One of the most cosmopolitan and culturally diverse cities in Nigeria, Lagos is an ideal location to explore the country’s history, even as it unfolds – and there is no better place to get to know a people than through its museums.
Located in the heart of Lagos, Freedom Park is a not only a national memorial and historical landmark, it is also an arts and recreation centre. It is dedicated to preserving the history of one of Her Majesty’s colonial-era prisons, where many of the men who fought for Nigeria’s independence were at one time or other inmates. It holds a large collection of sculptures and installations, which are dotted around its vast grounds.
One of the advantages of this gallery-cum-museum is its location, within the premises of the National Arts Theatre. The theatre is a piece of history itself, as it was the site of the largest gathering of black artists, dramatists, musicians and poets from all over the world, and the breeding ground of the Pan-Africanism movement.
This museum holds one of the largest collections of anthropological artefacts concerning the trans-Atlantic slave trade. A painful but necessary walk can be taken through the museum to the pier where the slaves were taken across the seas.