Ogidi Center

Have you ever wondered what life is like in an African village? Ogidi, Nike’s home town nestled among the spectacular rock out croppings of Kogi State, has a population of about 3000. Climb these hills to get a panorama of rain forest farms and towns. You observe the process of Yoruba textile production, from the cotton grown on small farms in Ogidi through the spinners, weavers and dyers in the women’s cooperative that Nike developed. In the evenings the local dance troop entertains you with traditional music and dance, or maybe you’ll be treated to a few scenes from the traveling theater that was a feature of Yoruba life in the 40s and 50s. Chat with local residents, as they practice their English and teach you their own language. Ask the elders to recount the history of their village to you. Visit the remains of the British garrison that was stationed there in the late 19th century, or explore the ruins of the village on a nearby mountain where Ogidi was originally sited.

You might want to take a day to visit Lokoja, located 45 miles away at the confluence of the Niger and Benue Rivers. Now a busy market town and the capital of Kogi State, Lokoja was the site of the first capital of Nigeria when the British amalgamated the colony of Lagos, the Oil Rivers Protectorate, and the Northern Territories. It was in Lokoja, while gazing out at the river that stretched before her, that Lord Lugard’s mistress coined the name “Nigeria.” The explorer Mungo Park is buried in Lokoja, as is Lord Lugard.

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