Heyo Heyo shugars!
How we doing?
I’m back home -Port Harcourt- from my 3 months stint in Benin City, Edo state. Went for a work related posting as I had mentioned here
Benin City, Edo State has come to mean more to me. Kinda like a second home city, since its the only city aside PH I’ve spent the longest time at a stretch. It was home for the past three months again( though I was going home intermittently).
My first time in the city was when I zapped from school in year 1 to attend my friend -JA’s – sister’s wedding.
Then I visited again for JA’s wedding.
During NYSC, I redeployed from Gombe state, where I was initially posted. Because I was doing this after camp I had lost the luxury of making a choice. We were given states randomly. I worried about where I would get. When the paper was given to me, I slowly opened it peeking with one eye. I saw the letter E and started thinking of all the states that started with E. I prayed it wasn’t Enugu(I didn’t want to go the east), I hoped it wasn’t Ekiti (my colleague who was also from Gombe, that I went with had already opened his and it was Ekiti). At that moment I forgot there was another E state. After a few minutes of hyperventilation I opened it and saw Edo. I was happy! The posting felt just perfect. I went on to spend the next 10 months in Benin city. And I loved it. Well, not initially. With time.
When the choices for the current posting I went for came out to be between Benin (UBTH) and Lagos (LUTH) I didn’t think twice choosing BC. I dey fear Lagos.
I looked forward to the 3 months posting. I needed the change of environment.
During service year, the only places I can remember visiting were The State Museum and A Bush Market which sold exotic animals (like Idiot😆, alligators, antelopes etc).
Coming back to town I decided to visit a few places I had heard about but hadn’t gotten around to seeing.
I had the company of another lifelong friend -AE (who was also my host during my service year) – for some of these sightseeing.
The Ogba park and zoo is located on the Airport road.
The day I visited, it was a full house. Some schools brought kids there on excursion, some friends were having a birthday/picnic, there was a group having a meeting in one of the huts.
The Zoo had a number of animals… Monkeys, Baboons, Lions, Camels, Ostriches, Hyena, Birds(different species) , Giant turtle, Horses, Ducks/Swans, Peacocks… I might be missing some.
The park area had lots of trees, park benches, swings, huts, picture stand. The ambience is really cool.
My best moments there were the moments I spent Swinging! Lol. Sometimes the beauty of life that captures a person heart is in the little things. I hadn’t been on a swing in ages, being on one brought back some beautiful childhood memories. I swung my heart full, it took the threatening rain to pull me off.
It was a cool outing. The management is doing a better job than their counterpart in my home state.
Benin is home to the bronze casting guild. It is an integral part of the benin history and culture. Bronze head or bust of past leaders like the Oba’s or their queen are popular in art houses. Members of the guild are of the same ancestry as it’s kinda a lineage trade.
It’s located off Sakponba road, Ring road. And think that I had passed this street several times( cos the transport company I normally travel with is right on that street) and not taken any notice.
On the way back from an outing with colleagues one day, we stopped by.
I didn’t plan to buy anything as I wasn’t with much money and thought they would be very pricey. Some of the art works ended up not being as pricey as i expected and I was able to get a momento. Our stop over was interrupted by rain and I had planned to go back, but I couldn’t.
Right from school (university) days my friend JA had always told me about her village- Ososo. She said Ososo had hills and mountains with great views and lovely weather. She also mentioned they usually had carnivals that even attracted the international community. I used to think it was all talk. Then I came across some article online and decided I was going to visit Ososo.
When AE and I first heard It was a 3 hour journey from Benin city, we scoffed. We thought the time was exaggerated. We were like how far can this place be inside the same state to be up to 3 hours. Fam, it took us 4 hours plus (with min to mod traffic) to get there. Mans were tired. We got in late and we had less time to explore.
Ososo is a small knit community but a beautiful one. Its surrounded by hills, rocks, mountains.. The air is so clear and weather perfect! We got an okada rider who gladly doubled as our guide and went to the tourist center immediately.
Oh, I didn’t want to leave. I wished I could live there. For time sake we really couldnt go around much. But we had time to explore the local drink and some bush meat(which made sense).
It’s not possible to go there and leave same day, as only one bus goes there per day(same bus leaves for Benin the next day), so we spent night.
For a rural community, there was this awesome hotel -Filani Palace hotel- where we stayed. The hotel was topnotch… It legit beat some city hotels.
One amusing response i got from this Ososo trip was the number of Edo indigenes (colleagues and friends) who had never heard of Ososo, or who had heard but never been and kept asking me how and why I went there. It was really amusing.
Edo State (Benin precisely) has a place in my heart..
Not just the places..
But the friends I have who are from there, friends who live there, friends I made there…
I have so many special memories that start and end with Benin ….
I miss the ancient city already.
Have you been to Edo State? And any of these places?
Bubbles of love 💕💞💕💞