Words: Philips Chidumebi
The lights will always lead you, the glow from street lamps, and the bill boards with smiling faces, the car lights and the very artistic structures. Night time in Abuja is another side to a rather exciting coin. If you have been in Abuja or if you live in Abuja you probably understand how the night time ushers you into another level- another beauty of the city. The city remains serene mostly, with enough silence to guide you through, but the silence can be broken at your will, all you need to do is step out. The usual calm doesn’t affect the culture, the spirit of the city, the warm heart of the people and most importantly the energy.
I love to put my hands out the window as I drive through Abuja once it’s night, I hear the whistling sounds of the wind as it breezes past, that is a fetish of mine, is it yours as well? But then if you want to experience the night culture, then there are strategic places you need to be. Recently, I took a tour of Abuja at night time, and the vibe had me navigate all the way to Wuse. In case you do not know where that is, it is one of the districts in the Abuja center, and it is where the night magic always happens. Yeah, there are several other spots in Abuja, where you can have a chilled time, but we have to talk about Wuse, don’t we? I mean, there are different levels to the experience you can get once you are in Wuse- mild, weird, extreme, and safe, just whatever! But one thing is certain, you will meet with the Night culture that is definitely exhilarating.
So this Friday night, I pack my note pad and pen, with a staunch desire to just appreciate the night on the periphery, without really indulging, after all, I had to get all the facts and details for my story, and I needed a clear mind for that J. So I went straight to Wuse, with a resolve to start my “night journalism” easy, and easy became one of the lounges along Adetokunbo Ademola crescent, I recall the actual time I got in- 8:50 PM.
I walked in to meet smiling faces, between shisha smoke and glass cups, there was the warmth between friends, and strangers that looked set to become friends at any point. The sounds that floated through were the familiar hits, so I sang along, with my eyes on the move, trying to sift out the people I was going to ask my questions. The mind of a journalist has to be exact, and I knew I needed to meet with the right people, to get the best answers, but just then there was a tap on my shoulder, and guess what! The first person I eventually asked questions walked up to me, Sonia (not her real name) and then Sonia had me have Shisha with her, then I met Ada, Mark, Ramat and Stephanie, without having to be a rigid journalist. That is the good thing about the people of Abuja, always friendly, with welcoming smiles, and enthusiastic enough to want to start conversations with a stranger, and to change that to real friendship. All of them had the same thing to say- after a grinding week of strenuous activities, they all deemed it necessary to let go of some steam. Yeah, they had me have a few drinks (just a few lol) and then we stepped out, with a plan to go club hopping, which was good for me.
I noticed how busy the streets were, there were still road side hawkers everywhere, cab men lined the sides of the road, calling out to everyone that walked past. People walked along the road in pair of two’s and threes, laughing, and just feeling really comfortable. You could get the sense that these people were career men and women, students, traders, they all had lives to go back to, but then the night was about trying to forget all the stress for a while, and just be in the experience.
Another remarkable observation, is that the people of Abuja meet at common points, there is no class difference in terms of who should go where, or who should be where. The culture is accommodating, a raw ground, for the middle class, low class, rich class and extremely wealthy class. There is no segregation at any level, and this gives the city a unique social terrain. You feel how people come out, hoping to engage, to network, to socialize, to dream, to reflect, and to experience awesome moments.
Yeah, that night I went to a few clubs, and danced till I could feel my legs wobble (I did not get tipsy lol) I met a host of people, exchanged numbers till my phone went dead, and this is what I have to say about the Abuja night life- you need the experience. So wherever you are, whenever you visit Abuja, be sure to take time out to experience Night life in Abuja, make your personal deductions, but I bet you, the memories will last a lifetime.
Ps- charge your phones, just before you step out!