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Throwback Photos: Wole Soyinka And His Friends That Founded The Pyrates Confraternity



Seven friends from University College, Ibadan (now the University of Ibadan) founded the National Association of Seadogs, also known as the Pyrates Confraternity, (PC for short), in 1952.

Pyrates Confraternity, a nominally University-based confraternity, was founded to promote human rights and social justice in Nigeria.

The creation was necessitated by the rise of tribalism in student social life, as well as the increasing “oppression” of “wealthy” students over a small number of “poorer” students on campus. These were some of the ills against which the confraternity was formed.

A group of seven friends known as the “Magnificent Seven” founded the Pyrates Confraternity in University College, Ibadan.

The friends that formed the organization include renowned Nobel Prize in Literature laureate Wole Soyinka, Ralph Opara, Pius Oleghe, Ikpehare Aig-Imoukhuede, Nathaniel Oyelola, Olumuyiwa Awe and Sylvanus U. Egbuche .

Pyrates Confraternity

The Original Seven; Pius Oleghe, Ralph Okpara, Sylvanius Egbuche, Wole, Nathaniel Oyelola, Ikpehare, Olumuyiwa Awe. Founding members of Nigeria’s first Confraternity. (1952)


For nearly 20 years, the Pyrates Confraternity was the only confraternity on Nigerian campuses. Membership in the confraternity was open to all academically gifted students, regardless of tribe or religion.

Currently, the Pyrates Confraternity has branches in all of Nigeria’s southern states, as well as in the United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, South Africa, the Netherlands, Japan, Australia, Canada, and the United States.

Some sinister confraternities have been formed to imitate the Pyrates confraternity, causing the Pyrates confraternity to disassociate itself from these organizations and operate outside of university campuses.

Over 25,000 people have been involved with the organization at various stages.

The Pyrates Confraternity was registered with the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Internal Affairs as “The National Association of Seadogs” under the Land (Perpetual Succession) Act Cap 98.

Many of these people made a name for themselves in various fields and made positive contributions to society. Many, on the other hand, have gone the other way. Some were kicked out and went on to create their own versions.

The Original Seven, at Tedder Hall Quadrangle, University College Ibadan. From left: Wole Soyinka, Ikpehare Aig-Imoukhuede, Sylvanus Egbuche, Pius Oleghe, Nathaniel Oyelola, Muyiwa Awe, Ralph Opara

Pyrates Confraternity

Members of the pirate confraternity welcome Nnamdi Azikiwe to the University of Lagos, 1972.

Pyrates Confraternity

Young Wole Soyinka at the University College, Ibadan (now the University of Ibadan).

Pyrates Confraternity

Cap’n Blood. 1953. Leader of Nigeria’s first Confraternity. Along with six other friends, the “famous seven” had this 7 rules: The 7 Rudder Blades:

Pyrates Confraternity

Wole Soyinka (R) clowns with a fellow Pyrate, Aig-Imoukhuende. (1953.)

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