I hitched a rare privilege of taking a break from routine and grabbed it, even if it was just for a day!
It was a road trip. Destination: Ogori Kogi State North Central Nigeria
I was excited about the journey and was already savouring the sights of just seeing nature,feeling breeze, reading a book and just gazing and gazing
We had an early start from Ilorin,kwara state and meandered into Ekiti the land of closely knitted towns all surnamed Ekiti.
The weather was quite collected,I was reading my book and relishing old traveling memories at the same time.( I love traveling but for these Nigerian roads!).
Kabba kogi state, a very large and boisterous town was next.we missed a detour at kabba that would have taken us 40 mins faster into Ogori,and that gave me the opportunity to ride on the concreted Obajana road on which the tyres of our vehicle rode with a ” flap,flap” sound. Taking the Obajana route unthankfully pouched us with Nigerian roads menaces: trailers and tankers.All the way into the big and busy Okene town of the Ebira people,we met the snaky metals on wheels in their droves.That really slowed us down .
So,on ward from Okene after about six and half hours drive,we turned into one of the coolest,calmest environs I have ever been too in a long while; Ogori/ magongo local government.
Lush,hilly scenery,wow! I swooned and immediately fell in love.Small wonder,I made a Google search about this serene and most welcoming town after I was settled in.
An intriguing thing about the Ogoris is that,they are Yorubas by default but Ogoris by tribe!. Ogorians speak Yoruba but have a distinct language which Yorubas do not understand.Reason?: Google and a learned freind told me why.
Over 700 hundred years ago, a prince of Ile Ife ( the cradle of the Yorubas) Prince Akinbuluyi went out and settled among the Edos.His sojourn lead to the founding of the Ogoris,an ethnic group with a now estimated population of 65,000 people.The adaptation of Edo languages lead to the formation of the ogori language.Infact I made a deliberate attempt to scout for some Yoruba words as they spoke and was just able to glean some like; Adura (prayer)(,sibe sibe)and,ijo(congregation). The Ogoris speak Yoruba naturally, and another unique language known as OKO.One unique feature of Ogori land is that it is surrounded by hills ( The sight of hills, enthralls me), I counted about six hills in all and was told that the hills serves as borders with Edo state (south east Nigeria). My source told me that Ososo,a local government in Edo State is just 15 mins walk from the town and that some of his ( Ogori) people especially those close to the Ososos border speak their language fluently.
So, back to this hillsome country, I noticed towards night time that there was a burning fire on top of one of the hills.Trust my wondering mind,I requested to known what was happening there and was informed that life was going on on the hills. Infact that the hilltops homes Edo people who go about normal daily activities uphill.These Edos do come down for commercial and other purposes.
If you need to get away from the hustle bustle of everyday, and you want some quiet, just sneak into Ogori land. The ambience is so quiet and cool, the houses are normal everyday buildings with dots of big modern buildings cropped stately at different ends.l was a guest in one of such beautiful houses located just beneath a Hill. At the entrance of the town, I sighted a statue, that of a young lady beautifully dressed and beaded. I got to know that the statute represents a girls festival ” the Ovia Osese” which holds annually in the town.its a festival which celebrates the rites of passage of adolescent girls into womanhood.The festival holds after the girls who must be virgins have gone through an elder woman ” the IYODINA” who matrons them on the cultures ,traditions, values and morals of being a woman and keeping a home.
The girls are then celebrated and inducted into the hall of womanhood. This festival is still alive, hale, and healthy.