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No, not photograph of ‘first time music was heard in Nigeria’

A meme shared on a Facebook page called Ernestly-speaking claims to show a photo of the “1st-time music was heard in Nigeria”.

The black and white photo, which has been shared thousands of times in Nigeria, shows a group of people standing around and looking at a speaker, as though they are listening to something being broadcast from it. Text over the photo says it was taken in the Nigerian city of Lagos in 1895.

A quick Google search of the phrase “First-time music was heard in Nigeria” returns links to several blogs and Facebook posts featuring the same image. 

But was the photograph really taken in Lagos in 1895?

Image from Congo in 1952

A reverse image search of the photograph shows that it is from a collection of photographs taken by the British ethnomusicologist Hugh Tracey in then-Belgian Congo in 1952.

This particular image shows a group of Batwa people listening to their own traditional music, as recorded by Tracey. It does not show Nigerians listening to music for the first time in Nigeria. – Africa Check 


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