Badagry Slavery Trade

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Badagry Slavery Trade

The ancient town of Badagry was founded around l425 A.D. It is traditionally called Gbagle is a coastal town and local government area (LGA) in Lagos State, Nigeria. It is situated between the city of Lagos, and the border with Benin at Seme.

Founded in the early 15th century on a lagoon off the Gulf of Guinea, its protected harbour led to the town becoming a key port in the export of slaves to the Americas, which were mainly to Salvador, Bahia in Brazil.

There are various histories attached to Badagry museum, it is also called a historical town, Badagry Township. The museum is popularly known for slave trade. 

In the early 1500’s, slaves were transported from West Africa to America through Badagry. Slaves were transported to Europe, South America and the Caribbean. The slaves came mainly from West Africa and the neighboring countries of Benin and Togo as well as others parts of Nigeria.


The female slaves were exposed no clothe to cover their upper part except a little to cover the lower part, the slaves worked on sugar cane plantation.



The cannon guns were used to fight in order to capture slaves. 

There is also the slave drinking water bowl, where all the slave drinks from.


The slave chains and shambles used to lock the slaves and restrict their movements. Slaves are being maltreated by slave masters, while they beg for forgiveness.



These are large enclosures known as Barracoons to house purchased slaves until the arrival of the companies’ ships. 


The white men did trade by barter then to purchase slaves from the African slave traders. A bottle of gin was exchanged for ten able slaves, Umbrella was exchanged for forty able slaves, and a cannon gun was exchanged for hundred able slaves, cutlass was exchanged for ten able slaves, beads depends on the negotiation between the whites and the slaves traders, a box of matches exchanged for five able slaves


Canoes were used to transport the slaves down to the other side of the land of no return.


The land of no return is the slave port, where slaves are being negotiated over and purchased. The African slave trader sold out the slaves at this point to the white men.


The land of no return was tagged so because during the slave trades, all African countries participated in the trade so, all countries have a point of no return. It is point that when you crossed the water you journey to an unknown destination, you cannot come back to your town again; sold into slavery. So, all those scary stories that if anyone crosses the lagoon now the person will not return are fairy tale, they existed during the slave trades era but not anymore.


The Point of No return was recently tagged ‘door of return’ during the Badagry in Diaspora festival held from 24th – 26th August 2017.

The Land of no return is a vast land with lagoon and coconut trees.


The slave trade ended in British West indies in 1833, in Australia 1861, Brazil 1888, Africa 1870, Badagry 1886. Slave markets lasted for three to four hundred years and were closed when the European Nation found colonies.

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