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DYNAMIC AFRICANS: The Nigerian Nostalgia Project

Dedicated to finding and cataloging the visual history of the most populous country in Africa, the Nigerian Nostalgia Project (NNP) is a fascinating initiative that pieces together the photographic accounts - both colour and black and white - of Nigeria in days past, from the late 19th century to the 1980s.

Dynamic Africa chatted with the young Nigerian blogger behind the tumblr page of this project about the motivation and inspiration behind NNP.

Before we get into what the NNP is all about, we’d like to get to know who’s behind the blog. Tell us a little about yourself:

My name is Olayemi, 20 years of age, born and raised in Lagos but moved to the States about 6 years ago.

What inspired you to start this blog and how long have you been running it?

My first inspiration came from seeing photos of my parents in their youth and seeing how happy they looked in “old” Nigeria.

Nigeria pre- and post-Independence was a proud nation of diverse people who were recognized throughout Africa and the rest of the world as such. During these times, great hope existed concerning the country’s future development. As such, my inspiration comes from wanting to revisit the details of Nigeria’s fragmented history, so I started this blog (on tumblr) in December 2012.

What is the purpose/objective of this blog? What do you hope readers will get from/after viewing your blog?

For me, the purpose of this blog is simply to learn more about my history. Collectively, there is constant negativity that surrounds Nigeria and Africa as a whole, so the objective of this blog is to show Nigeria’s true beauty and richness in culture both in the past and at this very moment. And who doesn’t like to see old pictures of their beloved country? Haha.

Since starting this blog, what has kept you motivated and/or what new things have you learned along the way?

My motivation comes from the positive feedback I’ve gotten from Nigerians, other Africans and people in general.

Why is the Nigerian Nostalgia Project so important to you and where do you obtain most of your material from?

This project is important to me because it is a basis for my national pride. A lot of Nigeria’s history is not documented, so these pictures are part of the available mediums where one can track the growth of what Nigeria has become today.

I’m only part of the admin on the original Facebook site. I volunteered to take up this tumblr page as a method of reaching an even larger audience. All the pictures come from there and other sites like the Delcampe.net. To visit and subscribe to the page click here.

What do you enjoy most about blogging on tumblr and what do you want most for people to take away from your blog?

I enjoy reading people’s responses to the photos, and I especially enjoy people telling me how their parent’s faces glowed with pride when they were shown this page.

I only want people to take away the fact that Nigeria and Africa as a whole is not inhabited by savages nor are we poverty stricken or disease ridden as the media often portrays us.

Where else can you be found on the internet?

Many thanks to Olayemi of NNP!

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