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Greg Nwoko Historic Blog

Thursday, 5 March 2015

The glasses John Lennon wore when he was assassinated, 1980

Friday, 27 February 2015


The 1956 BOAC Argonaut accident occurred on 24 June 1956 when a British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) four-engined Canadair C-4 Argonaut airliner registered G-ALHE crashed into a tree on departure from Kano Airport in Nigeria, three crew and 29 passengers were killed.

The Kano riot of 1953

The Kano riot of 1953 refers to the serious riot, which broke out in the ancient city of Kano,located in Northern Nigeria, on 1 May 1953. The nature of the riot were clashes between Northerners and Southerners made up of mainly the Yorubas and the Ibos. The riot that lasted for four days claimed many lives of the Southerners and Northerners and many others were wounded.

The remote cause of the riot was the strained relationship between the Northern and Southern political leaders over the issue of self-government in 1956. This strained relationship started with a 1953 motion for self-government for Nigeria in 1956 tabled in the House of Representatives by a member of the Action Group (AG) Chief Anthony Enahoro. The Northerners did not accept the motion. The leader of the Northern People's Congress (NPC) and the Saraduna of Sokoto, Alhaji Ahmadu Bello in a counter-motion replaced in the year 1956 with the phrase "as soon as practicable". Another Northern member of the House moved a motion for adjournment, a motion viewed which Southern members of AG and NCNC viewed as a delay tactics. All the AG and NCNC members in the house walked out as a result of the adjournment motion. When the Northern delegates left the House, they were confronted by hostile crowds in Lagos who insulted, jeered and called them all sorts of names. Members of the Northern delegation were embittered and in their "Eight Point Program" in the Northern Regional Legislative House, they sought for secession. The last straw that broke the camel's back was the tour by a delegation of the AG and NCNC led by Chief S.L. Akintola. That tour which was aimed at campaigning for self-government acted as the immediate cause of the Kano riot. It sparked off a chain of disorder that culminated in the riot. The riot took place at Sabon Gari an area predominantly occupied by southern Nigerians.

Samuel Akisanya, (1 August 1898 – 1985)

Samuel Akisanya, (1 August 1898 – 1985) was a Nigerian trade unionist and nationalist based in Lagos, Nigeria during the colonial era, one of the founders of the Nigerian Youth Movement. He was also the Oba of Isara, an office which he held from 1941 until his death. He is today widely regarded as the greatest king in the history of the city.

Akisanya was born on 1 August 1898 in Isara. He attended the Anglican School in Ishara, then obtained work as a shorthand typist and writer from 1916 to 1931. Around 1923, the Study Circle was founded in Lagos, with a number of prominent young members including Akisanya, H.A. Subair, R.A. Coker, Olatunji Caxton-Martins and Adetokunbo Ademola. The group sponsored essay-writing, lectures, debates and book reviews, and later became a forum for discussing political issues.

Akisanya became the organising Secretary of the Nigerian Produce Traders Union (N.P.T.U.) and President of the Nigerian Motor Transport Union between 1932 and 1940. He was one of the founders of the Lagos Youth Movement in 1934, renamed the Nigerian Youth Movement (NYM) in 1936. Other founding members were Dr. J.C. Vaughan, Ernest Ikoli and H.O. Davies.Akisanya was appointed general secretary and later became Vice-President. The initial stimulus for founding the movement was controversy over the standard of education to be offered by the newly founded Yaba College, but the NYM was to grow into Nigeria's first genuinely nationalist organisation. In 1938, Akisanya was one of the seven subscribers to the Service Press Limited, which acquired the assets and liabilities of the Daily Service newspaper.

In 1937 some expatriate firms led by Cadbury Brothers formed a buying agreement, a cartel to control the price paid to producers of cocoa and to cut out the middlemen. The N.P.T.U., which represented these middlemen and was led by Akisanya, launched an effective public attack on the agreement. The union organised protest meetings and threatened to hold up transport of the crop, or in extreme to destroy the crop. The government attempted to defuse the crisis by supporting opponents of Akisanya. Eventually it blew over when cocoa prices rose the next year.

