As I grew up, I added Badagry to my bucket list and finally got the chance to visit this beautiful and historic slave trade city called Badagry. And there’s no better time to visit than during the season of the Great Badagry Festival, a commemoration of the slave trade era.
If you grew up in Nigeria during the 80s or 90s, chances are that you would have encountered the tale of the Atlantic Slave. Either you read about it or watched it on TV, the memories of that era would surely have stuck with you since then. From the wicked slave masters who bought slaves to be shipped off to Europe to their heartless collaborators here in Africa, the slave trade story was just something you can’t forget.
Since its humble beginnings in 1999, the Great Badagry Festival has been a force to be reckoned with among the many tourism festivals that occur annually in Lagos. The festival is organized annually by the Africa Renaissance Foundation (AREFO) and scheduled to coincide with events marking the International Day for Remembrance of Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade and its Abolition. This year’s festival is themed: Touissant L’ouverture: The Catalyst for the Global Struggle for Liberation of the Black Race. It started on Friday, August 21 till Sunday, August 30.
For 8 days, tourists, guests, visitors and residents were treated to exciting and fascinating events detailed below:
Afro Tourism is proud to bring you highlights of events from this year’s international festival.
Optical Mission for Free Eye Test and Eye glasses from the USA; Jumat Service
Door of Return Ceremony; Drama Presentations; Traditional atonement / Prayer for the peaceful repose of the spirits of our forebearers and all victims of the slave trade
International Day for the Remembrance of Slave Trade and its Abolition; International Symposium on Toussaint Louverture; Dark-Era Reminiscence Procession
Water Sport Activities: Boat Regatta, Boat Racing, Swimming and Fishing; Economic Forum
Zangbeto Masquerade Exoteric Performance; International/Domestic Dance/Musical Performances
Vothun Festival of Catharsis, Ajobo
Medical mission for free eye test and free glasses from the USA, Tour of Heritage sites, Command Performance; a Drama titled Wailing from Badagry, a tale of Transatlantic Slave Trade
Conferment of Chieftaincy titles & Adoption of African Names; Carnival/Musical Show/Performance
Day 9 Grand Finale:
Cultural Extravaganza, Spectacles, African Magic, etc; Badagry Citizen Award
Interdenominational Church Service for the atonement of all victims of Slave Trade in Africa and the Diaspora.
If you missed this year’s event, not to worry. Our picture collage should leave you with lasting memories and longing wishes for next year’s festival. So start early to set your plans in order. Trust us, you’ll love every moment of your stay at this beautiful coastal city which also doubles as a border town to the Republic of Benin, one of Nigeria’s coastal neighbours.
Sam Adeleke is a Travel Writer, Photographer and Brand Strategist at Afro Tourism.