beginning this year, my goal has been to learn more about my home of birth, Nigeria & immerse myself in its magic. as an African backpacker to disrupt pan-African trade & multi-cultural relations, i believe my charity begins at home. my mind was made up & this power suddenly conquered carsickness as i knew what needed to be done without fear so i contacted TVP Adventures to kick-start my national tour.
armed with a bad history of motorphobia, two large bottles of water and an extra legging, i set out on a tour of Abeokuta - the largest city & state capital of Ogun State.
The ‘adire’ market
a longtime tradition from our fore-fathers and ancestors, the "adire" (tie-and-dye) market was a fascinating discovery for me. i discovered that "adire" wrappers were not made in a factory but by a small community of hardworking locals so exceptionally dedicated to the detailing of each piece.
each piece is unique & very different from the other. it was first designed using starch made from different types of flour to create the patterns, then dried under the sun. it was then collected and tied into tiny pleats at certain lengths and dipped into a bucket of dye. after it dries, it is then ironed by wooden slabs that were manually pounded on the material to smoothen and fold it into the perfect package for sale.
it was here i swore never to price an "adire" material at the market ever again. the craft is the main source of income to this community but it is sad that the government has demolished their markets building over it major highways and have failed to relocate the market to another piece of land. this market is said to attract thousands of tourists which has reduced drastically; more so, their source of income declines during the raining season due to the lack of sun to dry their materials.
"what will happen to this community in the future?"
a place of refuge. a place of war. a place of peace. now a place of history.
it was told that the ‘egbas’ hid under this rock during the war in the past. it was their source of survival and a shrine that protected them from the outside world. the rock takes on the shape of a pregnant woman lying on her back on a table. how symbolic! the rock featured a sacrifice room, the kings quarters and a kitchen under the rock where his wives cooked, the tree of Doggedness & Resilience, a shrine and it’s chief priestess which is still passed down to the new generation, aged trees, a fort and a magnificent view.
The view is everything from the top :)
The Herbert Ogunde’s living history museum
this is a fascinating story about a man who married seventeen wives who became his co-actors and traveled far and wide acting and creating plays that deftly introduced the Nollywood industry to the world.
the Ogunde’s living house museum welcomes you with a large wall post - it is a huge bungalow surrounded by a bold compound housing the magnificent statue of the late actor himself, Herbert Ogunde. one of the grandsons welcomed us who was also our host. we were told not to touch anything, no phones were allowed within and not to sit on any chair or surface in the house. the house is filled with all his equipments, cameras, a helicopter engine used for cooking up a storm for his movies, re-enacted scnes from his movies, album upon albums, his drums, all his costumes, his passport, nigerian actors who were so young back and are now veteran actors, his bed where he slept, his clothes, his family tree & so much more.
this is why i don't have much to show you but you can visit the museum sometime and be entirely amazed. this museum will teach you to value the country Nigeria and its people.
if you would love to read more about Ogunde's story, check out this beautiful narration written by my sister girl & guide, Funmi Oyatogun. Click Here.
POSE POSE POSE
See you on the next adventure :) Meanwhile, have you been to Abeokuta? Did you have any fond memories or favorite places? Would love to hear it.