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Tag Archives: Nigeria

Makoko venice of Lagos

The choppy boat ride only lasted about 20 minutes to Makoko, but in that time, I considered whether I would need to paddle to shore. We were approaching a new locale. Houses ahead…on water.

A shout of “Yevo” was quickly taken up and chorused repeatedly at high volume like a rallying cry. Eyes everywhere were upon us. Children shouting, dancing, posing, pointing. People staring, some friendly, most curious, some suspicious, still others disdainful. Welcome to Makoko, the stilt village of Lagos.

A place almost of folklore, Makoko has existed as a fishing village for over a century. In fact, most of the fish sold in markets all over Lagos is caught by the Makoko fishing community. Sometimes ironically referred to as the “Venice of Africa”, it was once a target for demolition by the Lagos State government in 2012 to transform the slum village into luxury property.
After much public outcry and opposition, the demolition was halted as a regeneration plan was submitted to the State government, though it is unclear what steps have since been taken in implementing the proposed regeneration. With a population said to be over 100,000 mainly composed of Egun migrants from Badagry, but also of the Ijo from Ondo and some Beninoise, the diversity of the residents is heard in conversations as strains of French and Yoruba and other tongues are spoken.

Our guide was the brother of the local chief, Shemade Noah who welcomed us with refreshments. Cruising through the canals of Makoko was a fascinating experience. As we saw the large numbers of boats gliding up and down the waterways, I noted that Lagos’ trademark traffic is not confined to motor vehicles on land. It was remarkable to see very young children expertly navigate the waterways by boat on their own. 

Someone in the group asked Mr Noah to confirm or deny the oft peddled anecdote that the people of Makoko would throw newborn children into the water. He laughed off the urban myth but explained that most of the kids from the age of 4 learn to swim by teaching themselves. Sadly, whilst the children seemed perfectly adept with navigating the waters and running their floating shops, there appears to be a very low percentage of those children who attend school on a regular basis.

This is due to a number of reasons including the fact that there is only one school in the stilt village with 249 students. Clearly with a population of over 100,000 there simply won’t be enough places for all the children. There is also a lot of suspicion of the schools on the land and parents are reluctant to send their young ones to schools on land due to perceived dangers.

That negative perception of the “land” and the “Yevo” (which means “white man”) was evident as we cruised through the “Venice of Africa”. Although I had been keen for a while to see this other side of Lagos and better understand my city, it quickly became apparent that most people and even the children had an aversion to cameras.

I could understand their unease particularly in respect to pictures as I have never and will never advocate poverty tourism. But at the same time, I do think it is important for Makoko to be seen and experienced and for awareness to be raised to support the needs of the local people. To that end, I tried to respect their privacy by mainly focusing my pictures on the buildings of the stilt village itself but I think as we left, the residents were glad to see the back of us. For my part, I had seen so many paintings of this particular locale and I am so pleased to now have finally been to the mysterious and intriguing waterworld of Makoko.
Regular trips to Makoko are organised by the Nigerian Field Society.  The monies from the trip fees go toward supporting the Makoko Floating School by paying two teachers’ salaries and the general upkeep of the village.

Written By Bidemi Adesanya

 
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Posted by on April 10, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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Negligence of Tourism In Nigeria

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Nigeria is blessed with so many cultural heritage and natural resources that is yet to be explored to the outside world. In Nigeria Tourism is yet to be identified as a major income to the country because of the poor image of Nigeria and Nigerians internationally. Tourism has become global leisure over 1.1 billion international tourist travels worldwide to different kinds of Tourism Destinations which represent a large amount of income in payment for goods and services. Even though the government did some project towards tourism in the country, yet in the last couple of years this target has not being achieved because of the persistence of numerous brand grind down due to poverty, corruption, illiteracy, insecurity, floored Electoral process and lack of basic infrastructure. This is huge problem unless these challenges are frontally confronted; the Focus on the energy sector makes it more difficult for Nigerians not patronizing tourism unlike other countries that depends on that like Kenya. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 15, 2016 in News

 

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shubur pot

It was a wonderful experience during my journey to Shabur a place between Michika and Maiwa in Cameroon. It is just 10km from Michika although this place is not being considered as part of Nigeria but yet they speak the native language of the Michika’s people and other language. Shabur is a small community with forty five houses and two well as their source of water. They don’t have schools or hospitals, yet these people live happily with the little they have. The Shabur people are mostly Farmers, Hunters and Sculptures. They specialize in moulding pots, people from the neighboring villages come to buy pots from them. I was so surprised with the warm welcome from these people, starring at us as we walk past them yet smiling as if they have seen their own.

