Fiction

THE LIFE IN CALABAR – AN INCONSEQUENTIAL SHORT STORY

I drove out of the airport at about 7:15 pm local time on Sunday and was mindful not to cause any delays in the exit lane from the parking lot. The parking receipt had slipped through the space between the driver’s seat and the fancy hand rest. I struggled to squeeze my fat fingers through to where the coloured paper rested while keeping the car in motion since from the rearview mirror there was a convoy of government officials trailing. I was driving a rental car, a small mini sedan which I often drove home from the airport instead of taking the light rail into town and hissing at every stop of the 45 minutes journey. Luckily, my dear friend Esther was manning the final exit gate and she simply waved me on and reminded me “Bros Bee, I’m still waiting for the trip oh!”. “I will call you”, I shouted in response. Call her fire! Ever since I met her at a restaurant in town and told her of my weekend getaway with my wife and friends to Creek Town holiday resort, she has bugged me severally to take her family along the next time I went.

The 1km road from the airport terminates at the ‘Welcome to Calabar’ roundabout, a massive landmark which unites three major expressways leading to the major districts in the City of Calabar. Beautifully constructed and well maintained, I usually take a deep breath when I get to drive around it to remind myself why I love this town. At nights, the dancing streams of water shot from powerful nozzles are coloured by underground lights and quite spectacular to behold. The water acrobatics from the concentric pools move with the rhythm of the local Efik percussions. At Christmas, tourists are usually treated to some elaborate water displays while driving into the city.
Continue reading

Advertisements
Standard
issues

PLEASE READ THIS LETTER – DEJOBBED, BEWIFED, AND MUCH CHILDRENISED

As my pseudonym reveals, all things Calabar excites me. I literally go digging historical documentation to find something about my beloved city. Being a city that has a visible coloration of colonial foray, I literally drool over stories of the days when Efik men paraded themselves as the official mediators between the White man and black man.

I first came across this letter on an amazing group on Facebook called Nigeria Nostalgia. As hilarious as it seems, it opened a window into the years when the English language was separating the men from the boys in our colonial society. I recently came across it again while reading through other letters on the website called Letter of Note, and thought I should share the actual letter and also repost the transcript for those who might not be able to read the actual letter.

The letter was written in 1929 by a guy called Asuquo Okon Inyang to a government official in protest of his dismissal from work for laziness. His choice of words are quite hilarious, and I wonder if these words were actually permissible at the time.
Continue reading

Standard
issues

WILL CALABAR LET ITS CHILDREN DIE?

calabar
Okay I admit that I have a flair for the dramatic as there really isn’t a need for the title of this article. But knowing Nigerians very well, we share this same flair and I am only playing to this national character. Calabar is not the name of a wicked woman who is aborting the destinies of her children; neither are children dying on the streets of Calabar, so no cause for alarm. However, my use of language speaks to another equally important issue that burdens my heart. For me to write about this, which is usually outside the scope of matters I consider ‘note-worthy’, it tells how concerned I am with preserving some of the products of the great city of Calabar. So I hope the right people are reading this; people who can influence change and ensure that we do not lose out in the future simply because we were not careful to invest in our endowments.

Apart from the successes of the state in tourism and entertainment, there remains a lot of untapped resources that we must start investing in. Between the administrations of Donald Duke and Liyel Imoke, we have seen how government can bring prosperity to the lives of people by investing in those areas that are natural strengths for the State. Concentrating on other areas where we do not display comparative advantage is a huge waste of limited resources, and we are not unaware of the effect of this in times past. So this note is just to bring to the fore two other areas where we show relative advantage over other parts of Nigeria.  For these, I believe the State needs to create a strategic plan to enhance our position if none exists at this time.
Continue reading

Standard