Nigeria Monarchs

George Osodi’s series of portraits of Nigerian monarchs is set to be exhibited at The Bermondsey Project in London in October

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HRM Obi James Anyasi II (JP) The Obi of Idumuje-Unor (2012)

George Osodi’s series of portraits of Nigerian monarchs is set to be exhibited at The Bermondsey Project in London in October…

Osodi, a Nigerian photojournalist based in Lagos who is represented by Z Photographic, has been meeting with many of the country’s tribal kings in order to document this continuing pre-colonial tradition.

His Highness Alhaji Abdulmumini Kabir Usman The Emir of Katsina (2012)

Subtitled The Custodians of Peace and Culture, the series features figures who, since 1963, when the monarchy system was abolished, have held no constitutional rule yet have remained a part of the country’s political landscape.

HRM Benjamin Ikenchuku Keagborekuzi the First (Keagborekuzi 1). The Dein of Agbor Kingdom (2012)

HRM Oba Jimoh Oyetunji Olanipekun Larooyell, Ataoja of Osogboland (2012)

Nigeria Monarchs opens on October 11 at The Bermondsey Project, 46 Willow Walk, London SE1 5SF and runs until November 3. George Osodi’s website is He is represented by Z Photographic.

HRM Oharisi III – Ovie of Ughelli (2012)

HRM Pere Donokoromo II (JP) The Pere of Isaba Kingdom (2012)

  • Ted

    If you give them just £200 they’ll make sure the millions that are owed to you are transferred to your bank account…

  • Kevin

    @Ted. What an insightful, completely non-racist, comment. Your stereotypical views are always welcome here, especially when they contain no comment on the creative aspects of the work.

  • Maria Paschalidou

    @Kevin haha. true. Some people just can’t help it.

  • Aurelien Dallaserra

    @Kevin @Ted I have to admit, I was quite entertained by those two comments – if only for the fact that they add to the photographs. I won’t lie, I had both of thoughts in reviewing the work!

  • Vanessa

    Like all monarchy, Men have the power.

  • Shocked

    You mean the Queen is a man! How have they got away with it for so long?

  • James Barnor

    Before the Whitemen came, we already, and still have it Africa.
    Now it is time we Show it to the World, in our own way.
    These must inspire us to be proud of what we have, and show it.

  • Prince Peter of the Agungun Royal Household , Ekiti

    The issue with the Monarchy in Nigeria, from my point of view, is that when Britain scaled back their Empire and sped up Independence across Africa, they did so in a manner that while supporting many monarch’s in their Western Education to take over the District, Residents and Governor Generals, the new educated elite realized that the traditional power structure within Nigerian ( in particular Yoruba) could and would be undermined in order to advance a new power elite, that of the Educated classes.

    These classes often painted the Traditional Leaders as collaborators of the Colonialists especially since Britain governed principally through “Indirect Rule”. However since the numerous Dictators under the Independent Nigeria meant an almost collapse of the functioning of the Centralist state many of the mini Kingdoms naturally filled the power vacuums. kings and Monarchy still play an important part in Nigeria and they are still very much respected , but increasingly undermined by the State, who took over from the White Governors, The State could never achieve that level of distance that a foreign colonial power could.

    Finally, one of the reasons why their are so many Nigerian Princes and Princesses are (in Yoruba) Polygamy still has a small part to play, so many families have numerous off spring all entitled to be called Prince and Princesses. Many drops their titles when moving to the Larger cities as Work is hard to find.