Do you know that the first television station in Africa was established in Nigeria?

Picture of WNTN , Picture source e-flux

WNTV{Western Nigeria Television} Was the first television service station launched in Nigeria and Africa in the year 1959 at Ibadan the capital city of Oyo state. It was established by late Chief ObafemiAwolowo.

The station played a significant role in beaming taped Yoruba traveling theatre productions to households. Around 1975, the Federal Government of Nigeria established Nigerian Television Authority network service and acquired all T.V. stations in Nigeria to form the network. WNTS then became NTA Ibadan.

WNTS was created as a partnership between the Western regional government and a foreign firm. It was designed to be an educational tool for the masses and also a medium to beam local culture, foreign news and aims of the government to the homes of people in the region. Establishment of the station was enhanced by the a constitutional change which removed broadcasting from an exclusive item to a concurrent item and political resolution of the regional premier, Obafemi Awolowo and the regional minister of Information, Anthony Enahoro. WNTV was a partnership between Overseas Rediffusion and the Western regional government.

The first television broadcast was on 31, October year 1959. Around 1962, the government parted ways with its foreign partner, WNTV solely came under the control of the regional government. The change in ownership structure from a mixture of social and commercial interest to solely social and political interest made WNTV an organ of government information and tool of the party in power. News programs such as WNTV News, Highlight were the ratings powerhouse of the station. Between the year 1959 to year 1964, imported dramas dominated programming and reruns of children shows such as Adventures of Robin Hood, Cisco Kid, Hop Along Cassidy were popular among children.

Picture source Nigerianfinder

Around 1962, the station increased audience through outreach programs in rural areas and schools starting with Omi-Adio Lalupon TV viewing project where tv sets powered by generators where purchased for joint viewing at rural community centers. The station had two educative programs that were well received News and You, a current affairs discussion program produced by Christopher Kolade and the Ministry of Education and Careers, a show that featured people in their various occupations. During this period there was little measurable statistics but the station played a pivotal role of promoting Yoruba traveling theatre. It taped and beamedDuro Ladipo‘s play including Ọba kò so for television viewing and a popular series Bode Waasimi. In the 1970s, it broadcast popular shows like Alawada by the Alawada Group that included Moses Olaiya also known as Baba Sala. In 1976, Kootu Asipa by Duro Ladipo was a popular drama.

Reference Wikipedia

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