Despite the predominance of commercial activities in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Lagos, the press began to devote more space to agriculture and traditional industry from the end of the nineteenth century. By examining early Lagos newspapers for descriptive patterns of agricultural and technical education, this article elucidates the background of the increasing press attention to artisanal and agricultural occupations. If youths followed these callings, these publications claimed, Lagos society could regain self-respect and unity as an African race and eventually achieve progress in a unique way. In analyzing how the Lagos press utilized agricultural and technical associations to formulate and advertise their ideas for the future of Lagos society, this article also argues that the idealized depictions of skilled artisans and farmers by the urban, educated African elites were not free from the policies of the colonial government and Christian missionaries or the networks of black Atlantic educationalists.
Vindicating “True Occupation” for the Progress of Society: Technical and Agricultural Associations in Early Lagos Newspapers
Nozomi Sawada is a lecturer in the Department of English, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Komazawa University, Tokyo. She received her PhD in African studies from the University of Birmingham with a dissertation on the history of associational activities and their representations in early African-owned newspapers in colonial Lagos. Her primary focus has been on early print culture in British West Africa and the way newspapers were utilized as a tool for expressing African agency and of reconstructing the social history of colonial Nigeria. Her publications include “A Re-examination of Pioneering Newspaper Enterprises in 1860s and 1880s Southwestern Nigeria” (Journal of Swahili and African Studies, 2015) and “Selecting ‘Worthy’ of Remembering: Memorialization in Early Lagos Newspapers” (Journal of West African History, 2016).
Nozomi Sawada; Vindicating “True Occupation” for the Progress of Society: Technical and Agricultural Associations in Early Lagos Newspapers. Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East 1 December 2018; 38 (3): 473–490. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/1089201x-7208812
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