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Nicola Horne


Nicola Horne.jpgNicola Horne

PhD Researcher
UCL Department of Geography
University College London
North-West Wing
Gower Street

Dr Tariq Jazeel,
Dr Ben Page



Oyinbo as Other: The making and meanings of whiteness in Lagos, Nigeria

The existing literature’s overriding focus on how whiteness is made and understood by white people and in Western societies, to the virtual exclusion of all others, is problematic. Whiteness retains a potent symbolism around the world, including in places without significant white populations. In south-western Nigeria, for example, oyinbo is a Yoruba word commonly translated as ‘white person’. Yet the imperfection of this translation belies the fact that many African perspectives on whiteness have been largely unexplored. These unexamined perspectives on whiteness, what it means and how it’s made, are based on and inform the lived experience of many millions of people. In exploring how the concept of oyinbo is made and understood in Lagos, Nigeria, my research aims to highlight some of these alternative manifestations of whiteness, and to contribute to the existing literature by problematising common Western understandings of what it means to be ‘white’.

Keywords: Lagos, Nigeria, oyinbo, whiteness



Before returning to academia in 2015, I worked in fundraising, marketing and public engagement roles at Cancer Research UK in London for nine years and later in the Migration Delivery team at the British High Commission in Nigeria.

2018 (expected)        PhD Geography, UCL

2008                            Postgraduate Certificate Leadership & Management, University of Sussex

2004                            MSc Geography, Pennsylvania State University

2002                            BA (First Class Honours) Geography, Oxford University


Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
PhD studentship 2015 – 2018