Akisanya became a Yoruba chiefly ruler when he was enthroned as the Odemo of Isara. He held this position from 1941 until his death in 1985. He was a member of the Western House of Chiefs from 1952 until 1961. Akisanya was a founding member of the Action Group party in 1951. He was appointed a minister without portfolio in the government of the Western Region from 1952 to 1955. During the First Republic, Akisanya called Ladoke Akintola, premier of the Western region and his deputy, Remi Fani-Kayode "misguided small boys" when they decided to punish some of the Yoruba chiefs. The punishment entailed – in part – a massive cut to the salary/stipend paid by the government to the Yoruba chiefs. Samuel Akisanya, in particular, had his payments reduced to 1 penny (0.01 Naira) annually, earning him the moniker "penny a year Oba". In November 1968, peasants attacked Akisanya for allegedly supporting the government's aggressive tax collection policy.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015


A Nigerian soldier (l) from the Nigerian-led West Afican peacekeeping force ECOMOG looks, 07 May 1996 at the checkpoint on Benson street in downtown Monrovia, at the head of an ethnic Krahn, caught 06 may 1996 by Liberian fighters loyal to Charles Taylor's National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL). (Photo credit should read CHRISTOPHE SIMON/AFP/Getty Images).

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Threaded Spaghetti Hot Dog Bites with Homemade Marinara Sauce.

Threaded Spaghetti Hot Dog Bites with Homemade Marinara Sauce.

1 (12.8-ounce) package     Andouille chicken sausage

1/4 cup     Basil, fresh leaves
8 cloves     Garlic
2 (28-ounce) cans Tomatoes

2 tsp     Balsamic vinegar
Pasta & Grains
8 oz     Spaghetti
Baking & Spices
1 tsp     Salt
Oils & Vinegars
1 tbsp     Olive oil

The foiled Nigerian kidnap plot on Umaru Dikko 1984

In London in 1984, a team of Nigerians and Israelis attempted to kidnap and repatriate the exiled former Nigerian minister Umaru Dikko. Mr Dikko, who had fled Nigeria after a military coup, was accused of stealing $1bn (£625m) of government money.

The plot was foiled by a young British customs officer, Charles David Morrow, who has now told the BBC World Service Witness programme what happened.

On a summer's day, Mr Dikko walked out of his front door in an upmarket neighbourhood of Bayswater in London. Within seconds he had been grabbed by two men and bundled into the back of a transit van.

"I remember the very violent way in which I was grabbed and hurled into a van, with a huge fellow sitting on my head - and the way in which they immediately put on me handcuffs and chains on my legs," he told the BBC a year later.

Mr Dikko had been minister for transport in the government of Shehu Shagari until it was overthrown by the military at the end of 1983. He fled to London accused by Nigeria's new rulers of embezzlement - a charge he has always denied.

Labelled "Nigeria's most wanted man", a plot was hatched to get both him and the money back.

The extraordinary plan was to kidnap Mr Dikko, drug him, stick him into a specially made crate and put him on a plane back to Nigeria - alive.
Israeli anaesthetist

An Israeli alleged former Mossad agent, Alexander Barak, was recruited to lead the kidnap team. It included a Nigerian intelligence officer, Maj Mohammed Yusufu, and Israeli nationals Felix Abitbol and Dr Lev-Arie Shapiro, who was to inject Mr Dikko with an anaesthetic.

The kidnappers switched vehicles in a car park by London Zoo and headed towards Stansted airport where a Nigerian Airways plane was waiting. They injected Mr Dikko and laid him, unconscious, in a crate.

The Israeli anaesthetist climbed into the crate as well, carrying medical equipment to make sure Mr Dikko didn't die en route. Barak and Abitbol got into a second crate. Both boxes were then sealed.

