Nigeria’s first newspaper, Iwe-Irohin, back after 140 years

This might not mean much to most people. But for those who studied Mass Communication or any media-related course in Nigeria, I’m sure this would make sense. I remember the first time we delved into the ‘History of the Nigerian Mass Media,’ we were told that the first newspaper in Nigeria was ‘Iwe Irohin fun ara Egba ati Yoruba.’ The newspaper was founded in 1859 by Henry Townsend in Abeokuta, Ogun state. It was published bi-weekly in Yoruba and English language and ran for about 8 years before its demise in 1867.

The Nigerian Union of Journalists have decided to bring back ‘Iwe Irohin’ and launched the first edition last week after over 140 years since the last edition of the newspaper was published. As much as I welcome the idea of bringing the newspaper back (maybe in honor of the origins of Nigerian newspapers), I am led to ask what the future holds and if it is indeed ‘marketable’ in a world where everyone’s moving fast from prints to online media.

What are your thoughts?

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16 Responses to "Nigeria’s first newspaper, Iwe-Irohin, back after 140 years"

  1. RUNSEWE LATIFAT AYOMIDE (CALEB UNIVERSITY IMOTA,LAGOS) says:

    The first newspaper in Nigeria which was Iwe Irohin which promote the people illiteracy,it will be very educating if iwe irohin is been launched back to Nigeria.

    Reply
  2. OJO MODUPE (CALEB UNIVERSITY IMOTA,LAGOS) says:

    The return of Iwe Irohin will promote our culture and independence and even educate the young generation on events that occurred in the past.

    Reply
  3. SEDI PEACE OLUWAYOMI (CALEB UNIVERSITY IMOTA,LAGOS) says:

    Iwe irohin for egba and yorubas will be highly welcome and be appreciated by the people most especially the yorubas because it not just an ordinary newspaper but also draw people to the things they dont know and need to know which enlighten them.

    Reply
    • Iroko Senami (Caleb university) says:

      Although, iwe irohin was the first newspaer in Nigeria, and it was established primarily to increase the level of literacy and it was also the first newspaper to be published in any indigenous language, bringing it back might not really work. if it is being brought back, it will promte our culture and it will also educate people. but, newspapers are not even selling well this days. Reason is because one can do virtually everything online. Most of these things are already online. So, it might not really work out as it should, most especially in the aspect of “marketing”.

      Reply
  4. IDOWU IFEDOYIN COMFORT (MASS COMMUNICATION ) says:

    The people of Egba and Yoruba land as a whole should be happy for the return of our community newspaper which is also the first in the country. Rev Henry Townsend has helped in all his power to make yoruba people communicate among themselves through the paper Iwe Irohin. In another view it is a community newspaper because it talks more about Egba community and other Yoruba community. Apart from this newspaper there should be other newspaper in each community for people in that community to know more about the community because not everyone can operate the internet especially the aged, but they can read, also the newspapers can be in different languages for easy communication.

    IDOWU IFEDOYIN COMFORT (MASS COMMUNICATION )
    CALEB UNIVERSITY IMOTA LAGOS STATE

    Reply
  5. Ogbeisi precious oluwatosin says:

    This is a great step for the first Nigerian Newspaper (IWE IROHIN). This shows that
    they are ready and willing to do better with great improvement on their side.
    I also commend the journalists to upholding the past for the purpose of consolidating the present.

    OGBEIDI PRECIOUS OLUWATOSIN,
    200L MASS COMMUNICATION,
    CALEB UNIVESITY IMOTA, LAGOS STATE

    Reply
  6. Ogbeisi precious oluwatosin says:

    This is a great step for the first Nigerian Newspaper (IWE IROHIN). This shows that
    they are ready and willing to do better with great improvement on their side.
    I also commend the journalists to upholding the past for the purpose of consolidating the present.
    OGBEIDI PRECIOUS OLUWATOSIN,
    200L MASS COMMUNICATION,
    CALEB UNIVESITY IMOTA, LAGOS STATE

    Reply
  7. Ogbeisi precious oluwatosin says:

    This is a great step for the first Nigerian Newspaper (IWE IROHIN). This shows that
    they are ready and willing to do better with great improvement on their side.
    I also commend the journalists to upholding the past for the purpose of consolidating the present.
    OGBEIDI PRECIOUS OLUWATOSIN,
    200L MASS COMMUNICATION,
    CALEB UNIVESITY IMOTA, LAGOS STATE.

    Reply
  8. Effanga Elouise Charles says:

    The decision to bring back Nigeria’s first newspaper is noting but a wonderful idea, because it brings back past events of the origin of Nigerian newspaper. It will also educate our youth on remarkable memory it has left not only to the Yoruba but to other tribes in Nigeria.
    EFFANGA ELOUISE CHARLES
    200L
    MASS COMMUNICATION DEPARTMENT ,
    CALEB UNIVERSITY, LAGOS

    Reply
  9. AGAGU FISAYO says:

    It is a wonderful idea to bring back Nigeria’s first newspaper and also to remember Henry Townsend it is also a historical event to the Nigerian mass media because it brought about the evolution of the printing press. IWE IROHIN was the generation for educating the press and the general public on how to read and write.
    FISAYO AGAGU
    MASS COMMUNICATION DEPARTMENT
    CALEB UNIVERSITY, LAGOS

    Reply
  10. Foster Igbinisa JR. says:

    Iwe Irohin is undoubtedly a pioneer in what we refer to as ‘Nigerian Newspaper’. Iwe Irohin championed ‘Missionary Journalism’ in Nigeria and was the first ever paper to be published in African language despite its founder being a white man. It even accomplished more when it became bilingual in 1866 (Yoruba & English). Although the paper lasted only eight years (the paper came into an abrupt end in 1867), the paper is remembered to have fought against slave trade, fought for democracy and was responsible for teaching 3,000 people in the Egba community to read and write.
    Foster Igbinosa Jr (Mass Communication, 200 level, Caleb University).

    Reply
  11. Anonymous says:

    I definitely support this! Iwe Irohin is undoubtedly a pioneer in what we refer to as ‘Nigerian Newspaper’. Iwe Irohin championed ‘Missionary Journalism’ in Nigeria and was the first ever paper to be published in African language despite its founder being a white man. It even accomplished more when it became bilingual in 1866 (Yoruba & English). Although the paper lasted only eight years (the paper came into an abrupt end in 1867), the paper is remembered to have fought against slave trade, fought for democracy and was responsible for teaching 3,000 people in the Egba community to read and write.
    Foster Igbinosa Jr (Mass Communication, 200 level, Caleb University).

    Reply

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