calabash contained the
symbols of Shango, the Thunder God of northern Yoruba mythology.
Just what Shango means to the bulk of the people of his area is difficult
to know. Questions tend to be passed off with a deprecating shrug; but
the shrug is self-conscious and proclaims that the battle between modern
education and traditional beliefs has not yet been decided either way. Com-
plete victory for either side would entail considerable loss to the people
and with progress a strong favourite, there is already a real risk of the
country losing a great wealth of folk lore for which it may find a new value
in the future.
Probably no one now knows all the stories of Shango, versions of the
same original having become very different. In style they are somewhat
Priests sacrifice to the Orisa, enshrined in a special chamber in the Ataoja's compound.
Priests feast, dance, chant all night; may not sleep until daybreak
The Priests' Dance
An old Shango man dances to the Thunder God. Steps are very similar to those in
North American Indian ceremonial
akin to Norse mythology. Nigeria AMagazine is indebted to the Ataoja of
Oshogbo, a schoolmaster before his accession, for the following:
Shango was a most powerful Alafin with his seat at Oyo. HIis do-
minions stretched westwards into what is now Dahomey, northwards to
the Niger and southwards to the forests. He came on troublesome times
and was deserted by his friends. Eventually, pursued by implacable
enemies, he hanged himself in despair.
However, he had been so powerful a man on earth that once in heaven
he quickly became a god-a god to be placated with songs, dances, musical
plays and sacrifices. He has a peculiar liking for conjuring and is a god of
great wisdom. His priests can read the portents for the future and, given
the right conditions, can even sway the balance between good and evil.
Shango also has the habit of getting back at some of the descendants
of his faithless followers by shying thunderbolts at them, to such good
effect that not long ago (Ataoja), Shango priests would call at houses hit
by lightning and rarely fail to find among the ruins one of the tell-tale celts
Popular local entertainer, a Strong Man, steps forward. This is the sort of thing
(stone age implements) which are the god's favourite ammunition. It was
then the priests' duty to point out that the householder-or his ancestors-
had obviously offended Shango in some particularly abominable way. They
would commiserate and, if pressed, indicate the sacrifices which might
mitigate the wrath of the Thunder god. There could be no question of
complete appeasement because the Shango men do not subscribe to that
popular nonsense that lightning "never strikes in the same place twice."
The sacrifices, by the way, were to be made payable to the priests, as Shango's
The title A/aoja is itself deeply wrapped up in the Shango story and,
whatever his private opinions, the present Oba considers it his duty to
support tradition for the benefit of those of his people who sincerely believe
Pestles and a mortar normally used for grinding cassava are properties in this act.
Confederates pound heartily whilst Strong Man holds mortar on his chest
in the cult. In the same way, as father of all his people, he attends the
Mosque on a Friday and a variety of Christian churches on Sunday. Every
fifth day is the Shango sabbath, and this too is observed with proper ceremony.
The Ataoja explained that his title could be translated as he who
holds forth his palms to receive fish," the word receive being meant in
the regal sense. His retainers all wear the sign of the fish as their symbol
of office, and the whole is a reference to the Oba's duty of going to the
sacred Oshun River, just outside the town, and there calling the fish to him
and feeding them.
Behind this lies another story:
Among Shango's many wives were Oya and Oshun. They were about
equal in seniority but Shango preferred Oshun. She was of great and rare
beauty and very much sought after by other gods before she eventually
was won by Shango.
Each wife took turns in doing the divine cooking, and one day, when
it was Oshun's turn, she prepared a particularly good soup of mushrooms.
Shango was delighted. He gave her a new head tie and paid her such
compliments that poor Oya began to despair.
However, it was her turn the following day and she spent the whole of
the night trying to think up something which would please her lord. But
The Strong Man is a tumbler and a contortionist as well
she couldn't think of anything. Next morning, seeing Oshun still wearing
the fine new head tie which Shango had given her, Oya started a conversa-
tion and gradually got around to the subject of the recipe for the soup which
Shango had found so acceptable.
Oshun hesitated and then, with a great show of reluctance and that
affection which ladies with really corrosive feelings of each other can
suddenly generate, she said that she would tell her secret. In fact, she had
cut off her own ears and it was these which had given the soup its special
Whatever Oya's deficiencies as a cook, she was not lacking in devotion.
With difficulty she found someone willing to cut off the ears of one of
Shango's wives. Then she made the soup.
Shango took one taste and spat.
Oya was tearful-and furious; particularly when her lord complained
indignantly that she was trying to make him a cannibal.
The sight of Oshun sitting demurely in a corner, still wearing her new
head tie, was too much for Oya. There followed a fight, which continued
until Shango, as wise as he is powerful, got a little tired and threw them
They became two rivers and, says the Ataoja, ask any fisherman who
knows the waters of the estuary where they both join the sea-he will tell
you that they are fighting still.
Nowadays, when relatives or close friends are always falling out, there
is a saying in parts of Yorubaland: Who is Oya? Who Oshun? There
is also a saying Oya Mabo Oshun which may be roughly parallelled by
" you can't profitably back both teams in one football match."
Oshogbo declared its allegiance to Oshun some time ago, one of the
results being that, for some obscure reason, beer from Guinea corn is not
1~ q ~
U I I.,
Show on the Market
The Orisa is shown to the populace in the market place whilst priests work magic for
Ibo Stilt Dancer
Ibo people are famous as dancers and entertainers. They too
appear for Shango, paid by the Ataoja
used in the town. The traditional belief of the people is that the fish in
the River Oshun are the children of the goddess and therefore sacred.
In the old days," the Ataoja explained, no one was allowed to kill fish
in the town. Nor were fish on sale in the whole of the market in case they
had been taken from the Oshun. Now you can buy fish in the town but it
is sold by Ibos or Sobos or Ijaws . ." He implied that it might still go
ill with anyone caught dangling a hook in the Oshun.
Oshogbo people claim that the river gives their town pre-eminence
over all others in the district. The river forms many deep pools along its
course which, even in the dry season, are full of fish. The deepest pool is
at Oshogbo, which fact, it is claimed, makes the intention of the Goddess
clear. She appointed many Governors to rule her part of Shango's terri-
tory; but the Ataoja, appointed at the town near the deepest pool, was
quite obviously given seniority over all the others ..
Women still come considerable distances to bathe in the sacred waters,
and those who were barren promptly become fertile. The Ataoja, in all
sincerity, states that he has no doubt at all that such results are obtained,
but he is not prepared to go on record as to just how and why. His attitude
is almost purely scientific. He states that a fact can be witnessed and proved;
W cl rA.
The Ataoja of Oshogbo
Ceremonial bead hat represents traditional Yoruba system of Government. Large birds
at base of hat represent Chiefs of the various wards of the town. Vertical lines of
small birds are subjects being led upwards to the Chiefs of the Compound, the larger birds
surrounding the King himself
and that it is not disproved by the absence of a generally acceptable theory
explaining how it comes about. He, personally, thinks the effects of the
river might be due to some quality in the mud.