At the cargo terminal of Stansted Airport, 40 miles (64km) north of London, a Nigerian diplomat was anxiously waiting for the crates to arrive. Also on duty that day was a young customs officer, Charles David Morrow.
Diplomatic bag

"The day had gone fairly normally until about 3pm. Then we had the handling agents come through and say that there was a cargo due to go on a Nigerian Airways 707, but the people delivering it didn't want it manifested," Mr Morrow said.

"I went downstairs to see who they were and what was happening. I met a guy who turned out to be a Nigerian diplomat called Mr Edet. He showed me his passport and he said it was diplomatic cargo. Being ignorant of such matters, I asked him what it was, and he told me it was just documents and things."

No-one on duty at Stansted had dealt with a diplomatic bag before and Mr Morrow went to check the procedure.

Just then a colleague returned from the passenger terminal with some startling news. There was an All Ports Bulletin from Scotland Yard saying that a Nigerian had been kidnapped and it was suspected he would be smuggled out of the country.

The police had been alerted by Mr Dikko's secretary who had witnessed his abduction from a window in the house.

Hearing the news, Mr Morrow realised he had a problem on his hands.

"I just put two and two together. The classic customs approach is not to look for the goods, you look for the space," he said.

"So I am looking out of the window and I can see the space which is these two crates, clearly big enough to get a man inside. We've got a Nigerian Airways 707, which we don't normally see. They don't want the crates manifested, so there would be no record of them having gone through. And there was very little other cargo going on board the aircraft.

"If you want to hide a tree, you hide it in the forest. You don't stick it out in the middle of Essex."

Tuesday, 17 February 2015


Immurement is a form of imprisonment, usually for life, in which a person is, for example, locked within an enclosed space and all possible exits turned into impassable walls. This includes instances where people have been enclosed in extremely tight confinement, such as within a coffin. When used as a means of execution, the prisoner is simply left to die from starvation or dehydration. This is distinct from being buried alive, in which the victim typically dies of asphyxiation.

Some examples of immurement as an established executional practice (with death from thirst or starvation as the intended aim) are attested. Roman Vestal Virgins could face immurement as punishment if they broke their vows of chastity and immurement has been well-established as a punishment of robbers in Persia, even into the early 20th century. Some ambiguous evidence of immurement as a practice of coffin-type confinement in Mongolia exists.

A “seflie” in the White House bathroom 1952


The lip plate, also known as a lip plug or lip disc, is a form of body modification. Increasingly large discs (usually circular, and made from clay or wood) are inserted into a pierced hole in either the upper or lower lip, or both, thereby stretching it. The term labret denotes all kinds of pierced-lip ornaments, including plates and plugs.

Archaeological evidence indicates that labrets have been independently invented no fewer than six times, in Sudan and Ethiopia (8700 BC), Mesoamerica (1500 BC), and Coastal Ecuador (500 BC). Today, the custom is maintained by a few groups in Africa and Amazonia.

In Africa, a lower lip plate is usually combined with the excision of the two lower front teeth, sometimes all four. Among the Sara people and Lobi of Chad, a plate is also inserted into the upper lip. Other tribes, such as the Makonde of Tanzania and Mozambique, used to wear a plate in the upper lip only. Many older sources reported that the plate's size was a sign of social or economical importance in some tribes. But, because of natural mechanical attributes of human skin, the plate's size may often depend on the stage of stretching of the lip and the wishes of the wearer.

Among the Surma (own name Suri) and Mursi people of the lower Omo River valley in Ethiopia, about 6 to 12 months before marriage, a young woman has her lip pierced by her mother or one of her kinswomen, usually at around the age of 15 to 18. The initial piercing is done as an incision of the lower lip of 1 to 2 cm length, and a simple wooden peg is inserted. After the wound has healed, which usually takes between two and three weeks, the peg is replaced with a slightly bigger one. At a diameter of about 4 cm, the first lip plate made of clay is inserted. Every woman crafts her own plate and takes pride in including some ornamentation. The final diameter ranges from about 8 cm to over 20 cm.

