From the Horse’s Mouth – Enugu
Cheers to the weekend, and to kick it off we’re back with another personal account of a state.
Horse of the day: Chidi
Nickname(s): Coal city/Capital of Igbo land
Age range: 25-35
Occupation: Procurement Officer
Brief background: Used to live in Enugu but moved to Lagos over 10 years ago | Married with a baby
Unravelling Nigeria: What is Enugu like?
Chidi: Enugu is a serene place, quiet town and in 15 mins you can get anywhere unlike in Lagos. Enugu actually means a city on a hill. The full thing is Enu Ugwu
Unravelling Nigeria: What is your favourite experience in Enugu?
Chidi: I would say the ability to be able to move around freely without the fear of being caught in traffic.
Unravelling Nigeria: What are your top 5 recommendations of things to do or see in Enugu?
Chidi: Pine Forest Ngwo, Akpuke Beach, Ogbunike Cave, if you like adventure and can take daring risks, try driving on the winding and curvy Milliken Hill, you can also visit the coal camp mine
Unravelling Nigeria: You’ve been to all these places? Impressive
Chidi: Yes ooo! I’ve been there, but mainly in groups. I loved driving on Milliken Hill, but now I don’t think I can take that risk again.
Unravelling Nigeria: Hahahhaha, you can’t now. You’re an old man.
Chidi: You know naa, I have responsibilities and a family to take care of.
Unravelling Nigeria: What places would you recommend for food?
Chidi: Different places depending on what you want, but no matter what you can’t beat Madam Volvo. It’s a local bukka on Ogui Road. There’s Emily restaurant which is a favourite place for students. If you want to impress on a low budget, then Chitis is there for you.
Unravelling Nigeria: What’s your favourite delicacy from Enugu?
Chidi: Abacha and Ugba. Also Okpa is every Enugu person’s favourite meal. If you go to Enugu and you don’t eat Okpa, then you haven’t been there.
Unravelling Nigeria: For we Non-Enugu people, what are those?
Chidi: Abacha aka African salad is made from cassava, Ugba is from oil bean seed and okpa is just okpa. I’ll have to research to find another name. Maybe I will arrange for you to have a taste of abacha and ugba.
Unravelling Nigeria: Lol, thanks. That would be interesting.
Chidi: Okpa can be eaten as breakfast and is normally peddled in the morning by hawkers.
Unravelling Nigeria: Have you discovered any hidden gems in Enugu?
Chidi: Ahh, I’ve left Enugu for close to 10 years now, I only visit there for a couple of days. I’m sure if I still lived there I would have discovered some.
Unravelling Nigeria: Security wise, what’s safety like there?
Chidi: Security of recent has been a big challenge for the South Eastern state, but I can still say that Enugu is relatively safe. Most of the security issues are targeted. Still have my relatives there and they feel safe.
Unravelling Nigeria: Third world country issues abi?
Unravelling Nigeria: If someone goes to Enugu for a day, what’s the one thing they should do?
Chidi: I would just say try and drive around. See Enugu as it is. You can easily go round.
Unravelling Nigeria: Finally, any advice for visitors?
Chidi: Enugu is a good place to relax. People there are not in a hurry, they take their time. You notice that in their driving and movement. So if you go there, don’t expect anybody to be in a rush, or your driver to be speeding.
There are some good and affordable hotels, so accommodation will never be a problem. There are good road networks too.
Enugu is a university town with about 3 higher institutions, so there are alot of places to hang out for the youth and young at heart.
Enugu airport – Akanu Ibiam is a major airport in the East, so travelling to Enugu is not a problem at all. Don’t forget Enugu is the capital of the Eastern states, so the town is more developed when compared to other Eastern State capitals.
There’s much to say, but let me leave others for you to figure out when you visit.
There you have it folks, Chidi’s account about Enugu. I for one thought that was a very interesting and detailed interview. he also seems very proud of Enugu.
After further research I was able to find out what okpa is.
Okpa is made from Bambara flour which is gotten from the Bambara nut (Scientific name – Vigna Subterranea).
It is very popular in the East. In Yoruba land it is called Epa-kuta, Hausas call it Gurjiya/kwaruru, Kanuris call it Ngamgala, the Goemai language in Plateau it is referred to as kwam and for my Ghanians out there in the Gha language it is called Akwei. It is apparently really nice, maybe an acquired taste? But if we try it we’ll be sure to do a review on it.
Hope you enjoyed this piece, catch us next time on ‘from the horse’s mouth’. if you would like to contribute, please feel free to contact us.
Nigerian slangs used
Naa – Now
Abi? – Right?
Bukka – Local restaurant that sells strictly Nigerian dishes