Location and setup
Kajuru Castle is a private property owned by Gerhard Heubrer, a German who lived in Kaduna in the 1970s. Built in the 1980s, its setting and ambience offers a ‘Home away from Home’ experience for visitors who need the sort of serenity to refresh, to reflect or simply to get away from a busy schedule.
Kajuru itself is a town situated in a local government of the same name in Kaduna State in Nigeria’s North-West region. It was previously part of the Chikun Local Government before it was carved out during the military regime of the 1990s.
The castle’s design is typically European and similar to what you may have seen on Western TV or publications. Surrounded on all sides by mountains and hills, the castle is built with stones patterned in shades of grey, making it look almost like a crocodile’s skin.
The rooms are spread across the castle’s three floors, inside the structure to the left, which is the one that has the turrets at the top. On the right is the cylindrical castle building, also with its own apartments and rooms. These include four dungeon-like bedrooms, a master suite (referred to as the Landlord’s residence) and a baronial hall with a complement of armour, to which almost everyone went for a selfie.
On the rooftop, there is a set of tables and chairs that can sit no less than 10 guests at a time. There is also a garden but the most attractive part of the facility is the open courtyard with the large pool and pool chairs, plus a barbecue area complete with an outdoor oven. (There are other facilities, but only provided if paid for. On the day we visit, we spent our time mostly in the courtyard.)
Part of the itinerary for my last trip was Enugu to Cross River State where we will get to Agbokim waterfall and Obudu Mountain Ranch.
We had left Enugu in the morning and arrived Ikom around 1pm. We got two bikes and head out to Agbokim waterfall, we were done around 4pm and head out to the garage. If you are taking a public transport, brace yourself up for the number of passengers that fills a vehicle up. They have three in the back seat, four in the middle seats, two in the passenger seat near the driver while another one might practically be sitting on the driver's lap like our own driver did.
We arrived Obudu around 7:30pm due to very bad road. We got two bikes after telling them our destination, a hotel that a friend had stayed in. On getting there, we were told by the gate man that the place is fully booked and our bike guys should take us to the other hotel few metres from them. We plead with our bike guys to wait for us to check if the place is good, after checking we decided not to stay for a couple of reasons. Our drivers were now asked for a good hotel that we might likely get a room and one of them suggest a hotel that is owned by the State Governor.
All these while i was trying to reach the referred driver to Obudu. I had called earlier on and had to drop a message for him. He was able to get across on our way to Obudu and it became quite a challenge when I tried calling him when we got to Obudu.
Growing up we all read and were taught at home and the Sunday school about Moses and the Ten Commandments which was carved on tablets. All the pictorial depiction I grew up seeing were of stone tablets, never gave it much thought as it was mandatory for you to know the Ten Commandments by heart. Until a recent event. I was on my Instagram page and this picture of a larger than life tablet of the Ten Commandments was on my time line courtesy of a photographer friend who took the picture. I quickly engaged him and he told me which city the structure was in but he was not forthcoming about the specific location.
Luckily for me, I had made up my mind to visit Plateau State and more importantly visit Jos town to see what is going on there. I have three friends that relocated from Lagos to Jos with their families and businesses. I was told Jos is where the business is picking up now.
If you are conversant with the history of Plateau State you will know that Jos has suffered both religious and ethnic crisis for a certain number of years thus crippling the economy of the state.
I left for Jos on a Sunday morning from Abuja and got in around 2pm. I stayed with a friend who picked me up and after resting for a while, I set out with her to look for the Ten Commandment tablet. I had seen the location tag on the picture as City of David, even my friend had not heard or seen the tablet before and she has been living there for more than two years. We asked people and no one seemed to know where City of David is, they all thought we were looking for a church. We returned home that day when it was getting dark with the mind of locating the place early the following morning.
Kwara State is one of the laid back State in Nigeria, it is part of the places we Yoruba’s always refer to as ‘ilu Oke’, that is, a non-vibrant State. About 70%of the working population are civil servants, 20% farmers and the remaining 10% are serious entrepreneurs who are mostly non-indigenes. But Kwara State is home to the tallest waterfall in West Africa, home to the largest Soap Stone collections in sub-Saharan Africa and many more beautiful sites.
There are different stories and myths surrounding the soap stone collections in Esie. I could remember many years ago when I attended a boarding school in the area. It was a very good school and many Lagosians sent their children to the school. We were told that if we go to the museum we would be turn into stones, and this formed the basis of me never visiting the museum till now. Yes, I was afraid.
The images were discovered in 1775, brought to limelight in 1933 and the museum was established in 1945, far before Nigeria got its independence. Thus making this museum the foremost indigenous museum in the country.
Before the museum was built in 1945 by the government, the community was the care taker of the soapstone images.