Aba, one of the largest cities in Abia State and is quite popular for the level of commercial activities that goes on in the city.
While its contribution to the nation’s economy has earned it a measure of recognition, there are certain quirks that also mark it out as a unique place to live in. These quirks, although numerous can only be experienced and not told as they are most times totally incomprehensible to visitors.
If you are heading to Aba and looking to get clued-in, we share insights on some of the most unusual things Aba is known for.
- “Aba na anya”
If you have lived in or visited Aba, you probably already understand the popular phrase “Aba na anya” translated as “Aba and eyes”. The people in Aba are curious people and as such, are well-known spectators. They do not only notice everything that goes on around them, they make a point of staring at anything new or weird so much that the perpetrator is aware they have been noticed. Sometimes they call friends to join in on the beholding with phrases like : “Umu Aba lele oh!” translated as “Aba children, come and see”.
For instance, a tourist in heel boots who visits Aba park will not only be stared at, but will most likely be accosted and asked questions on why they are dressed different. This can be considered as a level of friendliness, but there are times they can go overboard.
2. Music Re-mix
The people in Aba are known to be very creative and carefree. It is only in Aba that you will hear a local re-mix of a new song released in the US or UK, blasting on the streets and copies of the remix been sold in place of the original track. From Rock, Blues, R&B and reggae, there is nothing the people of Aba cannot re-mix. Usually these songs are changed to reflect Jesus or Christian morals, as they people of the city are highly religious.
A popular track by “Michael Learns to Rock” known as “Sleeping Child” is officially Known as “Jesus Christ” and you hear locals belting out the lyrics with such zest: “Oh my Jesus Christ, I love you lord…” rather than “ Oh my sleeping child, the world is so wide…”
3. Made by Tomny Hilfinger
Aba is one of the largest commercial Centre in Eastern Nigeria and boasts of several markets as well as businesses. The traders and marketers are also very creative. In the city, you will find copies of clothes shoes, perfumes, and even electronics originally designed by international fashion labels sold at very cheap prices. If you are not sharp, you might not even know that the items are clones and not original. Most times, they use a label that is very close to the original designs label. For instance, the copy of a shirt by Tommy Hilfiger will carry the tag “tommy Hilfinger”, adidas will be “abibas’ or An Armani Perfume will be labeled : Gorgio Amarnu. The funny thing though is that some of the locals still claim they are wearing the real brand.
4. Igbo language for all
In Aba, speaking Igbo language rules the day. On the street, in the markets, in buses and taxis, restuarants and even in local schools, Igbo is the language of communication. So basically, whether you are a tourist, a visitor or you just cannot speak the language, you are bound to have some problem with communication , especially in public places. Even when you try to reply in English, they continue in igbo and even go as far as shunning you when you insist you do not understand them. While visiting the city, it is best to have an interpreter or guide; and if you cannot afford that, get an Igbo language handbook. Look on the bright side, you end up learning a new local Nigerian language