Behind the two hundred Naira note, that’s where you find them…the legendry pyramids of groundnut that once represented Nigeria’s self sufficiency in food production. I write from that city where the pyramids were said to have existed; Kano the biggest of all northern Nigeria cities.
Quick history class;
Kano State became famous for its magnificent groundnut pyramids during Nigeria’s period of agricultural boom in the early 1970s. The pyramids came about because licensed agents would go into the rural areas, buy up groundnut harvests and bring everything to Kano for eventual evacuation, by train, to the export facilities in Lagos.
Since there were more groundnuts than trains to carry them, a warehousing problem soon surfaced, hence the stacking up of groundnut sacks into skyscraping pyramids.
Where did the Pyramids go? Dami my friend asked me online some days ago. Your guess is as good as mine. Here is my guess; they melted away under the heat of our mad rush for oil and along with it every thing that independent Nigeria boasted of, the cotton fields, the cocoa & oil palm plantations, textile industries, good leaders and our collective national sense of dignity.
I feel anger as I type.
It’s been a week every right thinking Nigerian should be angry. A week when we sat back helpless and watched a small group of people led by a shameless queen mother threaten to put a Knife to the slim string that still holds us together as a nation.
But I wouldn’t bore you. My fingers now hurt from typing articles against them. They don’t read you know. I am now set for action. Yes, action. The kind that rings like a telephone in the dead of the night inside their clogged ears. The kind that sends only one meassage; CHANGE!
Back to my weeks story.
I hit Kano from Katsina on Tuesday. Last weekend wasn’t as boring as was now usual. I made a great discovery. Haha…beer, plenty of it was sold in the hotel in Katsina. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Men and women, boys and girls sitting round tables that looked like islands in the open area, quaffing.
Wasn’t the open sale of alcohol prohibited in the state? Weren’t most of these people supposed to be banned by their religion from tasting anything with the OH radical?
Damn. Talking about single a story, that was the night I lost it all. Every bit of it. Shariah is indeed politics. Laws made to witch-hunt the poor and to secure cheap political gains. Honestly, Guinness and Nigeria breweries are is good business up here. Good business.
Round and round Katsina I went. I was at Bindawa LGA. I saw the Yar’adua family House. Was at the palace of the Emir of Katsina for Jumaat . The Suya in Katsina was the best yet. MTN 3G internet was at its worst. I did cyber cafes and jeez what viruses I picked up. Sunday Mass was at St Martin de Porres (amazing name).
There was something very unique about Katsina. The Mosquitoes. They are like house flies. They fly around even in broad day light. They bite like craze. Jeez. As they fly about, so does malaria fly around and yes that’s what my mission in the state was about, Malaria.
A senior nurse at one of the facilities really did take me on. She accused the Government and NGOs of being busy churning out drugs without doing much to control the source of the problem. Not even my talk of the long lasting Insecticides treated Nets (LLINS) would assuage her. She hit the nail on the head. Our Environment is too dirty and that is the reason why no matter how much Global Fund spends on free ACTs, there would always be malaria. I couldn’t agree less.
Now, whose responsibility is it to fix that? Simple answer, you and me.
Arriving Kano was a special experience. Big city as rowdy as Lagos. No pyramids. Traffic madness. Crazy driving. Hot. Yes, hot. That’s the most remarkable thing about Kano. The heat is alive. It is the kind that makes an air conditioner look stupid. The type that makes you wish for haze. The kind that makes me feel sick. Sick and sticky. Thankfully I am already dark in complexion. Can’t get darker than this I hope.
Did I mention that Man Utd trumped West Ham 3-0 within the week? Ok, now you know. Hehehe…there was something to cheer about after all.
Finally, (in a hushed tone), I saw Mohammed Abacha’s face on a poster signifying his intentions to run for Governor of kano state. From me here, no comment. It’s up to Kanawa (Kano people) to say what they make of it through their votes when the time comes.
I leave you with the link to a piece I wrote sometime ago on Nigeria’s rising misery index. Enjoy!