Stephen Keshi: 5 times Google celebrated Nigeria and Nigerians with doodles
In the past, the tech giant has eulogized the legacy of iconic Nigerians and celebrated moments in the country’s history with its doodles.
On his 56th posthumous birthday, Google celebrated the late great Nigerian footballer and manager, Stephen Okechukwu Keshi, with a doodle on its homepage.
The move was well appreciated from around the footballing world, as well as in Nigeria, where many believe that the Big Boss and his legacy have not been done justice in the years leading to and after his death.
This is not the first time a Nigerian is making it to Google’s Doodle. In the past, the tech giant has eulogized the legacy of iconic Nigerians and celebrated moments in the country’s history with its doodles.
Here are five Google doodles created about Nigeria and Nigerians:
(1) Chinua Achebe’s 87th Birthday on November 16, 2017:
Chinua Achebe is remembered as one of Africa’s greatest writers of all time.
The sage touched on social issues, matters of race, culture and identity in an extensive catalogue that includes classics like “A Man of the People”, “Things Fall Apart” and “Anthills of the Savannah”.
On what would have been his 87th birthday, Google celebrated the late great with a doodle on its homepage.
The doodle depicted Achebe at his most familiar; studious and pensive with a depiction of African artefacts referencing his work.
(2) Olaudah Equiano’s 272nd Birthday on October 16, 2017:
On October 16, 2017, Google’s doodle celebrated what would have been the 272nd birthday of Olaudah Equiano, a former slave who gained freedom and became an abolitionist in the United Kingdom.
It was while he was a member of the Royal Navy, yet a slave, that he learned to read and write, which eventually led to the publishing of his 1789 work, “The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African“.
The book details his experiences from being captured in Eboe in Nigeria and buying his freedom on a merchant ship in England.
The Google Doodle depicted Equiano writing his famed memoir against the backdrop of two merchant ships atop murky waters.
(3) Flora Nwapa’s 86th Birthday on January 13, 2017:
Flora Nwapa was a Nigerian author who has been referred to as the mother of African literature.
Born in Oguta, Mrs Nwapa has the distinction of being the first Nigerian woman to have a book published in English in Britain.
Her book, Efuru was published by Heinemann in 1962. She is also remembered for her role in the reconstruction of a battered Eastern Nigeria after the Nigerian Civil War.
On what would have been her 86th birthday, Google eulogized her with a doodle that saw her placing books in a field of wheat.
While the doodle was criticised for its stereotypical imagery, it was said to have reflected her role in spreading literacy at the time.
(4) Nigeria’s Independence Day on October 1, 2016:
2016 was not the first time Google would celebrate Nigeria’s independence.
The tech giant also did so in 2015 with a doodle that carried the image of an Eagle gliding over the Google letters stylised in green.
The 2016 variant was all the more special because it depicted Nigerians at their most industrialist and versatile.
The doodle showed cartoon representations of Nigerians carrying banners of sorts that represented agriculture, movies, music, engineering, science and literacy.
(5) Nigeria’s General Elections on March 28, 2015:
Nigerians went to the polls in March 2015 with great hopes and expectations.
Google took notice of this and showed solidarity with Nigerians with a doodle on its homepage on the day of the Presidential elections.
The Doodle featured a ballot box painted in the traditional colours of the Nigerian flag. The booth spun amidst the Letters of Google stylised to fit the shape of the ballot box.