In 1990 Beckwith and Carter claimed that for Mursi and Surma women, the size of their lip plate indicates the number of cattle paid as the bride price. Whereas anthropologist Turton, who studied the Mursi for 30 years, denies this. Shauna LaTosky, building from field research among the Mursi in 2004, discusses in detail why most Mursi women use lip plates and describes the value of the ornamentation within a discourse of female strength and self-esteem.[clarification needed].

In contemporary culture, Mursi girls of age 13 to 18 appear to decide whether or not to wear a lip plate. This adornment has attracted tourists to view the Mursi and Surma women, with mixed consequences for these tribes.


On October 6, 1981, Anwar El Sadat was assassinated by a group of radicals lead by Khalid Islambouli. It was the first time in Egyptian history that the head of state had been assassinated by an Egyptian citizen.

Sadat was assasinated by Islamist radicals who felt betrayed by the 1979 Egypt-Israel peace treaty.

Dubai Airport in the 1980s... a bus-stop compared to the airport today

Young Bob Marley

Monday, 16 February 2015

Saddam Hussein's son Odai to torture tool.

An Iraqi Olympic Committee official models a steel mask. The devices are said to have been used by Saddam Hussein's son Odai to torture Olympic athletes whose performance failed to meet his expectations.


17th–19th century | Nigeria; Yoruba, Owo subgroup | Ivory, wood or coconut shell inlay | This magnificent ivory bracelet was the possession of a chief from the Yoruba kingdom of Owo. Scholars have suggested that items like this were worn at Ore, a ceremony that celebrated the kingdom's origins at Ife, the cradle of Yoruba civilization.

Ohio man's wish fulfilled as he is buried on motorcycle

The dying wish of an Ohio motorcycle aficionado that he be buried astride his beloved Harley-Davidson was fulfilled by his family -- although it wasn't easy.

Billy Standley's body was prepped by five embalmers with a metal back brace and straps, The Dayton Daily News reported. He was affixed on top of his bike – a 1967 Electra Glide cruiser-- which was then placed inside a Plexiglas casket. For five years, the box stayed in Standley's garage, one of his sons told the newspaper.

Standley also had to buy additional burial plots that could accommodate the casket.

His family told the paper he had planned the funeral for years.

Standley died of lung cancer Sunday at the age of 82.

Charlie Chaplin and Mahatma Gandhi awesome people hanging out together:

Disturbing graphic image: Photographs show a man decapitated by a wrought-iron fence while fleeing from police.

A narcotics traffic stop on the Downtown Connector turned deadly Saturday afternoon when a man climbed over the interstate railing, fell about 35 feet and was decapitated on a wrought-iron fence, Atlanta police said.

Officers in a marked car stopped the man about 4:30 p.m., as he drove south on the interstate above Auburn Avenue. The man, who has not been identified, stopped his vehicle and tried to flee by climbing over the railing, Lt. Danny Agan said.

Police still are investigating whether the man jumped or fell off the raised interstate.

"This is a new one for me in 29 years," Agan said.

The decapitation shocked people who work in the neighborhood. Gary White, an income tax preparer, came out of his office when he heard the commotion. "It's surreal," White said.

Agan said narcotics officers had been trailing the man for much of the day.

Agan did not know if the officers who tried to arrest the man would be placed on administrative leave. "This is not something normally covered under the [standard operating procedure] of the department," he said.

 The item quoted above, about a man who was decapitated when he climbed over the railing of an interstate highway while fleeing police and fell onto a wrought-iron fence, describes a real incident that took place in Atlanta on the afternoon 15 February 2003.

Journal-Constitution the following day.) Several members of the Atlanta Fire Department who responded to the call verified for us that the pictures displayed above were indeed taken at the scene of the incident.

