Any one visiting calabar in Nigeria would agree that it is a fine knitting of colourful, beautiful and serene environment, culture and people.There is a sharp contrast between calabar and the neighbouring town of Odukpani.This contrast however is not set so sharply and evident to the eyes.it can only be percieved through a fussion of sense- a sense that can detect its slightly lesser temperature, more afabled atmosphere and greener pasture. The later though not entirely symbolic is more brilliant to the visible eyes than felt within the rims of the economic strata it should potray. This is calabar.
VISTA OF THE PLACES
The calabar-itu road is a major entrance and exit which most travellers accessing calabar make use of. There is a spot called odukpani junction.from about that point begins the calabar experience. As at the time of writing this essay a big bill board hoisted by star beer bears a picture of a man on full efik-ibibio custome typifying calabar an ancient fad. From about there up to say a three kilometeer distance lies a chain of slender stemmed, thick canopied flanks of forest trees. Pamol-a rubber tree company has two of its entrances amidst these chains of forest trees.seasonally, they vary in their colours; from the usual green to a light brown and kidney type red, making them look more like flowering trees than what they actually are. They sound a welcome for an ancious visitor to calbar, thet the place into which he comes is friendly. Especially for every lover of nature. The trees remind me of a place along Mary slessor anenue in calabar town. Its present name is Botanical garden. People still call it zoo, though that was its former name before the recent governor made a declaration that all animals should return to their natural habitat.
There is a round about still welcoming one to calabar despite its antic but furnished picture. It strikingly hews the mind in reminiscence of the Stone Age. Sizes are magnificient of the pot and drumlike structure with their rough surfaces. The smoother surfaces of the embedded stone carvings on the ‘this is calabar’ sets a contrast with the pots and drum-like structures. There is no diference however in their language. They tell the story of calabar as an old people, an owner of an old culture, and an old place of colonialism that has quikly embrased civility too.
Still from that stone drama, the road remains Murtala Mohammed high way. A stadium projects its main entrance toward the high way shortly before a place popularly called eleven eleven. There is the state library opposite the prisons. Most people I love with strutures might be attracted to the Arikpo Ekoi building but where I will like to be is the cultural center complex. To be there I have to divert from the high way and take the Mary Slessor Avenue. There in the cultural centre opposite etim Edem Park, on its busy day unearthen the relics of an old calabar that has faded away in the eyes of western culture. Dances and stage performance speak louder than the full troath of a tale telling grandfather.
VISTA OF THE PLACES
The people speak Efik as a dorminant language aside the official and unofficial English and Pidgin English respectively.visitors are enchanted not only by its beauty and neatness but also by the unsevered wit of the indeginous hospitality. It people take pleasure in seeing visitors from around the world flocking to calabar for unraveling its true ambient qualities. Visitors are trilled at their respect for elders, carefully chosen words of homage designated for their beloved ones. A wife would infere a pleading tone while asking a husband if he was hungery.she would beg a favour of him not to be angry when she makes demands for monies used in runing the home. This is the typical colour of a calabar woman. She is an Efik like her husband or maybe her husband is an Ibibio. That not with-standing, Efik and Ibibios alike
Have no much discrepancies culturally, dialectally and behaivourally. Although it is imperative that the Efik are born from a stock of a symbolically polished Ibibio. It is reflected in their ettiquette.
Ibibios are the next major tribe in calabar. The argument of the ibibio being different from the efiks as against the efiks being a break away stock of the ibibios still resonates in the mind of visitors who see nop much difference in both. The truth remains that an average Efik is an Ibibio since both clearly understand each other’s dialect, save the curtseying in Efik accent.
VISTA OF A WANING CULTURE
Comparatively, the people now in calabar are not as Efik as could have been in the past. Scholary trends have blended with religion to westernize and Christianize most traditions respectively.there was a custom when women went nude on the street; female genetal mutalation was upheld for its traditional and cultural relevance. Same is of masquarading and the ancient ikumbi dance. Where Christianity and westernisation has spotted a propagation of fetish rites they have Christianized and modernised these customes in their respective places or even put a total stoppage to it whirl wind flame of hazards. This is notable in the case of twin killing and female genetal mutilation. Needless will it be to dwell so much on the past but it is at least important. Today there are inherent desires for the unwaned culture and a need to refurbish the faded fetish but once cherished culture. It is in the light of this that calabar through contrived effort could now boast of attracting the world in its wing of festivity. The calabar canival is a show which no lover of nature art and humanity will like to miss. It is an epitome a tale which no book can tell well. Only a keen sight can aid in this unending admiration of new calabar telling the story of colonisation and modern civility.it is the largest street party in africa and occurs every last week of the year.
Like every visitor to a somewhere something most surely attracts any coming to calabar. In my case, it was the quest for knowledge that brought me. Infact as I write this essay I am sitting at the National science lecture theatre 2 in university of Calabar, off Etagbo road. If I was in need of somewhere to lodge I will take time out to admire the old calabar logde because of my love of the antics. It was founded in 1910. I know I can’t lodge there now but I will ask any one around for a five star hotel. And surely I will have my way because the people are trully hospitable.each day I will live to learn more since the picture of calabar is that which cannot well be told in this little piece, because it is as big as a house conpared to the fullstop that ends this sentence.
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