Adeoye Deniga

Adeoye Deniga was a journalist and editor of Eko Akete popularly called “The Professor” on account of his numerous literary productions, the first of which was in 1917. Three years later, he was selected as a delegate from Lagos to the inaugural meeting of the British West Africa congress in Accra. Adeoye was born in Lagos as Gabriel Adeoye Thomas in 1881 to parents of Ondo origin. After his education at St. Peter’s Anglican School and the CMS Grammar School, Lagos, he entered the civil service in 1901 as express delivery mail man in the Lagos post office. Adeoye felt his place was to contribute his quota in the rapidly changing Lagos of his time and he, believing himself to be serving a divine purpose, devoted his full attention to writing and publishing.

Adeoye Deniga’s first editorial effort dated back to 1909 when he started the Lagos Astrological Mercury- a paper handwritten and read by a small circle of people. In 1910 he served as editor for the New Age Herald; in 1913, The Herald-Alore– a bilingual, before he moved on to Eko Akete. Although Adeoye was talented and energetic, he was unable to make a name for himself in the business of publishing. He thinks his work a service to the public and did not hesitate to request for their financial recompense in times of difficulty. His death in 1934 met him, a poor man, but he is entrenched in history of the Nigerian press as the man of passion  who published a handwritten newspaper. Deniga was religious in his life, and active in the Holy Cross Cathedral of the Roman Catholic Church where he often gave sermons. His oration at the burial of townsman, Dada Adeshigbin was widely praised and this established his reputation as a literary figure of his time.