PLACES TO VISIT IN BENIN CITY
Home to one of the oldest empires in Africa, this heartbeat of the Nation is known for its rich cultural heritage. Situated at the north of the Benin River, Benin city is the center of Nigeria’s rubber industry. The natural beauty and the rich cultural heritage of Benin City are remarkable and prove to be a source of a great experience for tourists. From the picturesque Atlantic beaches fringed with palm trees to the national parks teeming with exotic wildlife, Benin City is a perfect site for tourists, vacationers, and adventurers.
In this piece, we’ll explore several places that highlight the very rich heritage of Benin City – places that’ll make your time worthwhile in Benin City.
THE ROYAL PALACE OF THE OBA OF BENIN
Being one of the most famous royal houses in Africa, the palace was built by the Oba Edewo in the 12th century and is situated at the heart of the ancient city. The palace was declared a heritage site in 1999 by UNESCO, making it a sweetheart amongst tourists in Nigeria. It is also regarded as a sacred site amongst the locals; thus, the palace has several rules and regulations guiding visitors and residents. It is interesting to note that the palace was destroyed by the British during their invasion but was later rebuilt by Oba Eweka II. It used to house artifacts of the Benin kingdom and served as the museum before the Benin National museum was built.
THE BENIN CITY NATIONAL MUSEUM
The Benin City National museum was opened on August 10, 1973. It houses priceless antiques from the ancient Benin Kingdom and other parts o the country. These artifacts include terracotta, bronze figures, and cast iron pieces. With three galleries, the museum is one of the largest museums in terms of indigenous artifacts in Nigeria, making it a must-visit for history and culture lovers.
The Igun-Eronmwon quarters, also known as Igun Street is listed as a Cultural Heritage site by UNESCO and is one of the most visited tourist attractions as the home of the brass/bronze casting industries in Benin. It is the home of one of the 31 guilds of the Oba of Benin, in the ancient Benin Kingdom, housing several Benin Bronze casters with various famous bronze works of kings, queens, other notable royalties and versatile artistic motifs. The ancient guild is thoroughly secretive and has maintained a high level of confidentiality in the performance of their arts, passing down knowledge to blood relations only. It is an excellent place to get brass souvenirs in the form of trinkets, bangles, and baskets.
THE BENIN MOAT
Construction of the Benin moat is believed to have started in 800AD and was completed around 1460. Also called ‘Iya’, the Edo people dug the moat as a defensive barrier against external forces during the time of war. It encircles the city and is estimated to be four times longer than the Great Wall of China. It is the largest single archeological phenomenon in the world and is recorded by the Guinness book of record as the world’s second-largest human-made structure.
OKOMU NATIONAL PARK
Okomu National park is the smallest forest reserve in Nigeria but plays a vital role in the housing of several endangered wildlife species. An example is the white-throated monkey, one of the rarest in the world and the endangered African forest elephant. Also, other animals like African Buffalos, red river hogs, chimpanzees, leopards, pangolins, and antelopes are inhabitants of the sanctuary. The park holds a remnant of the Nigerian lowland forests that once formed a wide belt from River Niger to the Dahomey gap in the Benin Republic. There are two treehouses from where visitors can view the park from above and also observe the birdlife. The park has over 700 species of colorful butterflies, which can brighten up anyone’s day.
This plaza is unarguably one of the most famous plazas in the country and the best entertainment center in Benin City. It is a contemporary hub for handouts, relaxation, and fun time with friends. Here, the popular Kada cinema is located, as well as restaurants and a Go-Kart racing square.
OSOSO TOURIST CENTRE
The tourist center offers one the opportunity to have a spectacular view of two states as it is located on th boundary between Edo and Kogi States. The center’s rest house is located at the top of the Ososo hill, encouraging visitors to hike to the top of the hill. This is a perfect site for people who love to keep fit and still experience the beauty of nature. The site offers a panoramic view of the river Niger from the top and a soothing effect of the mountain breeze.
Conclusively, there is no better way to have a great time touring a city than visiting Benin City. So, the next time you’re thinking of a weekend or holiday vacation, think of visiting this ancient city.
Don’t forget to book your flight with Travel Beta.
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TOP THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT MODE 9
Babatunde Olusegun Adewale is a popular Nigerian rapper and lyricist who goes by the stage name, Mode 9. The rapper has been in the industry for a very long time and is one of the leading rappers in Nigerian music history. He has recorded several albums and also had mixtapes released to his name. He is also a multi-award winning rapper, having a record of most wins at the Headies Awards. He owned the “Lyricist of the Year” award category for a long time and no one has been able to dominate as much as he did in recent times. Join me as I take you through his early life and childhood, music career, personal life and some of his songs.