Despite Shango's tragic experiences on earth and his matrimonial
troubles later on, he is still best placated with good entertainment. Maybe,
somewhere in the parts of the story not told to strangers, there is an explan-
ation of why women are accepted in his priesthood and why even the males
wear feminine hair styles.
The proceedings start on the eve of the festival. An old woman of
Night market in Oshogbo. Market women's dip lamps burn
palm oil and provide the only illumination for this picture,
taken from the tower of the Mosque
the Shango cult passes through every quarter of the town carrying the
Shango calabash loaded with the symbols of the Thunder God. She is
accompanied by Bata, the Shango drum and great ceremony. The passing
of the calabash signifies an open day in the town, when a stranger may
take anything he needs to eat without charge.
In a special chamber in the Ataoja's compound the priests of Shango
have already started chanting and dancing and making sacrifices to the
Orisa. It appears that Shango has a liking for a party for, though the
priests may sing, dance and feast right through the night, none of them
must take as much as one wink of sleep before daybreak. One old man
present explained that the ceremonies were trying to make the Thunder
God forget his unhappy past and to put him in a pleasant frame of mind
for the new year.
Whilst the priests are getting warmed up outside the room enshrining
the Orisa, the Ataoja and the senior chiefs of his compound sit in the
reception room of the Afin and listen to the virtues and powers of the Oba
as recounted by a professional praise singer who heralds his approach with
the clash of iron clappers. He is something more than a staff sycophant
for, running through the list of virtues and the known achievements of
the past is a thread of prophesy, a hint of what may be expected in the
New Year. Whether calculated or inspired, the words are received with
some solemnity, and each pronouncement is received with the smile or
frown it merits. Each prophetic item is evoked by a crescendo of clashing
iron and a state of self-hypnosis is certainly induced in some of the audience
if not in the speaker.
It was said by some of the old men present that the singing of the
Sacred Oshun river is crossed by suspension foot-bridge. Here the Ataoja
calls and feeds fish, Oshun's children
Oba's praise was traditional. They implied that the prophetic content of
the performance had decreased in recent years. On being pressed, they
admitted that there had been recent occasions when accuracy, too, seemed
to be falling off.
The entertainment proper, though for the express benefit of Shango,
is enjoyed by as many of the townspeople who can squeeze into the court-
yard of the Oba's compound. It is on this sort of occasion that the strange
mixture of democracy and paternal autocracy which is the Yoruba system
of government becomes most apparent. The Oba is the father of his people,
so his people feel themselves welcome in his house-to the point of near
suffocation. Though the Royal retainers carry small sticks with which to dis-
courage the bigger boys, everyone is noticeably kindly towards the younger
children who press round the skirts of the Oba's robe without rebuke.
A second show is later given on the market, for though the crowd in
the palace was great, more than one thousand of those present were actually
resident in the Royal compound and few of the townspeople found it
physically possible to get in.
On the market place the Orisa is exhibited to the people and the Shango
priests perform magic for the amusement of the Thunder God and, inci-
dentally, for the betterment of their credit with the crowd.
The Ataoja attends All Saints' parish church. Left is the Vicar General,
the Rt. Rev. S. C. Phillips, M.A. The Ataoja's nephew (clerical dress,
right), is newly-ordained deacon of the Anglican Church
Dancers, strong men, stilt-dancers and conjuring are the main items
on the programme. The priests specialise in the conjuring and in some
considerable feats of strength. The writer was accused of stealing one of
Shango's cloths and, sure enough, some ive yards of coloured material
were seemingly extracted from the back of his shirt. But by then the
priests had lost the forbidding frowns with which they had started the
show, and everyone was in a party mood which must have done Shango's
When the Ataoja and his court had returned to the Afin and the Shango
men had started another night outside the shrine of the Orisa, the townsfolk
started their own celebrations in the market place and drumming went on
through the night.
On the whole, there is little question that the people of Oshogbo have
plenty to celebrate. The size of the town has all but doubled recently and
is now held to be somewhere about 135,000. Once the district specialised
in buying white cloth and dyeing it in those colours preferred in Ibo country.
Most of the goods thus treated found a market in Onitsha.
The tone of Oshogbo is fast changing. Its growth is in no way the
result of industrial progress. Rather, it has become a town of prosperous
middlemen dealing in everything that the locality has to offer or wants to
buy. In such an atmosphere, progressive but materialistic, the beliefs and
traditions of the past are bound to die.
Already the deeper secrets of Shango have been lost. M. Paul Verger,
of IFAN (French Institute of Negro Africa), having followed the Shango
story among people of Yoruba descent in the Americas, believes that in its
Signs of Change
A stone crusher clatters on a
hill overlooking Oshogbo and
the service reservoir for the
water supply will be finished by
the end of the year
Headman Busar on the Oshogbo
reservoir job, takes a sip of palm
wine. Market women set up
similar refreshment points near
all public works projects.
The main dam on the Erinle river which will supply water to be piped to Oshogbo and Ede
home locality the original teachings have already been lost. There is no
longer always thunder just before the Festival. By strictly correct analysis
this may be either because the art of making thunder has been lost (as some
Africans aver) or because the art of foretelling thunder weather has been
lost-a view which many Africans and most Westerners now prefer. What-
ever the cause, the priests no longer claim to make thunder.
M. Verger thinks that older members of cults such as Shango, knowing
that they are the sole repositories of some of the remaining secrets, might
tend to believe that Shango keeps them alive so that the ceremonies in his
honour shall not be lost. When a holder of secrets dies in this belief, the
secrets die too.
The number of people admitted into the inner circle of cults such as
Shango has always been strictly limited by one of the methods used in some
Western Societies: the secrets are purchased at a considerable price in
money or possessions. Those who cared for the cult in the past in that
way were sound in their psychology in that they knew there was little chance
of secrets bought at heavy cost being casually given away. When the hope
*-a. I. a ar t Th
-'*4 / U, -
One and a half square miles of shallow valley will be flooded by the building
of this dam. Automatic sluice gates will release flood-water
of longer life is added to the original price of the secrets, their value becomes
Already the cumulative effect of these factors has been largely to
remove the subject from the province of serious anthropologists to that of
the teller of small tales.
Paul Verger, continuing the struggle virtually alone, finds his best
hunting grounds in Brazil among the descendants of Yoruba slaves taken
from Nigeria little more than 100 years ago. It is unlikely that the old
men who held the deep secrets were carried oversea; but it is entirely
natural that a people taken from their home surroundings should foster
their traditional customs and beliefs more carefully than those left at home
where the challenge of changing times was less audible.
Verger states that he has spoken with elderly Yoruba men in South
America whose fathers left their homelands when cults such as that of
Shango were virtually unchanged from the form they held in the distant
past. But the inner secrets were not disclosed to the present generation.
The true stories are further clouded in Nigeria by the custom of past
Obas gradually to attach some of the attributes of a deity to their own
house, in the interests of the survival of their own dynasty. There is some
evidence of this at Oshogbo.
