Stella Dimoko CNN’s ‘Inside Africa’ Highlights The influence Of Brazilian Culture in Lagos


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Thursday, July 13, 2017

CNN’s ‘Inside Africa’ Highlights The influence Of Brazilian Culture in Lagos

This week on Inside Africa, CNN International examines the cultural impact of Brazil in Nigeria, and how the community in Lagos keeps its legacy alive through food, music, architecture and religious ceremonies.

The programme hears that despite Lagos being host to distinct Brazilian influence for more than a century, its history is under threat as the city continues to evolve and develop.

Inside Africa hears how this cultural blend began after Nigerians were captured in the 19th century, sold into slavery and eventually returned to the continent after its abolition. Whilst many chose to stay in Brazil, Lagos Island became host to several returnees in an area called the Brazilian quarter.

CNN hears how the origins and influence of slavery in the community remain an issue even today, as Angelica Yewanje Oyediran explains to the programme: “I am a proud Nigerian of Brazilian descent and I am not ashamed. Some members of the family do not want to be referred to [as] descendants of anything… God has saved our own ancestors and we are what we are today.”

One of the most striking influences of Afro-Brazilian culture is the types of structures founded in Lagos. As many were also constructed in the 19th Century, several of the buildings have fallen into a state of disrepair and require renovation.

Inside Africa speaks to Peju Fatuyi, an architect who has volunteered to help preserve Lagos’ historic buildings. Fatuyi explains why he feels this is so significant for preserving Afro-Brazilian culture: “A picture freezes a moment in time, a building can freeze a time, in eternity, because you can enter a building and you can feel how the people that were there, experienced it. In that way, the building embodies culture. It tells the story of the people that lived in it. It tells the story of people that built it.”

Fatuyi explains to Inside Africa: “It was the finest example of Brazilian architecture that we had here in Lagos. It was a place for festivities rejoicing and was actually loved by the community… I think it's painful and very sad; I think it’s a national loss. It is just the epitome of what is happening in our society how the old buildings are being destroyed, taken away.”

CNN hears that this sense of loss is what motivates many Afro-Brazilians to continue to fight to preserve what’s left, utilizing everything from worship to carnival.


  1. I am not understanding.. .i think say Na people wen dey Brazil dey copy ODUDUWA.... Abi, no be some ODUDUWA people Dem carry go do slave trade for Brazil, then they settled and start giving birth and increasing

    Someone told me that, in a place in Brazil, they speak Pure Yoruba... One of their village there in Brazil

    @Anonymous Orubebe

    1. u really have a job?

    2. Yes Orubebe anony. They're mostly found in the state called Bahia in Brazil.

    3. @Pix.... I don't have one.... Come and give me

      Unam ikot.. How you take no say I no get job, if you sef no be WakaJugbe....

      Lol.... DIDIRIN

      @Anonymous Orubebe

  2. Even their carnival looks alike

  3. Even their carnival looks alike

  4. You cannot talk about preserving Brazialian culture in Lagos without mentioning Kehinde Sanwo. His paintings preserve all the old architecture for us to see

  5. Even in Cuba .... Their traditional worship mirrors the Yoruba's

  6. Of course, that's how names like, Savage, DaSilva, DaCosta, Salvador, Pedro etc came to be in some families in Lagos.

  7. I think the writer of this article hasn't done enough research, hence, the misinformation.
    The only link Brazil has with Lagos culture was slave trade. During that time, Africans were shipped to the Americas and The Caribbeans to work as slaves in plantations.
    That is the sole reason you have blacks in foreign countries because after the end of slave trade, many of them stayed to start a life.

    Secondly, even after the abolition of slave trade, many of these "slaves" chose to connect to their root by speaking their languages, and worshipping their native gods. That is why you will find a handful of Yoruba influence and culture in some communities in Brazil, Cuba, etc.
    Lastly, the first foreigners to explore and colonise Lagos were the Portuguese. They gave "Eko" its present name, Lagos. And they changed the names of many of their subjects from their native names to Portuguese. That is why some streets in Lagos bear "Da-Costa", "Dasilva", etc.
    And coincidentally, the Portuguese colonised the Brazilians hence the similar names.

    1. Queeneth pls pls pls!! It's a known fact by anyone who knows history and the Popo Agudahs is that many Brazilian slaves returned and settled in lagos, Benin, Togo and even ghana!! They know themselves!! They intermarried with Yorubas and over the years many have lost the core culture, with the exception of Catholicism, surnames, old architecture, and some food.
      While what you stated is true, you missed it!! Go and tell the 4th and 5th generations who know!!! Ppl were still returning in the late 1800s haba!! Some returnees born as children in Brazil only died around the 1950s!!

    2. @Queeneth, in addition, pls read the following links and learn more about brazilian returnees in West Africa, Lagos included

      Tabom ppl in Ghana.

      Brazilian returnees in Lagos, the Agudahs

      I can post links and books and scholarly articles for days! Go and read about the Chachas in Togo and the other Brazilian returnees!!

      Let's educate ourselves folks! How can we claim to be Nigerians or Lagosians and not even know our history!!!!!

    3. Uju. Twale@

  8. Hello Stella, my maternal grandma is of the Braxillian Quarters descent and I'm really proud of their culture. My great grandma taught us the language, which we use in communicating when a don't want outsiders to hear our conversation. My mum's driver even understands, I have also taught my friends. I really pray I would be able to reach my own children + how to make frejourn & fanty carnival.
    My grandma's family has names like Smith, Sedu, Johnson, Adin, Oshodi, Dacosta, Domingo, Decampos and co.


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