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BIAFRA PAST AND PRESENT

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BIAFRANS WHO ARE THEY? Is the theme for today discussion on 16/06/2014

Today we have two side of the same story about the origin of Biafra people.

Part one:

There was a Biafra before 1967which lost its sovereignty to colonial powers. “ Early modern maps of Africa from the 15th-19th centuries, drawn by European cartographers from accounts written by explorers and travellers, reveal that the original word used by the European travellers was not Biafra but Biafara, Biafar and sometimes also Biafares.”  

Biafara people are already known and addressed as Biafara people before they came in contact with the first European merchants. The word Biafra has its generics from “Ephraim” as pointed out by Martin Simon Ukegbe

Map of Ancient Africa with Biafra 

The name Biafra like the name Africa can be traced back to the Moorish Tribe of Bani Ifran, a name meaning the Children of Ephraim. In this setting Ephraim refers to their descent from the Israelite tribe of Ephraim being the House of Joseph.

The Bani Ifran or Biafrans were also known as the Bafar tribes and it is they who established the Black Moorish Kingdoms of Ghana,Mali and Songhai. From Mali many of the Biafrans migrated to the areas of present day Nigeria where they became the leaders of the Igbo Nation. 

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