Post Image
  Today is Nigeria’s Independence Day. Africa’s most populous nation is 63 years old and the journey so far has been full of highs and lows. Yet Nigeria remains one of the most exciting nations on earth. Nigeria’s rich and complex history spans centuries, encompassing pre-colonial kingdoms, colonialism, independence, and the post-independence era. To gain a comprehensive understanding of this diverse nation, one must delve into a variety of sources. Books offer an excellent way to explore Nigeria’s history, from its ancient civilizations to its modern challenges. Here are the top 10 books that provide valuable insights into Nigeria’s past and present.
Read more about Books
  1. Things Fall Apart” by Chinua Achebe

Review: Achebe’s masterpiece is a must-read for anyone interested in Nigeria. Set in the late 19th century, it tells the story of Okonkwo, a respected Igbo leader, and his people’s encounters with British colonialism. Achebe’s powerful storytelling provides a glimpse into pre-colonial Igbo society and the disruptions caused by colonization.
  1. Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Review: This novel explores Nigeria’s history through the eyes of its characters during the Biafran War (1967-1970). Adichie skillfully weaves together personal narratives with historical events, offering a moving and insightful perspective on a pivotal moment in Nigeria’s past.
  1. There Was A Country: A Personal History of Biafra by Chinua Achebe

Review: In this autobiographical work, Achebe reflects on his experiences during the Biafran War. He provides a deeply personal account of the conflict, shedding light on the human toll and the political complexities that shaped this chapter in Nigeria’s history.
  1. The History of Nigeria by Toyin Falola and Matthew M. Heaton

Review: This comprehensive textbook offers an in-depth exploration of Nigeria’s history from pre-colonial times to the present day. It provides a valuable academic perspective, making it an essential resource for those seeking a thorough understanding of the nation’s past.
  1. Oil, Politics, and Violence: Nigeria’s Military Coup Culture (1966-1976) by Max Siollun

Review: Siollun’s book delves into a tumultuous period in Nigeria’s history, exploring the military coups and political upheavals that shaped the nation in the late 20th century. It provides valuable insights into the interplay of power, oil wealth, and violence.
Sign up for the Connect Nigeria daily newsletter
  1. Nigeria: A New History of a Turbulent Century by Richard Bourne

Review: Bourne’s book offers a comprehensive overview of Nigeria’s history in the 20th and 21st centuries. It delves into the complexities of post-independence politics, economic challenges, and social issues, providing a nuanced perspective on the nation’s development.
  1. My Nigeria: Five Decades of Independence by Peter Cunliffe-Jones

Review: Through a collection of essays and personal stories, Cunliffe-Jones examines Nigeria’s post-independence journey. He addresses key issues such as corruption, governance, and democracy, offering a thought-provoking analysis of the nation’s contemporary challenges.
  1. Dancing in the Glory of Monsters: The Collapse of the Congo and the Great War of Africa by Jason K. Stearns

Review: While not solely focused on Nigeria, this book provides valuable insights into the complex regional dynamics of Central Africa, including Nigeria’s involvement in conflicts in neighbouring countries. It offers a broader perspective on Nigeria’s role in the African context.
  1. The Shadow of the Sun: My African Life by Ryszard Kapuściński

Review: Kapuściński’s memoir offers a unique perspective on Nigeria and other African nations. While not exclusively about Nigeria, it provides a foreign correspondent’s view of the continent’s post-colonial challenges and transitions.
  1. Nigeria: A History by Dominic Offiong

Review: Offiong’s book is a concise yet informative account of Nigeria’s history. It covers key events and developments, making it a suitable choice for readers looking for a brief but insightful overview.


These 10 books offer a diverse range of perspectives on Nigeria’s history, from literary classics to academic texts and personal narratives. Whether you are interested in the pre-colonial past, the struggles for independence, or contemporary challenges, these books provide valuable insights into the complex tapestry of Nigeria’s history. Reading them is an enriching journey that deepens one’s understanding of this vibrant and dynamic nation. Featured Image Source: Medium
Got a suggestion? Contact us:

You might also like:
This article was first published on 1st October 2023 and updated on October 2nd, 2023 at 12:04 pm


Nnaemeka is an academic scholar with a degree in History and International Studies from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He is also a creative writer, content creator, storyteller, and social analyst.

Comments (0)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *