I was visiting this state for the very first time.
Before now, I had heard so much about these people. Their clement weather, their food, forgive me but I also heard about how their women would “snatch” other women’s husbands with charm(Ridiculous🙄), don’t worry, I’m not one given to superstitious beliefs and speculations and I definitely question stereotypes.
As a matter of fact, these stories piqued my interest in visiting the state, so when I had my first 2 weeks vacation I made that my destination.
I traveled by road and arrived at GIG park. I knew no one except the few Facebook friends I bantered with so in preparations to come I had received directions on how to move about using Keke, opay or Bolt. In any case I was up for an adventure so I opted for the very regular means of transportation, Keke.
I spoke with one, told him I was new in town and needed an affordable hotel, the guy was excited, he parked properly, came down and helped with my luggage, I cornered in and settled. The ride was neat, the rider too was neat, his English was good, there was the accent and I loved it, I’ve seen a couple of movies of these people so I could tell I was in their domain.
He took me to three hotels and then I chose one, all along as we rode he’d show me spots and places of interest. Dude asked if I wanted a wife, that he’d introduce me to his cousin who cooks well and is very pretty, did I take this offer? Ask later sha…😍
We exchanged contacts and before he left he asked that I call him if I wanted to eat, he said I should leave the big hotel food, for him it would be expensive yet not as tasty as the ones down town, so after I settled in,I called him and he came for me, we went to some village-like setting and I watched in admiration how they hailed his entrance, warm smiles were thrown at me, I was immediately served with water to drink and wash my hands. Then a sizzling hot plate of goat meat peppersoup arrived, I commenced duty with all speed and zest, then I was asked what soup I wanted, could I chose? I simply obeyed his choice. My people are not known for soups especially the leafy ones so I was a bit skeptical about having some but then I was open for a new experience… I was still admiring the camaraderie in the atmosphere of this place, people walked in and the welcome was just as warm as when we entered, the hearty laughter, the handwashing ritual and a plate of something to stay with while the main food was coming.
Then two graceful ladies approached my table with a tray of food, the sight of the food sparked triffles of saliva down my throat and till now I can’t explain why my taste buds reacted like that at just the sight of this food.
The plates were earthen, nothing modern or contemporary. I thought the food was too much but in minutes my plate was empty, I savored the journey of each swallow down my throat with utmost relish, I asked to take some back to my hotel.
I finished my two weeks stay in Akwa Ibom State and returned to base with memories that has found a resting place in my heart. Away from that rider, I met other people, I visited the market, I worshipped in their churches, I did movies, watched local football and even played with them.
I didn’t even get to announce my newness in town while at these places, somehow I just blended in. I made many friends and we’re doing business with each other now.
Since that one visit, I’ve become a regular in that state, I now have a business there and I definitely understand why any man would switch from his former babe to one from this place, it is not juju, those ladies are care and beauty personified.
Like I said, ask me this gist later and I’ll do you a full movie.
Akwa Ibom people are welcoming, peace loving, generous and very accommodating.
They give meaning to the word hospitable.
They are my second home now.
That is just one of the many testimonies made about our state. As we begin this journey of giving you 33 reasons to visit Akwa Ibom State on our 33rd anniversary, we invite you with open arms. Come! Visit! meet our people!