*Humming, chewing with my mouth open, and dancing* Hey my butterflies! I’m just over here dancing while stuffing my face with some cake doughnuts. Anybody who dances while they eat is definitely greedy. Seeing I may be a part of that community, I’ve mastered the art of chewing and swallowing really quickly just in case anyone tries to ask me for a piece. I know, how genius; what an inspiration.
Does anyone know why Nigerians call this glazed bread a doughnut?
Anyways, grab you a doughnut or glazed bread and get ready to be mesmerized.
The Journey There…
I have been busy hustling and exploring, and I caught a wift of inspiration and impulsively decided to go to this place called Agodi Gardens which is in Ibadan, Oyo State which is in southwestern Nigeria. First thing first, I organized a ride and decided I was going to take a taxi and a danfo all the way there. While I was in the taxi zoned out listening to some music, I realized the car came to a complete halt. As soon as I look up, Two LASTMA (Lagos State Transport Monitoring Agency) men; one who looked like he just finished eating a hot plate of amala and the other who looked like he could do with a few, jump in the taxi like some African Ninjas.
I’m like oh hell no here we go again, I ain’t going to jail. You guys know I’ve been before. Fine, I was just outside of it, but as a Yoruba babe, I must exaggerate. Anyways, I pack my bags and get ready to hop out the car on to the expressway and the under and overweight ninja are like ‘no madam just relax.’ The elderly taxi driver begins his theatrics; begging and pleading and waving some old dingy box while doing it. I wasn’t too bothered about what he was on about as it was hot as hell. I was just eager to get to my destination so I could begin my adventures in a garden that I prayed to God may be enchanted. After some time, as usual, they left him alone, he thanked them profusely and we continued on our journey.
The Inspiration Along The Way…
While looking out the window, I noticed that dingy old box he was waving around. It read Digital Therapy Machine. Out of curiosity, I asked him what it was. He said he had a bad hip and the doctor had prescribed it for him to use. I told him I was sorry about his hip and asked if it was actually helping. He said it was That made me glad.
Being the freedom fighter and premature/lazy social activist I am, I then thought about this seemingly 85-year-old man with a bad hip who was determined enough to drive around with a digital therapy machine in his car so he could survive. I recently visited PRAWA, who specializes in helping advocate for human rights for prisoners, trafficking victims and other people in society who are maltreated, so his experience made me think back to that experience. I suddenly felt feelings of both sadness and inspiration as a result. I thought about all the people in Nigeria who were suffering and yet were brave enough to just get through today in hopes that tomorrow would be better. I stopped for a moment and thought about how important us reaching our potential is to someone else’s destiny. It’s safe to say that I continued my journey both sober and full of inspiration.
The Quick Diversion…
Once I got to Ibadan, I first went horseback riding at the Ibadan Polo Club. It was on my to-do-list to ride a horse on my birthday, but everyone said those horses on the beach were too dirty so it deterred me. I couldn’t turn down this opportunity and I’m glad I didn’t. It was so amazing!!! The horse I rode was called Black Trotter and she was beautiful. She had brown silky hair the color of the thick roots of an ebony tree. I gave those polo players a run for their money, rode that horse like Indiana Jones. Ok; I’m lying. The horse went like a mile per hour and I was too afraid to kick it. Felt like animal abuse.
I talked to the guy who looks after the horse and he told me the horse’s lifespan is about 40 years, but because they’re used for polo, they don’t live as long. However, seeing as I’m a Google ambassador in my mind, I checked online and found that the average lifespan of a horse is beyond 30 with good care. However, it still made me upset as I felt in that moment that horses shouldn’t be put in stables and used for sports. They should be free to run wild and shouldn’t have ropes tied around their jaws used to direct them. Anyways, that’s a story for another day.
Pulled Up In the Garden Likeee…
The next day, I was up and ready to take over Agodi Gardens. Entry was only N500, N1,000 if you want to swim which is mad cheap! As soon as I entered, I was enchanted. It was more beautiful than the pictures which should be expected. I feel that things that are made from beauty and bliss can never be captured in a photograph.
I didn’t bring a bikini, but being the hustlers they are, a worker at the park approached me in the middle of my nature selfie session to ask me to come over to the poolside. My first thought was “ugh creep”! I ignored and went over to where I spotted what looked like donkeys! Elated, I go over and start trying to touch them but then reverted to having a selfie with the donkeys instead.
Shortly after, creep disturbs me again about coming to swim in the pool until I’m like, “I don’t have any swimwear”. He then proceeds to tell me that he has a few. I’m happy that creep bothered me because it was blazing and if he didn’t, I would have never gotten in the pool and then I would have melted and died. He brought over some dingy swimsuits but I’m like hey, this is what exploring is about! Make due, make it work and enjoy the experience. It was beautiful, sitting in the pool with such an engaging landscape. I felt like I was in a resort, and I was even happier because I could boast that something so astonishing is in my country, which is inspiration in itself.
Seeing as I brought some vodka in a water bottle being the economical babe I am, all I needed was some food. U know my greedy ass waxed down a plate of suya and forgot to breathe in the process.
The Malnourished Zoo Animals…
As the sun set, I decided to quickly catch the zoo. I met sala and simba and they were beautiful! A little malnourished but you know.
I also met a monkey who tried to take my arm out. I’m still itching from where the little nonsense thing scratched me. Hope I don’t have rabies.
Once I left the zoo, full of inspiration, I sat in the grass and watched the sunset wishing I could freeze the moment and take it home with me. It’s safe to say that all in all, it was a cheap and blissful trip and Agodi Gardens is a park and nature reserve in Nigeria that I would definitely visit again. If you’re in need of inspiration and a picturesque as well as idillyc experience next time you’re in Ibadan, I recommend visiting this spot.