From The Horses’s Mouth – Ibadan

Horse of the day – Mr Davies

Location – Ibadan (Oyo State)

Ibadan

Nickname – Ile Oluloye/Ilu Ogunmola (Oluloye’s land/Ogunmola’s Village)
Age Range – 30s-40s

Occupation – Electrical Technician

Brief background – Just recently moved to Lagos but goes to Ibadan as often as possible | Has worked in a bank | Married with Children | Loves old school music

What is Ibadan like?

It is peaceful and serene. There is a very big difference between Ibadan and Lagos. You are able to take your time to do things. No rush rush. Roads are good, there’s no traffic except on the weekends. There are a lot of relaxation centres, zoological gardens etc.

What has been your favourite experience in Ibadan?

I had left Ibadan for 5 years and then went back. I forgot about the lifestyle there. I wanted to get a bus and was waiting at the bus stop. When the bus came I started running after it because that’s what happens in Lagos. Everyone was staring and laughing at me, they thought I was a mad man. It was a funny experience.

What are your top 5 recommendations of things to do or see in Ibadan?

1. Agodi gardens – It is an amusement park.

2. Zoological Garden at the university of Ibadan

Zoological Garden Ibadan

Baboon at Zoological Garden Ibadan

3. Cocoa House – It is a 25 storey building and the first one in West Africa. It was built by Obafemi Awolowo.

Cocoa House by John Thomas Didymus

Cocoa House by John Thomas Didymus

4. NTA House – This was the first TV station in Africa. It used to be known as WNTV – Western Nigeria Television.

5. Liberty Stadium (Now known as the the Obafemi Awolowo Stadium) – Pioneer Stadium in the whole of West Africa and sits 35,000 people.

6. Mapo Hall – It is a town hall built by the British Colonial masters on top of a hill. It is part of the first house of chiefs because Ibadan was the first capital city of Western Nigeria.

Mapo Hall by John Thomas Didymus

Mapo Hall by John Thomas Didymus

Bonus: UCH (University College Ibadan) – This is the first teaching hospital in Nigeria

UCH - Ibadan

UCH – Ibadan

What are your food or restaurant recommendations?

I really like eating at bukas when I’m in Ibadan.

In the day time there’s a place at Okebola, I can’t remember the name right now. You can get Amala with Abula.

At night there’s a place called Iya Kin sun (this means she doesn’t sleep). It opens from 10 till day break. This caters to night crawlers. You can get anything from amala to rice and chicken.

If someone was visiting Ibadan for the day, where should they go?

Visit Mapo hall. Beside it, they have the first radio station in Africa. It was called Readyvision. That area is also like a market so you get to see a lot of things, and because it is on the hill, you get to see Ibadan and the view from up there is amazing.

Any words of advice for visitors?

Be careful of traditionalists. They take their occultic practices very seriously.

What’s the security like?

It is really good. The economy is good so crime is less. It is a safe place.

Any other thing you would like to say?

Yes, if I get the same job I have right now in Ibadan, I will move back in a heart beat. Life there is calm, easy going and enjoyable.

There you have it folks. How proud does he sound talking about Ibadan?

I don’t know about you, but one major reason to visit Ibadan is clear, it has a lots of ‘firsts’ both in Nigeria and West Africa.

Another Tidbit – Ibadan used to be the military camp of the are-ona kankafo. This was basically the supreme military commander of the yorubas. (Who remembers King Sunny Ade singing this about Abiola in one of his songs?).

Anyway make sure you take time out to visit Ibadan, seems like a lovely place. I should be heading there soon.

*Amala – Yam flour also known as elubo

Abula – This is a mixture of gbegiri  (beans soup) and ewedu.

Ewedu is a vegetable known as Corchorus in English, in Thai cuisine it is known as Bai Po, in Arabic – malukhiyah, Turkey/Syria – Molohiya/molacha, Sierra Leone – Krain Krain, Murere/Mrende in Kenya, Ghana – Ayoyo, Phillipines – Saluyot, India – Nalta Sag, Northern Sudan – Khudra, the Songhai people of Mali call it fakohoy and the Hausas/Fulanis call it rama.

*buka – local eatery that focuses on local dishes.