Friday, 25 February 2011

Lord Lugard's Perception About The Typical Nigerian...........

I stumbled on this piece of article in a group chat and like the topic relays, it depicts the typical impressions the west has about us, most times our drive to succeed is derived from the negative impressions people have about us and our innate desire to prove them wrong or in local parlance ( shame our enemies).

I just have two(2) questions for you today, 1. Can u in all honesty identify yourself in this article? if yes then .2. what steps have you taken to evolve to a better person? i would want to believe that at some point we have been able to rise to a level of consciousness where inconsequential things do not matter any more.It would be embarrassing to acknowledge the fact that we have made little progress from these impressions considering what is happening in the country today. You know i do have a lot to say about this, but I'll leave you to read the article below and let's have your thoughts on them, thanks.

---Lord Frederick John Dealty Lugard, The Dual Mandate, pg.70 (1926)"

"In character and temperament, the typical African of this race-type is a happy, thriftless, excitable person. Lacking in self control, discipline, and foresight. Naturally courageous, and naturally courteous and polite, full of personal vanity, with little sense of veracity, fond of music and loving weapons as an oriental loves jewellery. His thoughts are concentrated on the events and feelings of the moment, and he suffers little from the apprehension for the future, or grief for the past.His mind is far nearer to the animal world than that of the European or Asiatic, and exhibits something of the animals’ placidity and want of desire to rise beyond the State he has reached. Through the ages the African appears to have evolved no organized religious creed, and though some tribes appear to believe in a deity, the religious sense seldom rises above pantheistic animalism and seems more often to take the form of a vague dread of the supernatural"

“He lacks the power of organization, and is conspicuously deficient in the management and control alike of men or business. He loves the display of power, but fails to realize its responsibility ....he will work hard with a less incentive than most races. He has the courage of the fighting animal, an instinct rather than a moral virtue...... In brief, the virtues and defects of this race-type are those of attractive children, whose confidence when it is won is given ungrudgingly as to an older and wiser superior and without envy.......Perhaps the two traits which have impressed me as those most characteristic of the African native are his lack of apprehension and his lack of ability to visualize the future."


  1. Estelle, ironically I agree with Lugards assessment of Africans, alas, Nigerians and we are doing nothing or not enough to change that perception of us over 100 years ago.

  2. Estelle, to an extent I agree with Lugards but there is a New Nigeria, coming out from the old. A new breed without greed is coming. New set of people that embrace righteousness, virtue, principle, discipline, order and the fear of God. The orientation is changing. It may be a gradual process but definitely things are changing and there will surely be a New Africa. Change is here!

  3. I totally disagree with Luggard. His lack on understanding the African culture is one of the white man's stupidity. That a mind set had already being created. He understood us from one side of the coin and never care more to hear or understand our history,which they destoryed when they invaded our lands.

    And again I disagree with Onuma who thinks Ironically that we ae still like what luggards painted us. Take Aba for example if the women did not think about their future, why the women riot of 1922?

    Abu nwa Aba! Am ambitious, Intelligent, Smart and very cultured. Many of my friends are like this as well and we also are '' Africans".

    In Europe Blacks with AFrican orgins are flying colors,making a mark for themselves, while the white is busy partying,he is reading ,cause he is thinking of his future. So as well in the states, we are scientist,Proffessors,Engineers etc.

    Like Bisi said there is a new order and Africa is taking the lead.

  4. ok i understand the angle his coming from ......but dat was den we kno better now ......though some peps stil have dese trait ....but we are evolving

  5. I agree with his perception of the African of his day. The fact often ignored about culture (which is said to be the way of life of a people, comprising also their way of thinking) is that it is an evolving thing. Mindsets, beliefs, ideologies etc are prone to change, they evolve over a period of time due to influences both external and internal, but what I don't like is those who speedily go into a defensive mode like our friend here (roundy) , let us use Nigeria as a case study, since we gained independence as a sovereign state till date, what have we been able to achieve? Naturally, our people have a consumer mindset and not a producer mindset, if not for that why does our government pay so little attention to productive activities in the economy? because they don't care about tomorrow. They just want to eat all what the can eat today, and let the people of tomorrow bother about tomorrow. So truth be told, the mindset of Lugard's time is still obtainable among our people.

  6. He is a monkey, he knew so much about us and packed three major tribes with obvious disparity to one nation. He named is Nigeria, an idea from his mistress and he has the impetus to say nonsense.

    for all the white mans apprehension and ability to visualize the future, they have actually caused this earth more harm than good. They have the power of the media and they lie to themselves each day or better still use Africa as the scape goat. I have not seen an african cause so much carnage in history as those recorded by the spartians, greeks, serbs, mongolians and germans. For all the advances in science, technology and medic, they have given us Global Warming which we have to jointly suffer. babylonians I call them

  7. I agree totally with him ,as this is the nature of an average African man , how ever , with these event i must say we have change too
    In all the mind set of Lugard, is still here today with us LET US HELP CHANGE THIS

  8. I neither agree nor disagree with his convergent view of an egalitarian society. NIGERIA, as a nation and people has greatly evolved irrespective of what any group of people or individual may think. In my divergent opinion, we are much more than what he thinks of us. . . .all over Europe and even in the hinterland of America we have hundreds of black men and women, notable Nigerians at the helms of control in virtually all leading industries doing greatly and achieving feats unimaginable.

    Nigeria, in the time of Lugard never developed academically, his cohorts and masters used an average man as a common 'labourer' with this stoic belief that he has nothing to offer in a selective environment!

    After this 1926 speech, the likes of Ikemba's father (the late Ojukwu of blessed memory) was one of the greatest merchant in the old African colonies, so where did he get this myopic conclusion that, “He lacks the power of organization, and is conspicuously deficient in the management and control alike of men or business. He loves the display of power, but fails to realize its responsibility ..." This and many other similar stories nullified his non-divergent opinion of an evolving and evolved society like ours!

  9. @ Roundy, I'm all for a healthy dollop of optimism, however I think you might want to check your spelling and grammar for people to take your argument seriously.

  10. Aptly, still true of today's African... unfortunately however, envy is also an integral part of our traits today.

  11. What you think, that you will become.

    If we keep accepting these analysis of the Black man, especially by colonial officers, we will get nowhere. They cause enough damage already

    And besides, I think he overgeneralized. You cannot tell me that over 250 ethnic groups in the area he controleed (basically modern day Nigeria) who had been largely insulated from each other for fear of war (even within the ethnic nations all kinds of war were going on - the Ijebu were fighting Oyo, The Igbos were fighting each other, The Ijaw were infighting down to families - thus the War Canoes, the Hausa/Fulani were ravaging the North and South West with large numbers of tribes in the name of religious Jihad) and of course fear of being caught as a slave.

    How can he possibly have generalized 250 plus DIFFERENT insulated ethnic groups. It was possibly his experience with one or two nations he was generalizing.

    A Scotsman and an Englishman or a Welsh and Irish DO NOT behave the same.

    Like wise a German, a Frenchman, a Italian , a Sicilian, a Finn, a Swede, a Pole, a Hungarian, a Turk, a Russian all have distinctive characteristics and behavior which you cannot generalize.

    A Yoruba man (even within the Yoruba are differnet), the Igboman, The Tiv, Junkun, Ijaw, Urobho, Itsekiri, Bini, Ishan, Fulani, Igbira, Igala etc. CANNOT be generlized.

    His whole analysis is flawed.