Akure Chronicles: Part 1 - A glance at a new beginning

Who would have known that I would end up in the same very city where I grew up? Just few months ago I was so happy with being in Lagos that I finally thought I would be spending my intern year in a city that has become my home yet very strange to me. Just when I was beginning to fall in love with this state popularly known as Lasgidi my hopes were dashed. I wasn’t going to be interning in Lagos, not Luth, not Lasuth. 

Apparently gone are the days when as a doctor you get a placement for Housemanship immediately after finishing med school. Now it’s all about the interviews and connections. These interviews are so discouraging by the way seeing more than 500 doctor’s fight for just 24 seats? Ok discouraging isn’t even the word it is just point blank ‘Absurd’. The truth is the whole system was just messed up and corrupt. Why am I complaining you may ask? Well, I am not just merely stating the obvious that has become the norms of our very own nation. Anyway not to get lost amidst this….Na so I go for interview for Lasuth and wrote an exam in Luth.....found my way through the streets of National hospital Abuja, all to no avail. Who knew that God has destined me to wonder my way back to my own very town of Akure.

The moment our car drove into the city it reminded me of why I wrote about my life of a JJC in Lagos and then it occurred to me that the same thing was happening here. Akure was different, the air was different …even the sun burnt differently. This wasn’t the Akure I had imagined…My imagination had earlier on created a picture of this big houses made of mud dusty roads and people still dressed in old school attires. Well I was wrong, it was a little better than I thought. It was like a mini Lagos(not in terms of size) before Fashola came in…bikes plying the roads, impatient drivers and pedestrian all fighting for their space. Did it feel crowded? No. Was it Noisy? No. It was at that moment that I realized that I would probably have a lot to write about this city. It was at this moment that my whole Akure chronicles began….

Here are Six things I learned about Akure as a whole in just one month (don’t take this as an offence as I am also an indigene of akure, and this is just a mere observation from my point of view):
  1. The people here are out rightly friendly:  From the Okada man to the Head of an office.
  2. Some of them wouldn’t mind sharing their problems in public: It’s either they trust each other or they probably just like to talk a lot. 
  3.  Everyone seem to know everyone: They seem to know where you come from and your family just by mentioning your surname, how great is that? You meet someone and the next minute you realize they know someone you know, there is just this tie that binds them all together. 
  4.  Most women here wear their hair differently:  I think I am so use to the Lagos hairstyles and Brazilian weaves that I find it strange that most of the women I have seen who work in offices have their natural hair made with just threads or traditional old weaving.  I took my time out to count how many women wore weaves one day while coming back from work, for every  1 woman I met who wore weaves I met 10 non weave wearers. Good to know many still embrace their traditional style and culture.
  5. There are a lot of Boli and Epa (Roasted Plantain and groundnut) Sellers: Ok, to be candid who doesn’t like a good well roasted plantain? I have seen my fair share of Boli sellers but the ones here are to be compared to pure water sellers in Lagos or Kilishi sellers in Abuja. They are just everywhere and it’s so tempting having to take in the breath of roasted plantain being prepared by 3 different people on the same street. I can almost taste it in my mouth just by typing this. 
  6. Here you have to create your own fun: If you come from a city like Lagos where you have everything from Cinemas to Shopping Malls everywhere, life in Akure will be absolutely boring, but the truth is you have to discover what and where ticks for you here so you can have fun. I am still on the voyage of finding those places and things here and hopefully I will meet good friends along the way.

My Journey continues….. I await the joys, friendship and lessons that will come along as I make my way into an endless week of new things, people and culture known and unknown to me. Till then I will keep my eyes wide open for -The good, the bad, and the Ugly.