Selfie: Everyday agency in everyday people in colonial Lagos


African Humanities Program Postdoctoral Fellowships


History and International Studies


This study engages the trends in self-apprehension, self-affirmation and self-efficacy of everyday people in colonial Lagos. It examines this three-in-one phenomenon within the contexts of poverty, social integration and social mobility which intersected their identity as members of colonial society. This study’s objective is drawn from the textuality of petitions written by everyday people in colonial Lagos. The petitions serve as entry into the efforts at understanding the self by these people as well as their participation in the socio-economic dynamics that confronted their identity as colonial subjects. In essence, this study interrogates the understanding and translation of the self from its cognitive and affirmative stage into efficacy among everyday people – referencing the dynamics of poverty, identity and social integration within the colonial dispensation.