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"Equiano’s 1789 work, The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African, follows his life from being kidnapped at the age of 11 in Igbo  (Eboe)  province in southern Nigeria and sold into slavery. He crosses the dangerous Middle Passage multiple times, first as a slave being transported to Barbados and then Virginia, and then as deckhand and valet."

The former slave's autobiography was used to help draw up the British Slave Trade Act of 1807. Head to the Google home page on Monday and you'll see a Doodle above the search bar celebrating the 272nd birthday of a man named Olaudah Equiano.


Equiano was a key figure in bringing about the end of the slave trade in the UK and its colonies after his 1789 autobiography was used to help form the Slave Trade Act of 1807.


Kidnapped from his home in Nigeria as a child, Equiano described his experiences being transported to the British colony of Virginia via Barbados where he was bought by a lieutenant in the Royal Navy named Michael Pascal. Pascal favoured Equiano and sent him to be educated in the UK. He was later bought by an American Quaker called Robert King who further taught him to read and write.



In 1767 he gained his freedom and became a pioneer of the abolitionist movement. Following the publication and success of his book, which was entitled "The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African" he gained financial independence and went on to marry a British woman with whom he had two daughters.


Equiano died in 1797 and almost 200 years later in 1996 a society was formed in London to celebrate and publicise his life and work.




Katie CollinsKatie Collins is CNET's London-based news reporter. She is passionate about innovation, great design, privacy issues and tech for good. Katie nerds out over maps and planes, both of which she uses to navigate her way around the world on epic adventures. In a previous life, she wrote for Reuters, Wired and Ars Technica. She loves CNET so much that she has worked for the site twice.

Today President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria, met Ibe Kachikwu, the minister of state for petroleum on allegations of corruption in  NNPC in a letter leaked to media this week in Nigeria.


Ibe Kachikwu, "in the letter to the president dated Aug. 30 and confirmed by the oil ministry, said the conduct of the head of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) lacked transparency.The OPEC member’s state oil company has been dogged by allegations of corruption and mismanagement for decades. Nigeria, which has Africa’s biggest economy, relies on oil for roughly two thirds of government revenue. Kachikwu did not comment when he arrived for the meeting with Buhari. It is the first time they have held private talks since Buhari returned to Nigeria on Aug. 19 after three months of medical leave in Britain. A presidency spokesman declined to comment when asked about the reason for the meeting.


The allegations, which prompted lawmakers to launch an investigation on Wednesday, include a recommendation that recent appointments by NNPC’s group managing director (GMD), Maikantu Baru, should be suspended pending a review. Kachikwu also accused Baru of largely bypassing the board of directors. An NNPC spokesman has said the state oil company is awaiting written confirmation of the motion from the Senate before making any comment."

Kachikwu petitions Buhari over alleged insubordination by NNPC GMD Baru

Kachikwu petitions Buhari over alleged insubordination by NNPC GMD Baru

Kachikwu petitions Buhari over alleged insubordination by NNPC GMD Baru

Credit: Alexis Akwagyiram; Editing by Richard Balmforth

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