Changes in the life of a growing people are inevitable. It is probable
that the significance of the Oshun River itself will soon be lost when,
towards the end of 1953, the Oshogbo-Ede water supply scheme is com-
pleted. Whether or not it will come into use at once is still a matter for
conjecture since both sluice gates and pumping equipment are designed to
be worked electrically and the future of the parallel electrical project is a
At the end of all but three years of civil engineering work the dam
across the Erinle River near Ede will have flooded some one-and-a-half
square miles of shallow valley, giving ample storage capacity for the dry
Women cluster round an Ede water point as taps momentarily gush during a test of
the town's water mains. It will be some months before the supply is constant
season. The dam is more than 1,000 feet long with a maximum height of
40 feet. Its foundations, in places, go down 40-50 feet below ground-level.
To control excessive floods in the rainy season-floods which have already
given some trouble during the construction period-steel sluice gates
erected across the spillway will lift automatically when the water in the
reservoir starts to rise above a given point and the river will flow out from
beneath the gates.
From the dam, water will be pumped through a modern treatment
plant where chemical processes will make it completely safe for drinking.
As pure water it will be taken to two service reservoirs each holding more
than half a million gallons, on hills overlooking Ede and Oshogbo. Thence,
through 25 miles of pipes, it will be fed to all parts of both towns.
The engineers state that the progress of work during the current dry
season will be the deciding factor on the completion date ".
So it is bound to be. New things will come and old things will go.
It is all but certain that the original significance of cults like Shango will
be lost, though their festivals may survive in other forms. As in Britain,
where pagan mistletoe is now part of Christmas, so may the magic worked
by the priests of Shango become part of some other celebration.
It is, surely, to be hoped that the stories will survive as have those of
European mythology. D. W. M.
,, R *S .
.. : \ -' ". *-'i : *^ *. '-",.s
The story of a stock-rearing experiment
HOW nice it would be if by the passing of an ordinance or the
unanimous vote of a governmental congress cows could profitably
be made to calve in less than nine months.
As this is not possible, professional men and legislators
alike have to get on as best they can with long heads, much foresight and
lots and lots of patience. They can set the engine-room telegraph at full
speed ahead but it is Old Mother Nature who is firing the boilers.
At Fashola, about twelve miles west of Oyo, there has been developing
for some six years one of the most critical experiments going on in Nigeria
to-day. To date, it is going very well. The idea, briefly, is to run cattle
where no cattle have been run before; to move the cattle line south in this
country in much the same way as the wheat line has been moved north in
Canada and Europe. In all these cases, the object has been the same-to
grow more food in anticipation of a shortage which, though not always
apparent, is just about as certain as anything in the future can be.
(On opposite page) New Crop
Cows with young calves are all staked together in one area at Fashola
I t I T
Fashola is in open savannah country, the river courses being marked by tall trees. Here
lurk the tsetse flies which bring death to most breeds of cattle
In the southern half of Nigeria it is no longer a matter of opinion that
the population has outgrown its present food resources and that the Western
Region, particularly, would be on very short commons if the importing of
food from outside suddenly stopped. For a number of obvious reasons,
transport being the main one, Ibadan and Oyo Provinces are the natural
supplying areas for the dense urban populations of the south-west. But
Ibadan is already preoccupied with cocoa and its own growing number of
mouths to feed. Luckily the cocoa farmers have not made the mistake of
their brethren in Gold Coast, who virtually stopped growing their own
subsistence crops at the peak of the cocoa boom.
Is the idea, then, to put half the population on an exclusive diet of
beef? It is not. The Fashola experiment plans a double dividend in that
by the gradual introduction of mixed farming this agriculturally tired old
continent will get the stimulus of animal humus which it has been without
for as long as human knowledge goes; and at the same time an improve-
ment in the people's diet will give the country a productive factor it has
never had before.
The Officer in charge at Fashola has already taken a taste of his own
medicine. He noted that workmen engaged on a job he could conveniently
observe were tired out by midday. He convinced himself that there was
Fulani herdsman working at Fashola. His people are the traditional cattle
owners of Nigeria, who often drive their surplus animals some 700 miles from
their northern homes to the meatless south
no question of laziness or lack of will to work. The men were simply
dead beat long before the end of their working day. The Officer found
that the men were living on the normal local diet which is singularly
deficient in animal protein. He instituted a midday meal of meat stew and
within a short time the men were carrying on with full energy well into the
The lift given to the productive capacity of the soil by the addition of
animal humus is already well proved and, the two factors taken together,
Fashola and similar projects may yet prove one of the biggest blessings
this country has ever had.
The problem is, of course, the tsetse fly. Whilst entymologists are
-- *., 7
', .- o
- -- ,-C.
. ., ,- ,s -
Mid-day drinking-the supreme test of an animal's resistance to tsetse-born disease
t~~4 ~ *11
'A I i~h
*; -- 'B "
--. .. ,-
This old gentleman from Senegal was one of the first Ndama to be imported
attacking the fly itself and veterinary authorities are seeking practicable
means of inoculation, the Agricultural department has been carrying out
its own flanking movement by seeking a cattle strain which shows a con-
siderable resistance to animal trypanosomiasis. The midget cattle of the
Rivers area show almost complete resistance but the breed is utterly un-
economic. The ZEBU and KETIKU humped cattle from the north very
easily fall victim to the fly and neither is a really efficient animal.
The NDAMA breed from French Senegal has been chosen and, so
far, the choice has proved good. It is a beef type, of adequate bone structure
with a good meat yield. There are two sub-types, one from the highlands,
with a dark brown coat, and one from lower country. This latter has a
coat of colour and texture similar to a Jersey.
At Fashola, though losing condition towards the end of the dry season,
they have shown a fine capacity to pick up immediately the feed improves
with the first rains. The darker, highland type has proved most noticeable
in this respect.
The herd is certainly not pampered. All the year round they are grazed
on such food as they can find for themselves; except that pregnant cows
are given concentrates-local cassava or maize with groundnut cake or palm
kernel meal-four weeks before and three weeks after calving. Manage-
ment is planned to deviate as little as possible from the conditions the
animals will meet when in African ownership. Apart from the concentrates
The native humped
SE .cattle of Northern
T 't '
This dam supplies water for the whole of the Agricultural Station. Cattle
are watered lower down the stream
at calving time already mentioned, no supplementary rations are given at
all. At night animals are staked but in future loose kraaling is planned;
some 50-60 inside a fenced area about 200 ft. square.
One feature that the African ranches cannot hope to have is veterinary
treatment on the spot and Fashola station claims the best veterinary
laboratory in the Western Region outside the University."
On the other hand, no African cattle owner who knew his job would
drive his cattle to the river to drink at midday. Yet this is the practice at
Fashola, achieved by the issue of the strictest orders and despite the inherent
horror of the Fulani stockmen who know it is the wrong thing to do.
The reason is, of course, because Fashola is an experimental station seeking
to measure the Ndama's resistance to tsetse-borne disease. They are driven
to the fly-plagued river bed just when the tsetse will bite hardest and oftenest.
There is no shortage of wild game in the area of all the types most likely
to carry tryps., so, if the Ndama were going to be tryps.-prone, they would
almost certainly have shown it already. Though the breed is virtually
tsetse-proof in Senegal the Agricultural Department have continued through-
out the experiment at Fashola to check and re-check that the herd bred in
Nigeria has retained this essential characteristic.
