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Wednesday, August 06, 2008

My Gambia Experience

I had absolutely no interest whatsoever in The Gambia, until I had no choice, but to be interested because at the moment that is where my heart lies. No! Not with the country.
Having a new found interest in The Gambia, made me open my map of Africa, then focus on the West Africa country that is smaller than my beloveth Lagos. Before going, The Cave Man had tried to impress me about the place and how much I will fall in love with The Gambia and the peace and quiet. I didn’t believe it of course. Lagos and I are still enjoying our transgressions.

One friend told me that the place is a great tourist attraction and that the country makes a lot of revenue from tourism. I visited their website and saw that much. The website also made me understand that certain things couldn’t be purchased there, so you have to come prepared.

The Gambians are very dark in complexion compared to us, but they appear very peaceful and the place is peaceful. So peaceful to the extent that it’s kind of boring when it isn’t the tourists’ season which begins from October to April.

Their major mode of transportation is a yellow and green taxi. Another kind of taxi, a green coloured one, is used only by those who work in the tourist area, just like we have different taxis at the airport.

One very intriguing thing is how most white women seem to love Gambian men. In the street I stayed was a bungalow occupied by a Briton woman, 72, married to a younger Gambian man. My neighbour where I stayed had a white chick. Age wise they looked okay, and I learnt he just returned to the country. Apparently he was in obodo oyibo. I heard what I saw was small compared to how it is during the tourists’ season. And most of the guys who attract some of these white women are Ras Kimono’s cousins. Hair locked to eternity. When you see guys like these around town, know one thing, they are tour guides. Tour guides wear locked hair and majority are also the taxi drivers of the green cabs and their passengers are only tourists.

Their girls are beautiful sha, though I wasn’t impressed with their hairstyles. A Nigerian hairdresser should go and open shop there.
Majority of their girls have hips. Even the young teenage ones. The Cave Man told me when their girls are born, beads are worn on their waist so that when they are growing, the growth of their waist is limited, that way, they have big hips and very tiny waist.

Unless you are someone who loves to experiment with food, if you are going to Gambia, go prepared. Their dishes in their restaurants are something else; I enjoyed only one and that was because it was white rice and shrimps. Oh, and I enjoyed their kind of suya too. They don’t call it suya and it is lamb meat, barbecued when you order for it, and served with onion.

I went to Bakau market because I wanted to cook. I noticed fresh fish is so very cheap and I regretted why I didn’t travel with spices for peppersoup. I bought rice I cooked but couldn’t eat because it tasted strange and the grains were shorter. I was told Serrenkunda market had more Nigerian food there, but I didn’t have the opportunity to go there.
Fruits are expensive. Infact, fish and transportation are the cheapest, because by the time you are buying something in their currency; Dalasi, and multiply by six to get the price in Naira, who will frown. Yes, the value of their money is higher than ours; one Dalasi to six Naira.

Lots of beach spots to visit and the environment isn’t as rowdy as Bar Beach or Kuramo. You stroll freely without concern of being attacked. But surprisingly, The Cave Man’s friend, S, whose mother-in-law is in town from Nigeria, because S and wife, B were expecting their first kid (they had a boy the day I left), had a surprise.

The Cave Man and I and another visiting friend where leaving the beach at night, and met S and family coming. We were almost home when S called to say his mother-in-law’s bag was snatched at the beach.

I refused to believe. In Gambia? With all the boasting about peace and all, I have heard? Apparently, S was telling his mother-in-law if she could imagine strolling at Kuramo by that time of night freely, without a care, when the bag was snatched and the culprit ran away.

I give it to Gambia, they have a constant supply of clean water. I would have added and electricity, because that is part of what The Cave Man boasted about, but I was there and power outage kept recurring. Anyway, it isn’t as bad as ours, and it was because they had a sort of problem.

I enjoy the way they speak English, and I envy how collected the Gambians are. There is hardly that complex situated we notice around us. They see themselves as equal to anyother person, black or white, rich or poor, and are extremely contented with how they live and what they have. For example, you might employ a Gambian and pay him wonderful salary, he might drop in one day and resign for no reason. He just doesn’t want to work. Simple. Heard their women are more hardworking.

