Adedoyin Lukmon, a former corps member who served in Kano state, took us on a historic and hilarious ride round the ancient city to see the seven wonders of Kano
Have you ever been to Egypt? Behold in Egypt we have seven of the world’s most spectacular features. The collections are termed Seven Wonders of the World in Egypt. These alone are enough reasons to anticipate a visit to Egypt. I read about it and I was fascinated. Just like Egypt, I had never been to Kano prior to my posting to serve in Kano. In fact the best that I know of is that it is the centre of commerce and that there used to be groundnut pyramid before the oil boom.
In Egypt we have; Karnak and Luxor temples, Abu Simbel, Pompeayaes pillars, Nile River, Islamic Cairo, St. Catherine’s monastery and the great pyramid of sphinx. All of which are of great archeological significance. Whereas in Kano, there are exceptional sites that will make you marvel at the uniqueness of Kano as a city or as a state. These are my wonders in Kano (sincerely it is based on personal perception and the cross sectional view of some few people).
- The Kofas
The ancient city of Kano is marked with walls to barricade the free entrance of traitors. However, there are magnificent entrances to the city along the walls at various points. These entrances are called Kofa. All towns or parts of Kano state with remarkable boundaries are seen with Kofas. The Kofas bore names. For example in Dawaki, the town has four Kofas (Arewa, Kudu, Gabbas and Yamma). While in the main Kano city we have the likes of Kofar Nasarawa, Na’isa, Mata, Kabuga and Gadon Kaya to mention but a few. Sincerely speaking you need to see Kofar Na’isa at night. It is such a beautiful and wonderful scene in Kano.
- Two Wheel Drives
Usually bicycle down southwest where I came from is for some class of people and not a general thing for all. Behold in Kano, bicycle knows neither age nor gender. It shows how classless the society is here in Kano. The big, small, small, rich, poor, old, young, boys and even the females are seen riding the bicycle with such dexterity and bravery that you marvel if the invention of bicycle came from Kano. On seeing a young girl on the bicycle at a time, I was ashamed that I can’t even pull the wheels of the bicycle. I was forced to go and learn how to ride when I eventually saw an old man riding so effortlessly that the wheels are rolling gently, slowly and stead like the hands of the clock. Besides bicycle, motorcycle is another prominent 2WD around Kano. While motor parks are common elsewhere, you will be surprise that in Kano bicycle and motorcycle parks are the order of the day in schools and market places.
- Food Sense
Life is so simple that with N30 you can feed yourself to satisfaction. All you need is N10 hot tea (although without milk, additional N10 will add evaporated milk to it) and N20 cut of bread from a Mai Shayi. Also, fried dankali will also be ok for lunch. If you won’t mind koko da kosai or perhaps a plate of garau–garau can also make a good meal. For all these you don’t have to spend much even when you want it elaborate.
Also, you will be so surprise that while you are on the queue waiting to be served koko by the roadside, you will see a big man step down from his sophisticated vehicle to join you. What a classless society! Also you can be invited at any point regardless of your status to eat together in a big bowl. We also have variety of food made from common food items like rice and flour that are often very delicious; e.g. Danwake, Waina, Gurasa, Zogale, and so on.
When it is hot out here it is usually very hot such that you feel like the heat inside the house could make a quick hot cup of coffee. You wash your cloths and before you finish washing the rest, the one you spread is already dry. When it is cold, it is very cold with breezy-freezy air which is blowing all through the day. The weather is a sure wonder here.
- Coke Side of Wonder
Here in Kano most areas live on the coke side of life where it is sometimes a taboo to see electricity. Yet you see how people have so much adapted to the lifestyle that you don’t even feel the need for the electricity. N20 will help you to charge your phone and if you are sociable like me, you will have options of where to charge for free. Although things are changing now especially in the city where the hitherto “blue line” has been dropped. While in most parts of the city and the rural areas, people make alternative improvised effort to sustain their economic activities with a system codenamed Maja where kiosks and shop owners pay a token to get electricity for a certain period of time daily. Above all we live a life of such tranquility that you wonder how it will be on the other side of life in Kano. Will there be much difference?
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- Dedicated Markets
Unlike other markets elsewhere, in Kano you see the commercial sense driven with specialization. So if you want cloth of all kind in any quantity, there is exclusive cloth market. Same applies to fruits and vegetables, books, food consumables and so on. These confirm that Kano is indeed a commercial nerve centre in sub-Saharan Africa. The prices of these commodities are sometimes incredibly affordable that customers are bound to make profit if purchased for business motives.
- All Space
A fare through a public vehicle within Kano will also leave your jaws wide apart, especially if you are riding for the first time. The modus operandi here is that “all available space”. Apart from motorcycle which has restricted commercial usage, others will pack passengers full like sardines. You will see passengers on engine deck (they call it management) and then again you see the vehicle stop to pick passengers. As you are asking yourself, “Where will he put these people?” you see him open the boot of the vehicle. Don’t ask me what they call such space. (I think it should be “suffer-ment”)
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Even the tricycles a times carry passengers in the space behind the seats. Taxis also do boot things. Surely you are bound to be flabbergasted at first sight. But you see it turns out to be fun especially when you see the passengers enter with delight and no complain.
Ni da kai na ne
Kun karanta abubuwan mamaki na Kano. Marubucin yana daya daga cikin ‘yan bautan kasa da aka turo Kano. Kafin zuwa na Kano bana jin komi na Hausa. Amma a yanzu zan iya tattaunawa da mutane a harshen Hausa daidai gwargwado. Shin ban bada mamaki ba a Kano? Da na zo Kano, naji dadi kuma na ga abubuwan mamaki.
Yanzu kam, na ijiya abun rubutana, alqalami. Na gode muku, kuma Allah Madaukakin Sarki ya taimakemu, kuma ya taimaki kasarmu Najeriya.
Lukmon (a.k.a Dan Dawaki) served in Dawakin Kudu Local Government Area of Kano. This article was first published in the Photo Album Magazine for 2013 Batch C Corps Members.