Enefaa Thomas: Bringing the romanticism into Nigerian travel writing and photography
I had been told about some beautiful beaches in Andoni in Rivers State, and I thought it was a travesty that I didn’t even know that they existed. There was even a small resort at one end of the beach at some point in the past that I had never heard of.
This statement is an except from Enefaa Thomas’ travel to Ikuru town on his blog Artsy Moments. His travelogues are honest and speak of a man on a mission to unearth hidden gems in Nigeria as much for himself as it is for his readers. There is a certain refreshing honesty and emphases on his own personal feelings and of nature. The romanticism of it all had me reading every single post as I felt transported to his travel world, a world that I long to experience myself. I had never heard of Obudu and it was good to read about the famous historical figure King JaJa ( Jubo Jubogha) who sought refuge in Opobo, a town with a rich history, in 1878. To make it all complete, Enefaa Thomas, has a beautiful way of capturing just the right moment on his camera to make his words more meaningful and apt.
We caught up with Enefaa to get a taste of his world.
Tell us about yourself and the inspiration behind your travelogues?
My name is Enefaa Thomas and I’m based in Port Harcourt.
There are several reasons for my trips and I probably can’t remember them all at any given moment. A few of them are: searching for new and exciting experiences and adventures, my photography, chasing away boredom, bringing places closer to people who might not be able to visit them because they can’t or because they don’t even know they exist.
How important is it to document your travels through photography?
Not very important really. Saying it is important would be accepting that a trip might not be considered successful because I did not get great photographs to show for it. I might actually feel that way at times, but I refuse to believe it. Maybe I’m in denial.
You travel extensively through Nigeria. What are the three most interesting places you’ve been to in Nigeria and why?
Just three? I haven’t been to many places but naming just three still feels difficult. Can I make it five instead? I’ll just make it five. Obudu, Opobo, Ikuru Town, Awhum and Ibeno.
If I visit your home town of Port Harcourt, which attractions must be on my to do or must see list?
A must to do list for Port Harcourt? There are two museums but you might be disappointed with both of them. You can check out the Boys’ Quarters Project Space, an art gallery located in the Old Port Harcourt Township.
The Nigerian Railway also has a service that runs from Port Harcourt to Aba and back every day except on Sundays. Although I have used the service to Enugu through Aba, I have never used the one to Aba and back on the same day so it might be worth giving it a shot.
Depending on when you visit Port Harcourt, you might want to see any one of the several Ite/Egelege wrestling events that holds in and around Port Harcourt.
You can also visit one of the islands within Rivers State to have a taste of the riverine culture of the State.
You should definitely try the bole and fish.
As a foodie, I travel partly to sample cuisines. What would you recommend I sample in Port Harcourt?
This one is easy. Like I said earlier on, you have to try the bole and fish made the Port Harcourt way. Don’t leave town without trying it. If you are picky about where you eat, then try the Bole King joint somewhere in D-Line.
Lastly, what tips will you offer me, as I plan to spend 3 months traveling in Nigeria?
Read Looking for Transwonderland by Noo Saro-Wiwa.
Always endeavor to get someone who is a local of any of the places you intend to visit. Do not assume that because someone is a local that everything they tell you is factual. Do not be afraid to go with the flow.