Film Review: Africans retelling their own history in Netflix’s ‘Journey of an African Colony’

Making of Nigeria

The Nigerian story is a mixture of great victory and hidden glory. Oftentimes, we listen to our forefathers speak of the great history of a great nation, its fight for independence and the triumph that bore the Nigeria of today. 

Centuries have passed away with hidden stories of true events that in many ways have shaped and influenced the present day interactions and power dynamics that operate in Nigeria till today. 

Significant events have been left out of the books of history that have been taught in schools and places of learning all over Nigeria. The presence of heavy slave trade in the 1800s would however continue to impact on the present day Nigeria, telling its own gory story of a false independence from the British. 

The Journey of an African colony is a documentary written and narrated by the eloquent Olasupo Shashore as he tours the corners and landmarks of what now shapes the Federation of Nigeria. His visit to many historic places opens the eyes to see rich culture and heritage, as well as horrors that are hidden away in history books found far away from their places of origin. 

In a 7-part mini docu-series, Olasupo narrates the ordeals of the British government in conquering Kingdoms all over Nigeria, the forced amalgamation of separate kingdoms and the role of the country’s natural and human resources in the industrial revolution that gave birth to the new United Kingdom. 

Olasupo’s narration of the events in Nigeria through brilliant storytelling brings insight into the deep rooted causes of underdevelopment of some parts of the country and the main reasons for the advancement of sea port areas of the Federal territory. 

This modern documentary is a great recommendation for Nigerians and quite frankly everyone interested in knowing the true Nigerian and African story.  told from an African perspective, it accurately debunks historical ‘whitewashing’ of often celebrated ‘British heros’ in Nigerian history. 

The documentary also highlights how deep rooted patriarchal issues watered down the important role women played in agitating, fighting for and securing Nigerian Independence.

In fact, some of the revelations unearthed in this beautiful documentary should be included in modern day history taught in schools and other places of learning. The Journey of the African colony, Nigeria, is one filled with so much depth that should never be hidden away. 

The Verdict 

True African history has been cleverly hidden away for years, but can be found scattered across several books as a giant puzzle needing to be pieced together,  so this documentary is a great recommendation to bring to light and provide answers to the many questions surrounding the impact of slavery on the civilization of Africa, Nigeria and other parts of the world. 

By telling the true story of the birth of a country and its endless journey to self development while battling the harsh realities of external forces, the documentary highlights the current day struggle of every Nigerian. 

I strongly recommend watching this documentary and that it is watched and projected in large gatherings and groups to help further discussions on what it truly means to be a Nigerian and an African for that matter. 

With its efficient storytelling and tourism of many different parts of the country I rate this a strong 8/10. 

8/10

CAST

Produced by Funbi Ogunbanwo and Olasupo Shasore

Directed by BB Shasore

Written and Narrated by Olasupo Shasore

 

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