Nigeria: The Heart of Africa Part One
Here’s the thing, I will spare you with the gory details of the Colonial eras and the Injustices and atrocities as perpetrated by the British, etc and go straight to what my Nation is all about. That way everybody is happy, and it doesn’t have to be a pity-fest in here, agreed!
The pre-colonial states of Nigeria include the Hausa states later conquered and Islamized by the Fulani who have nearly been assimilated into an Hausa-Fulani culture at present.
Essentially there are three major Ethnic groups in Nigeria, the Hausa, the Yoruba, the Igbos[where am from] there are plenty other tribes scattered across the country, for instance there is a State called Rivers In the South-South; and this State alone has 13 ethnic groups each having their own peculiar dialects. In reality there are about 150 ethnic groups in Nigeria, speaking over 400 languages.
The Hausa history is essentially based on the Legend of the Hausa-Bokwoi, which are the seven Hausa States - Buamo, Daura, Gobin, Kano, Rano, Katsina and Zazau. That part one can write a book about, but this isn’t African History 101 [lol], I am just briefing. Hausas are predominantly muslims.
The Yorubas, even though sortta Christianized are real Traditionalists, highly diabolical people and quite tribalistic, but not to worry, apart from all that they are beautiful people. They are located in the Western parts of the Country and they trace their ancestry back to Oduduwa who according to Myth set foot on the Earth at a place called Ife [which still exists, believed to be the cradle of the Yoruba.
And for my Tribe, the Igbos, who are located in the South-Eastern part of Nigeria was an automous state governed by age-graded constitutions and elders. The Igbos are highly Christianized and very Intellectual people, the most Educated of the Tribes and the most ambitious, and this isn’t just ‘cause I’m Igbo. Igbos are known (even to the point of notoriety) all over the country for their industrialism.
There are many other ethnic groups of which I cannot fully speak of or mention, they include the Tivs, Nupes, Bini, Urhobo, to mention but a few, a very few.
Pertaining to Weather, the Situation of Nigeria along the Equator sets the nation directly underneath the Sun at noon accounting for generally high Temperatures observed all around the country; perfect for getting tanned and all. The mean max. Temperature is about 30.55C in most of the South and about 34.44C in the North, Maximum Temp. Are highest from Feb-April in the South and from Mar-June in the North, in July and August in most of the country the maximum temperature is lowest, of course all these dates are in theory, Mother Nature still calls the shots at her will.
Rainfall is heavier in the Southern parts, ‘cause those are the Rainforests areas. The rainfall experienced in the south averages 177.8 centimetres yearly, increasing further at the Eastern Coast with an average of 431.8cm. This amount of rainfall decreases as a move is made inland tropical maritime air mass to come into the country. 127cm in the middle belt and finally falls to about 50.8 cm in the North [yes, they have very low rainfall over there in the North].
The maximum humidity is between 95%-100% in the coastal part of the country, of course decreasing from South to North due to the low concentration of moisture in the North [I mean they got Deserts and all over there]. This of course varies in the seasons, like all weathers.
Cloud condition...well, from April-Oct in the south it is cloudy, while in the North the cloud cover is thickest from June-Sept or there about. Some of the clouds that abound in the Nigerian sky are cirro-stratus, cumulus, and cumulimbus. I assume there are other cloud formations, but it’s been a long while from my O’levels.
Nigeria can be divided regionally according to her Vegetation, a very unique one I might say. In Nigeria we have the Swamp Forests, occupying the most end of the Country, these forests include the fresh and salt-water zones [a beautiful area]. The flora of this zone is largely comprised of mangrove trees and its various species, and yes, coconut palms. It has this Island look. Plenty of Islands there, too. We have the Fresh-Water Swamp which starts at the point where effects of the salty ocean [from the Atlantic] water on the inlands gradually depreciates, this areas chief vegetation is a species of palm called the Raffia-palm from which wine is got. Ask for this wine if you ever come over. It’ll be a worthwhile experience, I guarantee. Ask for fresh palm wine, exactly.
We also have the Rain Forest, north of the swamp, and the Deciduous Forest. The Savannah is located to the North of this area of about 791,040 square miles [yeah, that’s quite impressive]. Here we have extensive grassland, a divine picturesque. We have the Scrub Region located at the extreme North of Nigeria, with very dwarfish crops of importance though.
Industry and Economy
Nigeria is quite developed like any other nation to a large extent, though we have a long way to go. But we have just about all the high-speed tech implements. Nah, not nearly all, lol. But we can do most of what you do and how you do it. In terms of Information Tech, new trends have been set. Nigeria’s mainstay of economy is from Crude oil, we being one of the world’s largest exporter of Crude Oil and member of OPEC.
Nah. Won't bore you with all that crap.
That’s a lot to talk to talk about, but its better experienced to be understood. There are so much tradition, though.
