SHONGA: THE FIRST PRINTING PRESS IN NIGERIA
The first printing press in Nigeria was the Niger Press which was established at the Nupe town of Tsonga, Kwara State, by Reverend A.W. Banfield. It was in 1909 that Reverend Banfield, then a Canadian missionary based at Tsonga, ordered for a printing machine all the way from Canada.
When the machine arrived Nigeria and was dropped by a boat on the bank of the River Niger it took twenty hefty men a whole week to gradually drag the machine from the bank of the River Niger to the town of Tsonga.
At Tsonga Reverend Banfield immediately used that printing machine to establish the first printing press in Nigeria which came to be known as the very famous and popular Niger Press.
Thus Tsonga, and KinNupe, became the publication and literary centre of Nigeria in those days.
That Niger Press transformed KinNupe into the most Western educated, most literate and most scholarly part of the whole of Northern Nigeria.
Equally remarkable is the fact that the printing press brought to Tsonga, KinNupe, by Reverend A.W. Banfield was the first printing press, the first printing machine, in the whole of Nigeria. The first pamphlets and book s to be printed in Nigeria were printed here in KinNupe ar Tsonga. Source©from the book ‘Etan Mana’ By Ndagi Abdullahi. J