The month of February is usually celebrated as many things. For some, it’s a month of love and so Valentine’s Day is worthy of celebration. In countries like the United States, it’s the Black History Month when people are appreciative of the African American contribution to American history. NXTours knew we wanted to go on a themed trip, but since we knew Lagos city puts on a big show when it wants to be romantic (seriously… even the road traffic puts on a big show), we decided to learn a bit about Lagos itself. And so we took our NXTourists to one of the historical hot points in Lagos – Badagry.
Our first stop was to the first (recorded) storey building in Nigeria.
From there, we went on to learn about the slave trade and Badagry’s prominent role during those years. We started at the Mobee Slave Relics museum that housed a lot of relics from the slave trade – from locks and chains to branding rods.
We then went on to the Seriki Abass Brazilian Baracoons where slaves bought from the market were kept before being transported overseas. The former slave, Seriki Abass, was set free by his Brazilian master after 50 years of (unpaid) labour on the condition that he return to Nigeria to works as his “business associate”. And so, freed Seriki returned to Badagry to further facilitate the slave trade by procuring slaves, carrying out quality checks on the slaves, and keeping the slaves until his Brazilian associates came in ships to pick up the slaves.
We then took a boat to walk to the Point of No Return. Mother nature decided to bless us with some extra blazing hot sun this afternoon, and so the walk felt like quite the mission. But anytime any of us tried to complain, we quickly imagined what it must have been like for the slaves trekking in the heat, with metal chains around their necks, hands and ankles burning their skin, no shoes or sandals to protect their feet from the burning sand, no chilled caprisone to sip on along the way…. and we stopped complaining.
We all eventually got to the Point of No Return where the slaves would board the ships with practically no hope of returning home. We made it there, and thankfully, made it back home.
“Let’s all strike a ‘black power’ pose!” – one NXTourist to the whole crew
And after a full day of learning and walking, we went to the Suntan Beach to have some lunch and chill with some music, while some adventurous souls went for a swim.
- There is a lot of history in Badagry. Fitting all of it in one day really isn’t easy. Make sure you set out as early as possible and plan your trip very well so you cover as much as you wish to cover.
- Because Badagry isn’t set up like most other tourist attractions that have a tourist centre, you need to have a contact person in Badagry to make sure things are open and running on the day you choose to visit. You may be disappointed if you just show up.
- As always, use some sunscreen and wear a face cap to protect your beautiful skin from the harsh sun.
- Badagry is close to the Nigerian-Benin Republic border, so there are a lot of checkpoints at very short intervals on the road. It’s very important you have all your vehicle documents, and if you’re going to the beach, you may be asked to show “evidence” of this (we were so perplexed by this question…. but thankfully our drinks coolers were sufficient proof for them).
- In any case, if you’re planning on visiting, let us know and we will help organise your trip!