DAY 5: 5 Places I want to visit

1. CONGO

For some weird reason, after I read in a magazine that if every country of the world were to achieve its full potential, Congo and the Congolese would be the world’s richest nation and people, this country stuck like adhesive glue to my mind. The value of its untapped raw minerals deposit is in excess of $24 trillion, higher than the US GDP of $19.5 trillion, as at 2017. It boasts of over 30% of the world’s cobalt, a mineral resource with immense military value. For instance, it is used to make jet engines. It also boasts of 30% of the world’s diamonds,10% of its copper, and 50% of Africa’s rainforests.

Or maybe it’s because years later, I learnt that Congolese men have the biggest penises in the world. Which is weird, considering the fact that I hear South African women rush our Nigerian men because of how well-endowed we are at ‘Isale-Eko’. Just so you know, research has also shown that the most fertile women in the world are Yoruba women, especially those of Ijesa extraction, born and bred in Ijesa Land. As most people know, the Ijesa and the Ekiti are pounded yam connoisseurs. It turns out that the yam in Ijesa has some special characteristics that encourages the production of eggs in the female ovaries. That’s why Ijesa women are prolific for twins. If like me, you don’t like twins, steer clear of Ijesa or Osun women in general.

I’m thinking – imagine if a Congolese man ‘met’ an Ijesa woman? Damn!

So far, this country has largely made the news as the birthplace of Ebola, but there’s more to the country than meets the eye.

First off, there are 2 ‘Congo’s’ – the larger Democratic Republic of Congo (known as Congo DRC or Congo - Kinshasa) and the smaller Republic of Congo (known as Congo -Brazzaville). The larger was colonised by Belgium while the smaller was a colony of France. All I have said so far is in respect of the larger Congo

The larger Congo was far more developed than Nigeria as at independence in 1960, competing with South Africa in mining and Agriculture. But right now, Nigeria is heaven compared to it. From constant civil wars, due to secession attempts from nearly all its region. Imagine Biafra, Oduduwa, Niger Delta, Middle Belt, Arewa and Kanem-Bornu all trying to break away at the same time; that’s the picture of Congo since 1960.

But the story is not all gloom. Recently, the strongman, Joseph Kabila, that held the country in his grip for the last 17 years announced that he would not be seeking a third term in office. Just so you know, he’s just 47 years. Eyin NOT TOO YOUNG TO RUN, how market?

I can’t give a precise and logical definition for why I want to visit this nation. It just keeps biting at me. Do you get that feeling sometimes about something? I just know my life won’t be fulfilled if I don’t spend a substantial part of my life in this country.

2. MECCA

I may not be a Muslim, but I’m a great admirer of Islam, or religion in generally, contrary to what many people think about me. The greatest form of power for me is religious power. I discovered this while in secondary school. I’ll talk about this in a later post in this series.

Mecca, especially the Kaaba is something I don’t just want to see on TV. I want to see it with my eyes. Maybe touch it, if I won’t be tagged an infidel though.

But why Mecca, why not Jerusalem? Faith aside, lets be frank, Jerusalem has nothing on Mecca. What Mecca symbolises for Muslims, the devotion, the adherence, the loyalty, no city in the Christian faith can claim. It’s amazing, besides, Islam is on track to be the worlds dominant religion by the middle of the century. That means my generation are going to raise our children in world that looks to the Middle East for guidance, not Europe. We were born in a world shaped by Western values, systems and laws, but we will die in a world that looks up to the Crescent Moon.

I know most of my Christian brethren will most likely mutter a silent ‘God forbid’ under their breath, but my people, this is not a matter of faith, it’s a matter of number. Islam is growing faster, in terms of reproduction, geographical expansion (no country in the world has seen a spike in its Christian population in the last decade but countries like China are having problems suppressing mass conversion to Islam), and value addition. Islam is teaching the world new methods of finance – zero-interest banking, sukuk finance (Sukuk is the Arabic word for ‘financial certificates’ or securities, that are sharia- compliant).

Here in Nigeria, we’ve finally come around to accepting the hijab as part of the dress code for female lawyers, and according to reports, more Christians bought Sukuk bonds compared to Muslims. Forget ISIS, Al Qaeda and all you hear, the Middle East is getting peaceful. Iraq has finally gotten its act together, democracy-wise, Saudi Arabia is transiting into a more open, liberal Islamic nation.



So that’s why I want to visit Mecca. To better understand Islam, I must experience it, at least for a while. Which is why I would like to do youth service in a Sharia state, although my Mum won’t hear of it.

3. UNITED NATIONS HEADQUARTERS

Domiciled in New York City, United States, the UN Headquarters in New York houses the General Assembly and the Security Council. One of my life goals is to address these bodies, on something I’ve done or doing as at then. Maybe to make a case for Africa, to argue for a more representative Security Council (if it hasn’t been achieved before then) or even to argue for a global federation of nations.

I just know I want that stage. That would be the ultimate soapbox.

4. BEACH

I want to visit beach. Any beach, whether Bar Beach, Tarkwa Bay Beach, Oniru Beach, Eleko Beach, Atican Beach, any beach, anywhere in the world, as long as I can go very close to the Atlantic or the Pacific Ocean, I can finally confirm if Mammy Water actually exists or not.

The closest I have been to an ocean was on the occasions I visited UNILAG. There’s a view of the ocean and the Third Mainland Bridge from the school. The only time I’ve been underwater was when I was baptized (Yes, I’ve been baptized – I can imagine the look of shock on some people’s faces). I think that was 2009/2010 – Isheri River, Lagos State. I swear, when I came out, I saw dove. White dove.



I sha want to go to beach. Unfortunately, its too late for me to be playing with sand when I eventually go there. I’m too old.

5. SPACE

The final frontier. I want to visit space. In our time, thanks to people like Elon Musk, through SpaceX, space travel will become something accessible and affordable for everyone. I’d love to see the Moon and hopefully the Sun. spacecraft is being developed that is resilient enough go close to the Sun without getting damaged or harming its occupants. In a matter of decades, such technology will be massively available.

But most importantly, I want to see the Earth. See it on its orbital spin. See Africa wake up while America slumbers. See the blue oceans and the brown earth. See things from the God-view. I hear that it is almost impossible to see the world from space and still deny that God exists.

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Analyst/Emerging Tech Lead, Tech Hive Advisory | AI Ethics & Governance Researcher

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Akin Ifeanyi Agunbiade

Akin Ifeanyi Agunbiade

Analyst/Emerging Tech Lead, Tech Hive Advisory | AI Ethics & Governance Researcher

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