My current location is Bida, it is the second largest place in Niger State, and it is a very ancient town.
It currently sits comfortably on a 40° weather (this is not even the peak of the heat in this town). The heat is what the town is famous for these days. The kind that gives you night sweat and excessive amounts of perspiration. Meanwile the UV index is on the EXTREME. EX-to-infinity-to-xtreme.
Health experts have said to avoid sun between past midday and 4pm. But as far as this town is concerned, 9am is not an actual time anyone would want to be outside, let alone 1pm.
Uh ahm, SPF 50 would probably just be a joke in giving reasonable protection.
IT. IS. THAT. HOT. The scorch can be felt under the comfort of a roof.
Here’s my view at 10:11am today;
It’s not my first time here, and everytime I have been here, I say I would never return again because of the way I tend to react to the heat. But after a couple of years when I think I have finally succeeded, well, I find myself right back.
Dang, there are definitely forces that keeps pulling me back here.
The heat is unbearable. My son Judah had rashes popping out his neck as early as the next day after we arrived. It feels like camping next to a fireplace when it isn’t even chilly.
And as if that isnt enough, there’s no stable power supply (it’s rationed), which means generating power by the most popular means in Nigeria is the way to go most of the time.
I believe the sound of generating sets might be just the reason for this constant banging headache on my fore, like dragging the sharp edge of a saw on a metallic surface.
You have to be lightly dressed throughout the day, and maybe just let yourself adorn your birthday suit, especially if you feel the need for a good night’s rest.
Surely, that’s what I have had to do to stay sane.
While blasting direct air on to my skin from the rechargeable fan and from the AC (when there’s power of course), but the result of all that is FLU.
As I am writing this, I am battling the most annoying flu, I’m just so weak. The connection between flu and weak muscles, aching bones is gist for another day. But how terrible can it even get?
Heat, headache and flu, oh my goodness. Am I sounding like a spoilt brat?
You know like; the guts of her, complaining meanwhile there are people who do not have what she has. Like there are people who do not have a home, or a bed to sleep on, and there are those who can’t afford an AC, a generator, or a fan. And she’s complaining? The nerve of her…
I know, I know. (I’ll now stop refering to myself as a third person).
If I come off as an ungrateful whinny little human, blame it on the heat.
Errm, in a bit not to sound insensitive though, let me say that anyone who’s homeless right now has a 100% access to fresh air, if I have to stay here any longer, I may have to move out to join them.
Anyway, I have to chip in something good, like this is my first post from a different location since I started blogging. Errm, doesn’t sound like a major achievement, but I’m still trying to find something good in all of these.
Because even as a geographer, my only conclusion over time is that this place is essentially five minutes away from hell.
Brief knowledge about the town
Bida is a dry arid town known for the production of traditional crafts, particularly glass, bronze articrafts and brass wares.
Bida is the home to the Federal Polytechnic Bida, Federal Medical Centre and Niger State School of Nursing. The federal Polytechnic is known to have made breakthrough innovation in various fields of research. They have invented solar ovens and solar dryers. Well, what better way to maximize the kind of sunshine they’ve got?
But really, what good can be found in this hot zone?
I have been to three other hot zones in Nigeria, additionally, I live in Abuja which is another hot zone albeit less, and of course I have been going and coming to Bida for many years; but it doesn’t look like something I would ever get used to.
Ugh, I really don’t think anyone should. You know the holy grail of tourists sites? Sure why not?
But interestingly there are people who have made a life and a living for themselves here. They’ve built homes, the average worker is a homeowner. Some have raised children, developed and grown businesses. So this is home for them.
A town that hardly sleeps
I’ve learnt also that it is a really busy town, and you’ll always find people moving around regardless of the time and how hot it might be.
A peaceful environment
It is generally a peaceful place to be, no insurgencies, no herdsmen killings (none has been heard of at least).
A place for tourists to visit
Bida is also known for its Durbar festival (considered a tourist attraction) celebrated to mark the end of Ramaddan.
If you need an adventure, a next tourism location, somewhere to get customized articrafts or maybe you have never experienced mind-blowing-clothe-wrenching heat before, make a plan.
So there you have it. Check your bucket list, you may just have ” to visit a really hot zone” or preferably “an ancient city” on it. In any case, you should consider visiting Bida, I assure you it would be worth the adventure, and you can thank me later for the heads up.
How’s this for a Monday motivation? If you have any questions please do not hesitate. It will be my pleasure to hear from you.
Picture credit Canva and Phone Camera