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Lagos branch events

Read below about our events, trips and talks planned for the near future. Please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you are interested in participating.

 

Nigerian Field Society: Lagos Branch
April Newsletter 2018

There are 13 OPEN Trips!! Please take special note of the NEW TALK coming up on Thursday, March 29th: “Growing Up in Nigeria in 1935-1955: Recollections by Justice Kenneth Keazor”. This is not to be missed!  There is no charge.  Host and Venue: British Deputy High Commissioner Residence.
Also, please note the change of date for the Tour of Historic Lagos by 3 wheel scooters (Keke Marwa) to Sunday, April 1st. NEW TRIPS include a boat trip through the lagoon in dug-out canoes and the famous Eid Durbars of Kano and Katsina!
 
TRIP LIST
 
MARCH

Saturday, March 24th: Heineken Brewery Tour and Tasting! CLOSED
Saturday, March 24th: Birding at the Lekki Conservation Centre with the Lekki Bird Club: OPEN
NEW Thursday, March 29th: A Fantastic Talk: Growing up in Nigeria 1935-1955: Recollections of Justice Kenneth Keazor OPEN

APRIL

Change of Date Sunday, April 1st:  Historical Tour of Lagos Island with Ed by Keke Marwas (Three wheel scooters) OPEN
Saturday, April 7th: Sunday April 8th:  The Spectacular Ole Agidan Festival in Oyo OPEN
Saturday, April 14th- April 15th: Rigorous Hiking Weekend up the Olumirin Waterfalls to the Village of Abake OPEN
Saturday, April 21st: Boat Trip and Tour of Makoko OPEN
UPDATED Saturday, April 28th- Tuesday, May 1st: Hiking and Visit to the Beautiful Jos Plateau over the May 1st Holiday OPEN

MAY

Saturday, May 5th- Sunday, May 6th: The Traditional Yoruba Obatala Festival in Oyo OPEN
Saturday, May 5th-Sunday May, 6th A Weekend Oasis: the Beauty of International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and an Architectural Marvel in Ibadan OPEN
NEW Saturday, May 12th: Traditional Canoe Trip through the Lagoon and Village Visit OPEN
Saturday, May 19th: Boat Trip and Tour of Makoko, the Stilt Village OPEN
Saturday, May 26th:  A Tour of the Home and Private Art Collection of Prince Yemisi Shyllon: Nigeria’s Largest Collector of Contemporary and Traditional Nigerian Art OPEN
 
JUNE

NEW Thursday, June 14th- Tuesday, June 19th:  The Incredible Kano and Katsina Durbars Over the Eid Holiday Weekend OPEN
Saturday, June 23rd: Boat trip and Tour of Makoko, the Stilt Village OPEN
 
 

The Nigerian Field Society, Lagos Branch

The NFS, Lagos Branch, is a voluntary organization which is part of a national organization founded in 1930. Our Mission is “to explore the culture and environment of Nigeria, specifically, and West Africa, generally”. 
Sign up NOW for OPEN trips, so as not to be disappointed.  Spaces for most of the events are limited!!  If a trip asks for EXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST it means that the trip is still under development and is still subject to change but you can email the Trip Leader but email the Leader again once the Trip OPENS.  CLOSED trips have reached their maximum registration.
Signing up for Trips
Each trip is run by a volunteer NFS Trip Leader who plans and prices the trip on a break-even basis.   We are not a business!!  We are a volunteer Society! Everyone pays their equal share for trips including the Trip Leader! All participants must be paid up NFS members. Trip Leaders accept names when a trip is OPEN or EXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST are requested.  Trips which ask for EXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST are not yet confirmed and you will have to confirm with the Trip Leader again when the Trip is OPEN.
Also, if you have registered and then need to withdraw for personal reasons, please let the Trip Leaders know so people on the Waiting List have a chance to partake.  Payment may be required if you withdraw without sufficient notice to find a replacement.  Deposits may be required for some trips.
Our Dedicated Volunteers
The NFS is 100% reliant on its dedicated volunteers. Our greatest thanks to our NFS volunteers for all of your hard work! Since our last Newsletter we thank volunteers Regine Hess, Genco Sanli, Carole Farina-Giles, Natasha Lykova Sherwood and Hans Schlieper
Membership Renewal Final Call! 
The NFS fees are 3,000 Naira/family/calendar year.  You have received a final reminder to renew your membership if you haven’t yet paid.  You may pay by direct deposit or by dropping your form and fee at Quintessence.  Members who do not renew will no longer receive the Newsletter after the end of this month. If we have made a mistake, please let us know!
We always want to improve our events and your feedback on the NFS is always appreciated! Please do not hesitate to get in touch!
 
