Badagry Festival started in 1999 in Lagos to remember the slave trade era and to bring out the important role the Badagry community played during this period.
The Festival has become an annual events that is organized by the African Renaissance Foundation, AREFO. Its involve the coming together of culture and display of African heritage. Indigenes and lovers of Africa culture come together to celebrate during the festival.
The festival features artistic display of Masquerades, fire eaters, dancers, football competition (Oba Akran Cup) and beating of drums. Others are Libration Day Celebration, Arts and Craft Festival, Zangbeto Exoteric Masquerade Festival and Gbenepo Royal Carnival.
In the early eighteen century Badagry serve as a route for the Europeans where slaves were transported to new destination for buyers. It homes cenotaph “Point of No Return” the well at this place was enchanted to make sure slaves that drink from it forget its destination. At the end of eighteen century, Badagry was one of the route that benefited from the recurrent battle between Portnovo and Dahomey for the movement of slave. Badagry was noted as the auction point for slaves captured during inter-villages warfare. The first two-storey building in Nigeria was built in Marina, Badagry in 1845.
This period is also used to celebrate the International Day for Remembrance of Slave Trade and it’s Abolition. Badagry Festival holds in the month of August and sponsored by MTN (one of Nigeria Telecommunication Company).