Saturday 3 December 2022

Sic Transit Efunroye Tinubu


According to the Times, on this day in 1887 there died, aged about 82, Madam Tinubu, a west African slave trader who owned 360 personal slaves. After defying British suppression of the slave trade, in 1856 she was exiled from Lagos. There are statues to her, including one in Tinubu Square, Lagos. Last year there were calls for an official annual holiday to honour her.

The old girl was quite a character and her Wikipedia entry is worth reading. 

It was Africans who enslaved Africans and sold them to white men but a lot of slaves were bought by Muslim Arabs, like the Omani Tipu Tip or Tipoo Tip, an Arab who dominated the trade in Zanzibar. Arabs, of course, did more slave trading than Christians, partly because they carried on the trade from time immemorial. They concentrated on girl slaves for concubinage and usually or often castrated their male slaves (why?) 

I bought this modern reprint of his biography in Zanzibar. The preface apologised about it's using outmoded vocabulary and ideas. The new edition did change the spelling of his name to Tipu. 

How they fear the past.

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