Crossings between Ndama and the native Nigerian strains have all
tended to show that resistance to tryps. is along strictly genetic lines and
directly proportional to the degree of Ndama in the ancestry.
Unloading Ndama cattle from Senegal at Apapa wharf
First Passengers Ashore
Herding frightened Ndama is no easy job
The station is also trying to lay down Ndama features for registration,
because already many inquiries about the breed have come from other parts
of the world. East Africa wants to try them in her tsetse areas, and once
breeding is on a large scale, because tryps. immunity appears to be dependent
on perfect Ndama ancestry, it is essential that strict standards be laid down.
With the Ndama this is not easy. There are few of the obvious characteris-
tics of, say, the Friesian and identification will mostly be based in a labori-
ously gathered system of proportional measurements. At Fashola average
Continued on page 327
1A batch of Ndama
arrive by sea at
.-6 L 'AKV
Very Pleasant Journey, Thank You"
onrtinued from page 324
weights run at 650 Ibs. for a female, 850 lbs. for a male. Bone content,
though adequate, is considerably less than in the Zebu, and the meat is the
nearest approach to European or North American beef in both taste and
texture yet found in an African breed.
The policy of the station is centred on multiplication. Over six years
a 3I : 1 increase has been achieved. It is below the average for the stock-
rearing world but the Zebu does not better 2 : 1. All female progeny are
kept on the station, as are the best of the males. Choice is made strictly on
genetic history, full records being kept for every animal.
Males not retained at Fashola are available for issue. Most go to
agricultural stations in all Regions and a few to private farmers with good
cattle records in the Western Region. Two exceptions have been made in
the past: one male and 12 females were sent to the Rural Training Centre
at Asaba and a similar nucleus to the Upper Ogun scheme.
The aim is to maintain a 300 breeding herd to produce 250 head a
year. This object has been virtually attained already. Afterwards stock
will be issued to Agricultural Department stations, and there is a possibility
that herds may soon be established under African ownership.
To some extent all development plans in a new country are a gamble.
But in the agricultural programme the stake is not just the few thousand
pounds risked in other projects. The stake played for in Nigeria adds
up to the happiness, maybe even the lives, of millions of people.
(On opposite page)
Local cattle, natives of Northern Oyo, move past Fashola towards the
markets further south
He is typical of thousands of quiet, hard-working countrymen on whom the
noisy urban populations depend for their very existence
YOUNG FARMERS' CLUBS
in Lagos Colony
By DONALD FAULKNER
T HOMAS ALBERT is a popular young man in his own village of
Ikotun. He is known to his neighbours as a hard-working fellow,
sober in his attitude to his farm, but quite ready at the right time to
make merry with the rest of them.
Unfortunately he is not known outside his village because as a young
farmer he is not documented, photographed, registered or certificated like
his cousin who went to school and is now an applicant for employment in
the nearest large town.
Albert comes from an elusive, little-known class in our society. Its
members do not catch the eye in the way their fathers do-those dignified
old men one runs up against in the markets, the Native Courts or such like
places. They remain silent figures in the background, respectful and un-
talkative. If we notice them at all, it is as we spin along a dusty road, a
solitary figure, grubbing in a roadside farm, straightens its back and waves
a greeting as we pass.
These young farmers are numerous still. It is a safe assumption that
they are two or three times as plentiful as boys who go to school, and we
can reach an estimate of their numbers. But how differently are they treated
from the schoolboys. They are exactly the same sort of fellows basically.
They come of the same stock. The schoolboys are not selected because of
their superior intelligence or qualities of character; nor do they represent
a higher social class. It is just that families cannot afford to send all the
boys to school. It is not only a question of money, as will be found when
an attempt is made to introduce compulsory primary education. The
family land must be kept going-farm land scattered widely in small lots
which require many pairs of hands to cultivate them. There are mothers,
grandmothers, cousins and in-laws to be fed and kept occupied. If all the
boys go to school, with the usual result that they are alienated from the
soil, it means the end of the family as a cohesive group. It strikes at the
foundations of the way of life of the country folk. This is a danger that is
realized by the countryman in many parts to-day. Hle knows that it affects
his own family.
The old men feel that in the past few years, particularly where village
schools have been introduced, so many of their lads have been leaving the
villages that there are few growing up to carry on the farms when the
older generation has gone. These old men do not understand the reasons
for this; they do not relate the new influences brought to bear upon rural
life with the effects they so much deplore any more than the picture at a
national lcvel appears to be seen clearly.
Washing produce before sale. Thomas Albert knows that this brings better prices
The young farmer is a shy, unapproachable individual who only exists
officially as a head to be counted at tax collection time. Unless, that is, he
gets into any sort of trouble, is a little too free with his neighbour's wife
or suffers from a grievous malady. He tends to become personified only
when he grows older and becomes a village representative, a Bale or a
Chief. It is not that anybody bears him any ill-will. It is just that he has
not been noticed in the struggle for recognition that goes on between class
and class for a share of the national purse.
His virtue, for which he suffers, is that he is not self-assertive; unlike
the schoolboy, who is the product of a highly individualistic and competi-
tive training. To the natural humility of the countryman (a humility he
shares with those all over the world who gain their living by coming to
Thomas Albert lives with his wife and two children in Ikotun
terms with the forces of nature) is added the feeling of inferiority induced
by following a calling that is socially looked down upon. His knowledge
is extensive, but it is of forest and farm, not as commercially realisable as
dates in history or rainfalls in the Antipodes. There can be no question
that, in essentials, the countryman's value to Nigeria is greater than that
of any Standard Six boy.
People say that a man's best friend is his mother. None would argue
that a Nation's best friend is Mother Earth. We are always being told that
we must step up food production or starvation is round the corner, but
this needs to be done cautiously, for Mother Earth gets tired if she is not
well cared for.
In those countries where industry and urbanisation are taking more
and more hands from farming, it is seen how important it is to help those
ever fewer in number who are left to produce more. They become pro-
portionately more valuable to the community. And so it must be in Nigeria.
The farmers have not yet discovered how important they are-not when
they are young, at any rate. Nobody singles them out for special treatment.
They just go on in their apparent ignorance keeping the noiseless tenor
f 1 A
Ikotun Young Farmers' Club holds a meeting
of their way," growing up, tilling the soil and passing on, as their grand-
fathers and great-grandfathers did before them.
What we must realise is that these are the very fellows who could be
led to adopt new methods, who would be willing to engage in experiments
with new stocks and new tools. The future efficiency of Nigerian agricul-
ture is in their hands. It is asking rather a lot of Dad, who has a large family
to support, to gamble withthis livelihood. He cannot afford a bad year.
His capital is in his crops and he will not try new schemes which might
leave him stranded. It is different with the youngsters; it is in their nature
to seek change and adventure in new ideas, as much as in anything else.
It boils down very largely to a matter of human relations, relations
between people and the organs of Government which are set to help them
in the national task of food production. Unfortunately, it seems to be a
field which has been neglected to a certain extent in the past. Any business-
man or manufacturer who neglected his Industrial Relations these days
would go out of business in quick time, and there is a lesson to be learnt
from that. We have been warned. Aneurin Bevan, in his book In Place of
Fear, summed it up very succinctly:
Where the countryside is neglected, it always takes its revenge.
