John Ikediashi takes us through his neighbourhood – The city of Benin!
He reveals a lot of details we probably never knew about this multicultural town. John also mentions his fondness for the food, some hottest spots, UNIBEN, and much more. Let’s go there!
Benin city is bordered by Ondo, kogi, Delta and Abuja. It is a busy town occupied by people with diverse languages, who value and cherish it’s rich cultural heritage and traditions. It is ruled traditionally by the monarch, Oba Ewuare II. Benin is an ancestral town that has a lot of traditions and festivals like the Igue festival.
Benin is home to many institutions of higher learning. One of which is the University of Benin; my alma mata. UNIBEN’s main campus is situated in a town called Ugbowo, it is mostly a commercial area, while the extended campus is located in Ekenhuan village.
I’ll tell you about Ugbowo area, because that was where I spent most of my time in Benin City, as a student of UNIBEN.
There are three areas of residence for students of UNIBEN namely BDPA, Ekosodin and Osasogie. BDPA is regarded as a place for the elite – where you find all the big ballers and wannabes, fine girls and fresh boys and basically those students who just have this notion that they are in a better place.
BDPA has a very famous street called 19th street, now this street is the busiest street in the whole of BDPA, it is about 5 minutes drive from the beginning to the end and has lots of hostels along the road. Some of which are very expensive and the occupants are usually seen as the big boys and girls, some of these hostels include REEBOK, PROGRESS HOSTEL etc..
BDPA has a famous hotel almost at the end of the street called Deutschman Hotel, where most times people go to chill, relax and swim in the super cool pool.
This one is very important – There is a very popular ‘buka’ (local canteen) in BDPA that has saved the lives of many students.
It’s a haven for most students who come back from school late in the evening, and you just quickly rush in for any of the finger-licking dishes they serve. Cornerstone Restaurant has saved so many students trust me.
Anybody who stayed in BDPA would also be familiar with another high class ‘buka’ called “Toseton”, where food tastes like honey. Enough to drain one’s pocket.
‘Ekosodin’ is the other side of the school at the back gate of the school. Here you have the more rugged students who are just in school to make their way through; without really caring for the fun or the swag. You also find really cute girls here and also guys who are ‘sharp’ and know how to woo ladies really well.
Ekosodin offers affordable housing and some very good eateries.
It is quite a very big place, obviously bigger than BDPA but there is a very popular eatery called ‘APEX’ which does exactly the same thing ‘Toseton’ does to students..lol
I know all these food joints because I’m a foodie!
Another significant place is ‘Osasogie’. It houses the University of Benin Teaching Hospital too. It is well known for high crime rates and its said to be one of the most unsafe areas during or even after school sessions are over.
Life as a student in the school can be fun and interesting or can be very tough and uneventful.
Not forgetting the group of boys in the school hostels, especially ‘hall 3’. They developed a habit or teasing and “arrowing”. They are known for standing in groups along the path leading to a famous complex in the school called “june 12”. They’ll tease students so much that a student might fall down or do a u-turn, due to lack of confidence. They were that bad.
Some popular slangs they use in school and around the school premises and the whole city include “who you epp?” a term that had already been in vogue before superstar indigenous rapper Olamide took the phrase and coined it into a song. Another slang was “you don baff?” Lol. This slangs sound more funny and real especially during heated arguments.
Another notable fact is that the reggae dance hall star and German juice crooner Cynthia Morgan is a product from Benin city too.
Benin has a great night life. Young people in this clime really love to party hard and trust me with a lot of clubs and bars they do it well and good. The main spot for all these happens in the GRA quarters, with clubs blasting loud music and drinks going off the table. Club Cue, Club Jokers, Club Terrazzo, District 41 etc are always the places to be on a weekend night.
That sums it up. Benin city is indeed a place to be.