MODE 9’S EARLY LIFE AND CHILDHOOD
The rapper was born on the 14th of June 1975 in London, United Kingdom to Nigerian parents who hailed from Osun State. He is the third children of his parents. His secondary school education was at Agboju Seconday School and then he proceeded to Federal Polytechnic, Bida in Niger State where he bagged a degree in Building Technology. His music influences were Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five.
MODE 9’S MUSIC CAREER
Mode 9 started music as far back as the early 2000s. He released his debut project in 2004 for “Malcolm IX”. The album enjoyed a fair amount of success and it helped gained the rapper popularity in the industry. He was known for his incredible rap style and fast became one of the lead rappers in the industry. He released another album two years later in 2006 for “Pentium IX”. At the time, he was already recognised as a good lyricist and rapper and he was already bagging awards for it.
Mode 9 didn’t stop at that, he released several other albums. He has recorded eight studio albums and five mixtapes to his name. He has also released five featured albums with the most recent recorded with Black Intelligence for “Hence4th” in 2018. His most recent album was in 2019 for “Monument”. The rapper, at a time, stopped releasing his albums in Nigeria because he felt Nigerians gave up on him.
His awards list is quite the collection. He has won 9 Headies Awards to his name and bagged the Lyricist Award of the Year seven times in a row, which still stands as a Headies record. He also has won a number of Channel O Awards for music videos.
MODE 9’S PERSONAL LIFE
Mode 9 loves to keep information about his personal life private. There is no known information about if the veteran rapper is in any relationship.
MODE 9’S SONGS
Some of his songs include;
- Where Una Dey
- Nigerian Girls
- Elbow Room
- Kaiser Flow
- 419 State of Mind
- It’s a Goal
- 360 Poetry
- Super Human
TOP THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT MO CHEDDAH
Modupe Oreoluwa Oyeyemi Ola is a Nigerian singer, rapper and songwriter who goes by the stage name “Mo Cheddah”. She always loved music as a child and even started singing from a young age. Her big break came with the release of her song titled “The Finest” featuring Sauce Kid and Tito. Following the release of the track, Mo Cheddah went on to drop even more songs and then her debut album. “Komaroll”, “If You want me” and “Destinambari” featuring Phyno are three of her other big songs in her career. Join me as I take you through her early life and childhood, music career, personal life and some of her songs.
MO CHEDDAH’S EARLY LIFE AND CHILDHOOD
The talented singer was born on the 26th of October 1990 in Lagos though she hails from Osun State, Nigeria. She was the fourth of five children. She had her early education in Lagos with her primary school education at University of Lagos Staff school and her secondary school education at Our Lady of Apostles school in Yaba, Lagos. After that, she proceeded to the University of Lagos to pursue a degree in Creative Arts.
MO CHEDDAH’S MUSIC CAREER
Mo Cheddah’s music career started from when she was 12. She got signed to a record label named Knighthouse Entertainment when she was 13. At the time she was still in school and she expected to be a child star. She used to spend time in studios during her holidays. She released her first song when she was 17 and from there she became popular. The first single was titled “Las Birdie”. She went on to record the song with Sauce Kid and Tito titled “The Finest”. The song was a hit upon release and helped her gain even more popularity. The song ultimately launched her music career.
Following up the previous successes of her singles, she dropped another hit titled “If You Want Me”. The song also enjoyed a period of success and got her the award for Best New Artist at the MTV Africa Music Awards (MAMA) in 2010. The video for the song also got Best Female Video at the Channel O Music Video Awards. Her debut album dropped in 2010 for “Franchise Celebrity”. She left her record label, Knighthouse Entertainment, after a while and went on to start her own which she called it “Cheddah Music”.
Mo Cheddah took a break from music when she was 21 because she wanted to enjoy a normal life. She came back after a couple of years.
MO CHEDDAH’S PERSONAL LIFE
She is married to longtime boyfriend, Bukunyi Olateru Olagbeji. Asides music, she is a fashion designer. She also runs a blog.
MO CHEDDAH’S SONGS
Some of her songs include;
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- Bad ft Olamide
- Tori Oloun
- Coming for You ft May D
- Destinambari ft Phyno
- See Me
- No be Money
- Wole Pelu Change
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