Unless country and town march together in reciprocal activity, civilisa-
tion will limp on one foot."
All members of Young Farmers'
Clubs attend Adult
read and write
Literacy classes; rapidly learn to
Woman social welfare
worker teaches Ikotun
girls needlework in the
village hall Y.F.C.
members helped to
Agricultural Assistants give lectures to Club members; discuss problems of immediate
Better farming means more money for Y.F.C. members. Specialist from
Agricultural Department explains the purpose of the compost heap
Elders of Ikotun village meet to discuss suitable voluntary service Y.F.C. members might
give. They suggest that the village area could do with a clean-up
That is the background against which the Young Farmers' Clubs must be
Thomas Alagbe Albert is a Yoruba from the isolated village of Ikotun
in the Ikeja Division of the Colony. He is 22 years of age, already married,
and has a small daughter of 21 years. A Christian and a young farmer in
his own right, his father having, as is customary, set him up when he
became old enough to be able to manage a farm on his own, he is the
third son in a family of five, none of whom went to school.
Thomas joined the Ikotun branch of the Young Farmers' Clubs when
it was started a few months ago and soon became prominent as one of its
most enthusiastic members. He took quickly to the idea that one of the
chief disabling features of the young farmer, his illiteracy, could be over-
come by attendance at the Adult Literacy Classes. This is a qualification
for membership of the club, that the Young Farmer must agree to take part
in these classes, and Thomas, along with the other 30 members of the
Ikotun Branch, attended regularly and can now read and write simple
Yoruba. The next step, while continuing to improve in this direction, is
to learn to speak English, so that he will feel at home in the markets and
will understand more of what he hears going on around him. It will also
make easier the changeover from reading in Yoruba to English, when the
A campaign waged by Club members at the request of the village elders. Down-wind
neighbours protest shrilly at momentary dust cloud
time comes. He will also, and this is important, be able to make direct
contact with English-speaking people and their ideas without having to
undergo the sieving process which creates a barrier of misunderstanding
and quite often, of suspicion.
Thomas is not bowed down with the cares and anxieties of modern
society. He has, of course, his own bogies, but on the whole he leads an
unfettered life which gives him time to get together with the other chaps
and enjoy himself with them in much the same way as young men do the
world over. The age-sets which formerly drew the young people together
seem to have largely fallen into disuse, along with so many of the traditional
institutions which bound the rural societies together. But in the Young
Farmers' Clubs there is a revival of this ancient form of grading, although
it has a new look ". The function is no longer political or concerned
only with the domestic affairs of the village, although these are not over-
lookcd. Concern is more for recreational and social purposes, for playing
Thomas Albert and his friends do not lack sporting instincts. Wrestling is their
traditional sport and Y.F.C.'s plan inter-village fixtures
,* t7-z-.F., r 9 '. .
V/A Li 'i
Following the pattern of Y.F.C.'s in Britain and 4-H clubs in America, produce
is displayed at local shows
football and going on excursions, for widening the horizon of the
Transport is a knotty problem. Poor roads or bush paths join village
to village, four or five miles apart, yet it is essential, if these young men
are to feel their relationship with the community as a whole and not take
a parochial point of view, that they should begin to move farther afield
than their own feet will take them. Bicycles seem to be the answer, but
only a few will take the trouble to save for such an expensive article, pre-
ferring to fritter away their spare cash on cheap cigarettes, new clothes and
O.H.M.S. (illicit gin). In order to encourage them to be thrifty, the organ-
isation includes in its programme competitions for well-kept cycles and has
developed the use of Esusu Societies for buying them.
The young men in the village are still the brawn and it falls very
largely to them to carry out any community development work that is
decided upon. It is an obvious advantage to have an organised group,
disciplined to a point, which will perform such public duties as mending
roads, keeping paths clear of undergrowth, cleaning up the open spaces
and building the village institutes which have become a feature of villages
in the Colony area. In carrying out these projects, the Young Farmers see
clearly their duty to the community, a duty which so many young people
1 iii~r miii
Nigerian Young Farmers show their produce and solicit new members at Agege agricul-
Thomas Albert-typical of the young men on whom this nation's future
in the towns are unaware of. Their dependence upon the older generation
is brought home to them-the elders to whom their respect is still due,
especially in these modern times. If their club is to flourish they must have
the good will of their elders (this being achieved through a Management
Committee) and their practical blessing in the form of land for their com-
munal farm and other help. It is everything for them to know that the
elders agree to them having this youthful institution within the framework
of the village society.
Each of the 20 Young Farmers' Clubs of Lagos Colony is an inde-
pendent unit, self-governing and practically self supporting. Each is assisted
in their formation and management, in the details of their programme
planning and in their contacts one with another by officers of the Rural
Welfare Unit of the Social Welfare Service. They pay subscriptions, make
their own rules and keep their own books. It is all excellent practice in the
management of their own affairs which, as they grow older and have a
greater say in the political life of their own neighbourhood, should pay
But what of them as farmers? The line of advancement is for the
expert to decide. The experiments, the cultivation of improved stocks, the
introduction of new methods are first tested by the Agricultural Department
Life is not all work for Young Farmers. Social events organised by Clubs help
to make village life more attractive
at its experimental farms. To these the Young Farmers make excursions
and discuss with the man on the spot the new developments that interest
them. Remember these are young men who know their future prosperity
depends upon their ability to be good, and then better farmers. One of
the first acts of each club after foundation is to set up a communal farm so
that those who are not yet independent can feel a proprietary right over
land and crops and can share in the harvest. In some instances, after the
first year, Clubs have been able to enrich their funds by appreciable amounts
by tl-e sale of crops from their communal farm. They are now getting a
practical demonstration of the value of composting by seeing the change
brought about by the use of the compost they have in the past year stored
under the guidance of the Agricultural Officer. He himself is greatly
assisted by having this group of young farmers to work with, for even if
they do not speak the same tongue, at least they speak the same language.
EASTER AT KURAMO
Bj JOHN HARRISON
W E were to have left on Thursday afternoon at four-thirty. About
an hour later, D arrived with a sturdy, rather light-skinned bov
of nineteen or twenty.
This is Ballentyne," he said. He is a King's Scout down
from Shagamu, staying with the Archbishop, and he is going to come to
the camp with us. Hurrv up, Olu, hurry Hez. Where's Walter and little
Robert? Are they coming? \\e must start soon. Why can't they be
ready ? We shall never get there before dark at this rate. Come on, Harrison!
1 lave you got all your things ready? I hope you're not going to bring too
much. You don't need to look like a Lagos gentleman, you know."
So we set off from Onikan, down Five Cowrie Creek, walking in single
tile along the narrow paths of the bund, through a fishing village where
all the children begged and the men and women waved a cheerful greeting.
At last we reached the canoes and, bundled into two of them, were ferried
across from Lagos Island to the narrow strip of foreshore which lies between
the lagoon and the open sea.
