Woo Hoo! you cannot even begin to imaging my joy. My dear country of birth has a MEDAL from what may be described as the best OLYMPIC games yet. Boukpeti Benjamin won the bronze medal at the Canoe competition.
Well, my excitement? let me explain. I am Togolese by ascendancy but a Naturalized Nigerian by cosmic design. Togo used to be my favorite holiday spot in the good old eighty’s when my Dad and his brothers would drive with pride in a convoy of about 8 vehicles occupied by Wives and children. It was so cool that after spending the entire day by the ocean, on the very clear and clean beach, we would retire to Grandpa’s mansion and settle to sleep outside on woven Mats. For REAL folks! We usually spend 14 days on each trip and never wish to return to money generating Nigeria.
LOT’S OF THINGS HAVE CHANGED IN OUR (MY) GENERATION. Togo used to be the ultimate shopping destination. Grand Marche – the big market in Lome, Togo’s capital used to be the bee hive of activities. The trunk of our 1978 Toyota Corona was always overfilled with all sorts of food stuff such as rice, tomato puree, dried and processed cassava-garri and sometimes fresh sea crabs that would escape and surprise us in the vehicles cabin. Gone are the good old fun days.
Sometimes, while the parents are lost on the third floor of the market probably arguing about time and what color of “ankara” to buy, my eyes would be transfixed on some young mammary glands exposed by a certain cult of maids without fear or favor. I sometimes wonder what adrenalin rush got into me at that age.
Anyway, Togo is a slim and small country in West Africa squashed in between Ghana on the left and Republic of Benin on the right. Nice french speaking people, rich in culture and sometimes respectful to a fault. Hey! I have a vision to return and turn around the tourism potential of my little town, Anecho. Those of you who know this place; tell me? do you remember Hotel Oasis with the lake characterised by a mini zoo and paddle canoes? Imaging.