Hugh and Robin Campbell
On behalf of the NFS Committee
 

TRIP SUMMARIES
 
MARCH
 
Saturday, March 24th: Heineken Brewery Tour and Tasting!
STATUS: CLOSED
Beer enthusiasts: this is the trip for you!!  Heineken has generously offered to take NFS members on a brewery tour!
Even teetotallers will enjoy this unique opportunity to participate in a factory tour!
The group will meet and car convoy to the factory for the 2 pm factory tour start. After a safety briefing session, the group will tour the plant, learn all about the art of making fine beer and then retire to the Lagos Brewery Bar to test the product!
The group is limited to 20 participants-18 years or older! The Trip Leader is Henk Wymenga.
 
Saturday, March 24th: Birding with the Lekki Bird Club at the Lekki Conservation Centre
STATUS: OPEN
The Lekki Bird Club is an NFS Partner and operates under the umbrella of the Nigerian Conservation Foundation. 
What better way to decompress from the stresses of Lagos than in nature, at dawn enjoying the company of our feathered friends!!   Nigeria is considered to be an ornithological hot spot, on the flight path of migrating birds both from the north and the south on the continent.
Birding is a wonderful hobby which is made even more enjoyable in the company of others, including some experts in West African birds. The group will meet at 6:15 a.m. at the Lekki Conservation Centre and together explore the huge variety of bird wildlife in the area.  The birding trips are of interest to both bird novices and experts.  You may also wish to spend more time, following the birding, exploring other parts of this wonderful wilderness centre in Lagos.
Please email Emmanuel at the email address.
 
NEW Thursday, March 29th: A Fantastic Talk: Growing up in Nigeria 1935-1955: Recollections of Justice Kenneth Keazor
STATUS: OPEN
This evening is not to be missed.  It is a rare privilege to meet a truly intelligent, refined person, with a razor sharp mind and an incredible insights.  Justice Keazor (retired) will be sharing his memories and his perspective on the social and political culture of the 20 year period leading up to Independence.
Justice Keazor, a retired Jurist, was born in Lagos in 1935. His first memories were centred on the city of his birth, followed by a succession of periods spent around Nigeria, as a result of his father’s itinerant professional life- as a Senior Police Officer. These travels took the family through periods at Abeokuta, Degema (in Rivers State), Umuahia (Abia State), and Benin, between the years 1940 and 1955. Lagos, however, is central to the talk, being the family's permanent residence throughout the period, and everyday life in this city is explored in great detail
A natural story-teller, with an incisive memory for facts and dates, Justice Keazor shall share his early memories of life in this important period in the history of Nigeria. These oral accounts shall span the socio-politics, music/art/culture, and style of the period, all gathered from the eyes of a keen and involved observer.
The account shall be supported by rare still and video images of the period, from his archives. The talk will give the audience a preview into his up-coming autobiography 'Go Placidly Amidst the Noise”.
The Evening will start at 7:30 p.m. To register for this Talk please email Robin Campbell.  There is no charge.  Small chop will be provided and there will be a cash bar.

