It was fun and adventures this past weekend as I travelled from town to town within South-West Nigeria. Huge travel, you’d think; the journey only took me through parts of Ogun and Oyo states through a route that I have never taken before. Because going ahead, here is a big shout out to all Islamic faithful across the world on the occasion of the 2019 Eid-el-Kabir.
To those of us who grew in the rural areas and parts of the urban centers, seeing ram fights is not a new thing but you know it comes with different twists at different times. So, it was as I made my way to the Ogba area of Lagos, I saw them chasing after the white ram vigorously; four of them, running desperately along the road despite the busy traffic. The busy traffic gave them an edge above us and they were able to move faster than those of us in vehicles. Seeing that our lane was rather busy, the ram opted for the other lane and rammed into an on-coming vehicle. We got to the spot in time to see the twitching animal as it struggled for its last breath. In the same instant, the boys burst into tears and cried uncontrollably. It was only two days to the Eid and their father was going to kill them for this. The boys had come out to stake some money in the ram fights and now the ram had been killed in an accident, “how are we going to explain this?” they cried.
Segun had requested that I join him and his crew on the expedition to Igbo-Ora, Oyo State. Saturday was the agreed date and the location was actually the Abarimu Mountain in a town called Tapa. We struggled through the bad portion along old Lagos-Abeokuta road, driving through the outskirts of Abeokuta and finally arriving at Igbo-Ora, the town known globally to have the highest number of twin births. What I found interesting was the friendly and professional attitude of the security personnel we met at the different check-points. We traveled in an unregistered vehicle and long checks and demand for money was expected but the gentlemen of the forces disappointed me as none of them demanded for money of any form of gratification from me. They were polite even as they carried out their routine checks.
We had a stop at the very first food canteen as we entered Igbo-Ora and voted for Amala, Ewedu, Beef and Waara (cheese), sadly, gbegiri soup finished just before our arrival. Tapa town was about twenty minutes away from Igbo-Ora, so we took our time to enjoy the meal.
Tapa is a quiet roadside town with some of the kindest people in the world. Economic activities circled around farming, charcoal and wood. The town is engulfed by mountains on both sides. Abarimu Mountain is about 450-500ft high and is open to all. It is managed by a C&S church adjacent to the mountain on the other side of the road. Without hesitation, we packed our baggage and started off on the 350 steps leading to the top of the mountain. It was a tiring climb but with the company, it was fun as we laughed at anyone who attempted to stop when the team leader wasn’t ready.
It was a little sunny when we got to the top and we felt like it was going to be a hot time up there. In a matter of minutes, the weather had changed and the cold began. We exchanged pleasantries with those we met having a prayer session and went ahead to set up for our production. By the time we were done setting up, night had fallen and the cold had also descended. We shot through the night and had a real bite of the mountain top at night. The descent was tough and the exhaustion from the night’s production made the descent a hectic assignment. We headed back to Lagos with hopes of arriving in time to join the Eid prayers but we were not so lucky. The traffic into Lagos was hectic so we arrived behind schedule.
I was too exhausted to go out for the Sallah merriment and I won’t have Sallah gist for you today. Please pardon me.
Did you travel for the holidays or you just chilled around and chased after Sallah meat? Please share your experience in the comment box.
The world is full of good people, if you can’t find one; please be one and remember to make some smile today.