A private blog for my w-rants, writes and arts.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

I speak of a Wakanda; in Nigeria

I have seen places, big towns in visible locations, small villages in these towns. I have seen cities hidden in plain sight, civilization buried in villages. But until now, I have never seen a well hidden eldorado in a place forgotten by time.

In company of friends, we journeyed to the edge of the Kwara State Universe, in search of a place called Patigi. Time has a way of revealing the universe to us in bits. Entering Patigi into the night's death, after six hours of dust, mud, and invisible passageways, we arrived to nature's revelation. I, a lover of nature promptly looked at the bright sky to see what story the night held, and it was a fiesta. A festival of colours. It was fireworks at New year's crossover. Galileo's telescope had seen it. I had never seen stars that bright and so near. When they speak of milky way, you do not say you've seen it until you've seen stars this colourful, bright, and close, or better.

Patigi wakes up together and goes to sleep together. And when Patigi woke up the next morning, it saw curious minds walking it's dusty, barely tarred, roads. First to eat, before a full exploration. Patigi is known for Fishing, and other aquatic related activities. But it does not surprise too much that some goods were fairly overpriced. Grocery, beverages, and basically everything they do not produce in large quantities, or are unable to produce at all. After boarding #1, 400 vehicle from Ilorin, Kwara State's (overrated) capital, those goods deserve to be expensive.

Patigi is a place of many tongues. Nupe, Yoruba, bits of Hausa and bits of Fulani, and of course, English (broken and diluted).But the many tongues do not separate the people. Kwara is a State of Harmony, no doubts, and Patigi is a practical demonstration. This is why a total stranger, a motorcyclist at that, would be willing to assist with further negotiations when we got to the (not so) renowned Patigi (beach/) River.

River Patigi is a confluence of people, of water, and of the world. The river is wide, deep, and overall massive. Ferries, canoes, boats, speedboats, name it, you'll have it if you can pay for it. The river Patigi confluence brings traders, travellers, and tourists to a river that separates Kwara State from Niger State. It takes less than twenty minutes to make the crossing from the banks of Kwara to the borders of Niger. That is not all, this massive work of nature, this river, connects with River Kaduna, River Niger and even links with the River Benue at Lokoja.

You'll see boys as young as 8, manning the transportation mechanisms in skilled manners. Grown-ups watching the next set of Patigi Men move people to and fro. The transportation is not limited to people. Vehicles move from Kwara to Niger in less than twenty minutes too, with the help of well built ferries, while tourists are taken through a well paid tour of the water.

Boat driving doesn't come with manual (at least in this part of the world). It comes with focus, concentration, and skill accumulated over time. I was privileged to drive one of them, and the instructions drove me nuts, even more than I was driving the boat. "Gradually gradually, don't look back (at the engine/steering), press... power... (sic)"
were the words our volunteer guide, whom we were handed over to by the young Kaduna State born Muhammed, who was the overseer of all activities at the bank. This is the skill which an eight year old learns and feeds on, develops for over five decades, until perhaps his death. Does Nigeria have skilled representation at Olympic events like rowing (which these people do well too), and boat driving? Maybe this is not the name they are called. These are a people with raw talent and passion, left in the comfort of their confines. Like Wakanda, water is the vibranium of the Patigi people which they use for virtually everything.

Sadly, unlike Wakanda, they do not have the might to develop that which they have. Unlike Wakanda, they do not have unlimited electricity supply to keep cold, the things they import from Ilorin, or to preserve forever, the fishes they have in bountiful harvests. And unlike Wakanda, they have not chosen to isolate themselves from the world, the government has only chosen to be isolated from this world.

Perhaps someday, the government (of Kwara and Nigeria) would consider tourism, preservation of beauty handed over by nature, preservation of talent, a part of its national identity. Perhaps someday the proposed Ahman Patigi University will be completed, along with the abandoned road of Ilorin to Patigi. Perhaps, just perhaps, the APC secretariat in Patigi would not function only during times of election.
And perhaps, we will have this Wakanda developed to be a world envy. As every other nature gifted artefacts scattered in hidden places across Nigeria (and Africa by extension.)

I speak of an illumination. I speak of a continent built on people and resources. I speak of a rebirth. I speak of a real Wakanda in the dark continent. Maybe not today, maybe not ever. And just maybe, someday.


  1. Nice piece. I have been to Patigi before for a function but didn't get the opportunity to tour around. But after reading this, I should go on a tour soon. Thanks for enlightenment

    1. You should try having a tour. It's an amusing place.

  2. I give it all to you bro,
    You made me have a very scenic perspective of the place as though I've been there.
    This post has rejuvenated my interest in adventure.

    I hope one day we may both a selfie at the sphinx

    Thank you bro

    1. 😎😎😎you're welcome sir. See you at the top... Or better still, at the Sphinx.

  3. Nice piece. Even though you said ilorin is overrated.

  4. Nice piece!
    Maybe.......just maybe through the voice of the likes of you realisation will hit the government to develop more of these fine and natural endowments.

  5. Oluwaprincely, well done. As usually, o sha pra praying lol. May your ink never run dry hun.


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