Tag: Nigeria

Notes from Kajuru


Somewhere worth going
Somewhere worth going

I have never been fond of travelling, anything that puts me on a Nigerian Federal road makes me uneasy, especially now that I recently survived a near fatal car crash. So you can imagine my particular surprise when I found myself looking forward to a trip to Kajuru in Kaduna. My friends (about 20 of us) had pooled our resources together to get the chance to see the famous Kajuru castle. At this point I must confess the excitement build up as the day drew closer was hard to contain. Based on pictures I had looked up on the internet and word of mouth I had gathered Kajuru seemed like THE PLACE to be.

Kajuru Castle
Kajuru Castle

It’s been 2 days since we got back and the euphoria from the experience is just beginning to slowly ebb away and the memory of the view all around the castle. Now that is something I am not willing to let go so easily. Anyone who gets to see it probably should never forget such a view, at least I know I won’t for the foreseeable future.

Part of the things that impressed me about the castle itself were the efforts to make it look as authentic as possible; from the knight sword and armor to the hanging shields and weapons. Then there was the secret room behind the bookshelf that bit of revelation was so cool for me and now I feel grateful to that visionary German who made quite an effort in bringing such a European concept and piece of architecture to the North Central of Nigeria.

Just look
Just look

Something understated that struck me about the castle was how I could barely think of any Nigerian who had embarked on such a significant project without requiring it to edify him or place him in the public spotlight at considerable length. Maybe the German was going for that and as a result of him being an outsider didn’t quite get the reception he felt he deserved, maybe, but he sure built something that has helped make a great impression about the Nigerian landscape.

The greenery, the massive/towering rocks and the near endless rolling hills still take my breath away when I stare at the pictures I took on this trip.

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It might not be for everyone but I quite honestly wish a majority of Nigerians could experience the opportunities involved in seeing our own country side at its most original and untouched state; beautiful and majestic. Maybe just before these untouched vistas are tampered with and physically eroded and degraded people will eventually get to see such places. I honestly do pray so, if only for the calming effect it might bring or if I were permitted to wish for the impossible, for people to for just a moment be at one with nature.

Splalsh!
Splalsh!
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IT STARTS WITH YOU.


 Hello guys,
I’ve got something thoughtful to share with you all today.
In as much as I try to keep you guys a bit entertained and smiling, there’s no denial that reminding ourselves every now and then of the real issues we face in our society is essential in staying grounded.
In order to achieve that, a very good friend of mine; Motolani Oyawoye (@Lanisays) came up with a brilliant idea, she starts it off with the post below.
 
I encourage you all to read and give it some thought. Most of you might have seen or experienced similar thoughts and situations, some of you might not have approached the situation the same way but the fact is clear, our society is rapidly crumbling/deteriorating and the sooner we do something about it, the better.
 
Enjoy…..
 
Do you see a bright future for Nigeria? Do you think things will get better? One day, people will be able to live reasonably well on an income that doesn’t equate to a Western kid’s weekly allowance?
 
Well…IT AIN’T HAPPENING!
 
Yeah I said it. It ain’t happening.
 
I used to think it could happen. A looooong time ago, I thought I would see a better, fairer society in my lifetime. After the fuel subsidy brouhaha, I toned my optimism down to perhaps my grandchildrens’ (or nearest familial equivalent’s) lifetime.
 
This morning, I got a wake-up call. It will NEVER happen. Nigeria will continue to go downhill, with the rich eventually eating wads of Naira because there’s nothing else to do with it and the poor literally not eating because if the neighbors find out they have garri they will be robbed.
 
‘Why, what brought about this ill-feeling?’, you might ask (or you might not ask, you might be thinking ‘you know you’re gonna tell me, so just effin’ tell me *rme*’).
 
So I had to get dropped off at work, right, and there was no fuel at all in the car, so we decided to try our luck and queue for petrol. After not getting anywhere with the first attempt (we were on the wrong queue, there was only one pump working, they ran out of petrol, yada yada yada), we decided to go elsewhere.
 
At the second station, there was a bit of a queue but it was moving reasonably. To ensure it was just not a waste of time, I decided to enter the station and ‘observe’.
 
While I was ‘observing’, I ‘observed’ three cars enter the station from the exit and manoeuvre their way into the queue. Since they didn’t manoeuvre into my queue, and the people they manoeuvred in front of were even creating space for them, I kept quiet. With my mouth. If looks could kill, by noon I would have been on death row.

One of them kept smiling at me, and I kept shooting poisoned nails into his spleen. Eventually, he came up to me and said ‘Aunty, we no try?’

 
Pause. Should I answer him? ‘No, you no too try o.’ Try to make him see the error of his ways? Tell him what he did was not proper? Ask him if he thought the rest of us on the queue were stupid? Nah, no point. I knew it would get heated up and lose composure and start a fight. Which wouldn’t have been too bad. Except that when I fight with strangers, I have no good comebacks and I end up getting royally insulted. I often cry too.
 
Besides, I wasn’t brought up like that *pops collar*.
 
So I just looked away. After shuffling his feet in front of me for about a minute, he left.
 
What happened this morning proved the saying, ‘Rulers are only as good as the people they rule.’ No, that’s not it…
 
*Frantic googling* Ah ha!
 
‘Every country has the government it deserves’ – Joseph de Maistre, Lettres et Opuscules Inédits (1851).
 
Ask yourself what Mr LMFAO would do if he was a local government chairman or a senator or a minister. If he can’t respect his fellow Nigerians when they are peers, is it at that time he will know what’s right?
 
The fault is not with our leaders, it is with us. We don’t talk because deep down we know we would do the same if we got the chance. Shunting queues, moving millions, same shit, only the scale of unfairness changes.
 
Our government will not get better until we get better. Unless and until we can genuinely be on the moral high ground, things will never change. I’m about to go cliché here, and I effin’ hate clichés, but…
 
A change in Nigeria can come from your hands. If we all do what’s right, God will have mercy on us all. Eventually, someone that has our progress as his only agenda will be sitting in the Villa.
 
Obey traffic rules, be courteous in all your endeavors, do your work as best as you can, oppose corruption at every opportunity. And for God’s sake, don’t shunt petrol queues!
 
It starts with YOU!

Picture courtesy: leadership.ng