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Which Is The First Newspaper in Nigeria?

The first newspaper in Nigeria is the Iwe Irohin fun Awon Ara Egba (literally means the newspaper for Egba people). Doubling as the first indigenous language newspaper in Africa, it was established in Abeokuta, Ogun State by Henry Townsend, a Christian missionary. The newspaper was published bi-weekly in two languages: Yoruba and English. It ran for eight years (1859-1967).

The first edition of the newspaper was published on December 3, 1859. Each copy, which sold for 120 cowries (Yoruba version) or one penny (English version) at the time, had about 8 pages in all.

first newspaper in nigeria

An 1860 issue of the Iwe Irohin. Credit: NigerianWiki.com

The pages of the Iwe Irohin newspaper focused on political activities, births, deaths, and other events that happened in Abeokuta at the time. The paper had no pictures and the printing was done with the crude technology available at the time.

During its eight-year existence, the Iwe Irohin served the purpose of encouraging reading among Abeokuta people and discouraged slave trade. This explains why Townsend quickly became popular and influential in Abeokuta at the time.

The newspaper’s circulation was halted by an uprising in Abeokuta, which led to the destruction of the printing equipment used to produce and publish the newspaper.

Question: Which is the first newspaper in Nigeria?

Answer: Iwe Irohin (first published, 1859)

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