APRIL
 
Change of Date Sunday, April 1st:  Historical Time Travel Tour of Lagos Island in Keke Marwas (3 wheeler scooters)!
STATUS: OPEN
Travel through Old Lagos in 'Keke Marwa time capsules'! Historian Ed Keazor will be taking NFS members on another historical tour—but this time, not on foot but by Keke Marwa (three wheeler scooters)!
Starting off at Freedom Park, Lagos- the walk shall traverse a route that explores the earliest settlements in the Island of Lagos, with sites dating back to the 16th century. It shall include a visit to Iga Idunganran, the palace of the Oba of Lagos, followed by a walk through some of the other 'Iga's' or palaces of the Royal Houses of Lagos, dotted along the route. We shall also visit some ancient markets and sacred sites, such as the Ebute-Ero Market, Oko-Awo Square, and Adeniji Adele Waterfront etc
There shall be a stop-over at the iconic Shitta-Bey Mosque, built in 1894 and a model of excellent Brazilian design and artisanship; The Idumota Clock- an iconic Lagos landmark in its 83rd year; the legendary Bristol Hotel, scene of one of the greatest turning points in Nigerian political history. The return route shall cover some of the more modern sites on the Marina, once the most exclusive and highly priced real estate in Lagos starting from the former Old Cotton Warehouse at Apongbon, the Marina site of the first Lebanese settlers in Lagos. The last leg shall cover some of the landmarks of a changing city, after the advent of Colonial power, such as the site of the first British Consulate, the first Bank in Nigeria, the first Post Office, Cathedral and Hospital in Lagos. The iconic Government House, Our Saviours Colonial Church, Kings College, Old Race Course (Tarawa Balewa Square), with a final stop to pay homage to the monument of King Ado, the first King of Lagos.
On return to the Freedom Park, there shall be a10-minute tour of the Freedom Park Museum, which features artefacts of the Victorian Prison and images and memorabilia from some of the inmates spanning its 139 year history.
Ed Keazor is a legend in his own right.  An historian with an unparalled knowledge of Nigerian history, he is also a musician, author and barrister! 
Registration also entitles you to use the Park throughout the day, and enjoy its Easter programme package.  The trip cost is 7,000 Naira per person including the travel by Keke! This trip will start early in the morning and finish at about 11 a.m..  To register, please email Muni King ASAP!
 
Saturday, April 7th: Sunday April 8th:  The Spectacular Ole Agidan Festival in Oyo
STATUS: OPEN
In this second Oyo trip of the year, NFS Members have a unique opportunity to witness the traditional Yoruba Agidan Festival on the outskirts of the old town of Oyo! 
This ancient Yoruba Festival celebrates the Act of Creation commemorating the Irunmole, the spirits who assisted Oludumare.  The Festival takes place on the top of the giant sacred rock Shrine on edge of the city of Oyo.  We will join the devotees as they make the forty-five minute trek from the town and through the fields and up the great sacred rock which is a further thirty minute climb.
Although Oyo is the state capital, it has the feel of a slow paced town, steeped in heritage.
Oyo is the home of the Alaafin of Oyo, one of the highest ranking Oba’s in Yoruba-land. 
Our host and guide is Paula Dias, an historian whose work is dedicated to promoting and preserving traditional Yoruba culture in Oyo under the auspice of the Alaafin. Through Paula the group will learn about these rich and complex Yoruba traditions. The Festival takes place on the Saturday and on Sunday we will visit other local sites as well as a local market.
 
The group will travel by bus to Oyo (approximately a 4 hour trip) early on Saturday morning and returning to Lagos on Sunday, leaving Oyo at about 1:30 pm.  Cost are still being determined by are estimated to be about 35,000 naira per person and will include bus transport, one night at a hotel, entrance fees, dashes and a guide. A deposit will be required. Participants will bring their own packed lunch.  Please contact Caterina, the Trip Leader.
 
Saturday, April 14th - Sunday, April 15th: Rigorous Hike up the Olumirin Waterfall to the Village of Abake
STATUS: OPEN
Want to leave Lagos, engage in quite a challenging hike and spend the weekend enjoying the outdoors!  This is the trip for you!!
Erin-Ijesha Waterfalls (also known as Olumirin waterfalls) is located in Erin-Ijesha. It is a tourist attraction located in Oriade local government area, Osun State, Nigeria. The waterfalls are said to have been discovered in 1140 AD by one of the daughters of Oduduwa.  The fall features seven levels, on top of which the Abake village is located.
The first level cascade plummets through a narrow opening in a cluster of luxuriant tree trunks blanketed in dark green leafage, down a steeply folded rock face of about ten meters in height.  The second cascade is the most gigantic of all, with the waters diving down a 40m-high cliff. Its plunge pool forms a shallow swimming pool for visitors.
 
