I’m gradually turning into a tourist but then no one should blame me ??. Why should I visit a city with tourist attractions and I won’t go there? ? It won’t work. My first was in 2009 where I went to’THE GATE OF NO RETURN’ in Benin Republic, my phone got missing after that journey and I lost all my pictures???. I followed my friend for her sister’s visiting day in Abeoukuta which is roughly 1 hour from Lagos. I was like why don’t we take a look at this Olumo Rock, I might never have the opportunity again to be there. Everyone agreed and I was excited to add to my archives places I’ve toured.
When we got there, we paid a token of 700 naira which included the tour for the museum and the famous rock. The Olumo Rock is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Nigeria and it is located in the ancient city of Abeokuta ( meaning ‘under the rock’). It was originally inhabited by the Egba people who had intertribal wars in the 19th century. It served as a sanctuary for the people and used extensively to monitor the enemy’s approach. It was turned into a tourist site in 1976 and commisioned in February 3rd, 2006 by Chief Olusegun Obasanjo. The highest point is 137metres from the base of the Rock. Symbolically Olumo is the single most important representation Egba nationalism (heroism and freedom). From the top of the Rock you can see the first church in Nigeria, NTA Abeoukuta, River Ogun, Baptist High School, The first house in Abeokuta, The Central Mosque, the family house of late Abiola,etc.
The goats there are the Real MVP. Photo bombing my pictures anyhow. From Ekiti I encountered their strange behavior of fearlessness and now Abeokuta. I had no option but to bond with them and accept them into my camera roll.
From the tour we learnt that the Rock is annually celebrated which involves the sacrifice of human beings in the ‘olden days’ but due to civilization chickens, rams, goats, etc. There is a shrine filled with vodka, feathers and literally ‘stank’ because of rotten animals/ blood. There is a tomb behind the house of a chief called Sonni Osi-Toko who died 23rd January 1956 at 122 years. A tall tree at the uppermost part of the Rock is said to be over 300 years old. It was said during raining season the Rock produced water that could be used by local herbalist to cure sickness and diseases, but it stopped producing water 50 years ago. Before I even forget we saw the Warriors hideout under one tiny cave-like room where they had holes in the ground for pounding their food.
The struggle to climb those rocks were real. God knows I was ‘kabashing'( speaking in tongues) even if I was forming tourist. Inasmuch as it was fascinating, it was fetish too, the whole babalawo’s thingy and sacrifices. I had my bath with the blood of Jesus after the visit?
In all, it had me thinking that if the Egba people could take Olumo Rock as their hideout in times of trouble, how much more our ‘ROCK OF AGES’. You know the lyrics go like this ‘ Rock of Ages cleft for me, let me hide myself in thee…’ God is the surest Rock anyone can feel safe in ✌?️.