Skip to main content

Ibadan, a sea of corrugated iron

going to Ibadan
going to Ibadan
Going to Ibadan from Lagos can be a long journey if on a bad day. The road traverses Ogun state before entering Oyo state, where Ibadan is located.
As for most big cities, the approach is progressive, crossing suburbs and industrial area. In the case of Ibadan, though, it feels more like densification of houses, corrugated iron roofs and people at the roadside markets.

colourful on a grey day
colourful on a grey day
Despite its alleged 4 million inhabitants, there is no real downtown and very few skyscrapers (though Cocoa House built in the sixties, 105m tall, was once the highest building in that part of Africa). It is merely a sprawl of buildings with a few floors if at all.

busy landscape
busy landscape
By one estimate in 2000, the city was covering 400km2 - four times central Paris. The city has developed as a trading hub: the railway Lagos- Kano goes through it and it has an airport. The surrounding area is full of arable land.
One only gets a sense of the city's size when the road reaches a vantage point from which one sees a sea of rusted roofs left and right.

the roofs of Ibadan
Traffic of a big city can be overwhelming especially when drivers excel at being creative and inventing new invisible lanes.

any way is a way
any way is a way 


Popular posts from this blog

The Ogiamien family in Benin City: about wood and history

Roland Ogiamien is a renown wood carver. He is now retired in his home town of Benin City and is now in his 80s. We met him in his simple workshop, a barn opened on the surrounding greenery. A part of the studio is used to store wood pieces and make sure they are well dried. He is using a collection of german ustensils to carve and polish the wood. He spent most of his career working out of Lagos before relocating to Benin.
Roland was explaining that the wood he uses today is different from his early days. Ebony has become rare and wood carvers have had to switch to other types of wood. Traditional heritage is a large part of his inspiration which he translates on wood with his own particular style, exploring various techniques for the finish of his pieces.
Ogiamien is the name of an important royal family in Benin Kingdom. Towards the end of the Ogiso dynasty (12th century), Ogiso Owodo did not have a son to succeed him, his brother Evian therefore took over after Owodo&#…

the fish market of Epe

Epe (pronounced Ekpe in yoruba) is a small city located on the narrow stretch of water that separates the lagoon of Lagos from the one, further in the east, known as Lekki lagoon. It is built on the small hills that border the water. It is connected by a bridge to the Lekki peninsula.
The town is famous for its fish market located on the water side. It is the place to buy fresh water fish, some of them still alive. They are kept in plastic buckets but also directly in the lagoon water in woven baskets.
Many more is for sale such as crayfish, crocodile, turtle, monitor lizard, big snails.  Game meat is also available coming from the nearby forest of the Omo reserve. We saw two wild cats with white spotted black fur and a strong scent; As we left we saw antilope legs arriving to the stall.
Some fishes are particular, one is sending electricity shocks when you touch it, another one was looking like a prehistoric fish with a sort of dinosaur like shell; there was also one with giant scal…

The mysterious stones images of Esie

Chief J. Agbo Ooye had been waiting in the shade of a large tree, in front of the National Museum of Esie, dressed in ceremonial costume with a velvet hat incrusted with crystal beads sown in the shape of his title and his name. He was sitting next to his wife on a bench, expecting our arrival. His wife, he would tell us later, was his best friend and she was actually demonstrating it by guiding his frail body from one place to another and guiding his hand when it came to sign autographs of his books. Chief Agbo Ooye is the author of two booklets on the Esie Stones. The first one, called A Personal Account of the Esie Stones is giving an overview of the differences between the scientific and the traditional interpretation of the Esie Stones. The second one is called the History of Esie and gives a brief account of Esie's history from the early settlement of Yorubas in various groups (Esie, Oro, Eku Apa, Igbonla, Edidi, Igbesi, etc...) to the present day. Those groups, who lived o…