Okiojo’s Chronicles: 1897

Title: Okiojo’s Chronicles: 1897

Author: Adeniyi Adeniji

Art: Sunkanmi Akinboye

Publisher: Panaramic Comics

Number of pages: 21

Type of Book: Creative Non-Fiction, History

Age: 8+

Buy it here http://www.okadabooks.com/book/about/okiojos_chronicles__vol2__1897_the_benin_kingdom/10788; TerraKulture: Plot 1376 Tiamiyu Savage, Victoria Island, Lagos; https://www.amazon.com/Okiojos-Chronicles-1897-Benin-Kingdom-ebook/dp/B01FSPZ7PY; read it online here: http://guardian.ng/opinion/okiojos-chronicles-the-benin-kingdom-1/

Price: N200; N200; $1:99


Okiojo’s Chronicles is a comic series featuring stories rich in Nigerian history and culture and told by a wise and all-knowing old man called Okiojo. 1897, one of the comics in this series tells the story of the ancient Benin Kingdom, a kingdom rich in culture, wealth and people that thrived for over six centuries. In the 19th century, this kingdom was strong enough to stay independent of the British rule until a fateful day in February 1897. In what became known as the Benin Massacre, a thoughtless British soldier heading a group of over 200 people entered the kingdom without authorization from the British and the Oba and all but 2 men were killed by Benin warriors. The Benin Massacre maddened the British and in retaliation, they sent over 1200 soldiers to the Kingdom, capturing and killing its men, women and children and looting its treasures (thousands of artworks and artefacts), thereby bringing an end to one of the oldest and most advanced civilizations in West Africa at the time.


UP: One word: History! A wise man or woman once said that you can’t know where your going if you don’t know where you’ve come from.

DOWN: None or maybe one: I wish it were a book with a longer story, basically, more information.


5 Stars


  1. The story is set in the ancient Kingdom of Benin
  2. The ancient Benin Kingdom was wiped out, burned and looted and the Oba Ovonranwen sacked in February 1897.
  3. In 1897, the ancient Benin Kingdom had been in existence for over six centuries.
  4. The Benin Massacre? The killing, by Benin warriors, of a group consisting of over 200 people led by the British Lt. James Philip. The British retaliated by wiping out the entire Benin Kingdom.
  5. ‘Ma rie okuo!! Okuo!’ literally ‘We are at war! War!’ The Benin warriors roared this line on the battlefield.
  6. The treasures take from Benin Kingdom and sold all over the world: over 900 bronze statues (including the ancient ivory and bronze Queen Idia mask*) and over 2000 religious artifacts.

Visit Okiojo the all-knowing and all wise here: http://www.panaramiconline.com/comics

CHALLENGE: Okiojo’s Chronicles: 1897


  1. Write a 500-word essay on the Benin Kingdom before 1897. (8 – 9 year olds)


  1. Draw a 5-paged comic strip on the Benin Kingdom before 1897.


  1. Write a 900-word essay on the Benin Kingdom before 1897 (10 -12 year olds)


  1. Draw a 5-paged comic strip on the Benin Kingdom before 1897

Send your answers to ugochinyelu.anidi@gmail.com

Entry requirements: Entrants must be within the 8-12 age range. The first correct entry will be announced on this page and will win a copy of this book.

Answers must be submitted before 12:00am on Sunday, January 22nd 2017.

Next Book of the Week:

BLACK BEAUTY by Anna Sewell

*This mask is currently on display at the British Museum

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photo credit: amazon.com and panaramiconline.com


Fela Anikulapo Kuti


Title:  Fela Anikulapo Kuti   

Author: Ola Ajibola

Publisher: Lantern Books                            

Number of pages: 126        

Type of Book: Creative Non-fiction

Age: 10+

Available here: https://www.lantern-books.com/book_inner.php?mid=12&cat=121&cat_id=122 and other major bookshops.

Price: N400


This book is a beautiful account of the life of Afro beat legend, Fela Anikulapo Kuti. It shows interesting details from his birth, his early childhood with strict parents and his career as a musician, to his rise to fame as the King of Afro beats and the voice of the Nigerian people in the fight against oppression and corruption in the 1980s. It details an important slice of Nigerian history in a fictitious/fictional and appealing manner. The perfect summer read for the child with a love for history.


UP: The description of the antics of the young Fela, the attacks on Fela’s home, Kalakuta Republic and the story behind most of the songs he released in the 1980s made this a pleasurable read. Another plus was the fact that the book features a glossary for complex words and a page filled with questions – for the parent who would like to ensure their child read the book. *wink

DOWN: The book was so badly written. The author seemed to write in ‘Nigerian’ English. “What a fool I have been all these while”, “He then started asking questions and was getting the right and convincing answers” “He fixed a cold gaze at the minister who still refused to mind him” “He saw that musicians will be the ones ruling the world …”, to list but a few. It is almost inappropriate for children who wish to learn proper use of English. I’m not sure whom to blame, the author, the editor(s), or the publisher. Maybe all of them really. It was also ridden with grammatical errors.


4 stars

I have rated it 4 stars in spite of these errors because it captures the life of a legend in a truly beautiful way.


  1. Why did Fela play music? He played music because he wanted to be the voice of the people and to stop oppression and other societal vices in Nigeria.
  2. How many wives did Fela marry in one day. 27 wives
  3. What course did Fela’s parents want him to study and what did he eventually study: Medicine and Music
  4. What were the first and last names of Fela’s band: Koola Lobitos and Egypt 80
  5. How did Fela stop Billy the bully? He shot stones at him many times with his catapult until Billy bled and had to have his head bandaged.
  6. What programme is held every year in honor of Fela’s memory? Felabration

CHALLENGE: Fela Anikulapo Kuti

Are you a true history buff? How well do you know Fela? Can you answer the question below:

Fela’s communal compound, Kalakuta Republic was located at ………………………. (give the address in full)

Send your answers to ugochinyelu.anidi@gmail.com

Entry requirements: Entrants must be within the 8-12 age range. The first correct entry will be announced on this page and will win a copy of this book.

Answers must be submitted before 12:00am on Thursday, August 20th.

Next Book of the Week: