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[Nigeria]Nigerian glossary


Written by kevin

Another early start to get to Sokoto. I was surprised by how quickly we got there, it seems the road has improved considerably since my last visit.

I wandered around town a bit and then called Bashir, who I’d first met on my placement visit to Sokoto two and a half years ago. He came and met me and then insisted on driving me around town.

The Sokoto State museum was very interesting, one of the few where I’ve met a knowledgeable guide who could answer questions. They have quite a collection of artefacts and letters from the period before the British conquest of the Sokoto Caliphate. He also showed me around their archive, with official records going back to pre-colonial times. It was interesting to note how the language changed from Arabic to Hausa written in Arabic script (ajami), to Hausa in Roman script (boko) under the British, to English since independence.

I spent a few hours watching TV in the hotel, with the staff doing the usual Nigerian hotel staff trick of changing the channels on the satellite decoder if they get bored of the programme. This usually happens just when you’ve got into a film, they’ll then change it to Africa Magic (24 hour Nollywood).

In the evening we met some of Bashir’s friends at Daddy’s Smart, a sports club, restaurant and non-alcoholic bar. It seems to be where most of Sokoto’s young middle class spend their evenings, unexpectedly relaxed and pleasant if what you’re expecting is a strict sharia city.

Sokoto seems to be developing a bit these days, lots of new businesses going up around the bypass and the old city is being tidied up a bit. They’re still using tiny 50cc motorbikes though, mostly ridden by 12 year old boys or very old men.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, July 18th, 2007 at 08:24 and is filed under bradt, travel.

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