A few days ago, I craved adventure. For those of you that know me, I’m presently serving my country in a remote village. After months of staying there, I craved release and adventure. So I set sail for Osun state. Fortunately for me, I’ve got a friend living in that city 🙂
Let’s start with the journey, there are some points I want to briefly point out.
On getting to the garage at Minna, I got a bus at Mobil going to Kwara state. In case you find yourself in Niger state and you want to travel to states like Ilorin, there’s a garage at Mobil in the heart of Minna. Just in case you need more directions, you can call this line 0803 973 1968. That should sort things out.
As the journey commenced, we spent about 6 hours in Niger state alone. Oh yes, Niger state is that big. When we got to Mokwa (still in Niger state), we concluded that life is not that hard. So we stopped to eat at a popular garage.
On getting to the restaurant, I noticed that all the women there were Yoruba speaking women. I felt a sort of tranquillity about this. Maybe it’s because I had spent months amongst Hausa speaking people.
Now, where I am going to is the food 😋. You see, I ordered one Akpu, then after looking at it, I added one more. Thinking that at least even if I can’t finish one, I’ll eat one and a half. Then I ordered ewedu with gbegiri and meat.
Dear people, as I sat down to eat this food, I did not know when I devoured everything on my plate. Like, the food was just too delicious and I was like “mehhnn! I finished two Akpu. God is great!” 😌
Just in case you find yourself in this axis, the name of the restaurant is Shop iya yisa, at Kanji garage. Don’t worry, most drivers stop at this place to eat but there are more than one restaurants in that axis. So…
Moving on, on getting to Osun state, I met my friend and I was taken to where I was lodged. The next day we decided to visit Nigerian Open University Osun-Osogbo State and Osun-Osogbo Grove.
On entering the gate that leads to the grove, I was amazed at the artistic designs that served as fences for the grove and the more I walked into the grove, the more amazed I became. Have you visited this grove? Were you amazed by the designs you saw?
I got to know that one of the trailblazers when it came to restoring the art in the grove was Susan Wenger. Susan was an Austrian artist who fell in love with the Yoruba culture. With other artists, she was able to artistically retain Yoruba’s culture in that grove. Way to go Susan 💪, she’s dead tho 😪
On entering the gates that led to the Shrines in the grove, we started seeing the images of deities.
One of such deities was the goddess of fertility. From what I learnt, the river is actually in honour of her.
While walking, we saw some people shooting a music video using the grove to portray the Yoruba culture.
Things were going well until we stepped into the gates guarding the river. As we were walking towards the river, a voice told us to stop and proceed towards him. I was like “hope it’s not as if we are trespassing bayi?”. But my friend was confident, so me too I put on my “confident face” and proceeded to meet the man in my friend’s shadow.
On getting to him, he introduced himself as the Awodi and after all the fake smiles (you know how this goes, fake smiles and all), he told us to give him something. After deliberating with my friend, we gave him a token and told him to please use it to drink water. Actually my friend told him that 😏 and it was such a weird thing to say cos the man was literally living beside a river. The man sarcastically said he does not drink water, and so my friend tactically changed it to (please use it to buy herbs) lol. Did you meet this man when you went to the grove? What was your experience?
We proceeded to the river and then I was surprised by what I saw. Oh, by the way, we were not allowed to wear our footwear to where the river is. When we stepped into the gates guarding the river and the shrines, we had to remove our footwear at the steps.
Moving on, the river was nothing I thought it would be. It was dirty and messy. And I was like, “okkkk…is this it?” But then it seemed the rains turned that river into what I saw.
Truth be told, It was as if a river was selected and then made sacred by people for the preservation of the natural habitat of that place and the Yoruba culture. However, while discussing this with my friend, it dawned on me that there are actually diabolical powers present in this world. Just that the power of the God I serve is greater than all their powers combined.
While we were beside the river, four guys entered the gates and came towards the river. They bent beside the river and washed their hands and their heads all the while praying. And I was like “wow, there are people that actually believe in this stuff.” Despite the dirtiness of this water, these guys still washed their heads with it. And I know it’s not good to eavesdrop, not that I was eavesdropping or anything, but I heard one of the them saying “I want to buy Benz” and I was like “realllyyy?” Lol
Then the sky threatened to rain and we had to leave. While leaving, we met this woman selling sobo and from the first sip of the drink, we felt as if we entered heaven and returned. It was so good that I had to call the woman and I was like “madam, this is great! Well done!”. So just in case you go to the grove and you want to bless your taste buds with this deliciousness, the woman is located just outside the gates that leads to the outer part of the shrine; just before getting to the gate that leads to the inner part of the shrine. Confusing? Don’t worry, if ever you go there, you will see what I mean.
Till I come you way next time. Stay safe dear people ✌