Velekete Slave Market: The Marketplace Where African Chiefs Sold Enslaved People to European Slave Traders

The Velekete Slave Market was established in Badagry, Nigeria in 1502 and named after the Velekete deity, the goddess of the ocean and wind. The market which served as a business point between African middlemen and European slave merchants, facilitated the forced migration of thousands of Africans to the Americas, where they were subjected to generations of enslavement and exploitation.

Velekete Slave Market: The Business Point Where African Chiefs Sold Enslaved People to European Slave Traders

The Velekete Slave Market was one of the busiest slave markets in Badagry, which was a major slave port on the west coast of Africa. The slave trade began in Badagry in the 15th century when the Portuguese established a trading post. The Dutch, British, and other European nations soon followed, and the slave trade grew in scale.

The Velekete Slave Market was established in the early 16th century and quickly became one of the busiest slave markets in the region. It was located near the Lagos lagoon, which provided easy access for slave ships to transport their human cargo. The market sold slaves every five days.

The slaves who were sold at the Velekete Slave Market were captured from various parts of West Africa and transported to Badagry, where they were sold to European slave traders for whiskey, gun, gunpowder, cannon, ceramic plates, mirrors, umbrellas, iron wares etc. The traders would then transport the enslaved individuals across the Atlantic Ocean to the Americas, where they would be sold again to plantation owners.

Velekete Slave Market: The Business Point Where African Chiefs Sold Enslaved People to European Slave Traders

The enslaved individuals were treated as commodities and were sold based on their physical attributes. The strongest and healthiest individuals were sold for higher prices, while the weaker and sickly ones were sold for less. This dehumanizing practice reduced the individuals to nothing more than a source of profit for the traders.

Madam Tinubu, Efunsetan Aniwura, and Seriki Williams Abass were prominent figures who were involved in the trade of enslaved individuals and played significant roles in the history of slavery in Badagry.

Madam Tinubu was a powerful and wealthy woman who was involved in the slave trade in the early 19th century. She was a prominent figure in Lagos, Nigeria, and played a significant role in the political and economic affairs of the region. She was known for her shrewd business acumen and was a key player in the transatlantic slave trade.

Velekete Slave Market
A portrait of negotiation process to the point of no return

Efunsetan Aniwura was another powerful woman who was involved in the slave trade. She was a wealthy landowner and trader who lived in the 18th century. She was known for her cruelty and was feared by many in the region.

Seriki Williams Abass was a wealthy Yoruba trader who lived in the 19th century. He was a prominent figure in the Velekete Slave Market and was known for his involvement in the slave trade.

The Velekete Slave Market operated during the 16th – 19th century, when the Transatlantic Slave Trade was at its peak. However, as the Transatlantic Slave Trade was gradually abolished and ultimately came to an end in the 19th century, the market declined in importance and eventually ceased to exist.

Nowadays, the Velekete Slave Market has become a popular tourist destination for people seeking a deeper understanding of how the slave trade operated in West Africa. The site also serves as a powerful reminder of the role our African ancestors played in the transatlantic slave trade.

Uzonna Anele
Uzonna Anele
Anele is a web developer and a Pan-Africanist who believes bad leadership is the only thing keeping Africa from taking its rightful place in the modern world.

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