Children and Childhood in Colonial Nigerian Histories by S. Aderinto

By S. Aderinto

This ebook brings jointly the latest and the main leading edge scholarship on Nigerian children―one of the least researched teams in African colonial background. It engages the altering conceptions of youth, pertaining to it to the wider issues approximately modernity, energy, organisation, and social transformation less than imperial rule.

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A child enriches the soul by new feelings and awakens within it what is favourable to virtue. It is a beam of light, a fountain of love, a teacher whose lessons very few can resist. . Because the neglect of timely correction permits their contraction a stubbornness and obstinacy which ultimately become unconquerable unless through the most painful severity. Before overlooking minor childish 24 SAHEED ADERINTO follies, the will of the child should be subdued and brought to revere its parents. .

The child worker in the tin mine in Jos or the Apapa Wharf in Lagos was not working for his family, nor was he receiving apprenticeship in a skill that was tied to a family tradition, which they might also hope to pass along to the next generation. Rather, they were employed by a usually faceless authority connected to big foreign company headquartered in Britain or elsewhere in Europe (chapter 6). Yet, the sight of children, especially girls hawking goods on the busy roads of Lagos in the 1930s and 1940s, attracted the concern of reformers because they thought it exposed them to sexual danger, among the other perils of urban crime (chapter 8).

In 1925 the Salvation Army collaborated with the government to establish the Boys’ Industrial Home in Lagos. Heap examines the origin of this home from the perspective of the increasing involvement of children in crime and delinquent activities. He gives us detailed insights into the activities of the home, the identity of the boys admitted, and the challenges of establishing a modern reformatory in 1920s and 1930s Nigeria. The activities of the Industrial Home fed into the received notion among colonialists and African-educated elites that children were vessels to be filled with instruction designed and desired by adults.

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