You know how it goes: one very last morning, suitcase packed, checked in, and all that… Next, grab the camera, zoom out of the door, and see where the lens takes me. These are very much ‘shoot, don’t think’ moments.
1. You know how it goes: one very last morning, suitcase packed, checked in, and all that… so grab the camera and zoom out of the door…
2. The choices were: either head into the more modern, built up parts of town, head for nature, or go take another look at the area around Gishiri Village.
3. There’s nothing glamorous about this side of town. In truth, it seems not to have done very well in the Abuja development stakes. That said, there is a particular honesty about life in these parts that does wonders for the spirit.
4. On the surface, or at least to me, an outsider, life seemed really hard. And yet everyone simply got on with living.
5. Yes I’d noticed the posters and billboards advertising churches and pastors. However there turned out to be many many more churches than I imagined.
6. Gishiri was still quiet and sleepy as I walked through.
7. Gishiri was still quite sleepy as I entered.
8. The motorcycle is a taxi. The rider waits patiently for his fare.
9. Building blocks drying in the sun.
10. Two gentlemen working on a power line.
11. A still sleepy village.
12. In the background you can see Gishiri Hill; the left side of which (and out of picture) is where the granite boys work. This side is used as a multi-faceted church. Squeeze your eyes and you’ll see the churchgoers halfway up and on top of the hill.
13. First I noticed the smoke, and then the gentlemen working in his garden.
14. Bovine breakfast, I believe.
15. I met this cat as I began to climb an unfinished structure in Katampe district, which was a little way beyond Gishiri village.
16. Looking down on a herd of cows…
17. The huts form part of the original Katampe Village, which is on the verge of being swallowed up by the ever expanding city.
18. A farmer moves from one field to another.
19. Agricultural graphics.
20. Another look towards Gishiri Hill.
21. A man with his two children stops to greet a cattle herder.
22. I do wonder how long Katampe Village can hold on.
23. The staircases in this unfinished structure looked like a set of jaws: open and waiting to munch down on something. Though exactly what that ‘something’ might be is anyone’s guess.
24. Katampe Village rooftops.
25. Laundry catching some sun and an early morning breeze.
26. If the huts in the foreground whisper quietly among themselves… “So what was the point?” They ask of the unfinished structure in the background.
27. These cattle were kind enough to ask how I was doing, and if I cared to share a meal with them.
28. The young man in the tree cuts breakfast for his cattle.
29. “You sure you don’t want a nibble?” Asked the cattle. “These leaves are truly yummy!”
30. The kid put an end to an end to the early morning bout of pushing and shoving. The cattle seemed quite hungry.
31. The kitchen items on the left, had just been washed. Meanwhile, a lady prepares a family meal.
32. There really is no escaping that incomplete structure.
33. In the foreground, the birds held an early morning conference. They refused to tell me what was being discussed.
34. And there it is again… hanging around feeling rather disappointed with its lot in life. I suspect it wished to achieve more than mere ‘viewing platform’ status.
35. Back towards Gishiri Village.
36. A young lady carries water through the fields.
37. One church empties, while another remains filled with worshippers.
38. Meanwhile… the soil still needs care and attention.
39. A closer look at one of the churches. Note the drum set and the sound system speaker.
40. Just around the corner, Gishiri, pretty much like the rest of Abuja, demonstrates the principle of live and let live.