On again for another twenty minutes, in single file across the reclaimed
swamp, while D told me about the rare ferns which grew here and there
in odd patches along them. We passed Olu's house, and his little sister
looked out to greet us. Then, at the end of the meadows, another fishing
village standing on an estuary which divided us from Igboshere Village
and the Camp.
You'll have to wade across this," said D, rolling up his trousers.
And in we went, the little boys up to their thighs in the middle of the
stream, the rest of us up to our knees.
On the farther side was Igboshere Village. Their own village, the
Duckworth, Duckworth," called the children as we passed. Here,
it was clear, all greetings were between old friends.
As we left the last house behind, the party began to sing the Song of
Arrival at Kuramo. I never quite caught the words, but each newcomer
sang it that Easter week-end as he climbed the little hill from the village to
the first buildings of the camp: three one-room wooden houses, D's,
Faulkner's, and the Guest House.
Here the boys left us, and, while we were opening up, went on to their
own building. It was past seven already, and there was not much light left
in the sky.
Hurry up," said D. Put your things in the corner there and get a
towel. We just have time for a swim before night falls. We'll have another
after dinner if you like. Probably the boys will want to go out in the canoes
to-night, over to the sea-shore. There'll be a full-moon later on."
And this we did. There were two canoes down by the jetty below the
boys' building, and soon after ten o'clock Olu and Hez came to fetch us
from our after-dinner tea. So the whole party embarked for the farther
shore, and, in a few minutes, we were pulling the boats up again in the
soft sand and running through the cocoanut grove, through moonlight as
bright as day, to the wind and the salt spray of the sea beach.
We bathed in the breakers, ran races, turned cartwheels and somersaults
on the sand. D stood rather solemnly on his head, which no one else
By midnight we were back in camp, and by six the next morning we
were up again. Olu and Hez, wrapped in their blankets, came round soon
after for an early-morning cup of tea, and Ballentyne, draped in a huge,
A Canoe Expedition
All members of the crew are expert swimmers. It is good fun diving overboard
and climbing in again
brightly coloured cloth, soon followed them. How pleasant to be able to
sit and talk-or rather to listen to D talking-in the cool early morning,
and know that all that day and all the next, and the next, and the next,
would be spent in the open air, swimming, and sailing, and sleeping, and
talking, and eating. How good to feel human again, to forget about lec-
tures and schedules and projects for a little while.
So the first day passed. We sat over our early morning tea for more
than an hour, swam for the next hour and then-slowly and deliciously-
cooked our breakfast. It was eleven before we finished it. Time to go back
to the sea again, and we stayed there until almost one. Hungry for lunch ?
We had a cold one waiting for us, and as long as we liked to spend eating it.
The boys-" .. all my Onikan family," said D-cooked theirs at
the cookhouse by the open-air dining room behind their own building.
They shared the work between them. For Ojo, their leader, had arrived
by now. Ojo, the great footballer, who hopes to play for Nigeria against
England next year, and who has been a member of the Camp since the
beginning. So Ojo and Ballentyne took charge of arrangements and allotted
duties, which were carried out without too much grumbling. Hez-D's
right-hand in the dark-room at Onikan-did most of the actual cooking
with Olu. The smaller boys fetched and carried-water from the well,
wood from the pile. Ojo himself tended the fire. And Ballentyne? Well,
just what did Ballentyne do? I cannot remember, but he looked very
imposing doing it with his great coloured cloth now worn slung across his
shoulder Gold Coast style, now wrapped around his middle like a true
By five we were back in the water again, and stayed there till almost
dark, when D lit and passed out all the lamps and we separated again to
prepare our evening meal. No after-dinner outing on this the second
night; everyone seemed too sleepy. Some of the boys came round after
their meal for a last cup of tea, and Olu fell asleep while I was drawing him.
An early night. And early next morning, after tea and a swim, Ojo
and Ballentyne set off for Lagos, where Ojo that afternoon had to play an
important match. The smaller boys did as they liked, and D and I went to
work. First a visit to the school, a complement to the camp, started at the
Olu fell asleep while I was drawing him "
same time, and but for which the children of Igboshere, and many of those
around the lake, would never have had any schooling at all.
Olu started here," said D. He started coming here as a tiny little
boy. Poled himself to school across the lake every morning. And look at
him now. He might go anywhere, that boy."
It was true.
Give them the bare essentials. That's all they need to start with,"
said D. Teach them to read and write and speak English. That's what's
important. Then they can fend for themselves. And enough arithmetic so
as not to be made fools of by the first smart trader who comes along.
That's all they need. If they deserve anything else they can get it. And
they will, too."
The school building, and the school teacher's house, stood in a wide
compound, well cleared from the surrounding bush. They were sensible
buildings, of the same style and using the same materials as the houses in
the village. Bamboo walls, thatched roofs, wooden shutters over the
windows, and strong doors. Each stood on a broad platform of concrete,
and the school was surrounded by a wide verandah, beyond which grew
many flowering shrubs and clumps of hardy, ever-blooming, periwinkles.
The setting, in fact, was perfect. And inside? Inside were maps, and
models, building sets, small roofs for thatching, small chairs and tables for
the babies, and bigger chairs and tables for the older children. There was
a case of thorn carvings, another of decorated calabashes, a set of beadwork
caps, a carved wall-plaque from Benin, pictures of everyday life in Africa
and of several different wild animals. From the ceiling hung model aero-
planes and other models made last term in the school from palm-pith. On
'he end wall hung the Union lack.
The Flag of Freedom," said the teacher. Yes, Freedom indeed, and
o many who have tried living under different flags.
Grove on the narrow strip of sand between
Sea and Lagoon
In one corner a shelf of brightly painted toys.
These," explained the teacher, we give to the new children for the
first week or two they come to us. So we keep them in school until they
are no longer frightened and are ready to learn."
D had brought out with him a roll of posters from B.O.A.C. and
similar loot culled here and there from various firms and departments.
Take them to the boys' building, and spruce the place up," he said.
"Anything that's moth-eaten must come down. Mrs. Southern is coming
out on Monday, and a very nice clergyman with bright blue eyes, and we
must have everything looking really smart for them."
So Walter and I went to work, tidied up the club room, took down the
old pictures and laid out the new. There was a wonderful map of the world
with people and animals and buildings put in all over it to signify which
country was which, and the B.O.A.C. airlines drawing the countries together
in the most comforting fashion. It was all we could do to drag ourselves
away from it once it was up, and get on with the rest of the work: cover
the walls with coloured photographs of aeroplanes and long, luscious,
posters depicting Portugal, London, Rio de Janeiro, and India at their
most enticing best. It made a good display.
How quickly the time passed. Friday and Saturday were gone in no
time, and all Sunday morning was swallowed up in a long canoe trip through
the swamps to a farther lake. On the way we passed a snake swimming
through the water, and Olu, who is a mighty hunter ard who was almost
born with a paddle in his hands, stood up in the bows of the swaying boat
Hez returns to camp
after swimming 400
yards across the
r. Lagoon with a large
N%. cockle balanced on his
It weighed nearly a quarter
of a pound and after cook-
and bashed it. When he pulled it out of the water it was quite five feet
long, but thin and wiry like a worm.
