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Iwe Irohin fun awon ara Egba(newspaper for Egba speaking people) was the first newspaper in Nigeria and also the first indigenous language newspaper in Africa established on December 3, 1859, by a Presbyterian Missionary in Nigeria known as Reverend Henry Townsend. It was published bi-weekly in Yoruba and English language and the protection ran for about eight years (1859-1867). A single edition has about 8 pages in total and was sold for 120 cowries.

1860 Copy of Iwe Irohin

The main contents of the paper were marriage announcements, Church news, post office notices, advertisements from local firms and the government, trade reports and cotton statistics. Iwe Irohin had a remarkable impact on the local administration of the Independent Egba country and encouraged people to read. He stated, “My objective is to get the people to read and beget the habit of seeking information”. The newspaper did develop the reading habit of the people as they were always anticipating the next edition of the newspaper.

Despite the fact that Iwe Irohin was widely accepted and read by the Egba people, it collapsed in 1867 following a cultural and political clash that occurred between the Egbas and the British which resulted in the expulsion of all Europeans in Egbaland (this clash is referred to as the Ifole (housebreaking) riot of 1867 and as a result the printing press was razed in 1867.



  1. http://nigerianwiki.com/Iwe_Irohin
  2. https://nigerianfacts.com/which-is-the-first-newspaper-in-nigeria/
  3. https://www.pulse.ng/news/local/history-of-nigerian-newspaper-a-brief-walk-into-the-origin-of-local-print-media/d7yqm4d
  4. https://oldnaija.com/2016/03/30/iwe-irohin-the-first-newspaper-in-nigeria/