Despite assertions to the contrary, it is not impossible for the torso to have fallen in the position shown in the photographs (i.e., on the side of the fence towards which the head is facing). The back portion of the victim's head was impaled on the spike as his body fell on the near side of the fence, and the force of the fall decapitated him as his body dropped to the ground below.

In November 2006, 140 officers and civilians on the staff of the Hertfordshire (UK) Police were disciplined for forwarding an e-mail containing the above-displayed images.

A police officer on a Harley and an old fashioned mobile holding cell. (1921)

Body of Che Guevara [1967 ]

Body of Che Guevara [1967 ] After capturing and executing Che in 1967, before bury him in a secret tomb, the executioners made a group photo with the body, to demonstrate the people that EL GRAN CHE is dead. The picture actually made him a legend, his admirers said he had a forgiving look on his face and compared him with Jesus.

Picture of Charlie Chaplin's coffin.

Picture of Charlie Chaplin's coffin that was sent to his family after grave-robbers stole it demanded a ransom. The robbers were eventually caught and charged with extortion "disturbing the peace of the dead".

Isaac W Sprague (1841-1887), Living Skeleton.

He was normal until age 12, when he started to lose weight. By age 44 he was 5'6'' and weighed only 43 lbs. He was examined by many eminent physicians who gave no diagnosis other than a general wasting syndrome. He ate as much as 2 normal sized men and carried a flask of sweetened milk to revive himself when he felt faint. He married twice and had 3 average sized sons. He died at age 46 after working in sideshows since he was 24.


Do you know that in July of 1935, the Construction of Pews designed by Chief Aina Onabolu, Artist, at 5 pounds each for use in the Cathedral began at the Cathederal Church of Christ,Lago-Marina.

Elizabeth "Liz" Cambage (born 18 August 1991)

She was born on 18 August 1991. Cambage was born in London to a Nigerian father and Australian mother. Her parents separated when Cambage was three months old and Cambage moved to Australia with her mother. First settling in Coffs Harbour in New South Wales, the family then moved to Melbourne and later the Mornington Peninsula.

She is 203 centimetres (6 ft 8 in) tall. She was teased about her height in school. At age ten years, she was 6 ft tall, and was 6'5 when she was 14 years old. She started playing basketball at her mother's suggestion when she was 10 as a way to make friends.

1st British High Commissioner to Nigeria between 1960 and 1963.

Antony Henry Head, 1st Viscount Head GCMG, CBE, MC, PC (19 December 1906 – 29 March 1983) was a British soldier, Conservative politician and diplomat.

1st British High Commissioner to Nigeria between 1960 and 1963.


In the Second World War the company lost a number of ships to enemy action, including Apapa in 1940 (seenin this photo at the Lagos Port) and Abosso in 1942. After the war a new Accra and Apapa were launched in 1947 and 1948, followed by a new flagship, Aureol (14,083 GRT) in 1951, for the company's services to Ghana and Nigeria.

When the Nigerian National Shipping Line was formed in 1957, Elder Dempster took a 33% stake, selling in 1961 to the Nigerian government.

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Oluwarotimi (Rotimi) Adebiyi Wahab Fani-Kayode (20 April 1955 - 21 December 1989) was a Nigerian-born photographer, who moved to England at age 12 to escape the Nigerian Civil War.

Oluwarotimi (Rotimi) Adebiyi Wahab Fani-Kayode (20 April 1955 - 21 December 1989) was a Nigerian-born photographer, who moved to England at age 12 to escape the Nigerian Civil War. The main body of his work was created between 1982 and 1989. He explored the tensions created by sexuality, race and culture through stylised portraits and compositions.

