M I N I • V A C A Y
When I thought of getting on the road with @ejatutu and @duchess_one last Friday, it was with trepidation.
I had a bad knee from a fall off a bike and did not look forward to the hours the trip would take. My Cousin had grand plans of seeing some places in Cotonou, visiting the Portuguese fortress and slave route in Ouidah, Benin Republic and finishing up in Lome to visit my parents. .
After the initial bump in the road (we had a run in with a crazy gun wielding Nigerian policeman), it was generally okay. The art/crafts village in Cotonou was cool and reminiscent of the Lekki arts village. Ouidah was a learning experience and mirrors the other slave routes across the perimeter of the Atlantic in West Africa. Clearly, the Kingdom of Dahomey was heavily involved in the slave trade. .
We followed the Slave Route from the market square where the slaves were sold (in front of the de Souza mansion), to a temporary holding point where they were branded, then held in dungeon-like conditions before being taken to awaiting vessels on the Atlantic Ocean; commemorated by Door of No Return (La Porte du Non-Retour) a red toned Gateway pictured. .
Those were terrible times. So sad😰. I believe this modern reconstruction is meant to educate and present a physical monument for returning descendants and tourists. But there can be no reparation for this evil... The UNESCO sponsored Slave Route Project and Ouidah 1992 Conference established several monuments along the Route. A lot of effort went into the project. More Africans should visit similar sites. It may well stoke our discontent... .
We managed to escape the scheme of our greedy tour guide and made it to Lome before dark, all in one day. The weekend was spent together and with my brother and parents. Definitely worthwhile. I am glad I took out time.
#cotonou #benin #lome #togo #vacation #ouidah #ouidahbenin #ouidahplage #slaveroute #slavery #atlanticocean #abolishslavery #africa #world #sisters #mygirls #cousins