I recently took a whirlwind tour to explore some parts of South-Western Nigeria. It’s safe to say I have a fair idea of what a hangover feels like. I sometimes like to travel fast but this was on another level. I returned home with a bad stomach and a splitting headache. But like a hangover, the events leading up to it were absolutely worth it!
My journey began late on day one. I was supposed to leave Lagos at 7am but ended up leaving at about 1:30pm due to circumstances beyond my control. Naturally, I arrived at my first destination in Ibadan late and made a sprint for the Cocoa House.
This 24-story building was once the tallest building in Nigeria, built entirely from proceeds gotten from – you guessed it – Cocoa. Today, it houses different business ventures as well as the Odu’a Museum and Hall of Fame. Visiting the museum was an absolute delight.
Unfortunately, like most museums in Nigeria, pictures aren’t allowed inside and I’m a stickler for the rules :). Anyway, this is definitely worth a visit if you find yourself in Ibadan. I have been to a few museums in Nigeria and I have to say, this comes out top on the list.
The displays were spot on and the curator who gave us a tour was so passionate about his job. He talked about each of the displays telling us stories and the history behind them. One of the things I remember most was him showing us a small pot that was used to hold a charm to make one light and almost invisible.
And then one of the guys on the tour said his grandfather once told him that he (the grandfather) walked to Saudi Arabia using this charm. All I could think of was, this has got to be commercialized! I also loved the Yoruba folk music that kept playing in the background as we moved through the galleries.
Lastly, we got a pretty cool view of the city of Ibadan and its famous brown roofs from the pent house of the building before bidding Oyo State goodbye and heading off to our next stop.
We arrived at a place called Erio-Ekiti about two hours and several bad roads later. Tired and hungry, I was more than happy to call it a day. I got a little rest and prepared to do it all over again the next day!