The Oba of Benin Ovonramwen in 1897. Exiled to Calabar in south-eastern Nigeria, after a British court acquitted him of the killings of seven british emissaries that sparked retaiiatry british attacks. But by the time the monarchy was restored in 1914, the independent kingdom of Benin no longer existed - it had become part of Nigeria, which was then a British colony.
Taofick Okoya was dismayed when he could not find a black doll for his niece. The 43yo spotted a gap in the market and, with little competition from foreign firms such as the maker of Barbie, he set up his own business. The dolls represent Nigeria’s three largest Ethnic Groups; Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba so far. 7 years on, Okoya sells between 6,000 and 9,000 of his Queens of Africa and Naija Princesses a month.
Evening Dress, Norman Hartnell: 1956, silk, heavily-looped metallic embroidery. Worn [by HRH Queen Elizabeth II] for a visit to the House of Representatives in Lagos during the Royal Tour of Nigeria, February 1956.