Beautiful Nigeria

Here are some pictures I took while I was in Nigeria in October/November 2008. If I had to give this set of pictures a theme, it would be fertility (that or lushness). All pictures can be clicked to make larger.

I love dodo (fried plantain) and this is how plantain looks on the tree before all the yumminess I love to eat happens. I had never seen this before (or maybe I did back in the early 80s but my 3 or 4 year old self did not remember it.

(And now someone’s going to tell me that that’s actually a banana tree rather than a plantain one.)

plantain

We have these flowers here too, and I think we call them morning glories. Does anyone know what they are called in Nigeria?

flowers

The next two are the same flowers (and their name, according to Tori, is bougainvillea – thanks, Tori!). In the first picture I was trying some photo effect where you get the background to blur while focusing on something more in the foreground. I know there’s a more technical term for that.

flowers2

flowers3

Okra!

ila

Confession: I have no idea what sort of melon this is. Is it the one you get egusi from, perhaps?

(Random: I’ve always thought egusi should be spelled egunsi. Or is it spelled egunsi and I thought it should be spelled egusi? Now I’m confused.)

melon

This is a papaya tree, right? We didn’t have papaya or even pineapple while in Nigeria. We did eat a zillion oranges though.

papaya

Right now I’d just settle to feel the stifling heat I felt on those days depicted above. Winter: go away!

23 thoughts on “Beautiful Nigeria

  1. Awwwww lovely pick -me-up for a dreary wet Monday morning in London. Thanks for sharing.

    PS GNG, egusi doesn't have a 'n' in the pronounciation or spelling :)

    PPS Now you have made me hungry! I think I will make soup this week.

  2. lovely! The land is green as that singer sang of Nigeria (gosh, I can't remember her name even though Jola naibi gave me the cd, shame on me).

    Egusi is how I have always seen that word spelled and right now, I'm thinking we will have jollof rice and bisaap to celebrate MLK day. Random, I know…sorry.

    BTW, you asked about having an herb garden at my Easier…site. It's quite easy, in the past, I have grown herbs from seeds, only to have my enthusiastic children over water and thus drown them. Last year, I opted to buy the plants, bring them home, transfer them to pots and place them on my window sill to survive the winter. And, they have not only survived the winter chill but also my lovely children, thanks be to God.

    For Nigerians foods (and other foods as well), there are certain basics one must have – thyme (which is hard to find in stores like Loews, Home Depot, so I order seeds online, but have seen them at Walmart sporadically), oregano (easy to find at least Stateside), parsley, basil (super easy to find), and peppers (tatase as we Yoruba call some of them). Kale seeds are a little hard to find, but believe it or not they are hardy (according to one of the farmers around here from whom I will be getting some once the frost begins to thaw), they grow through the winter and I use it to make efo riro (yum!). I know people in North Carolina that grow yam in their backyard, but that is getting off topic.

    So, I hope this little bit will help you start your herb garden. There is nothing quite like having fresh herbs and vegetables in your food. I have seen the difference it makes to the quality and integrity of the taste of dishes and definitely encourage it. The most work required is cleaning under your nails to remove the dirt once you plant, but that's only if you don't have garden gloves like me and enjoy fussing with the dirt with your kids, of which I am guilty =)

    Take care babe, and if you have any other questions, let me know. Might take me a little bit to respond but i will.

    PS; you are missing the Naija heat aren't you? Me too, but I'm missing the beaches at Dominica right about now. And, btw, check this post out, I think some of the mentions of Nigeria's historical leadership in assisting the diaspora would be informative, as not enough of us tend to know about it.

  3. LWKMD. . . why do your posts always get me cracked-up? :D As in, seriously the way you talk about things, like some alien who's just seen a picture of a human and is now going: this part is called "hand"…

    Lol! Ok, don't mind me…. teeheehee!! ohmeegosh…

  4. Ahem!

    Aight, GNG, sorry about that 1st comment, naughty of me.

