Who Was The First Person To Drive A Car In Nigeria?

Avatar Catherine Aigbe | October 5, 2020 2438 Views 1 Like 4.25 On 8 Ratings

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For car lovers or people in general, we might sometimes ask ourselves “who was the first person to drive a car in Nigeria?”

Some say it was a woman known as Olufunmilayo Ransome-Kuti. Who was an activist for women’s rights, a traditional aristocrat and was also a teacher?

Olufunmilayo Ransome Kuti

While others would dispute the answer and say, it was a man called Sir Herbert Macaulay. A politician, surveyor, engineer, architect, journalist, and musician.

 Sir Herbert Macaulay
Sir Herbert Macaulay

The fact is, during those times, history wasn’t fully recorded but base on popular sources. The first person to drive a car was Thomas Jones and he was not even a Nigerian.

Olufunmilayo Ransome-Kuti was the first Nigerian to drive a car here in Nigeria while Herbert Macaulay was the first person to own a car in Nigeria.
As you can see, people’s answers aren’t entirely incorrect. Thomas Jones knew famously as Tom Jones was a wealthy Lagosian and philanthropist

The type of car he drove and the very date he drove it was not stated due to the lack of information around that period of time but it is best believed to be around the year 1913 to be slightly precise.

Tom Jones was well known that he was named after a street in Lagos island and in the year 1931, he donated Lagos state’s first public library to the government.

The library was later renamed after him, now called “Tom Jones Memorial Hall and Library”.

Tom Jones Memorial Hall and Library in Lagos Island
Tom Jones Memorial Hall and Library, Lagos Island

We’ve come a long way from then. Now there are over a million cars in Lagos alone today.

Also, check out these cars made in Africa.


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Written by Catherine Aigbe