Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Transwonderland Tour




Reading a travel book like Noo Saro-wiwa's Looking for Transwonderland: Travels in Nigeria is time-consuming, not because it's a difficult read but you need to keep a computer handy because you want to look for pictures or videos of the sights she describes. Of course the first thing I wanted to search out was pictures of the decrepit amusement park Transwonderland, but I kept getting directed to the wonderful book cover illustration by Rod Hunt, so that will have to do.

I did find the video above, offering up the fantastically colorful pageantry of the Durbar Festival in Kano. We here at Rights Readers love a parade and this looks every bit as exciting as what Pasadena has on offer with bonus points for the elegantly costumed horses. (You might want to jump ahead 2-3 minutes into the video to avoid a long credit sequence.) A couple of World Heritage sites are mentioned in the book. Here's the UNESCO website for the Sukur Cultural Landscape and the Osun-Osogbo Sacred Grove.

And just to balance the picture with a little modern day reality, check out Transparency International's country profile of Nigeria, where among other fun facts, you'll learn that 63% of Nigerians reported paying a bribe in 2010. I'll share more on human rights concerns in Nigeria in my next post.
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