I’ve been in Abuja for a few days before but didn’t really enjoy it last, so apart from a chance to see Ella, a friend and recent graduate from the Department of Creative Arts here in Maiduguri, I wasn’t particularly looking forward to it. Even more so as I was hoping to attend the opening evening of the exhibition at Terra Kulture of the works that have come out of the British Council workshop in Kano I attended before Christmas. The exhibition entitled ‘Celebrating the Traditional Crafts of Northern Nigeria’ was held at Terra Kulture, a culture centre with restaurant and exhibition space on Victoria Island, Lagos. But couldn’t leave Maiduguri early because I was hoping to attend an event at the National Gallery of Art (NGA) branch here on 16 February and stopping over in Abuja made it impossible to reach Lagos in time. In the end I could have easily left earlier as the Saturday Art Club at the NGA didn’t take place, but that I only found out at the day itself. Anyway, I spent three nights in Abuja where I stayed with Ella and her family. And, while my primary objective had been to obtain a letter of clearance from the head quarters in order to use the archive and storage of the NGA in Lagos – being in Lagos anyway for the exhibition I can as well make the most of this say - Ella and I also visited some more art related places – in particular, the exhibition at the Arts and Culture complex and signature gallery. In addition Ella also tried to show me some of the places in Abuja she likes and/or thought would interest me. Unfortunately we didn’t have much time but still managed to get some lovely Italian style ice cream – the first proper ice cream I had since I’m in Nigeria –, go out one evening for snooker and some drinks, in effect the first time in months that I stayed out longer than my nine o’clock curfew here in Maiduguri, and visited some of her friends and family that are based in town … oh, and as they have a pretty reliable power supply where Ella stays in Abuja I also managed to watch most of the second serious of Ugly Betty, and if you’d seen how I was glued to that serious in London you’d know what that meant to me!!! So, yes, while I’m still not really a fan of Abuja this time I really enjoyed my stay – basically, thanks to Ella!


  1. Liebe Katrin
    Ich bin Kunsthistorikerin und Kuratorin aus der Schweiz und werde Weihnachten 2008 für eine Woche in Abuja sein (quasi Verwandtenbesuch). Möchte meine Zeit nutzen (auch in Kano), um mich mit der dortigen zeitgenössischen Kunst vertraut zu machen und bin für jeden Hinweis dankbar!


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