Long and short, I enjoyed my stay. Even discovered NewAfrican magazine over there, and it has an interesting magazine insert, NewAfrican Woman. Wonderful magazine. There is Nigerian price on the cover but I have never seen it here in Nigeria. I will keep my eyes open. (Those of you in the US and UK should watch for it). 'Nice' magazine is to them what Ovation magazine is to us. And the other, 'Ambience', made a nice read.

Hope I’ve bored you enough.



  2. this was quite a refreshing read. A lot of Africans dont travel within Africa, maybe Ghana and cotonou, or SA and that's it.
    Gambia sounds like a place I'll like to visit from the way you described it.

    ....so Cave Man was the reason for the trip?

  3. If you were trying to bore us you failed! It was a great read, sort of took us on a tour of the country.

    I'm glad you had a good time, and look forward to hearing more about the trip (and the Cave Man!).

  4. hmm where the lamb meat cheaper than our suya.
    Gambia sounds...interesting

    so is caveman (wassup with the name?) ur boyfriend and if yes are u guys planning to live in Gambia?

  5. Suddenly you just replaced my love for Kenya with Gambia.

    ... are we going to get a post on happenings inside the cave? ;)

  6. I must say this was an insightful read.
    Gambia seems like a place to visit.

    Humm... so u went there with the Cave Man. Tell us more.

  7. wow, you sure had fun and took time to know the people...imagine their money is higher than ours, how sad...even with our oil...

    so, about cave man.....

  8. Lol..I came back..Its sounds like Gambia is such an interesting place. Glad you had fun.

  9. zizzle...u musta had fun o...wow...and u didnt bore me a bit...so what's the story on Mr. cave man na...Did he come back to naij with you?

  10. Nice to know you enjoyed your trip.
    The Gambians should employ you as minister in charge of tourism propaganda!

  11. yesso chari, help me ask her
    so we too can give mr.caveman a tour of nigeria esp eko' afterall one good turn deserves.... *grins*

    babes glad u had fun, BUT where r d PICS?????

  12. a travel tour company should employ u! seriously, u told d story very well. made gambia interesting. am even tempted to pen it down on one of those places i should visit n my life time.

    i found out dat i love novelty, not necessarily glamour. going 2 a diff country & experiencing their life is a lot of fun.

  13. Glad u had fun in Gambia. It really sounds like a nice place to be.

    come and give us details on caveman oo.

  14. @ bumight- thanks girl. u r very right. there's a lot to interest us within african if we take the time. U will enjoy the place. and yes, me went there cos of The Cave Man.

    @ goodnaijagirl- that wasn't boring? then I tried, or u like boring stuff. lol. Thanks

    @ doll- it's cheaper than our suya. are we planning to live in The Gambia? who knows!

    @ AlooFar- i'm glad I did. U really want a post on the happenings inside the cave?

    @ OluwaDee- thanks girl. U should visit. If i can be daring, you guys can go their for your honeymoon. It's has the attitude of the Carribean we see on TV.

    @ Afrobabe- i had to, so when people talk, i fit talk too. yes o, even with our oil. it's annoying. Well at least we can console ourselves, 14 billion Zimbabwe dollars is less than 200 naira.

    @ arachesostufo- ???

    @ Ms.O- me too.

    @ Chari- another boring person na e u be, if i no bore u. lol. He didn't come o! He will later anyway.

    @ Doja- hmmmm! I go chop money be that. Their communication minister, I think, a chick, is twenty-five years old.

    @ LG- Mr. Cave Man knows 'eko' but i'm sure there are other places I can use to impress him, since I'm a lagosian to the core. The pix are in my laptop.

    @ Free-flowing Florida- thanks, and Gambia is interesting, u should be tempted. i should be tempted, but i don't think I want to love that place right now. and u are right. novelty at times surpasses glamour

    @ Naija Idol- details on the way.

  15. Look at this woman, how many days did you spend in Gambia that you know this much, for any one interested in Coming here im officially a tour guide now, not the Gambian type we call Bumstars.

    Im very sure Jarrai would love you for shooting her country's image sky high and tell me how i can hook up with cave man, make we rock town small.

    And for all who didnt know, Alex Hailey's Kunta Kinte (The Roots)was originally from Gambia.

