Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name



Pan-African Studies

Degree Program

Pan-African Studies, MA

Committee Chair

Rajack-Talley, Theresa

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Fleming, Tyler

Committee Member

Lo, Mawuena


The independence era in Nigeria, ushered in after 1960 and ending in 1966 with the fall of the civilian-elected government in a military coup, was a pivotal juncture in the construction and imagining of the nation and the citizen. Ideas of what a citizen should act like, dress like, and what mindsets were proper to hold were discussed frequently in the media. One critically important media outlet during the independence era was the West African Pilot. The Pilot is generally considered an influential nationalist publication during and prior to this era. This thesis explores how Nigeria was imagined through the Pilot. It focuses on the complexities of citizenship which were discussed through the paper’s articles, columns, and advertisements, with due attention to the products the advertisements attempted to sell. My argument contests the homogeneous notion claiming that the Pilot only contributed to the hardening of ethnic identities and allegiances leading into the civil war in 1967. Instead, the articles, columns, and advertisements in the Pilot suggest multiple vi Imaginings of citizenship not solely based on ethnicity, but also gender and consumerism.