Blood of the Kingdoms-Prologue
Eastern Nigeria 1652. The Kingdom of Nri (Heyday of the Nri hegemony)
This was where she belonged. Amongst the markets and people haggling how many cowrie shells were needed to purchase various amounts of meat. Walking past a shopkeeper, the bangles on her arms clinking together as she walked the streets Igbo smiled and waved to her citizens. The dust in the air did not disturb her proud expression as she saw tourists and learned men come. Her large headress, ballooned of air, and wrapped around her head many times did not sway in the harmattan breeze. Her robes caught the sand on the pavements but she did not notice for she was pleased with herself. The muslim countries had likened her capital and her kingdom to Mecca and the Oyibo countries (white-people countries) had likened her city to Rome. It may not have the gleaming towers or spires for that was not the way her people designed their buildings, why go for height when you can go for length. Her ports were large and willing to trade and you never saw a gun or a sword, why would she need to. She barely fought wars, she bought her enemies. She schemed, she plotted and used her silver tongue to make the other kingdoms economically dependent on her. They would never dare attack her for they would lose all their money and no kingdom can last without money.
Though she hated it when people called her old, for she remembered when she was little in the 900s but she flourished she was strong. She was Igbo, the center of the African world, friend to the other Kingdoms, even to Mandinka, weakened from the loss of his once great empire in 1600 and Yoruba, touting his Oyo Kingdom whilst Hausa and Fulani agreed not to make their usual trouble. Life was great and the Oyibo brought great things with their ships. Walking to the docks she found herself standing with the current ruler, Eze Nri Agu. And to her surprise 'Hausa the younger' himself was there. Once again dressed like the Sultans he was so fond of.
Coming close to the old man she noticed him staring at a flag she had never seen before. The ship was clearly European, but she did not spy the Portuguese flag flying over the top of the mast. Clearly this was someone new. Out of the ship came out Yoruba himself, dressed in the manner that the Europeans garbed themselves strangely. His clothes did not go well with the slashes that marred his cheeks many centuries ago.
The man at the top of the ship looked odd for his hair was golden and was sitting down on a chair, dressed in petticoats and a hat with feathers atop it. His years looked as if they had seen things over centuries. This man was clearly a country ancient, older than her. As Yoruba finished his final step on the platform with his strange yellow-haired companion Igbo turned to him.
"Yoruba who have you brought to us. I was not aware that other Oyibos than Portugal would come up the river. Who is this country?" she barked, shaking the bangles in her arms whilst Hausa looked on in curiosity, wearing the robes of a Sultan.
"He comes from above Portugal. I met him in 1553 and we have been trading ever since but he wished to know more about the other kingdoms that were around beside me. Since you Igbo have no quarrel with anyone I thought it best to show him to you and I know that whilst Hausa is in your land he will behave." Yoruba said with a mischievous grin
Hausa bristled, his right hand resting on the scimitar given to him by Egypt sheathed at his hip. The Yellow-haired man whispered something in Yoruba's ear, prompting him to cough with embarrassment.
"Very well." Yoruba muttered before increasing the volume of his voice, "His name...is England and he is part of an Empire that covers many countries known as the British Empire. He says he wishes to open trade negotiations with us.
Lagos, Nigeria 1911
Broken, they three had been broken. Igbo felt helpless as she signed the document, noting the English sloops with their cannons off the coast of the river. The current Eze Nri, Obalike was crying as he signed his part. Her proud religion, her shining capital city that had stood for nearly a millennium was in ruins. Near her Hausa the Younger waved goodbye to his older brother who was being dragged off by France. Yoruba bowed his head and signed his part of the document and once all three had signed, with the lesser kingdoms like Fulani in small print England smiled as he rolled up the document.
"Looks, like everything is in order." He said, "That was 865,000 pounds well spent I say. I should thank Sir Goldie for this investment." Hmm should take a few years to set everything up properly but I assure you, the three, or rather four if you wish to include Fulani will be able to set your differences aside and live well together. Don't look so down all of you, the borders shall be drawn."
As England said that he glanced at Prussia and Germany scoffing at him whilst France disappeared. Germany and Prussia made him feel very uneasy, he did not like having to secretly make an alliance with France but what could he do. He certainly could not let the likes of them have all this rich territory. How smart he felt, convincing France to take the Saharan area and call it Niger, but he would have a better name for this new land of his. He would show his might, that he could take as many African Kingdoms as France could. What to name it, with an idea in his head he whirled around looking at Igbo, Hausa and Yoruba.
"From this day onward, you three live together in a new country, it shall be called...NIGERIA."