  16. one of my friends is Gambian and we went there over Xmas/NY last year. had a good time, so true them Bumstars are a lot and they want females with an accent so they can leave and go to Babylon..yes thats what they call overseas..lol..but yup its a nice lil country

  17. Thanks for dropping by my neck of the woods....

  18. Gambia sounds like an interesting place to visit. It's probably the Brits' favourite tourist destination in Africa, after South Africa and Kenya.

  19. @ Sprezatura- ha, now u want a job that I am being recommended for. Go look for the Cave Man in his cave. Since you know Gambia more than I do, there are not lots of caves there, well not that I saw, so locate my cave man.

    @ ShonaVixen- lol @ so true them Bumstars are a lot and they want females with an accent so they can leave and go to Babylon
    i agree it's a nice lil country

    @ Loomnie- no probs

    @ naijalines- so i heard. mostly european visitors.

  20. We once had a girl in my primary school from Gambia. She was very nice. I think her name was Awa.

    Thanks in advance for your help in finding Niyola. I hope I can contact her soon....

    How now?

  21. I really want to travel around Africa next year
    So Im trying to learn as much as possible about different African countries.
    This was very insightful and balanced. Glad you had fun.

  22. Uzezi I really enjoyed reading this. Makes me want to visit Gambia and all the fresh fish at cheap prices i can eat; you know say i be Rivers woman so that i would enjoy.

  23. Humph
    You better pack your stuff and relocate to Banjul.
    Your heart is apparently there now.
    + it would be nice to get a viewpoint from there.
    thats where Gambian girl is from.

  24. You obviously had a nice trip uzezi.

    So tell us, how did u meet caveman? We want to hear the gist abeg,lol...

  25. @ SOLOMONSYDELLE- no probs. will drop her number with you soon

    @ NigerianDramaQueen- u go pay me be that. can i come wt u on the trip?

    @ dat one okrika girl- heyheyhey. Niger Delta in the house. u dey lose for water? then u will love The Gambia and their beaches

    @ tobenna- maybe i should just pack and go.

    @ Aphrodite- u want gist? i will give u gist. soon

  26. Girl you have just made me home sick to the core...so the man is in gambia....very nice, he is a cleaver one to pick a stress free location!! LOL

    See how you have hailed my country, you have done it justice. I am so glad you had a nice time...

    Did you notice no one rushes anywhere...its terrible, i still walk "slow" according to my friends. Its the gambian trait i guess.

  27. @ Jarrai- and Jarrai was here. no rushes to go anywhere and no traffic and funny enough, that almost made me bored till i went to Banjul and saw people and I nodded. This is what I am used to in Lagos.

  28. good to hear about the gambia...abeg is ur man from there???

    I hear jollof rice originiated from gambia..they call it wollof rice or something..is it true???

  29. @ aloted- no. heard jollof rice originated from senegal, not gambia. but then, it's almost same cos gambia is surrounded on both sides by senegal. the cave man isn't Gambian

  30. Oh wow dis was a realllly nice read.

    Gambia soundz quite nice.. u rily analyzed every interestin bit.

    I hv a gambian friend.. maybe i shud get my ass up and go visit him and dis gambia place sumtym.

  31. @ Mz. Dee- go visit him so we can share stories and form a club of naija chicks with boyfriends in The Gambia. lol

  32. ...have i missed something?...who is this cave man?...did you meet the leader?...i'm forgetting his name now!!...i want to talk to him about his cure for aids...

    ...nice write up though...been curious about the gambia...have a friend who visited there once...

  33. Noice, how far from Naija? I want to visit.

    And, sisterly, caveman isnt a sexy name, lolol...

    Thanks for the bday wish!

  34. @ guerreiranigeriana- the president has a cure for AIDS? Yayha Jammeh, that's his name, always in the news. he mixed a drink for some women and one drank it and took in after many years of marriage. she had a girl and named her after the vice president who is a she. that was when i learnt the president is a Herbal doctor.

    @ Omosewa- not very far leave here with Bellwiew by 7am, and get there by 1pm and that is cos of delay and stopping at Freetown to drop and pick passenger and more delays,

    or u go through Dakar Senegal, with virgin naija, spend the night and next day connect to Gambia.

    i know caveman aint sexy. It's a joke thing. I dont call him that.

