Badgary: Nigeria’s Slave Port

The former slave port of Badagry, only 45 kilometres to the west of Lagos.

Missionary zeal and a desire for profit drove the Portuguese to the coast of Nigeria in the 15th century. They wanted to tap into the fabled Saharan gold trade, but instead foundmerchandise that proved to be even more profitable. Soon they were shipping millions of Africans to the labour-poor Americas as slaves. Badagry grew into one of the region’s mostimportant slave markets and ports, from which around 3.5 million slaves were transported

It’s not the proudest point of Nigerian history, but many feel that it is an important one to remember. Today many of the descendents return to this spot to learn about their heritage.

Slaves were caught with help from local leadership. The slaves came mainly from neighbouring countries of Benin and Togo, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Ghana, and other parts of Nigeria, although especially.

Europeans and African middleman bartered over them like cattle, each slave worth about a half a bottle of gin.

The Slave Relic Museum has a gruelling collection of instruments that were used to keep the so called merchandise in check.

Shackled together the slaves were whipped towards the beach from where they were transferred onto the boats that would carry them thousands of miles across the sea to their destiny…

It was here that their feet touched African soil for the very last time. It is hard to imagine that millions of people had to leave their families, many of them died on the long journey, and those who did survive had a life of hardship ahead of them.