The climb up the waterfalls is quite intimidating and arduous, as there are no steps constructed or clear paths made up the ridge slopes, except depressions and projections on the surface, as well as roots and branches of huge trees, forest climbers and shrubs along the paths, which serves as hand and foot holds for the adventurous tourist.
 
Nevertheless, the ascent of the enormous ridge is most rewarding, as one is treated to dazzling and panoramic vistas of the surrounding landscape, depicting the true natural beauty of the Nigerian landmass.
 
Another great attraction at the waterfalls, is the Abake village, a rustic enclave located at the top of the colossal ridge. The name “Abake”, is a Yoruba word which is a combination of two other Yoruba words: “Aba” “Oke”, meaning “the village on the top”, suggesting the location, of the small village.
 
The village located in Effon Alaaye local government, Ekiti State, so hiking to the top of the waterfall is equivalent to hiking across 2 states!!  The village basically consists of mud houses and the main occupations are farming, garri processing (using local methods), cocoa cultivation and moi moi leaf cultivation which are found in great numbers on the ridge
 
We are planning to stay at the Zenababs Half Moon Resort, a hotel situated along the Prince Oladele Olashore Way, Ilo Aiyegunle, Ilesha, Osun state. This resort brings guests closer to nature with its breath-taking scenery characterised by several acres of greenery, plush gardens with a central water fountain, mini-zoo with ostriches and some other wild birds and boating lake. The resort speaks beauty, serenity and tranquillity and provides guests with a refreshing and relaxing experience. Meals at the resort are adequate.
 
Trip participants are advised to pack a lunch for Saturday as we leave Lagos early in the morning and head straight to the waterfall. We will check into the resort after the hike and Sunday morning will give some time for guests to relax at the resort before we set off to Lagos.
 
The trip cost is approximately 30,000 Naira including transportation, hotel and guides, excluding3 meals. 
 
Participants are advised to bring swimming wear if they intend to step into the waterfall (which is advisable as the waters are clean and refreshing). Good hiking gear is required for the hike to the seventh level.  The Trip Leader is Osisiye Tafa.
 
Saturday, April 21st: Boat Trip and Visit to Makoko, the Stilt Village
STATUS: OPEN
The NFS aims to run monthly excursions to Makoko, the Stilt Village.  THE NFS has a longstanding relationship with the community and supports the school in Makoko through these excursions.
Makoko is an informal community that has been part of the fabric of Lagos for a very long time. The people of Makoko have schools, churches, and businesses, most of which are on stilt structures over the water. As guests of the Baale (the Community Leader), NFS Members will visit the only English school in Makoko (French is widely spoken), and then will be taken on traditional canoes through the village channels.
The trip takes about 3 -3.5 hours.   The group will leave from Paradise Marina in VI, take a 30-minute ride in a banana boat to Makoko, tour the village and return to VI about three hours later.  The 5,000 Naira per person charge includes the cost of the boat plus a donation to the Makoko Primary School.  The NFS pays for two teachers from the money raised on these trips.
The number of participants is limited to 15 people, so please book early!  Payment in advance is required.  The fee will only be refunded if the Trip lea
For general information and to register please contact the Makoko Trip Coordinator, Carole Farina-Giles.
 
NEW TRIP PLAN Saturday, April 28th- Tuesday, May 1st: Trekking. Nature and Tradition in the Volcanic Hills of the Jos Plateau over the May 1st holiday
STATUS: OPEN
The Jos Plateau boasts some of the best trekking in the country and if you who want to explore some of the far reaches of Nigeria, enjoy the natural surroundings and witness very traditional village life, this is a unique opportunity.
The three night trip will feature day treks, stunning old volcanoes as well as visits with traditional leaders and to local markets. 
This trip is made possible with the help of Gerard Daminet who is working on a conservation project in the Pankshin, a district of Plateau State which was once an important retreat destination for British colonial officers seeking respite from the hot and muggy climate of the south.
Although this trip is targeted to people who want to trek, there are options of people who would prefer to enjoy nature and experience remote village life without as much physical exertion.
The group will fly to Jos on Saturday, April 28th and return to Lagos on the public holiday Tuesday, May 1st. 
The Trip Leaders are Devesh Uba and Zara Abir Khan: NFS trip leading veterans as well as accomplished photographers and travel enthusiasts.   The cost is N110, 000 for a single and N204, 000 for couple sharing accommodation.  This includes all costs including the flight! Do not delay to register!  Places are limited.

