June 18, 2021

Badagry Slave Trade

Visiting badagry slave trade was incredible. On August 26, 2019, I was eager to explore badagry slave trade and also to learn more about its history. It was an educative and inspiring tour; it left me with anticipation for my next adventure.

Badagry is a small coastal town located between Lagos and Seme Border, Benin Republic. The town has a personality of its own.

I started my tour at badagry slave trade visiting the Chief Seriki Williams Abass Slave Museum, Brazilian Slave Barracoon and Mobee Family Museum where i learnt more about the history of Badagry Slave Trade. The Brazilian Slave Barracoon is located opposite the Slave Port and within the Seriki Abass Court. The Slave Barracoon used to be a prison where slaves were kept before they were sold and then taken to the slave ships and shipped from Badagry. There were two tiny Slave Barracoon rooms, one of the room was for males and the other one for females; what baffles me the most was that, 40 males stayed in one room and 40 females stayed in the other room, whether pregnant or not. The museum features relics and antiques gained from slave trading with the European slave dealers, such as Umbrella, Ceramic plates, Jugs, Kettle, Gin etc. It was an inspiring experience for me and the local guide made the history come vividly to life.

I was told that Chief Seriki Williams Abass was married to 128 wives and bore 148 children. I was also showed the clothes Chief Seriki Williams Abass wore.

I was also showed the first storey building in Nigeria and the building were Lord Lugard lived during his stay in Nigeria.

The most interesting part of the tour was my walk through the Slave Route; I had to board a boat at the Slave Port and cross the lagoon to walk through the slave route to the Sea where the large ships were docked.

At the beginning of the route, I saw a sign post that says “This is the route of the journey to an unknown destination”, at this stage, I wondered what would have happened or run through the minds of those slaves whenever they got to that place. Along the way, I saw the Attenuation Well, I was told that the water from the well may have been ‘jazzed’ with charms to make the slaves forget whatever they have gone through or whatever life they have lived in the town or make them forget who they are. I walked about 5 km before i got to the seashore. When we got to the seashore, there was another sign post that says “Point of no return”, it was so depressing but I’m glad I returned.

From there I visited an historic place, where Christianity was first preached in Nigeria. There used to be an Agia Tree and Christianity was first preached under the tree by Rev. Birch Freeman of Methodist Church. Discreetly, I said a silent word of prayer here because I was told that prayers said here always get answered. I also visited the slave market after that.

Am Dennis Great the onye njem