#Pulse36 Day 25 We just covered the entire South-South and South-East

The main ingredient in Abatcha is the cassava. It’s cut into long chip strips and soaked in water so it's softened.

  • Published:
Abacha play

Abacha

(Pulse Nigeria)
24/7 Live - Subscribe to the Pulse Newsletter!

Before leaving UNN, where we spent the night, we made a quick stop at a particular uncompleted building that was famous for one thing on campus; the legendary Abatcha.

Here's my Abatcha story.

The first time I came across Abatcha, I heard it as African salad. Somehow, I almost immediately thought of Abasha, the yoruba word for something irritating, and I knew there was a connection.

Yoruba pop culture has a thing with naming things they don't like with other things they don't like.

So you'd hear someone call you Egun as an insult, but Egun is just the name of a tribe mostly found in Lagos and Benin Republic.

So, I thought, today would be a good day to make my Abatcha point.

I loved it. At first eat. At second. Third. Umpteenth.

But how's it even made?

The main ingredient in Abatcha is the cassava. It’s cut into long chip strips and soaked in water so it's softened.

Add palm oil into a boil. Then add Ogiri and Ehuru. Make a paste. Make sure it's just enough to give it colour and moisture. Some people like their palm oil preheated. Some don't.

Then add the cassava strips. Mix mix. Mix till you know this baby is ready for you.

Sprinkle some Kanda. Or Ponmo. Whatever it is you call it. Sprinkle some Ugwu for nutrients and colour.

Dive into the magic.

Follow our #Pulse36 travel stories on Instagram @pulsenigeriatravel

There's also Okpa. Okpa is like moin-moin 5.0. It has a nickname here, six-to-six. It means when you eat Okpa in the morning and cold coke with it, you're alright for the day. By the time we were ready to leave UNN, I could barely walk.

We met this girl, an acquaintance of Jesuloba. Ebube. Final year student with just a few weeks left to graduate.

“I wanted to study Mass Comm,” she said, “but the school gave me Adult Education.”

I think it'd be interesting to do a survey of Nigerian students to see how many actually got to study the course they wanted, instead of the one the school gave them.

“But photography is my thing now,” she added.

Nothing as interesting as a person creating their own happiness despite a system that says no to it.

That's Ebube looking into her camera at the back. play

That's Ebube looking into her camera at the back.

(Pulse )

 

We headed out to some park in the middle of nowhere. Paid. And hit the road. Next stop? Makurdi.

Travel Lesson: I dunno how, and I know its hard, but always try to find someone who knows the hours it'd take to move from point A to be.

Leaving the South meant bye-bye to strolling from one state to another.

We're now entering long hours territory. The journey to Makurdi was our first lesson. We spent about four to five hours on the road. The only consolation was buying small buckets of orange at 200 naira per bucket. That's no big deal until you realise one orange in Lagos is sold at 50 naira sometimes. Here, it's less than 10 naira per orange.

The plan was to drink them till my stomach was flooded with Juice.

We reached Makurdi late in the afternoon, and the first thing you notice when you enter Makurdi is that they take the food basket thing really seriously.

We just covered the entire South-South and South-East play

We just covered the entire South-South and South-East

(Pulse)

 

Follow our #Pulse36 travel stories on Instagram @pulsenigeriatravel

“Old Bridge,” we told some bikemen.

In 10 minutes, we were there. For a random rider or driver, it's just another bridge, with a rail line. But it's really interesting to know this was once the longest bridge in Africa.

play We just covered the entire South-South and South-East (Pulse )

 

It took 4 years to complete in 1932. When we climbed the lower part of the bridge later, we saw that the steel was marked Lancashire Steel, Scotland.

With River Benue running beneath it, it was a better alternative to the ferry service that carried people across the river because it was faster and of course, cheaper. Although it cost about £1 million to build at the time.

It's incredible how this bridge still stands. You'd think it's only 10 years old, but it's actually about 85 years old.

While this bridge that once had the bragging right for longest bridge in Africa, it doesn't even come close to what is now the longest bridge in Nigeria, the 3rd Mainland Bridge.

play We just covered the entire South-South and South-East (Pulse)

 

Follow our #Pulse36 travel stories on Instagram @pulsenigeriatravel

Remember I said we climbed the lower part of the bridge? Yeah, we did it for the gram too.

We left about one hour after nuisancing and climbing like teenage boys, we needed a place to crash.

The sun was dropping fast, and we didn't want it dropping on our heads.

We found one hotel along the Old Nassarawa Road, Okiky Hotel.

But because hotel food is not for the broke-pocketed, we head out to go find food.

We found this woman making food for sale behind her house just opposite the road. Cornfood was on the menu. I didn't even waste time.

play We just covered the entire South-South and South-East (Pulse)

 

Follow our #Pulse36 travel stories on Instagram @pulsenigeriatravel

Never tried it before. Will definitely try it again. As we returned to the hotel, it occurred to me that we had just completed one phase of the road trip. Every state in the South-south and Southeast, we touched, as it touched us in return.

The next phase will be harder. It will be longer times on the road, a tighter security, among other things.

But we didn't show up because it's supposed to be easy. We showed up because it had to be done.

Read previous episodes HERE

*All photos were shot on the Samsung Galaxy S8+.

Do you ever witness news or have a story that should be featured on Pulse Nigeria?
Submit your stories, pictures and videos to us now via WhatsApp: +2349055172167, Social Media @pulsenigeria247: #PulseEyewitness & DM or Email: eyewitness@pulse.ng. More information here.