 I was pleased and happy by their reaction toward us immediately we entered the palace, the king ordered his wife to come. Group of people started singing and cheering which signifies a welcome song from the Shabur people. I couldn’t resist and danced to the tone even while seated as my friend Sakina starring at me smiling. Minutes after the king stood up and cheered his people and speaking in their language that I don’t really know what he was saying but am sure he is just telling them why we are here and we came from the city. The king already knew why we came, is all about the special pot. We are neither the first people nor we the last. People came from different part of the country to see things for themselves. Our purpose of the visit is to see the special pot called Shubur, which means sparkle.   Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on May 22, 2012 in Travel

 

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SUKUR KINGDOM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A three hours’ drive away from Yola, the capital city of Adamawa state, would lead to a kingdom not particularly worth envying by the standards of 21st century living; a world heritage site and listed among the seven wonders of Nigeria. Located between Madagali and Gulag, and politically under Madagali local government of Adamawa state, lies Sukur Kingdom.

More journey hours await as climbing the mountain where in spreads the actual realm is as challenging as it is amazing. Reason? You wonder how these people created a foot path of stones from the foot of the mountain to the peak—much like modern interlocking (it would be hard to swallow if modernity did not actually get its idea from them). It could be a joke but, who knows?!!!

The initial thoughts of this reporter were that it would be easy given the existence of a foot path leading up the mountain, but perhaps, I got it all wrong. It was not easy at all. The scorching sun added to the anguish because the climb was in the mid-afternoon which is just not the right time. “You have to be early not to find the climbing too torturous,” Simon, my guide said as a suggestion for the best time to engage in the venture. The heat contributed to me throwing up along the way. I totally lost hope when we reached a resting point. Simon sought to know if I really wanted to do this to which I responded, “Yes.”

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Posted by on April 22, 2012 in Travel

 

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Dutsen Dala (Dala Hill)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dala hill is considered the first settlement of Kano people. Legend has it that the top of the hill serves as a worship ground for the Maguzawa (initial inhabitants of Hausa land). Barbushe, the then chief priest in charge of the ground, is said to be the one mediator between the people and Tsumburbura, the goddess to whom they owe reverence. Remarkably, Dala hill still holds some of that awe even now given the fact that then, the people are not allowed to climb the hill, they could only

Stand at the foot of it for any deific service as only Barbushe was virtuous enough to climb the hill. Dala owes its name to a man who was a hunter. Lore has it that Dala used to frequent the hill to source for raw materials for his craftsmanship. The belief among the Maguzawa reckons that wherever they see a rock, there is the prospect of wealth like aluminium metal and so on especially for metal Crafts.

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Posted by on April 20, 2012 in Travel

 

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NATIONAL WAR MUSEUM

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Umuahia, now the capital of Abia state was once popular for its cattle market, serving most parts of the enclaves that made up the old Imo state. But before that, the town had played a much more important role as the military headquarter of the defunct Biafran Republic. Perhaps in recognition of this role as former military headquarter, the country town of Umuahia is given the honour to host the National War Museum. But that particular site was chosen because that was where the bunker housing the famous Voice of Biafra was located. The War Museum is an open-air complex where relics of the 30-month Nigerian civil war are on display.

The National War Museum Umuahia is one of the major tourist attractions in Nigeria. The War Museum has three major galleries: the traditional warfare gallery, the Armed Forces gallery, and the civil war gallery in the traditional warfare section.
The War Museum is symbolic in many respects. To all Nigerians and foreigners alike, it is a grim reminder of the evils of war. But more important, the National War Museum stands as evidence to the technological possibilities in Nigerians in the face of necessity and absence of alternatives. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on April 6, 2012 in Travel, Uncategorized

 

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THE 7th AKWAB TRAVEL MARKET FARE

L-R James Agyemin Boateng Deputy minister of tourism Ghana, Sheikh Tejan Nyan-Gambia, Danny Kioupouroglou Eko Hotels & suties, Rita Ikechi Uko- organizersAkwaba and Oyunba Runsewe NTDC.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Akwa Ibom stand

 

 

 

 

Mr Otunba Runsewe and the Gambians

 
 

 

 

Ikechi Uko organizers Akwaba and Otunba Runsewe NTDC

 
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Posted by on October 23, 2011 in Travel, Uncategorized

 

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