Best Nigerian History Books of All Time: Nigeria has a robust and diverse past, and there are numerous publications available that provide details about the country’s history. The slave trade, colonialism, gaining independence, and post-independence politics are just a few of the many subjects that are covered in these volumes, which span pre-colonial times to the present.
Among the important books are A History of Nigeria by Toyin Falola, Islam’s Black Slaves: The Other Black Diaspora by Segal Ronald, and Nigeria’s Un-Civil War: Memories of a Biafran Child by Effiong Philip. Whether you’re a history student or simply want to learn more about Nigeria, these books are a great place to start. The top Nigerian history books of all time are mentioned below.
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Top 8 Best Nigerian History Books of All Time 2023
1. Africa Is Not a Country: Notes on a Bright Continent – Dipo Faloyin: Africa Is Not a Country is a lively and stereotype-defying representation of contemporary Africa. It offers a crucial counter-narrative to straightforward depictions of the area. A vibrant tapestry of tales is woven together by Dipo Faloyin to vividly depict the diversity, people, and history of Africa.
This includes everything from Lagos’ complex metropolitan environment to the youth-led social and political movements that are rebuilding and recreating Africa according to their own individual visions.
Faloyin confronts the barriers that past colonists meticulously established with sarcastic humor and political astuteness. Moreover, savoring the diversity and originality of Africa’s people and customs.
2. Decolonising the Hajj: The pilgrimage from Nigeria to Mecca under empire and independence – Matthew Heaton: The enlightening book Decolonising the Hajj: The pilgrimage from Nigeria to Mecca under empire and independence examines how the Nigerian Hajj changed over the 20th century. The book shows how the pilgrimage transformed from a protracted, dangerous overland route to a quick, highly regulated airlift as state governments got intimately engaged in its organizing and management.
The author contends that British colonial activities were minor in scope and that more substantial changes came about as a result of decolonization, when Nigerian nationalist leaders assumed control of the state’s internal operations. For those who are interested in the history of the Hajj trip as well as Nigerian politics and history in general, this book is a fascinating read.
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3. The History of the Nigerian Railway – Francis Jaekel: The three-volume series The History of the Nigerian Railway examines the evolution of Nigeria’s railroad networks from the 1890s to the 20th century. The foundations of the country’s railway system are covered in the first volume, while the economic and political history of each of the nine railway and tramway systems is covered in the second volume.
The third book, among other things, goes through operational infrastructure and business practice. This book, written by Francis Jaekel, who spent twenty-seven years working for the Nigerian Railway in seventeen different officer positions, is essential reading for anybody interested in Nigeria’s history and transportation system.
4. The African Experience: An Introduction – Vincent Khapoya: A thorough and multidisciplinary examination of Africa, The African Experience includes the geography, languages, social, political, and historical facets of the continent. The fourth version of the book is the only overview that offers a thorough and critical grasp of Africa. The book was written by Vincent B. Khapoya, a devoted African researcher, and it is required reading for everyone interested in learning more about the continent.
In order to give a compelling and academic vision of Africa’s past and present, the author blends the specific and general characteristics of the continent. The African Experience is a superb book that beautifully conveys the complexity of Africa as a whole and its position in the globe.
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5. What Britain Did to Nigeria: A Short History of Conquest and Rule – Max Siollun: A thought-provoking and thoroughly researched book, What Britain Did to Nigeria, questions the widely accepted account of colonialism of Nigeria. The influence of colonialism is discussed in a nuanced and unromanticized manner by Max Siollun, who also highlights the long-lasting effects of colonial intervention and many of its unjust consequences.
Anyone interested in Nigeria’s history and the effects of British domination must read the book. Siollun’s unflinching testimony serves as a potent reminder of the misuse of power committed by the planet’s former most powerful empire. Overall, this book provides a thorough examination of Nigeria’s time under British administration and makes a significant contribution to our knowledge of African history.
6. The Dark Child – Camara Laye: The Dark Child is a powerful memoir of Camara Laye’s childhood in the French Guinean town of Koroussa. Laye discusses his struggle to decide between his special place and scholastic achievement as well as his transition into manhood, which was marked by animistic beliefs and gory rites with prehistoric origins.
The book is a passionate and incredibly moving account of how holy traditions are buckling under the pressure of the contemporary world. This novel clearly reflects the powerful force of nostalgia that drove Laye to create it. African literature classic The Dark Child tells a global tale of tradition and modernity.
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7. The Trouble With Nigeria – Chinua Achebe: There are no excuses for mentioning Achebe twice. Although he authored this scathing pamphlet in the early 1980s, it is still relevant today. This time, Achebe places the onus of responsibility for Nigeria’s numerous post-independence failures squarely on the shoulders of Nigerians.
He writes, “Nigeria is not a great country. It is one of the world’s most disorganized countries. It is one of the most dishonest, callous, and ineffective places on earth. It is unkempt, rude, obtrusive, pompous, dishonest, and vulgar. It is one of the most awful locations on earth, to put it simply”. Achebe nonetheless remains optimistic about Nigeria’s potential, if only it could elect honest leaders. This book has often been lauded among literary critics as among the best nigerian history books of all time.
8. Nigeria’s Un-Civil War: Memories of a Biafran Child – Philip Effiong: Philip Effiong’s tragic book, Nigeria’s Un-Civil War: Memories of a Biafran Child, shows the horrors of war through the eyes of a young child. The author describes the trip his family had before, during, and after the Biafra-Nigeria War, bringing attention to the absurdity, mayhem, and cruelty of war.
The reader is left in awe of the Biafran people’s fortitude and optimism in the face of the adversity, terror, and death that surrounded them. Those interested in African history and memoirs should not miss this book because of Effiong’s colorful and heartbreaking language.
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Conclusion: The purpose of history is to comprehend and master the past as a key to influencing the present. History may be simply defined as a record of the past or a study of previous events relating to a particular location or item. It is a look back into the past in order to assess the present.
Generally speaking, in order to advance in everything we do in life, it is crucial to find the answers to pertinent issues that include the past. The best Nigerian books have been listed and provided more insight on notable historical occurrences and can help us make wise decisions and judgments in the present for a better future.
Edeh Samuel Chukwuemeka ACMC, is a Law Student and a Certified Mediator/Conciliator in Nigeria. He is also a Developer with knowledge in HTML, CSS, JS, PHP and React Native. Samuel is bent on changing the legal profession by building Web and Mobile Apps that will make legal research a lot easier.