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4.3g(i) Interview with Baba Magaji of Magaji Village, behind the Kwara State College of Technology compound, 13 September 1988, and Mamadu Alau of the same village: Background information

Baba Magaji’s name is Lawani Akano. I got to know him when he was a nightwatchman at the Kwara State College of Technology staff club, and we had been friends for a number of years. Thus, he was happy to give permission for me to tape the interview.


My lead translator was Suleiman Ajao, and Busayo Simeon was also present at the interview. For further details information on them, please see this collection, 3.1, Introductory information on Lovejoy-Adesiyun materials.


Written translations of the tape were produced by both Suleiman Ajao and Busayo Simeon. Unfortunately, the tape is no longer in my possession, and the written translation by Busayo Simeon faded to such an extent that it was no longer usable.

Baba Magaji and his friend? or relative? Mamudu Alau were old men, and the language they used was sometimes difficult for the translators to comprehend. The written translation of the tape produced by Suleiman Ajao reveals that the responses of Mamudu Alao, with their use , succession to the Balogun Gambari title, were particularly challenging to the translator.


Note: The interview includes material about an important warrior under Balogun Gambari, who settled in the area. This warrior was named Omodare (or Opopo, Opoopo, Okpokpo). In the Ilorin Emirate Reorganisation of Districts file, Ilorinprof 4/1/829A/1917, Nigerian National Archives, Kaduna [see this collection, 8.3c], it is stated that the original head of Oloru Village Area in Oloru District was Balogun Ali, second Balogun Gambari, and the area was “Presented by Balogun Ali to his slave, Omodare.” No reference to the slave status of Omodare is made in the interview.

Included here are the following:

  • Prepared questions

  • Detailed translation of the tape by Suleiman Ajao, with brief follow-up interview