Nnamdi Azikiwe, from stowaway to Nigeria’s first president and African nationalist


His parents gave him the name Benjamin but he later changed it to Nnamdi.

Popularly known as “Zik” or “Zik of Africa”, Nnamdi Azikiwe, born in 1904 in Niger State made his name in the 1930s as a devoted figure in the nationalist movement after his return to Nigeria from the United States, where he had gone to study.

He was in his early days motivated to fight towards the independence of his country and Africa as a whole after listening to a lecture given by Dr J.E. Kweggir Aggrey in 1924.

Nnamdi Azikiwe — Nairaland Forum

After attending English-run missionary schools, Azikiwe started working as a clerk but due to his determination to study in the United States, he managed to stow away on a boat through some sailors he had as friends from the Port of Lagos.

But he and two others were…

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