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Jaja of Opobo



Jaja Jubogha (more famously known as "Jaja of Opobo") was an Igbo man who was born in Amaigbo in modern-day Imo state in the year 1821. He was sold into slavery at a young age and ended up among the Ijaw people of modern-day Rivers state, amongst whom he purchased his freedom and began trading palm-oil. Blessed with a business acumen, he founded the town of Opobo (which still exists today) and eventually became one of the wealthiest palm-oil merchants in West Africa, even exporting palm-oil directly to Great Britain. The British, seeking to crush his resistance to their authority, invaded Opobo, captured Jaja, imprisoned him and sent him to Great Britain, where he eventually met the Queen. In 1891 Jaja suddenly died en-route to Africa, while returning from exile in Barbados. Despite his death, Jaja lives on as a symbol of African resistance to European colonization and oppression.


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