My visit to Abeokuta came so quickly and ended pretty fast but it was one of those trips that made me feel all kinds of inspired. I had been living in my parents’ house for three months (school strike debacle) and so it was a good idea to just travel to another state and let the heavy air of depression and anxiety hanging over me shift aside… if that makes sense.
I was so fortunate to have a friend who lives at Abeokuta and also happens to have her birthday weekend fall into this opportune time. So I threw few clothes in a bag and headed to Ogun state. The road trip to this state which I had never been to before was not the most enjoyable kind being public transport and all but it all left feeling light because it became a part of experience I had wanted for so long.
There were so many features I discovered from the capital of Ogun state which I really hoped I could have been able to capture if I had an actual camera but unfortunately I could not (because my phone camera couldn’t adjust to the grey weather all through my stay) but I do hope my words would describe them well enough. Some of this features were the abundance of the colour green. Yes, green was the prominent colour at Abeokuta from the Taxis to the Stadium to the major buildings, parks and bill boards. Green definitely ruled the land and it was really beautiful because it blended so well with nature.
Yellow buses are for Lagos
Blue buses are for Osogbo
Green buses are for Abeokuta
Another feature was the abundance of rocks. I have not been to a place that had so many rocks scattered beautifully across the town like Abeokuta and the most amazing part is that there all existed by nature. Naturally crafted and placed at strategic places ; even houses are built on top of hills and rocks. The town was said to be settled on these rocks and so you literally could see the rooftops arranged comically on hilltops, there was something magnificent about this fact alone. It felt poetic.
The last feature I am going to talk about is the language of the people. There is a comical way these Egba people speak their Yoruba – it had a sing-song melodious tone to it that virtually made me laugh each time they spoke. It was as though I was hearing Yoruba being spoken for the first time because it was widely different from the dialect I was used to. It made me appreciate the diversity of the Yoruba language the more.
While I was at the Olumo rock (I mean what is the point of visiting Abeokuta without going to Olumo rock? ) I was told about the clans that settled at the state and some popular names popped up such as Soyinka etc. at the historical gallery. There were so many beautiful art works at the art gallery which sadly I was not able to photograph because of copyright issues. Also there were Adire, Batik, sculptors, bead works, evergreen Nigerian music audio discs, historical books, customised jewellery and many more.
The tour guide was so helpful and chatty about the historical rocks and shrine where an annual festival is done to commemorate the gods of the land for yet another new year, a black cow is offered each year as well as guinea fowl and many more. The rock is rich with history; and the storyteller in me kept imagining how hard it must have been for those women and children to survive living under a rock for many days while hoping their men do not die at the battle (war between the Egba and the Benin republic).
The sad part about this place is the lack of renovation. I noticed that the infrastructural facilities were not being taken care of; the elevator was not working, the fountain was dry and not functioning. I really do wish government would understand the need for this really important landmarks to be kept restructured.
Asides that, I had so much fun and I almost fell off a rock but I did not thankfully. It felt as though I lost a few pounds after returning to the outside world. My stay at Abeokuta was therapeutic and mostly memorable because I got to see one of my dearest friends whom I haven’t seen for four years. She was amazing and frankly it didn’t seem as though there was a gap in our friendship. We still remembered our inside jokes and all that , her birthday was fun too (her instagram is @tt_lope). Sadly, my short vacation had to come to an end and I am writing this from my desk at Osogbo.
Happy new months guys!
How well do we need to travel to explore the world around us? And how important is travelling to our mental state? I would love to read your thoughts on this, you all know I love seeing your notifications on the app. So please feel free to chip in.