It's a pity to kill them really," said D, but you can never tell, and
I suppose we have to be on the safe side. One night when I was up here
alone with Faulkner, he had gone down to the sea for a swim and I walked
round the house barefoot without a torch to get something or other. I
felt a sharp pain in my leg, and thought I must have trodden on something,
but when I got back into the light again I saw that there were two fang
marks by one of my toes. I had no idea what had bitten me, and did not
know what to do. So I quickly wrote a note to Faulkner, telling him what
had happened in case I became unconscious, made myself some strong
coffee, and sat down to wait. I thought I might be far away by the time he
arrived, but there was nothing I could do. And in the end nothing hap-
pened. Except that I had drunk far too much coffee and went on talking
half the night. But you never know, and we don't want any accidents."
Sunday afternoon, D spent tidying up the three houses while I swam
and watched the boys prepare their evening meal. Ojo had caught some
fish and fried it, while Olu washed the rice in a bucket, and Hez pounded
tomatoes, onions, and red peppers between two flat stones. Protesting but
compliant, Walter and little Robert filled endless buckets from the well. I
tried the fish, and I tried the rice and-when it was ready-I tried the red
sauce too, and wondered how any stomach could possibly take it, even if
passed down by a fire-proof mouth.
But we like it," said Hez.
Then, before dark, we cleaned the church.
This is a work of nature, a cocoanut grove as symmetrical as a Gothic
nave, blocked at one end by an ant-hill screened behind palm leaves.
We hang a cross on invisible wires from the last two cocoanut trees,"
In the cool
salt water of
Ojo and Olu
explained D, and use an ordinary table for our altar, and a row of cocoanuts
for the altar rail. We wanted to put the bishop under this tree for his
pulpit; but there were so many nuts on the tree we were afraid one might
fall on his head and make a martyr of him, so we put him over there instead.
It makes a good church, doesn't it ? This is what the bishop wanted. It's
our church, and it works."
When the church was done, the path to it had to be cleared, and when
the last overhanging frond was clipped there were still other touches to be
made before all was perfect.
Oh," said D, straightening his back and smiling, it's really endless!
Once you start cleaning up the African bush you don't know where to
On Monday morning he set off early to fetch his guests from Lagos,
and 1 made my quiet breakfast alone. Afterwards I went down to the sea
and lay, for what would be the last time, out in the sun on the raft. Two
new\ boys, out from Lagos for the day, soon joined me: and later, Olu
and Hez, Walter and little Robert, and finally Ojo and Ballentvne, back
from some expedition on the sea-shore. Then, far acro:'s the lake, we heard
a hout for help. Ojo and Olu set out in a canoe to fetch back the gesticu-
laring figure, unrecognisable on the far-off bank but evidently a European.
It was the blue-eyed clergyman who had tired of waiting for D and
walked all the way along the shore from Victoria Beach. I le was hot and
tired and ready for a swim. Soon afterwards Olu set out again to meet D
and Mrs. Southern at the estuary.
By midday we were all united, a larger family than ever, for D had
brought several other members of his entourage back from Onikan xwith
him, and, later in the day, another party arrived from Yaba Technical
Institute. So the camp seemed quite full all the afternoon--the last after-
As we had arrived, so we left. In haste and with much ordering and
counter-ordering of forces, Ballentyne went off with the boys from Yaba,
the blue-eyed clergyman decided to walk home again along the beach and
was escorted by Ojo, the day-boys melted away. Olu and I lez disappeared,
not to be seen again until we arrived at Onikan, and the rest of us were
fitted into the larger of the two canoes and poled to the farther side of the
So we retraced our steps through the meadows, past the patches of
precious primeval fern, and over the duckboard bridges, along the bund,
through the villages, waving at Olu's sister, and at the clustered children
by the last houses before Onikan.
And home. Under D's house the lights were lit and the Onikan
family's club-room, with its green-painted chairs, dartboard and table
tennis, looked particularly attractive.
Mrs. Southern and I sank into chairs, while D fetched his kit-car from
the garage. Was the rain falling? Surely not.
It's only the wind in the casuarina trees," said Walter.
And then the Heavens, which all over Easter week-end had been so
kind to us, opened and down came the deluge.
Really, we could not complain.
Kola-nuts packed for export by air from Lagos Airport to Khartoum.
They are readily purchased by West Africans who have migrated to
the Sudan to engage in cotton growing
IN THE PATH OF THE PILGRIMS
LAGOS TO KHARTOUM BY AIR
MY telephone bell rang; it was a senior official of West African
Airways speaking. There was a vacant seat on the next plane
leaving for Khartoum. Would I care to accept it for the purpose
of taking photographs to illustrate at least part of the air journey
that has now become so popular with Nigerians going on pilgrimage to
Mecca via the Sudan ?
I seized the opportunity, and a few days later was out at Lagos airport
ready for the take-off at 2 p.m.
It was February 28th, and the well kept hibiscus and lantana hedges, a
most attractive feature of the airport, were bright with flowers. Big beds
of orange and red bougainvillea formed a mass of colour. I have a particular
interest in the orange bougainvillaea, Orange King, having introduced it into
Nigeria many years ago.
About fifteen years ago I saw a plant on view at the Royal Horticultural
Society's Annual Flower Show at Chelsea, London. It was a small plant
in a pot priced at one guinea. Knowing that we had not this variety of
bougainvillaea in Nigeria I purchased the plant and in due course brought
it out by ship when returning from leave. It was planted in my garden at
Lagos, where it appreciated the sandy soil and eventually grew to a great
a. .. _
Adjusting the loads at Maiduguri
The nose of the aircraft is shown hinged back to expose the luggage
compartment. The kola-nuts had to be temporarily removed to enable a
large aircraft landing wheel to be unloaded
size. It yielded hundreds of cuttings and now Orange King reigns in many
gardens throughout Nigeria.
Our plane, a Bristol Wayfarer, was in process of taking on a most
unusual load-many baskets of neatly packed kola nuts, all labelled for
Khartoum. This is a new and growing air export from Nigeria. Many
West Africans, in particular Hausa men from the Northern Territories,
much appreciate the chewing of kola nuts. The prosperity of the great
irrigated, cotton growing district South of Khartoum along the banks of
the Nile has attracted many West Africans to the scheme. Kola trees do not
grow in the Sudan and enterprising Nigerian traders have discovered that a
very profitable business is to be done by sending kola nuts across Africa by
air. A single nut costing Id. in Nigeria will sell for about 9d. in the Sudan.
A Hermes plane bound for London had just come in from Accra.
The waiting and refreshment room at the airport contained a mixed crowd
of folk: Africans, Europeans, Armenians, Lebanese, Indians, all air travellers.
An American businessman emerged from the Hermes and, an evident
believer in high pressure methods, lost no time in settling down to dictate
business letters to a pretty, efficient looking young woman secretary.
It was soon time for the Khartoum passengers to embark. On the
plane we were greeted and directed to our seats by the steward, Godwin K.
