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Notes on the Geography of Nigeria: Ibadan: Photo 5

world pictures Nigeria: Ibadan

Welcome! The name Ibadan translates as "the meeting place in the fields." Quite the meeting.

Kenneth Mellanby, who arrived in the late 1940s to take charge of the new University of Ibadan (at that time called the University of Nigeria), wrote that though Ibadan was "the largest town in tropical Africa... [it] is hardly a town at all in European eyes--it seems simply a vast, untidy, amorphous aggregation of rusty tin-roofed shacks... an extensive range of single-story buildings erected around a series of intercommunicating courtyards, with no 'modern conveniences' and few concessions to modernity...."

Nigerians can be equally severe. Professor Mabogunje wrote in the 1960s that Ibadan's congestion “defies description,” presents “a fantastic problem of locating people” and leaves officials with the “virtual impossibility of orderly numbering.”

See Kenneth Mellanby, The Birth of Nigeria's University, p. 37, and A.L. Mobogunje, "The Morphology of Ibadan," in The City of Ibadan, ed. by P.C. Lloyd et al, pp. 46 and 55.

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