DESTINATION: ENUGU STATE (THE COAL CITY), SOUTH-EASTERN NIGERIA, WEST AFRICA, PLANET 🌍
TOURISTS/EXPLORERS: THELASTGOODMAN, CHEF DAN AND MONSIEUR OBIO (LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN)
One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things – Henry Miller
From what seemed like a meet up of buddies, escalated into some kind of exploration of the ancient red-earthed city of Enugu. Enugu is ancient in the sense that it holds some statutory and significant political history in Nigeria.
Enugu pronounced as “Enu”-“Ugwu” means “Top of the hill”; corresponding with the topography of the city, from the climbing hills to the rolling valleys. Enugu has a very peaceful atmosphere and is indeed endowed with natural resources like coal, laterite, silica sand, pyrite etc and so many beautiful tourist sites to behold. The scenic view of the environments is a beauty to behold.
We started our tour with the national museum of unity. Coming from the backdrop of the recent uproar for secession and restructuring of the country, hence our visit to the museum of unity. The idea for the creation of the museum was conceived in 1972 as a result of the civil war which lasted from the 6th of July 1967 – 15th of Jan. 1970, but started operations in 2006 after its inauguration . As the name implies, it was established to reconcile, heal the wounds, breach the war-created gap, to make whole again and keep the unity. The museum is located at no. 65 Abakiliki road, Enugu (Enugu-north L.G.A).
We got to the museum, paid the entrance/tour fee of N200 and (N600 in total) for the three gentlemen. We met our curator Mr. Cosby (real name withheld), a married and knowledgeable gentleman who was very happy to have us. After signing in, we did some formal introductions and exchanged pleasantries. Mr Cosby was honest enough to applaud our personalities and suggested we were from the oil-enriched zones of the country; of which I abruptly interrupted him saying “we are just young gentlemen working hard so we can ball hard” 😀😀😀
Mr Cosby took us through the three different galleries in the museum namely: the National Unity gallery, the Igbo worldview and the Enugu coal city gallery. Interestingly, each gallery showcases different collections of antiques and artifacts representing differs meanings and values.
Unity gallery: deals with the belief system and displays the cultural antiques and religious background of different Nigerian communities. (dieties), sculptured Oni’s head, the royal saddle(akumari) donated by the Shehu of Borno, local-GPS, Igbo-ukwu bronze staff head, etc. Numerous stuff to see and learn.
Igbo worldview: deals totally with the belief, traditional practices, cultural heritage, socio-economic life of the Igbo people/culture. E.g You get to see the setting of a traditional
Igbo-man’s house and it’s contents.
Enugu coal gallery: explains the discovery, origin, exploration, transportation of coal, wealth creation from coal, and the settlement of the indigenous people of Enugu; the administrators, past heroes, political leaders (past and present) of Enugu State and the south-eastern region of Nigeria.
PS: cameras are not allowed within the galleries, quite sad.
Few metres away from the museum building is a chill out spot, where one could refresh him or herself, amidst a very mini zoo.
After an interesting tour and acquiring some new additional information, we left for Nike.
For me, if someone had asked me few days before my visiting day; to guess the location of a place named “Nike”, I would confidently say that Nike is located in the western region of Nigeria. Does words/names like Adenike, Morenike, Oyenike ring a bell? Anyways, the word “Nike” seems related or associated with the yorubas; and why should a place in Enugu be called Nike beats my imagination and raises my curiosity, leaving me staggered within my reasoning. So I did a little digging and brief reading about Nike, it’s people and having coincidentally made new friendship in the person of beautiful Jenny from Nike the previous day, I had gotten some basic info about the place, so stepping my foot in this place would be fulfilling. So, when the idea of visiting the Nike Lake Resort was fronted I concurred (in Don Jazzy’s voice).
We left for the resort located at Nike lake road, Abakpa-Nike, Enugu just about 15minutes drive from the museum.
After all the ajala-ism, we ended up at the NTACHi-OSA restaurant located just beside the new haven junction for a meal.
A chow here is heavenly. Monsieur Obio and Chef Dan can attest to this. “Their chow go well”. People troop in from the (N, S, E and W) of the capital city for their best delicacies.
That was enough for one day, I retired to the thinkers-corner where I stayed to rest. Thanks to Mr. Peckky.
PS: Welcome dish by the Chef himself.
Follow him via @iam_chef_dee
Stay tuned for more about our day-2 tour.
Have you been to Enugu before, where and where did you visit, did you enjoy your stay?