Armattoe, a Gold Coast man from Keta. It was his thirty-eighth trip to
Khartoum. Godwin's cheerful alert appearance and smart uniform gave
assurance that all the passengers' requirements would be well attended to.
The Captain of the
He is observing features of
the landscape during flight
and using them with the
assistance of a chart to
check the position of the
aircraft. A photograph
taken during flight at a
height above ground levcl
of 5,000 ft.
It frequently happens that
all view of the ground is
.w obscured by clouds or har-
Smattan haze. In this case,
and during night flying,
,__ navigation checks depend
on instrument readings and
radio signals fro:n acro-
dromes on the rout2
This photograph was
also obtained during
flight. In the neigh-
bourhood of aero-
tion with the ground .
control staff can be
carried on by means
of a radio telephone.
Signals in the Morse
Code can be sent or
received over great
distances, so that at
all times during flight
the aircraft is ,in.
touch with operation
The Aircraft Instrument Panel
Photographed during flight. The engine controls are in the foreground
The pilot, navigator and wireless operator came on board and we were
soon in the air. It was very hot sitting in the plane while the engines were
being tested preparatory to taking oft, but we soon climbed above the
clouds, the temperature quickly decreased, and warm blankets handed out
by Godwin were appreciated. At the start of the runway we had over
twenty bird spectators, large hawks, seated on the ground and quite unper-
turbed by the roar of the engines.
There is quite a lot to look at as the plane gains height after leaving
Lagos airport. The long straight road and railway going north. Small
Yoruba towns and villages, most of the houses having corrugated iron roofs
and walls of red mud. Small inter-village roads and winding bush paths.
Oil palms and farmed country merge into thick, dark green forest country
through which the slow moving, muddy waters of the Ogun river find a
winding course. Clouds and harmattan haze soon obscured all view of
the ground, and the passengers, soothed with hot drinks dispensed by
Godwin, settled down to sleep or to read the London newspapers and
magazines thoughtfully provided.
Afternoon tea was served at about 4.30 p.m. We were then near Zarai
and the neat buildings and fields of the Agricultural Department experi-
mental farm were clearly visible. Between Zaria and Kano a disturbing
feature of the scene is the widespread soil erosion to be noted as deep
gullies cutting into high ground.
As Kano is approached the intensity of agricultural activity is most
evident. The whole countryside over a vast area is covered with clearly
defined farms, little or no land is wasted.
At Kano the airport flower beds were gay with phlox, marigolds and
petunias, and considerable success had been achieved with lupins, flowers
seldom seen in Nigerian gardens. Oleander bushes, encouraged by the hot
dry atmosphere of Kano, were covered with pink flowers.
The fire station had just suffered the indignity of itself being burnt
down. According to current gossip the cause of the fire was due to someone
deciding to do a little clothes washing. Some petrol was handy, so a supply
was put in a bucket and he got busy on the job. Unfortunately at that
stage a friend came along. An argument was started; it became heated to
the extent that the friend threw a lighted match at the washerman and up
went the fire station in flames.
We spent the first night at Kano and were accommodated in the rest
house. Most of the passengers went to bed early since we were due to take
off an hour before daybreak. My luggage included several insect stowaways.
Golden brown earwigs that had taken up residence overnight in my rubber
sponge. Earwigs are seldom seen in Southern Nigeria but are very common
in Northern Nigeria during the dry season.
The stowaways were captured and eventually came to Lagos as subjects
As soon as we were airborne along came an excellent breakfast of
grape-fruit, bacon and scrambled eggs, hot toast, butter, coffee and marma-
lade. Each passenger's seat was provided with a small folding table spread
with a white paper tablecloth.
The efficient Godwin looked after all our requirements.
It was daylight by the time we arrived over Maiduguri, the large
well laid out town showed up clearly in the early morning sunshine. Unlike
Kano, Sokoto or Zaria it is a town of no great antiquity, the straight
arrangement of the streets displays the hand of the Public Works Depart-
ment, there is no city wall or ancient buildings of notable design. The
nearest railway connection is at Nguru, 200 miles away, and in the wet
season the road to Maiduguri is often put out of use by floods. A wide
river sweeps in a great curve along the eastern boundary of the town, but
in the dry season little water is visible, sand banks and pools alone marking
the course of the wet-season torrent.
The halt at Maiduguri only lasted an hour. We filled up with petrol
and took on two passengers going to India via Khartoum. For the next
550 miles we flew over gently undulating country with innumerable rivers
and streams, some lose themselves in the desert sands away to the north,
but others such as the Shari eventually drain into Lake Chad. Trees and
bushes fringe the banks and make the winding river courses clearly visible
from the air. We flew at a height above ground of about 2,000 ft., so
wayfarers on the many dusty tracks, villages and wells in the river beds
were clearly visible. In the dry season there would appear to be little
difficulty in travelling on foot by land from Nigeria to the border of the
Sudan. The tracks however often divide and take circuitous routes, so the
services of guides would be very necessary.
After flying for some hours Godwin came along to offer cooling
drinks. I very foolishly ordered a large bottle of ginger ale. The result later
proved disastrous. At first, after drinking this mineral water, there were no
unpleasant effects, but soon high mountains appeared ahead of us and the Cap-
tain had to take the plane up to 6,000 ft. to clear them. The reduction in the
air pressure caused the ginger ale in my inside to give off copious bubbles
of gas, and I was violently sick. Fortunately brown paper bags were ready
to hand and as we passed close over the bare rocky mountain tops I was
sufficiently recovered to work a camera and get records of the wild landscape.
After crossing the mountains we flew over a region of sand with small
outcrops of rocks and very little vegetation until arriving, about 80 miles
due east, at the small oasis of El Fasher, our first port of call in the Sudan.
continued on page 364
An aerial view of
the town of
The town has been
well laid out with
broad main streets.
As the aeroplane
flew over the town not
a single motor car
or lorry could be seen.
A few are used in
Maiduguri but for
the time being motor
traffic problems are
non-existent. A wide
shallow river flows
past the east side of
the town but in the
dry season it is re-
duced to sand beds
u >. .-.
at the entrance
to the Airport at
Many trees have been
planted in and abolt
the town; they are
evergreen, so provide
good shade through-
S- out the year
Mr. F. B.
Mr. E. E. Bassey of
the Nigerian Me-
determining the direc-
tion and speed of the
wind at a high
altitude by making
tions on a hydrogen-
filled balloon that
had been released
from the aerodrome.
The rubber balloons
used for this purpose
have a diameter of
about two feet
An aerial view about 80 miles east of Dikwa
For several hundred miles after leaving Maiduguri the air traveller to
Khartoum passes over a region of innumerable streams and rivers. The water
courses are made very evident by green fringes of trees. Many of them flow
into Lake Chad but others lose themselves in the desert sands away to the north
The River Shari
A view looking south in the direction of Fort Lamy. This river flows
into Lake Chad and is close to the Nigeria, French Chad boundary.
The high ground, on the inside of the bend in the centre of the picture,
shows an interesting series of river terraces
East and West meet at Maiduguri
A plane of East African Airways with a load of machinery from Tanganyika arrived as
the Bristol Wayfarer of West African Airways was about to take off