  35. You and dis your peppersoup! hehehehehe laugh wanted to kill me cos somehow when you started talking about fish...na there my mind go...hehehehh

    Gambia is very popular oh...their young men are willing and able to satisfy the older women here...and they no shame for the matter oh...

  36. Darling! i came here and coulda sworn there were no new posts! wow, i've read up though and i am intrigued...

    first off, who is Cave man?

    secondly? why were u in the Gambia? work? or play?

    i enjoyed this journalistic report on the Gambia, very refreshing.

    wish Nigerians would be more interested in African countries than the european ones! do i need a visa to go to Gambia? pray tell cuz i plan to travel some this year.

    welcome back Zezi, i envy u the daystar program cuz i still havent done it (after 3 years!)

    i'll camp in a corner and wait for the update...

    p.s. White women just love black men in general!

  37. lmao @ 14 billion Zimbabwe dollars being less than 200 naira...sorry Shona...couldn't help it...

  38. hmmmm u'd be really good in advertisin, see how u just sold the country!

    wow, n i always thot naija had the best economy in west africa...my bad...

  39. Tourist Uzezi...but you try sha going to Gambia. Did you need a visa?

    I know their girls are hippy...mind blowing!

  40. seems like a lovely place.

    my hausa (or was she fulani) also commented she grew up wearing beads, and i must say her waist to hip ratio was crazy.

  41. @ Waffarian- what will an isoko girl do without peppersoup?

    i guess the young men who do that are satisfy with that lifestyle

    @ Esmeralda- i try to update once in a while.
    first off, the answer to the Cave man is in this post and the previous one

    secondly? went to see the Cave man

    thanks for enjoying the journalistic report, and really, we need to get more nigerians interested in travelling within africa. no visa is required if u are from the ecowas countries. but u need a yellow card. u attend my church! please do the membership school. im already doing the growth academy, 200 level

    @ Afrobabe- just the other day someone offered to give me a million zimbabwe dollars. i refused

    @ Buttercup- abi o! i will go that way soon. we have loads of stuff others don't have sha

    @ Parakeet- no visa with an ecowas passport. seriously, a lot of people want to go to the gambia now, i go collect fee o!

    @ Bombchell- it is lovely. gambia is. i think i will do that bead thing with my future daughters.

  42. Lol Uzezi..I wan go o. But how do I lay my hands on an Ecowas passport?

  43. i keep meaning to go there...i have a really close friend that is Gambian and the way she talks about home...well...i guess it is the same way i talk about home *sigh*

    Will keep and eye out for the magazine sha

  44. @ Parakeet- im sure u can still use the other naija passport. doesn't matter as long as you have a passport that shows ur country is part of ecowas. u really wanna go? now i am jealous and missing there

    @ Shubby Doo- like they say, no place like home abi

    @ doll- soon

  45. which ones be sooooooooooon *giggles*
    abegi, update jor or u don relocate to gambia?????

  46. @ lg- lol. even if i relocate i go still blog now. anyway, i will update tomorrow or saturday,and hopefully, both blogs

  47. The Star

    Twinkle, twinkle, little star!

    How I wonder what you are,

    Up above the world so high,

    Like a diamond in the sky.


    When the blazing sun is gone,

    When he nothing shines upon,

    Then you show your little light,

    Twinkle, twinkle all the night.

    The dark blue sky you keep

    And often thro' my curtains peep,

    For you never shut your eye

    Till the sun is in the sky.


    'Tis your bright and tiny spark

    Lights the traveler in the dark;

    Though I know not what you are
    Twinkle, twinkle, little star!

    -----by aoc power leveling

  48. At The Seaside


    When I was down beside the sea

    A wooden spade they gave to me

    To dig the sandy shore.


    The holes were empty like a cup

    In every hole the sea camp up,

    Till it could come no more.

    -----by age of conan

  49. Gambia is an awesome place to be once in a lifetime. I appreciate the warmth of people and places to visit. I read your blog which shows your perception changed when you spent some time in Gambia.

    Roma, Alarm System Monitoring