I loooooove to travel.
As cliché as this sounds, travelling is something I am ever ready to partake in. Be it road trips or by air, there’s just something about anticipating a planned trip and finally going for it.
This particular trip was a Road trip to some parts of Oyo state, Nigeria. Needless to say I’ve been to Oyo several times in my 20 something years on earth but never really gotten to appreciate the state as it should, but you know what they say about not appreciating what you have? Thankfully I haven’t lost this yet. When my mum mentioned she had to go for a number of events in Oyo, I was more than excited to accompany her there. The parts of Oyo state we visited were Igbo ora where my family happens to be from, Iseyin and the state’s capital, Ibadan.
The Journey from Lagos to Igbo ora, Oyo state took about 4 hours. It usually takes less than that but Lagos traffic is the devil.
This road leading from Lafenwa in Ogun state to Igbo ora, Oyo State known as the Abeokuta-Sokoto road supposedly constructed but not completed during the first military reign of Obasanjo as President fascinates me.
It’s a super long road that has somehow since my childhood brought joy and sadness. Each time we approach it, the awareness that we were close to our hometown and vice versa; the return to reality.
We came across quite a number of Checkpoints on our way. From Police officers to Soldiers looking for new methods to make money.
Igbo ora is popularly known as “the land of twins”. This statue of a mother with her twins in the middle of the town corroborates this.
The possibility of having twins crosses my mind every now and then because of the number of twins birthed in our home town. I have never mentioned this to my parents but I don’t think they realise how lucky they are to have come from the same town. Every now and then the thought of getting married and not coming to this town as often especially during Salah when the whole family is present scares me to death. But Oh well that’s something to worry about in the future.
Once we arrived Igbo ora, typically we were served Amala and Ilasa– Ilasa is prepared from Okra leaf and Egusi almost the same way Ewedu is made. It takes a lot of skill and experience to make it as perfectly as the indigenes do. Ilasa has been known to be one of the reasons the residents of the town give birth to so many sets of twins, so if you’re looking to have twins, you know what to do.
After the meal, I was lucky to have met them in the process of making what we Yorubas call ‘kokoro’ made from Corn. I tried finding out what the English name is to no avail but we’ll just call it corn cake. I immediately joined them and found it to be quite easy to make.
We didn’t get to explore a lot of places in Igbo ora since that wasn’t the purpose of the trip but I took a few pictures of significant places in the town.
And the Igbo ora High school which happens to be the beginning of my parent’s love story *cough cough* Story for another day.
The next day we set out for one of the events my mum was in Oyo state for.
The event was to take place in Iseyin, also a town in Oyo state about an hour away from Igbo ora. It was my first time in Iseyin so I was excited to see the town.
On getting to Iseyin, I noticed the difference in the roads compared to Igbo ora. The Iseyin roads were a lot more developed and easy to go through.
The event took place in the Town hall. I got the opportunity of not just watching my mum give a lecture for the thousandth time but also meeting the popular Nollywood actor Saka AKA Afeez Ayetoro who happens to be from the town and who anchored the event. He is everything he is portrayed to be in movies and all. I laughed till I couldn’t anymore.
I was also privileged to have met the Kabiyesi of Iseyin, Oba Dr. Abdul Ganiyy Salaudeen Oloogunebi Ajinesi 1 who did not disappoint with his entrance and entourage. It was interesting to know that the Kabiyesi didn’t just start school at an old age but he also holds a PHD. This breaks the stereotype of traditional rulers perceived as illiterates.
After the event, we took a mini tour of the town first visiting the Oyo State NYSC camp which is located in Iseyin. The corp members were still on camp, it brought back a lot of memories of my time on camp.
We also headed to the Local Government Chairman’s office, and then the Iseyin Central mosque for Prayer before heading back to Igbo Ora.
To say my time at Iseyin was more than eventful will be an understatement, We literally killed two birds with one stone by going for an event and getting a mini tour of the town.
A couple of days after we headed to Ibadan for a wedding. I hadn’t been to Ibadan in a while so it was refreshing to visit again.
I’m not even going to come here and sugar-coat things, the only reason I go for weddings is for the food- small chops especially.
I feel like this trip was just an opportunity to bump into Nigerian actors. We also got the opportunity of meeting Sola Kosoko who anchored the event.
After the wedding, we decided to visit the Ibadan zoological garden. I’ve heard a lot about the place and since we were to head back to Lagos the next day, we decided why not? The zoological garden is located inside the University of Ibadan.
We were opportuned to have met a friend of the family who worked there and who was more than excited to give us a tour of the zoo.
I haven’t been to a lot of zoos but I was surprised at the number of animals present in this particular zoo.
At a point I thought the tour had ended but there was more to come.
We finally stopped by the reptiles section but I couldn’t make it past the front door because I have a huge phobia of snakes. Another story for another day.
It was an all round amazing experience.
I hope you enjoyed this post as much as I enjoyed writing about it. The pictures clearly do not do justice to the places visited because I suck at taking pictures.
Travelling is something I definitely wish to do more in the future. Exploring and an appreciation of new places, people, food and cultures absolutely excites me.