Film: 5642

Places + Locations | 1950 | Sound | Colour

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Synopsis:

"The North Rejoices". The Northern House of Assembly Building with members sitting for a photograph on 16th February 1959 on ratification of self-government for Nigeria.

Assembly dressed in traditional Nigerian attire. Nigerian premier, The Sudana arrives in a black American coupe, ahead of official cavalcade. Nigerian soldiers stand on guard and offer salute. The premier steps from the car wearing a turban and enters the House of Assembly.
The Nigerian Guard stands at attention. His Excellency The Governor Sir Gavin Bell arrives with aides in full uniform. He receives a salute and stands to attention as the British flag is unfurled. He inspects the guard, The Queen's Own Nigeria Regiment (Excellent extended footage of this).
Montage of moutons, rivers, a river post, a bridge. A man scales a gigantic palm tree and cuts loose coconuts. Women work in a village. A man collects berries in a wooden bowl. Four men work a saw and a huge tree falls.
The Waterfalls of Abuja.
Fisherman casts nets from hollowed out canoes. Women decorate wooden bowls with hot irons that burn markings. They wear colourful dresses, hats or scarves and abundant jewellery. Girls from Midogri (?) provincial school perform a dance. Others play instruments.
Cattle drink from troughs, a herdsman in attendance. Traditional baked mud single storey dwelling.
Fisherman on Lake Chad, punting a flat, raft-like boat made from tightly-bound reeds.
Luga Fall (?) 14th March 1959. Meeting formalising transfer of power to Nigerian federation. A fireworks display, including a portrait in light of the Sudana.
Crowds outside the House of Assembly.
15th March 1959. Arrival of Sudana and Gavin Bell. They greet one another and shake hands.
Addressing the crowd from the balcony announcing self-government for the North of 15th April 1959. - excellent footage. Dignitaries seated beneath the shade of a tree listen - mostly white, some in uniform, one in woolsack (good use of zoom) The speech apparently in its entirety. The dignitaries applaud. A second group also seated, mainly black, also claps. The premier's reply. A photographer can be seen trying to get a picture. View from behind premier of a tree-lined avenue and the crowds. The premier shakes hands with dignitaries. Premier in Sokatu, inspecting local authority police. Police march past on hard baked earth. A tent shields dignitaries from the sun. Police uniform colourful, topped with a fez. Slow and fast march. Extravagantly dressed man on a horse sounds the bugle - the start of the Durba (Derva?)end of Ramadan. Brilliant display, a surging crowd, some mounted, dancing and playing instruments; drums; long pipes and an abundance of colour. One man sheltered from the sun by an umbrella held by an attendant. All in all, a brilliant spectacle well filmed. Galloping horses.
The racecourse at Kadu (?) The old stand blown up and bulldozed. Men hewing trees with beautiful handmade axes. Tree trunks packed on to the back of a lorry. Workers assemble light, steel-framed hangars or 'tents' on an area of totally bare parched land. men dig foundation trenches.
The Sultan of Sokatu on horseback with followers. A great crowd gathers, mainly seated beneath the shade of trees. The Sultan leads a prayer then meets British officials and their wives, also sit on rather incongruous chairs.
The Sultan's procession marking the end of the Islamic festival of Ramadan. A vast crowd passes down a street flanked by dun coloured mud houses. There is an intensity of colour. Above the Sultan throughout, a parasol whirls.
The Sultan reads a message from the balcony of his white and green palace.
Poster "Federal Elections 1959 Registration Office, You cannot vote unless you register now".
Registration forms handed out to a small crowd. A man at a desk outside checks the forms and registers the voters. Stamps a man's card.
The Governor and Finance Minister seated in the shade to watch a celebration at Bida (?). Music, horses, parasols, a colourful musical pageant.
The Emir of Bida (Blida?) More local colour.
Hai (?)
The "Turbaning" ceremony of a second-class chief. The Governor gives an address. The turban is placed on a man seated on a deck chair beneath a parasol on open ground. The "Turban" is an endless length of wide cloth that buries the man's head. On all sides, beneath simple matting shelters, important men look on. The new chief, in resplendent cloak, mounts the dais to speak. A man sitting on another man's shoulders plays a drum. The governor's wife takes a photograph. A man performs a form of Break dance. The new stand at Kaduna racecourse under construction. Horses from Nguna beginning their journey to Kaduna. Another contingent of horses waits by a railway. Horses walk up a gang plank into a railway carriage. Men sewing embroidery on to clothing. Men and women load a truck with possessions.
Wooden scaffolding at Kaduna. Men carrying loads on their heads. Workers tramping down concrete laying breeze blocks and checking verticals with a spirit level. men carrying cement bags on their heads. Acres of steel-framed huts with corrugated iron roofs. A procession of horses on metalled road. Cars pan.
Huge open-air market. A Coca-Cola sign can clearly be seen.
A man balanced one of the tubular horns on his head - about four feet long, another on his elbow. Calabash players on large, shaking drums.
Several quite outstanding cavorting dancers.
Men 'taming' hyenas. A man swallows a snake, another a scorpion.. Dozens of snakes, hyenas etc., in a great crowd. A white man can be seen filming the scenes. More dancers and musicians. Women dancers from Borav, with facial scarification, scars. Women with rings in their ears and noses - body piercing.
The crowd moves around the arrival of their chief. More dancers.
Arrival of the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester on a BOAC aircraft. They are introduced to high-ranking Nigerians by the Governor.
The Emir's bodyguard mounted, beautifully adorned. The royal couple arrive in a Bentley. They attend a lesson in a school. A multitude of tribesmen.
Aerial view of the Devva Camp - a small town in itself. Royal Aircraft lands Devva Camp; an air traffic controller directs the taxi-ing plane. Photographers await. Guard of honour. Inspection of the men. Red carpet ceremony. Handshakes in number. Procession in open-topped cars, English and American and camera crew. Road lined with tribesmen, musicians, dancers etc. Opening ceremony, ribbon cutting, of exhibition representing Nigeria; pottery demonstration, a boat, a fishery and a bicycle.


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