Among the Yorubas, there is a popular proverb that says ‘there is no future for people who forget their history.’ And oftentimes, we have found that to be true, for what is a man without a root? That is why we decided to talk a little bit about some historical places in Lagos.
Here are some of the significant historical places from back then that still stands till today.
The Cathedral Church of Christ, Marina
The Cathedral Church of Christ in Marina is the oldest Anglican cathedral church in Nigeria. Currently, the seat of the Bishop of Lagos, the construction of the design of the church first started on 29 March 1867 while the cathedral was established in 1869.
The architectural design was put in place and started by Bagan Benjamin on 1 November 1924, with the foundation stone laid by the Prince of Wales who later became King Edward VIII.
Today, standing royal on the busy street of Marina, the cathedral remains one of the beauties of Lagos with the beautiful architectural design and the amazing interior design.
Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos Island
Tafawa Balewa Square popularly referred to as Race Course is a 14.5 hectare of land provided to colonial authorities by Oba Dosunmu in 1859. Back then, it was a sports field for playing crickets, football, and horse racing.
One of the historic events that were held there was Nigeria’s independence celebration in 1960.
Today, several events are held there including the popular Eyo Festival, The Experience, and many other major events.
The square has a capacity of 50,000 people.
Gberefu Island, Badagry (Point of no return)
Gberefu Island, popularly known as Point of No Return is an inhabited historical island in Lagos symbolized by two poles slightly slanted towards each other and facing the Atlantic Ocean.
The island was a major slave port after it opened in 1473 during the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade era. It is regarded as the last place where slaves last set foot in their homeland before they were shipped to unknown destinations.
According to Nigerian historians, between 1518 and 1880, up to 10,000 slaves were said to have been shipped from the island to the Americas.
Because Gberefu Island is a historic location, it has attracted a large number of tourists from all over the world, enhancing its notoriety. According to figures published in The Guardian in 2015, 3,634 persons visited the island in six months.
The Freedom Park, Broad Street
Freedom Park, previously Her Majesty’s Broad Street Prison, is a monument and recreational park located in the heart of downtown Lagos.
According to Theo Lawson, the architect who designed it, the park did not last long back then because of sabotage. Opponents of British colonialism kept on throwing fire into the building, setting it ablaze until the colonial government decided to import bricks from England to rebuild the place in 1885.
It was pulled down again in 1979, reduced to a dumping ground, but today, the park is a serene place for individuals and a venue for diverse social events and recreational entertainment.
It is important to know and understand the history of your people, and so, we urge people to visit the historical places in Lagos listed in this article and document their tour of the places.
If we fail to tell our own stories, outsiders will come and tell them, most times in ways we do not like.