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Viral image of black men lifting Caucasians from Uganda, not Nigeria

Claim: A Facebook user shared an image of pre-colonial Nigerians carrying a white man purported to be Mungo Park a ride from Onitsha on their shoulders to River Niger. 

Viral image of black men lifting Caucasians from Uganda, not Nigeria

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River Niger and Benue are two major rivers dividing Nigeria, which were discovered by Mungo Park, a Scottish explorer who toured West Africa during the 18th century. Mr Park became the first Westerner to travel to the central part of the Niger River, reputed as the third-longest river in Africa after Rivers Nile and Congo.

The river extends at about 4,180 kilometres (2,600 miles), while its drainage basin is 2,117,700 km2 (817,600 sq mi) in area.

A Facebook user on April 2, 2024, claimed individuals from Onitsha carried Mr Park to discover River Niger in the seventies. Onitsha is a metropolitan city on the eastern bank of the Niger River in Anambra State, Nigeria.

“Onitsha people carrying Mungo Park to go and discover River Niger in the seventies…” the Facebook user posted.

Available data on the post as of April 9, 2024, indicate that it had 5,700 comments, 1,800 shares, and 41,000 likes.

A check by DUBAWA shows that other Facebook users have shared the same narrative here and here.


To fact-check these claims, DUBAWA carried out multiple research studies using fact-checking tools.

DUBAWA employed a Google Reverse Image Search and found a report dated March 23, 2018, indicating that the white man in the viral image was Harry George Galt, a tax collector and former sub-commissioner of Western Uganda. 

Also, posts by an online history magazine via X, @HistoryVille, showed that the image was of Galt. DUBAWA also discovered that an African history platform @AfricanFactsZone on X posted the claimed image as a picture of Galt arriving in Ibanda, Uganda, in 1905. 

None of our findings regarding Mr Park indicated that he was carried by Nigerian men.


Findings revealed that the man in the viral image was Harry Galt, not Mungo Park. Also, the picture did not originate from Nigeria but from Ibanda in Uganda. Therefore, the information attached to the image is false. 

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