The second day started on a high note. We were served breakfast in bed and the girls all came to my room with their breakfast. We chatted excitedly about the previous day as we had breakfast. “So what do you guys have planned for me today,” I asked unable to contain my excitement.
I didn’t know I will enjoy being dragged away from work so much as I thought guiltily of Mrs Obi’s file that I had not touched which is one of the pending Matters I had in court. I grimaced as I remembered the Judge in that particular Court I had filed in did not like me. She had a habit of picking on me anytime I had to make an appearance in her Court. She always had an issue with either my dressing or hair or nails. It’s been frustrating. Anyway, it’s party time; I really don’t want to be thinking of that witch! The girls refused to disclose what the plans for the day entailed. All I know is that bum shorts, tank top and a filmy flowing kimono style shirt was laid out for me with matching sneakers; red was the dominant colour. A jeep came to pick us soon after breakfast and we were on our merry way. It was a longish drive but we finally arrived at our destination, Olumo Rock! Wow, I was elated. Ever since I came here the first time, I fell in love with this place; its ancient hills and its historical background. The name Olumo means ‘troubles and sufferings are all over’. The history of the rock dates back to the 19th century Oyo Empire when Abeokuta was inhabited by the Egba people who found refuge at the Olumo rock during inter-tribal wars. To give a bit of an insight into this magnificent piece of history, I have to culled this from wikipidea so I will not forget the magnificent history of the place; Olumo Rock is a mountain in south-western Nigeria. It is located in the ancient city of Abeokuta, Ogun State and was historically used as a natural fortress during inter-tribal warfare in the 19th century.
Its patron spirit is venerated in the Yoruba religion as an orisha’. Olumo is a popular tourist attraction. It provided protection to the Egba people when they needed it, and is now held in high esteem by the members of the clan. The mountain, one of the most popular tourist destinations in Nigeria, sits in the heart of Abeokuta – a name which means “Under the rock” in the Yoruba language; it has a height of 137 metres above sea level.
Abeokuta was originally inhabited by the Egbas, who the rock provided with sanctuary and gave a vantage point to monitor the enemy’s advance, leading to eventual triumph in war. The town of Abeokuta eventually grew as these new settlers spread out from this location. The site includes a museum, restaurants, water fountain and the ancient Itoku market, where local artisans and traders enjoy haggling over prices just as much as the customers like to find a bargain. The market lies just outside the Olumo rock premises.
It is the center of the indigenous Abeokuta industry of tie-and-dye, locally known as adire. We used the ancient path to climb all the way to the top, the climb was tricky but fun. It had just rained so we had to be extra careful as we climbed up the man-made stairs carved into the rock on irregularly sized rocks (or ladders which are now provided) through a narrow corridor that leads to the top of the rock.
All along the way, you will catch sights of carvings in the rock, cowrie-studded statues and the ancient abode of the priestesses of the mountain deity who live in huts on the rock. It was truly as exciting and as magical as my first trip. We just made it to the top and unbelievable, there is a picnic spread on a flat portion of the Rock overlooking the ancient city and guess who was there? “Rick! You?” I exclaimed in surprise. Did I also tell you guys that coincidentally Rick and Dennis are both Egba men from Abeokuta?