By Onyekachi Onuoha
The truth can always resurrect itself in our discourse to understand history, societies and facts. It is our collective desire as humans to be fair even when the narrative have become a popular one in the society. It is on this note that I bring to you the oldest storey building (and oldest building) in Nigeria built with indigenous technology even before the coming of the Europeans. This building is located at Gobarau Minaret and it was built in about 1348-1398 before Nigeria had a contact with the Europeans. The claim by “Nigerian Wiki” and I quote is totally misleading and lacking of merit:
“The ancient history laden structure was erected by the Reverend Henry Townsend of the Church missionary society CMS in 1845…. The building is located along Marina in Badagry.”
The above submission is misleading to generations unborn. It is necessary to reiterate that the oldest storey building is located in Northern Nigeria and was built with indigenous technology before the Europeans actions interrupted our indigenous development. It is necessary that the truth be told so that we critically portray where we are coming from
I visited the place last year when I was a Corp member serving in Katsina State. I had another opportunity to re-visit yesterday. I had a wonderful time climbing the building although I had a mild case of acrophobia but it was worth it and quite wonderful. The tour guide informed me that the building was first used in calling for prayers and later for watching over the city against external attacks. At the end of the day I was relieved and I feel right now that I owe posterity the responsibility as a writer to tell them the truth.
Here are some more photos for your perusal:
Photo of the environs captured from the top of the building:
Here is the wrongly reported building that I have come to debunk:
About Onyekachi Onuoha:
He is a critic and a prolific writer in the African Literary scene. He has to his credit: Idara, The Moonlight Lady, The drops of Fascination, My Father Lied, The Fears of Mama, The Scream of Ola, Identity, The Bleeding Passion, The Heresy of Gossip, and a play – Aluta Struggles. Some of his books are required readings in English Departments in some Nigerian Universities. He freelances as an Arts and Culture Contributor for Breaking Times. Follow him on twitter @Onyipoet.
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