The nolstagia kept me far awake into the night on the eve of my journey farther north- Zuba- Kafanchan-Kaduna-Zaria. I had heard different tales about the north, yes gory tales about the present north and sweet tales in the past. While growing up, my mum had regaled us with tales of her early life in Kaduna while working at the former P&T(Postal and Telecommunication, now Nipost) before she was transferred to Nipost, Ibadan. She told us sweet tales about the North, sweet details of life as a detribalized Nigerian. I never imagined that I would one day travel so far or ever visit the North.
I have to credit all my folks who travelled far for NYSC. Even though I heard good tales about the North while growing up, my opinion or impression changed later after the massacre of innocent people, bloodshed here and there, civil unrest, slaughter and carnage. Thus, the North became highly revered. I didn’t see anything taking me there, so much that I told myself I would never venture outside the southwest for Youth Service. Luckily, I served very close to home but I pitied a lot of my friends who were posted to the core north- Yobe, Borno, Gombe. Some of them began to shed bitter tears. While some were able to redeploy, some couldn’t. Anyway, I salute those that went.
Travelling down north, I couldn’t help but wonder how they fared in a different culture and environment. My first taste of northern hospitality started right from Zuba. I sat beside a fine Hausa gentleman who offered me a bottle of chilled lacasera he had bought for himself and offered to buy another one. I declined graciously. Hausa guys usually bear Adamu or Umaru so I guess his name must be either Adamu or Umaru(just kidding).
The only major hitch I had was language barrier. So, Adamu/Umaru and the others communicated expressly in Hausa while I looked on. As I was trying to ask him for directions, the person next to him indicated he was going the same way and he made sure I got to where I was going before turning back. The other hurdle was to get a place to stay. Since it was a friday, the guest house was full already. As they were trying to describe another place, I told them I was a stranger(they could have kidnapped me). They not only asked me to wait, they gave me a very cozy apartment.
So travelogue continues as I go to see a bit of Kaduna….
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