We have Festivals, Ceremonies of traditional forms, some & most with the element of diabolics. The details are too cumbersome to squeeze in. Let me quickly get past these parts.
A young Industry in Nigeria destined for great things. Nigeria has unique places with peculiar histories, some indeed strange, all indeed intriguing. I might not speak of all the Tourist sites in the country, but I will speak of the major ones.
I will start with the Yankari Game Reserve [what’s there isn’t a game at all, though] there is a saying that goes like this. When the 7 wonders of the world were named, the Yankari Game Reserve hadn’t been discovered. In this Light the Yankari Game Reserve has been labeled by many, both indigenes and tourists alike as the 8th Wonder of the world, yes that is Impressive, whether there is an element of truth in it or not.
The Yankari is located in the North of Nigeria, in a State called Bauchi. [Pronounced ba-wu-chi] The Yankari Game Reserve has attractions which include the four warm Springs, the Gwana Springs, the Mawulgo Spring and the famous Wikki Spring from which the resort in the reserve derives its name, and something worthy of note is that these warm springs maintain their temperatures year in, year out. And even more mystically among these warm springs is one Cold spring. These springs of the game reserve has been scientifically proven to be oozing out pure water, this water is now being bottled industrially and commercially marketed, and yeah you could have a drink of the sparkling pure water. The reserve also has a fall known as the Gurara falls, other attractions included are a group of 50 caves called the Marshall caves [discovered according to archeological findings, former hidings of the ancient Belewa people, there are also the Dukey wells, 132 in number dug by early settlers over 300 years ago in sandstone. The reserve also has another fall known as the Barkono Falls very alike the famous Zambezi fall of East Africa. The Yankari also punctuated by a few Interesting hills, the Kariyo and Kalban Hills as well as the Faliyaram Rocks, the point is the attractions in Yankari are numerous as even the woods, especially the riparian woodland, create great attractions themselves.
Still speaking about the Yankari Game Reserve, due to the divine ambience as conveyed by the picturesque of this area, many facilities which the traveler or tourist or pleasure seeker might find most recreative and relaxing, not to mention appropriate have been set in place, both by Government and Private bodies. The reserve offers hotels and catering services. Wikki warm spring bar, chalets with all the comforts and a wonderful menu, International and Continental dishes. Facilities include lawn tennis, basketball and badminton courts, conference halls;
discoteque [Nightclub, rather]. Also Yankari Game Reserve has a lot of wildlife animals, from lions, zebras, elephants, ostriches, monkeys, etc
There are intriguing myths associated to the Mysteries of the Wikki Spring of Yankari. The name Wikki was derived from the Duguri Local dialect which means, where are you?
Do not worry, I will tell of the origin of this name briefly. Hunters, who in constant search of their comrades often got lost mysteriously in the vicinity of the spring water, during the colonial era. So in time the spring water become known as the spring of where are you [yeah I know, pretty weird]. Old natives of an area in Yankari Village called fort od Duguri talk of the ancient spring with reverence. Another Myth goes thus, A Leper hunter who enchanted by a seemingly lost and beautiful antelope, was lured into the clear, tempting water as if by a powerful magnet. After struggling out he found that he had been cured of his disease by the warm springs, since then for decades numerous people from afar, even beyond the boundaries of Nigeria come, seeking for the springs’ blessings. Some were blessed while others left cursed. It is believed that those cursed led wicked lives, though the form these curses took were never described, but then again that’s why it’s called a Myth.
Then again we have the Legend of the German elephant hunter from the Cameroons who, against the persistent warnings of his porters, insisted on catching alive a rainbow-colored antelope [yeah, don’t blink, you read right, lol] which was amazing; lazing towards the area of the spring water [by the way don’t sell this to Spielberg, I wanna make the movie of all this, Box-Office-bound for sure] so here’s the antelope lazing around, looking gorgeous, sorry magnificent, I mean like a rainbow, and the hunter trying to catch it, and like Magic the white man disappears into thin air. To this day, his helmet and hunting gear are kept in custody of the son of the porters at a remote village near Duguri. It was reported that before his disappearance, the white man was heard chanting at the top of his voice, words in German, which were later to be translated by one British District Officer to mean, “It is a rainbow”. There are many other myths and legends. But here’s an important point I would love for you to note. It was believed that the antelope was a royal symbol to the goddess Maimuna, the immortal queen of the world, who would rise in the times of heavy rains in form of colors in expression of her universal love for the mermaid kings of the seas and rivers, Her description matching that of a Rainbow. It is believed that Queen Maimuna has since migrated into the dam waters of Kura for reasons the elders of Bori are reluctant to disclose. The Northerners call her Maimuna Kura, my people and the Southeners call her Mammy Water. The Western World calls her Mermaid, but I can tell you one thing though, she ain’t nothing like Disney’s Little Mermaid or even the Old Box-office smash Movie Splash, lol.
...to be continued