MAY
 
Saturday, May 5th- May 6th: The Traditional Yoruba Obatala Festival in Oyo
STATUS: OPEN
Oyo is a wonderful weekend get-away destination: not too far from Lagos for a weekend trip, yet millions of miles away in terms of experiencing Yoruba culture and tradition!!  It is indeed a privilege to witness these unique Yoruba Festivals.
The Obatala Festival is dedicated to the Deity of Creation.  The virgin dressed in white in is guided through town supported by her attendant Priestesses.  She carries ritual objects in a calabash on her head and frequently falls into trance.
The Alaafin of Oyo is one of the most important traditional rulers in Yoruba land and he proudly presides over many traditional festivals which are celebrated in his south-western Kingdom.    The NFS is warmly welcomed by the Alaafin and we are assisted by Paula Dias, a Portuguese historian who holds the position of Cultural Ambassador to the Alaafin.    Paula is able to explain the history and the purpose of each of the traditional festivals we attend.
In addition to the Festival, the group will have the chance to visit traditional Shrines as well as markets and other sites in Oyo.  The group will stay at the comfortable Begonia Hotel.  The group will leave on early Saturday morning and be back in Lagos by 6 p.m. on Sunday.  Allyson is our Trip Leader.
 
Saturday, May 5th-May 6th : A Weekend Oasis: the Beauty of International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and an Architectural Marvel in Ibadan
STATUS: OPEN
On the edge of Ibadan is a 1000 hectare oasis: the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA). IITA is one of a family of internationally renowned research institute’s dedicated to improving agricultural productivity both in Sub Saharan Africa and the world. 
This weekend will combine enjoyment of this marvellous facility with the unique opportunity to learn about the research being undertaken by these world renowned agricultural scientists. 
As well, the weekend will feature a visit to one of the most important examples of modernist architecture in Nigeria, the Dominican Institute by Demas Nwoko who is now in his 80’s, is known as an artist-architect legend who believed in celebrating African traditions in his work.  This church is one of his finest buildings—it is a work of art!
IITA is a research Institute where over 70 top agricultural scientists from around the globe reside.  The huge facility includes world class research laboratories, research plots, a three kilometre lake and an international school for the families of the scientists.  As guests of IITA, NFS members will have the full use of IITA’s facilities which include tennis courts, a golf course, swimming pool, and fishing in the lake . The accommodation is excellent.
Participants will have the option of a guided walk by an IITA scientist as well as a guided nature walk through the IITA forest.
The group will leave Lagos very early on Saturday morning and drive approximately 2 hours to Ibadan where we will stop and visit the Dominican Institute before arriving at IITA where we will spend the night.   We will leave IITA at 2:00 on Sunday arriving back in Lagos by about 5 pm.
This trip is suitable both for families with children as well as adults. 
 
NEW Saturday, May 12th: Boat Trip in Traditional Canoe through the Lagoon and Village Visit
STATUS: OPEN
Hidden, but not far away from the hustle of Lagos, are tranquil waterside villages with access by boats through the mangrove lagoon tributaries.
This is a full day trip which will feature canoeing in traditional wooden boats to a village where you will have the honour to greet with local Chief.  In addition to the featured canoe trip and village visit, the day will also feature a visit to the renowned and colourful Epee Fish Market.  Fresh fish, crayfish as well as bush meat are brought by villagers and fishermen from deep within the creeks for sale to middlemen whose buyers are in Lagos. (Bring a cool box and you can buy a fish still flapping!!) Plans are also in progress to visit a local Palm Wine tapper where you can taste and buy this traditional beverage at its very best!
Ilja is leading this trip!  The Trip price is still under development.  Families with children are welcome!