Rotimi was born in Lagos, Nigeria, in April 1955, as the second child of a prominent Yoruba family (Chief Babaremilekun Adetokunboh Fani-Kayode and Chief Mrs Adia Adunni Fani-Kayode) that moved to Brighton, England, in 1966, after the military coup and the ensuing civil war. Rotimi went to a number of British private schools for his secondary education, including Brighton College, Seabright College and Millfield, then moved to the USA in 1976. He read Fine Arts and Economics at Georgetown University, Washington, DC for his BA, continued on for his MFA in Fine Arts & Photography at the Pratt Institute, New York. While in New York, he became friendly with Robert Mapplethorpe, admitted later that Mapplethorpe influenced his work.

Fani-Kayode returned to the UK in 1983. He died in a London hospital of a heart attack while recovering from an AIDS-related illness on 12 December 1989. At the time of his death, he was living in Brixton, London, with his life partner and collaborator Alex Hirst.

Fani-Kayode admitted to being influenced by Mapplethorpe's earlier work but he also pushed the bounds of his own art, exploring sexuality, racism, colonialism and the tensions and conflicts between his homosexuality and his Yoruba upbringing through a series of images in both colour and B/W. His work is imbued with the subtlety, irony and political and social comment that one would expect from an intelligent and observant black photographer of the late twentieth century. He also contributed much to the artistic debate surrounding HIV and AIDS. He started in 1984 to exhibit and was part of eight other exhibitions by the time of his death in 1989. His work has been featured posthumously in many exhibitions and retrospectives. His work has been exhibited in the United Kingdom, France, Austria, Italy, Nigeria, Sweden, Germany, South Africa and US.

In 1987 along with Mark Sealy, he co-founded Aurograph ABP and became their first chair. He was also an active member of the Black Audio Film Collective.He was a major influence on young black photographers in the late 1980s and 1990s. Following Hirst's death in 1992, some controversy has persisted about works attributed to Fani-Kayode.

George Adeniji Garrick, MB ChB (8 April 1917 – 12 July 1988) held Nigeria's high jump record from 1938 until 1953.

Born in Lagos on April 8, 1917, George Adeniji Garrick was the eldest son of Stanley David Garrick, a senior administrator and courtier to HRH The Oba of Benin in the former Kingdom of Benin, now southwestern Nigeria. His grandfather was a Sierra Leone Creole catechist in Brass, Nigeria called J.D. Garrick.

George Garrick attended King's College, Lagos where he was Head Boy. He excelled academically and was also noted for his prowess at games including cricket, football, squash and athletics.

In 1938, Garrick enjoyed his finest moment when he established the Nigerian High Jump record with a clearance of 6 feet 3 and 1/2 inches during an athletic competition in Lagos. His record remained unbeaten for fourteen years and earned him national recognition. An exercise book illustration was created to honour his contribution to sports in general and High Jump in particular; one which millions of Nigerian students are very familiar with.

The outbreak of World War II in 1939 ended Garrick's hopes of a medal at the British Empire Games which, ordinarily, would have been held in 1942. Nevertheless, he went on to register several athletic successes as a medical student at Glasgow University during the war years. In October 1946, he was awarded his Full Athletics Blue by the university; then, in 1947, he gained international honours representing Scotland against England and Ireland. Subsequently, he was appointed Captain of University Athletics for the 1948–49 season.

Returning to Nigeria after qualifying as a medical doctor, George Garrick entered the Government Medical Service and served in several parts of the country before going into private practice. In 1953, he married Princess Comfort Odinchezo Amobi, a granddaughter of Igwe Amobi I of Ogidi.

Upon his father's death in 1958, Garrick's inheritance of the lands and seigniorial standing of the Siluko barony bestowed by HRH The Oba of Benin led him to settle permanently in Benin City to continue his medical career.

Dr. Garrick later served as vice president of the Bendel State Medical Association and on the state board of medical examiners, among others. In 1978, together with fellow practitioner Dr. N.O. Azinge, he was credited with important clinical observations regarding patient reactions to medication for the Stevens–Johnson syndrome.

