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Nigerians Start the Year 2023 with a Colourful Carnival

Dubbed Fanti or Caretta Carnival, the event is an annual tradition in Lagos that is usually held on the first day of the year. “Every January 1, we like to gather here to celebrate this Fanti Carnival, it’s like this every year. We come to party, have fun, mingle with people, this carnival is ours,” said Olarewaju Adenike, a Lagos resident. The Fanti Carnival is the biggest in West Africa. Its origins date back to the colonial period, when former Brazilian slaves returned to Lagos in the 19th century. “The Brazilian neighbourhoods in this area, they call it ‘Coker Aguda’, they are very dependent on people from Brazil and Cubans. In Brazil, there is the Rio Carnival,” says Emmanuel Adeniji, a resident of Lagos. The costumes, music and dance depict an eclectic mix of the city’s Brazilian and Cuban heritage.