Saturday, May 19th: Boat Trip and Visit to Makoko, the Stilt Village
STATUS: OPEN
The NFS aims to run monthly excursions to Makoko, the Stilt Village.  THE NFS has a longstanding relationship with the community and supports the school in Makoko through these excursions. 
The trip is a half day excursion.  Some take place in the morning, others in the afternoon.  We travel in banana boats to the village from VI (see the April trip description above for more details).  The cost is 5,000 Naira per person and this includes a donation to the Makoko Primary School. To register, please contact the Makoko Trip Coordinator, Carole Farina-Giles. 

Saturday, May 26th:  A Tour of the Home and Private Art Collection of Prince Yemisi Shyllon: Nigeria’s Largest Collector of Contemporary and Traditional Nigerian Art
STATUS: OPEN
Prince Shyllon’s house and art collection need to be seen to be believed!  Crown crested cranes and peacocks walk amongst life sized sculptures in his magnificent garden!  The multi roomed house is filled with masterpieces which form a collection amassed by Prince Shyllon over more than thirty years.  It is a great privilege for Members of the NFS to be welcomed into the Prince’s home.
Prince Shyllon’s name is synonymous with Art in Nigeria.  Not only has he put together the largest collection in the country but he nurtures the Nigerian Art sector.  Prince Shyllon is one of the people who can be credited with launching Nigerian Contemporary Art onto the international scene.  Through his personal Foundation, The Omooba Yemisi Adedoyin Shyllon Art Foundation (OYASAF—check the website) the Foundation encourages emerging artists, supports visiting art history scholars to Nigeria and promotes Nigerian art with the Smithsonian and other International Art institutions. 
The group will convoy to Prince Shyllon’s house in Ikeja to arrive by 12 noon.  Space is limited! 
The Trip Leader is Genco Sanli.

JUNE
 
NEW Thursday, June 14th- Tuesday, June 19th:  The Kano and Katsina Durbars Over the Eid Holiday Weekend
STATUS: OPEN
Some of you may be thinking of heading out of the country in mid June—but let me suggest that you delay your departure for a few days and not miss this trip!!
To witness a Durbar, the traditional celebration of the end of Ramadan, is a rare privilege and made even more so, under the stewardship of Paulette and Wil van Trier!  Paulette and Wil lived many years in Kano and have very close ties with the Emirs of Kano and of Katsina. 
Eid el Fatir, one of the two major Muslim festivals, is celebrated with great importance in Nigeria and nowhere more so than in Kano and Katsina.   The Durbar is famed for its pageantry as the traditional rulers greet their Emir. The colorful procession of riders on horses and camels, acrobats and musicians must be seen to be believed! It is a truly a unique opportunity to witness an event which has maintained its authenticity and character!   The two Durbars are quite different and will take place on two consecutive days.
The trip will also include visits to the Palaces of the two Emirs (and for the women, possibly entry to the Hareem), the indigo dye pits for which Kano is famous, the ancient Kano markets which are filled with remarkable traditional crafts including hand embroidered fabrics and leather work available only in these market.  Paulette will also lead you to traditional weaving and pottery villages.
This is a 5 night trip.  The group will leave on an afternoon flight on Thursday, June 14th in the late afternoon and return on Tuesday morning, June 19th, and so you may have to take 2 half days off work.
 
There were only a limited number of spaces on this trip. The cost is still being developed but the guess-timate is between N200-250, 000.  The group will stay at the very comfortable Prince Hotel.  The group will be limited to approximately 15 people.  Please do not delay in responding.

Saturday, June 23rd: Boat Trip and Visit to Makoko, the Stilt Village
STATUS: OPEN
The NFS aims to run monthly excursions to Makoko, the Stilt Village.  THE NFS has a longstanding relationship with the community and supports the school in Makoko through these excursions. 
The trip is a half day excursion.  Some take place in the morning, others in the afternoon.  We travel in banana boats to the village from VI (see the April trip description above for more details).  The cost is 5,000 Naira per person and this includes a donation to the Makoko Primary School. To register, please contact the Makoko Trip Coordinator, Carole Farina-Giles. 
 
 
 
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