    Can't really say if the first pic is a banana or plantain (its kinda small n way-up; plantains r usually bigger than bananas). But whatever it is, it isn't ripe yet so all that yumminess is gonna be a little ways coming.

    The flowers… ah, they r just flowers :) You got the effect right, though (i think).

    I don't if the Yoruba name has an "n", but the Igbo name is EGUSI. I'm afraid i don't know how to distinguish the "edible" melon and the "egusi" version. I think i'll ask my mum.

    And, yes, of course it is a papaya tree! :D But we call "paw-paw" over here; if you go to the market here in Naija and ask for "papaya", half of the sellers won't know what you are talking about. :)

  5. â–ºNaija American Girl

    You did say you're planning a trip son right? Maybe this will encourage you to plan faster!

    â–ºCaramel Delight

    Ah hah! That means I pronounce egusi wrong since I always pronounce it egunsi. My bad! Thanks for that tip.

    Take pictures of the soup you make!

    â–ºmiss flyhigh

    Oh, you're too kind! I have so much to learn…hopefully the pics from my next trip will be so much better!

    â–ºsolomonsydelle

    Ty Bello! I only know her name because I had to sing that song for Blog idol.

    What's bisaap?

    Thanks for this comprehensive response about starting an herb garden! I'm sure others will find this helpful. I can't believe some have managed to grow yam!

    I'll email you with some specifics.

    â–ºibi

    I can actually handle the no electricity. I don't like it but I can manage ;)

    â–ºkay9

    Aww, maybe this will help you get where I'm coming from: I have non-Nigerian friends who read my blog so something that might be obvious to you might not be to them (or even to me sef!). I wasn't trying to be cute; I honestly don't know 100% if those are plaintain or if that is the melon that we get egusi from. I write very much the way I speak so if you find my blogs somehow, imagine talking to me! lol

    And I am vexing o! Imagine you mocking me like that!

    You're right of course that that plantain is not yet ready to be dodo…or boli, another favourite of mine!

    Thanks for confirming that it's egusi…I have been mispronouncing it all along!

    Regarding the paw-paw/papaya thing: it's funny because in the US what they call paw paws are smaller than these papayas.

    Despite the ribbing, I appreciate the comments. :)

  6. From the leaves on the Melon picture, it's the Egusi melon not the water melon.

    I wonder if it's only us in Nigeria that call Papaya, paw-paw?

    And contrary to the general idea that oranges are high in vitamin C, studies actually show that Paw-paw packs the greatest amount of vitamin c that can be found in any single fruit!

  7. â–ºBlessing

    Thank you!

    â–ºAzazel

    Thank you. I appreciate the regular comments too.

    â–ºEnkay

    Ah, thanks for the insight re: egusi.

    I think the US you hear people refer to paw paw fruits, but they are different (smaller) than what Nigerians call paw-paw (and what I call papaya).

    You're a walking encyclopedia…I wasn't aware that papayas were so high in Vitamin C!

    â–ºAdesoji Adegbulu

    Yes, we have a beautiful country.

    â–ºAndrea

    Hmmph! Not sure why I'm funny o! I love photography and have so much to learn if I want to get to the level of Onada or Ayesha.

  8. Oh my…these pictures bring back alot of memories…like entering into neighbours farms and stealing :-)

    @Enkay, thanks for sharing the info about Paw-paw…I will surely take more of it…

  9. â–ºRita

    lol at the memories invoked by the pictures! Too funny!

    â–ºMyne Whitman

    What is agbalumo. Actually, let me go to google. Oh, it looks quite similar to cherries — not at all what I was expecting!

    â–ºYNC

    Thank you…I hope to take many more pictures on the next trip.

    â–ºVera Ezimora

    Make it happen, dearie…make it happen!

  10. ♪♪ all things bright and beautyful

    all creature great and small

    all things wise and wonderful

    the lord God made dem all

    and place dem in Naija ♪↓♪♪♥

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