Video of independence celebration in Nigeria, 1960
The atmosphere was filled with joy and anxiety as excited Nigerians stormed the Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS) in Lagos to partake in the celebration of the independence of Nigeria on Saturday, 1st of October, 1960. Amongst the crowd were students, cultural dancers, acrobats, masquerades and others who were all eager to paint the celebration red with their performances. Policemen stood in bands in different key places across the square to prevent or suppress any form of unwanted intrusion. It was a wonderful sight to behold.
The celebrations were not limited to the capital city of Lagos in the Western region; there were also celebrations in other parts or regions of the country, but that of Lagos was the biggest. Nigerians who were not privileged to be at the Tafawa Balewa Square watched the event on TV from their homes.
The celebration at the Tafawa Balewa Square kicked-off with the eloquent speech of the first Prime Minister of Nigeria, Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, in which he expressed his joy and happiness for the newly liberated nation and her people. He went further by thanking the colonial masters and promising that Nigeria will remain in good terms with them. Read the full speech here
The national anthem was sung and the Nigerian flag, designed by Taiwo Akinkunmi in 1959, was hoisted in replacement of the British flag. Also, Jaja Wachukwu, Nigeria’s first indigenous speaker, received Nigeria’s instrument of freedom (also called ‘Freedom Charter’) from Princess Alexandra of Kent, a member of the British royal family who represented Queen Elizabeth at the ceremony.
In the evening, the sky above the Tafawa Balewa Square was animated with colourful display of fireworks and shouts of happy independence. Dance troupes of different Nigerian ethnic groups displayed their dancing prowesses to the thrilled audience while acrobats and masquerades too awed the scene with their performances. A state banquet was also held where dignitaries from Nigeria and other countries mingled, wined and danced. It was an unforgettable day in the history of Nigeria.
Here is another video
British Movietone News- A video on Nigeria’s Independence