If you are not from Ibadan, but you live in Ibadan, here’s a scenario you might recognize. It’s Christmas. You’ve headed back to your home town (Lagos maybe) and you are chatting with your old friends about your new life. They share their opinion on Ibadan: the town is dead; the people are just backward and crude; How do you even survive there? a friend might even ask. Chances are, you will get defensive about Ibadan life as living there has given you a different view of it. Of course, there are things that could be better about the city but in case you need a quick retort for someone who just does not get it, here are 10 common misconceptions about the city and why they are not true (mostly).
1) Ibadan is a dead town. The term ‘dead’ might seem harsh, but a lot of people have used it in reference to the city of the famous old brown roofs. ‘Dead’ implies that the city is utterly boring and there are no exciting or even just fun activities to keep visitors and inhabitants occupied for leisure. The truth however is, while Ibadan might be an ancient town, there are a lot of things to do and ways to entertain yourself while visiting. Events, shows and tournaments are held on a regular basis. There are also various tourist attractions to visit such as: Ibadan Recreation Centre, Cultural Centre of Mokola, Liberty Stadium, Bower Memorial Tower, Palace of the Olubadan, Dugbe Market, etc. It is as much fun as other major cities, including Lagos and Abuja, you just need to research properly before visiting, and hook up with the right links while you are there.
2) There are no modern facilities in the city. Ibadan may be one of the oldest cities in Nigeria, but it no longer struggles to adapt to modernization. It has seen some recent developments – the older buildings have been renovated and modern facilities have been installed around the city, the city now has a profound combination of the modern and conservative. There are malls with escalators, ultra-modern shopping complexes, cinemas, high-end hotels and restaurants, etc.
3) There is no nightlife. “Ah! In Ibadan, they sleep by 6pm…”, “There are no clubs in Ibadan”…these are common replies you get from people when they are asked to comment on Ibadan nightlife. Although Ibadan is not like Lagos, Abuja or even Port Harcourt where there are large number of nightclubs and some of the streets are still abuzz by midnight, it has noticeable nightlife. The fun seekers know where the clubs are located. Some of the top clubs include 411, Cottons, GQ Lounge, Bubbles, Options, Echo, Dome, Top 1 Gardens, e.t.c and these places are well explored by “hip” population of the city.
4) The people who live in Ibadan are old and boring. Ibadan might be an old city, but not all of its inhabitants are old or boring. A number of young people from Ibadan migrate to bigger cities for education and in search for lucrative jobs, still, a large percentage of its population is made up of young vibrant individuals between the ages of 20-35. Matter of fact, a number of young people also migrate from not just smaller towns but also cities as big as Lagos to Ibadan for business and educational purposes. There are currently 3 tertiary institutions in the city with students from around the country.
5) The people who live in Ibadan are not trendy. A number of times you see pictures of people looking weird and it being attributed to Ibadan with comments like: “Ibadan girls be like…” or “you can only see this in Ibadan”. Whereas some might consider it entertaining or even hilarious, it fosters a huge misconception. While it is impossible for everyone who lives in Ibadan, as in any town, to be trendy and up-to-date as regards fashion, tech and living in general, most of the inhabitants of the city are quite modish in their appearance and behavior.
6) People who live in Ibadan are not tech-savvy: This is certainly not true. People in Ibadan know how to use phones, they use high-tech gadgets and the businesses have blogs and websites, just like in Lagos or any other “big city” in Nigeria. You can get information about Ibadan online from blogs such as whatsupibadan.com, redroofcity.com, ibpulse.com e.t.c.
7) Every person with a tribal mark is from Ibadan: Aside from aesthetics, tribal marks are a huge part of different cultures across Nigeria and so, serve as a means to indicate where a person is from. In more recent times, the tribal mark trend has waned and so very few people still have them. For some reason however, people now refer to anyone with a ‘Yoruba-like’ tribal mark as ‘from Ibadan’. This is a wide misconception that has swept through the west. There are some who still give and wear the tribal mark Ibadan, however, it is important to note that feature is not restricted to Ibadan.
8) Ibadan people are backwards and crude: There is a post online showing a picture of some people in Ibadan trying to get on an escalator. The picture was intended to give off the impression that people from Ibadan are backwards and crude, so they do not understand how things in the modern life works. While the picture revealed an actual incident, it merely fed an erroneous misconception. There will always be the group of people in a city who still need to catch up on certain things, Ibadan is just one of the many cities with such groups of people.
9)Anyone with a strong Yoruba accent is from Ibadan: The Yoruba accent simply implies the ‘h’ and ‘v/f’ factor. It is widely believed that people from Ibadan are the only ones who have strong Yoruba accents and are never rid of them. While this conception is justifiable since Yoruba is the native language in Ibadan, there is no actual proof for the notion.
10)Every part of Oyo state is Ibadan: Most people tend to associate everything related to Oyo state with Ibadan. For instance if someone says they are from Oyo state, the person is immediately referred to as an Ibadan person. Ibadan may be the capital of the state, but is actually just a section of the much larger state.
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