Over time, as George Garrick's health declined, his interest in and patronage of sports in Nigeria at state and national level waned but he remained enthused by international athletics and cricket until the end of his life

Friday, 13 February 2015

Peter Dennis (25 October 1933 – 18 April 2009)

Peter Dennis (25 October 1933 – 18 April 2009) was a Screen Actors Guild Award and Drama-Logue Award winning English film, television, theatre and voice actor. His extensive career spanned both sides of the Atlantic with projects ranging from The Avengers to Sideways. He was perhaps best known for his more than three decades association performing the works of A. A. Milne on stage in his one-man show entitled Bother! The Brain of Pooh.

Peter Dennis served as a Sergeant in Nigeria from January 1952 to March 1958, Royal Army Ordnance Corps, Royal Army Service Corps. His duties included drill and weapons training, shorthand writing in the service of Lieutenant General Sir Roderick McLeod and General Sir Nigel Poett, Director of Military Operations, and as a Personal Assistant to General Sir Kenneth Exham, General Officer Commanding the Royal West African Frontier Force, Nigerian Military Forces.

Upon his return to civilian life, he worked as Personal Assistant to Harry Arkle, European Managing Director, Canadian Pacific Railway and Bill Nicol, Deputy Chairman of Guest, Keen & Nettlefolds, Redditch, near Birmingham.

On his 29th birthday, Dennis saw his first play, a production of Look Back in Anger at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre, starring Derek Jacobi and dictated his resignation the following day. By the following autumn, he was in attendance at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art graduating two years later in 1965.

Stephen Stewart Smalley was Dean of Chester in the last part of the 20th century and the first year of the 21st,and an eminent Anglican scholar.

Born in London in 1931, educated at Jesus College, Cambridge, and ordained in 1958, Stephen was a Curate at St Paul’s, Portman Square, and then Chaplain and later Acting Dean of Peterhouse, Cambridge. From 1960 to 1969 he was a Lecturer at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. He returned to the U.K. to become Lecturer and then Senior Lecturer at the University of Manchester from 1977 to 1986, and served at the same time as Warden of St Anselm Hall. Before his elevation to the Deanery of Chester in 1987, Stephen was Canon Residentiary of Coventry Cathedral, where he was appointed Canon Precentor and latterly Vice Provost of the Cathedral.

Kriss Akabusi MBE (born Kezie Uchechukwu Duru Akabusi, 28 November 1958) is a former sprint and hurdling track and field athlete from the United Kingdom.

Born in Paddington to Nigerian parents who were studying in London, Akabusi would later be brought up in care with his brother Riba, after their parents returned to their country when he was four. Their uncle, who had been appointed as their guardian, neglected his duty, leaving the boys to be raised by abusive foster parents. Due to the outbreak of the Nigerian Civil War in 1967, Akabusi was unable to stay in contact with his parents, although he would later be reunited with his mother in his teens. She was determined that her son should settle in Nigeria, but while Akabusi was keen to make up for lost time with the rest of his family, he remained in the United Kingdom, eventually visiting his homeland when he was twenty-one.

It was during this time that Akabusi, who is of Igbo heritage, changed his first name from 'Kezie' to 'Kriss'. He told an interviewer in 2002: "I decided to make a new start and part of that new start was to have a new name. I spelt my name with a 'K' because I didn't want to change my initials and I want to have some connections with my past. Kezie Akabusi was the connection to my past, but Kriss Akabusi is a connection with my future." Akabusi, did however keep the middle name given to him at birth by his parents, Clive.

Akabusi joined the British Army in 1975, having a successful career in the Royal Corps of Signals before switching to the Army Physical Training Corps (as it was then called) in 1981. When he was discharged into the reserves at the end of his army career he held the rank of Warrant Officer Class 2. It was during his tenure in the military that his potential in sports was discovered.

Hugh "Taffy" Williams was a professional soldier of fortune who served in the Congo with Mike Hoare and 5 Commando Congo as well as a Major in the Biafran Army. Born in Wales, he grew up and received his military training in South Africa.

