Good to have you here again!
You know how it is. I can’t possibly make a trip without letting you know about my thoughts on it.
I usually try not to travel because I have this slight phobia for travelling but you just know everyone has those important people that cure you of such petty phobias.
I’m not an exception.
Of course, if you’ve been following my posts these past couple of years, then you’d remember I made a big deal out of my trips to Akure and Ogbomosho…
To make it even better, this time around, not only did I steer totally off the South-West course, I practically headed for Anambra State in the South-East.
Now, you’ll have to visit google or wikipedia for all you need to know about the state. What you’ll be reading here is what those sites won’t tell you.
But before I start, I must first of all appreciate the guy who made it all possible;
Seun Agbola is a great dude and so it was that family and friends took the time to take the trip from all over to Anambra as the guy, we his close pals refer to as ‘SB,’ decided to visit the ‘Light of the Nation’ to pick for himself the ‘Light of his World!’
I’d like to say here that I wish Seun and Uju conjugal bliss as they set sail on this special and eternal journey together.
God bless you both.
Now to the 10 things I learnt on this my trip to Anambra and I’ll try to make this as brief as possible:
1) NOLLYWOOD LIED
If you’ve seen so many of these Nollywood movies, you’d be forgiven for thinking there were more huts than edifices in the East. Of course, I won’t deny there were old houses too and all that but driving through the state, I really didn’t see much difference with Lagos. It didn’t feel different at all. I really don’t know what I was expecting to see to be honest. But I was surprised at it all.
2) ASABA BRIDGE IS A FRAUD
Maybe I won’t have added this if I didn’t see a lot of wide-scale propaganda during the last election but come on, that bridge is a nightmare. Now I know why folks spend hours there. Folks are still waiting for a new and wider bridge. They just sprayed that bridge with a silver polish to score cheap political points. You need to see it to get what I’m saying.
3) THE IBOS ARE SHARP
Let me paint this scenario. There’s been a mad-ass fuel scarcity in the Nation. So we had no choice but to queue up at a filling station in Ore to buy fuel. We couldn’t get fuel up till that point. So there was this ibo passenger in a bus that arrived before us. He read the situation and what did he do? He went to buy a ’50ltr keg’ and buys fuel in it is what he did! Got it for 10,000 Naira and he said he’ll take it to the East to sell it at a black market rate of 25,000 Naira minimum.
At the traditional wedding I attended, some ladies went around sharing eggs and sweets in foil paper around in exchange for money. Drop a good currency, you get the “big one,” drop lower currencies, you get the smaller ones. You won’t know what you paid for till you unwrap and they’re gone, of course.
Need I say more?
4) IBO CULTURE IS RICH… SO IS THEIR FOOD
Forgive me that I didn’t pay attention to all the cultural aspect because they were everywhere around me. I even accepted the kolanut! See me instructing guys around me not to reject the kola like I’m some kind of Ibo culture veteran. I actually ate the kolanut o! Don’t mess with me. The music, the ceremony etc. It was all interesting. You need to attend a traditional wedding in the east.
Then the food is another matter entirely. Damn!!! There was so much on display. I would have been spoilt for choice if a friend hadn’t instructed me to eat ‘Ukwa.’ I really don’t know why it wasn’t worth the hype. Should have gone for that bitterleaf soup in hindsight. There are corrections to be made. But it was awesome viewing the delicacies on display. Too bad there’s only one stomach.
5) KOLANUT ONLY UNDERSTANDS IGBO LANGUAGE
Normally, I should add this one to the previous point but it truly deserved it’s own special place. The one part I found real funny during the traditional wedding was when the man that was to break the kola declared that he’d have to “speak now in igbo because ‘kolanut’ can’t understand english.”
That killed me.
Kolanut obviously hasn’t heard about Education.
I wonder if the kolanuts actually talk back. Do the hausas ever try communicating with all the kolanut they eat?
6) THE YORUBAS ARE PRAYERFUL ON LONG JOURNEYS.
Now the Coaster bus we chartered to the East consisted of just four young guys and a young lady or two (The groom also traveled with us).
The bus was filled so naturally, that meant about twenty-five (25) people traveled on that bus.
If you’re any good with maths, that’s about eighteen (19) elderly peeps.
We prayed about 3 times for safe journey to Anambra before we got to Anambra, thanked God for safe journey when we arrived at our lodgings, prayed for safe journey to the venue of the ceremony, prayed on arrival, prayed when we were leaving there, prayed on arrival back at the lodging, prayed when we were to headed back for Lagos… We almost had to pray every time someone got off a bus and we had to continue our journey!
I’m all for prayers and stuff but I just couldn’t help but wonder if the prayer was borne out of faith or fear or something about prayer and Nigerian roads. It was a prayer-fest. I sha had to keep an eye on the driver make he no go catch any spirit o! Ehen.
7) IBOS DON’T JOKE WITH EDIFICES
These guys build edifices everywhere. Not joking. You’re driving past on the road and you see a mansion in the middle of nowhere and I’m like ‘What?’
A mansion in the bush?! They don’t play at all. You need to visit to see this. A lot of high rise buildings. Never seen so many blocks of flats all clustered in one place before. And they stretch for miles. Houses with 10, 20 flats each and all that. You’d be hard-pressed to find a bungalow. They obviously make the most of their lands.
8) THE IBOS ARE RESOURCEFUL
I kid you not, these guys make the most of what they have however little. My last point lends credence to this. Let me give you another example: There was this 2-storey building I passed by, attached to the side of the whole length of the roof was a trough so that when it rains, the rainwater is collected in the trough and runs down into a funnel at the corner of the roof. A pipe is connected to the funnel and it runs down until it’s diverted and ends up in a tank. Yes, a tank. These guys collect rainwater into a tank! Okay, I’m sufficiently impressed.
9) SOME MYTHS ARE ACTUALLY UNTRUE
So I learnt on this trip that it’s not in every traditional wedding in the east that the ‘elders’ make a killing with traditional wedding list.
I learnt that in some places, e.g. Enugu, you don’t even have to spend more that thirty-five thousand naira (N35,000) to buy everything on the wedding list so you yoruba guys can calm down now and stop running from Ibo babes. You should now start proposing to that your Ibo babe because they’re good hosts and their food is really worth any pain. You might want to get your research well done so you know the Ibo babes to go for. Some will really, truly kill you. But their babes are beautiful, wonderful.
Though for this my trip, except for my friend’s bride and her younger sister, you can make the young ladies I saw here the exception rather than the rule.
10) I’LL BE RETURNING
In all candour, a weekend is not enough to give anyone a full taste of the eastern life. There’s a lot of things to be explored and there’s nothing like having someone based there to guide you. So my friend, Chinedu that’s based there has promised me isi-ewu, nkwobi and some delicacies and trips that’ll make me forget Lagos and I’ve seriously taken him up on it. Maybe I may get myself an ‘Ada Ada’ while at it. I should change my name to ‘Johnnie’ before then. You know naa… To spruce up the flavour. *winks*
If you have this lovely babe from the East and you want to dig into her roots and culture to know what you’re up against, you could come pay you and I’ll go do the reconnaissance for you.
I’ll send you a well written report in any language of your choice. hehehe…
So that’s it folks! That’s all I learnt on this trip.
For subsequent trips to other places, I’d let you know what I learnt.
Till then, enjoy a blessed week and blessed month.
Watch out for this space. I’ll be dropping a new post later this week.
Love you all!
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