I’d gone for the Social Media Week event that happens annually in Lagos Nigeria when I met Sir Inyene – an amazing photographer. He then casually told me about a photo documentary trip he was embarking on to Epe Mangrove. It sounded very exciting so I offered myself as an escort.
It’s been over a year since that trip happened and I’m yet to find the right words to describe the emotions I felt because the right words are not in the dictionary yet.
This is the story of how several Saturdays ago, I went to risk my life.
I was already inside the car when one spirt said “babe, you no go like Google ‘mangrove’?”
So I brought out my phone and checked. I saw, “A mangrove is a shrub or small tree that grows in coastal saline or brackish water.”
Then I said to myself, “Okay, we’re going to see the small tree and then we head back home”.
About two and half hours later, we got there as directed by Mr Mufus – the local tour guide (meanwhile, he said he’s been working as a local tour guide since 1988). We then started to walk into one place that looked like the set of ‘George of the jungle’.
And then there were canoes. I missed the “brackish water” part of the Google definition. Chukwu Nna!
The first three members of our little group got in the first canoe and moved while I was busy taking pictures and forming Kelechi Amadi. Then it was my turn. I got in with Tosin and Micheal – two other members of our group – who apparently forgot their fear of water at home.
Then the journey started!
I sat down sunning my teeth for a click. After the pictures, I remembered I was sitting on water. At some point, it felt like the wind had played a song for our canoe because it was swaying from my side to the other. If you like, you can say it was whining its waist.
Shebi I for just dey house?
We got to the part where there was so much water and my Wakandan spirit flew out of my body leaving only the Nigerian spirit. Mr. Mufus worsened the issue by asking us, “Do you know how to swim?”
Abba father! I told God that if He lets me survive this, my relationship with canoe is over!
I held on to that canoe until out of nowhere, Tosin started playing Olamide’s Science students. I forgot my home training and started dancing. We got to a part and Mr Mufus said we couldn’t go any further because the torrent was too high. Tosin’s speaker fell into the water and once again, I was reminded that I was on water.
By now, we were turning back and all I could say in my heart was, “Thank you Jesus!” But the view? Heavens! The view was lovely! The breeze on the water is different from the breeze on land. Subtle, calm and very clean! Mr. Mufus mentioned that the water was very clean and drinkable. He took some from the water and drank and asked us to drink too but, “No, thanks”
We got back to land and my chest was still doing gbish gbish just like when I did the canopy walk at LCC.
All these photos are by @sirinyenephotography . I don’t know how he managed to take photos because I just couldn’t raise my camera after a while.
Brethren, your girl is alive and she will keep her promise. Me and canoe have broken up. The relationship is over.