Noted for his bravery under fire he served two tours of duty with the Biafran Army, rising to the rank of Major and was the last white mercenary to leave the country as secession ended.

Williams found his Biafran troops to be completely different from those whom he commanded in Katanga. "I've seen a lot of Africans at war" he was quoted as saying. "But there's nobody to touch these people. Give me 10,000 Biafrans for six months, and we'll build an army that would be invincible on this continent. I've seen men die in this war who would have won the Victoria Cross in another context".

Williams was assigned one hundred Biafran fighters in early 1968, and managed to keep two battalions of Chadian mercenaries serving with the Nigerian Federal Army at bay for twelve weeks with only antiquated weapons. After Williams redeployed his forces in early April, the Chadians forded the Cross River at two locations, and captured Afikpo, a main town on the western side.

Completing his first contract and following a brief stay in the UK, Williams returned to Biafra on 7 July 1968. He was assigned to the 4th Commando Brigade led by Lt. Col Rolf Steiner. Steiner had command of 3000 men, and was assigned to the area around the Enugu - Onitsha road. Williams, who liked to joke that he was "half-mad", would personally lead his troops into battle, sometimes standing in a hail of Federal gunfire, just to prove to his troops that he was indeed "bullet-proof". His resolve under fire would often unnerve the more superstitious of Nigerian soldiers and serve to rally his own.

On 24 August 1968 Williams was drawn into a critical battle of the conflict. At this point, he had 1000 soldiers under his command which carried out counteroffensives against two battalion-sized enemy units attempting to cross the Imo River Bridge with Soviet military advisers. When Williams returned to Aba for additional ammunition to continue the fight, he was told that there was simply none to be had. The Nigerian Air Force had become quite successful in blocking supplies into the beleaguered state. Some of Williams' men had only two rounds left for their rifles and many were forced to withdraw.

Following the arrest and expulsion of Steiner and four others, Major Williams was allegedly the only European still left serving with the Biafran army. He left the state shortly before its collapse. It is thought that Williams, who encountered author Frederick Forsyth there as a war correspondent, served as the inspiration for the character of Carlo Shannon in Forsyth's The Dogs of War (novel)

Ambush of General FRIEDRICH KUSSIN (1895-1944).

General FRIEDRICH KUSSIN (1895-1944), the German commander of Arnhem in the Netherlands, was ambushed and killed by British paratroopers at a crossroads on September 17, 1944 during Operation Market Garden. This is a photograph of Josef Willeke, his dead driver, also killed in the attack by multiple machine gun fire, along with his interpreter, Max Köster.

Zina Saro-Wiwa is a video artist and film-maker. She makes video installations, documentaries, music videos and experimental films.

Zina Saro-Wiwa was born in Port Harcourt, Nigeria to Ken and Maria Saro-Wiwa. Her late father, the author and poet Ken Saro-Wiwa, became a well-known Nigerian environmental and human rights activist. He was executed in 1995 by the military regime in Nigeria when she was 19. She grew up in Surrey and Sussex in the UK where Saro-Wiwa's wife Maria and five children lived. She attended the private girls school, Roedean, in Sussex, and the University of Bristol where she studied economic and social history.

Saro-Wiwa first wrote for The Sunday Times newspaper at the age of 16 on the subject of Black British identity. She has written for magazines such as Marie Claire, The Telegraph Magazine and the underground music magazine Straight No Chaser.

In 2008 she was commissioned to write an essay about the Nollywood industry, titled No Turning Back for South African photographer, Pieter Hugo's monograph called Nollywood (published by Prestel).

Her short story, Lola of the Red Oil, based loosely on Saro-Wiwa's experiences as a lone teen traveller in Bahia, Brazil, was excerpted in a book for Riflemaker Gallery's 2008 "Voodoo" exhibition.

Saro-Wiwa's short story, His Eyes Were Shining Like a Child, was published by Sable LitMag in 2009.