As far back as the 16th century Calabar was already recognized as the most beautiful of all daughters in Nigeria. She was not just known for her beauty, but also recognized as the first international business destination in Nigeria. The city played host to merchants from Liverpool and Bristol during the historic era of Atlantic Slave Trade. It is speculated that the first British warship to sail as far as Duke Town in Calabar, where she captured seven Spanish and Portuguese slavers, may have been the historic HMS Comus in 1815.
Over the years, the Calabar people have lived in peace and harmony, upholding her cultural values and ethics. This unequivocalpeaceful coexistence between the three principal landlords of Calabar, namelythe Qua Kingdom of Ejagham (Ekoi)/Bantu origin, the Efut and the Efik Kingdomsattractedthe seat of the British colonial administration for the Southern Protectorate of Nigeria to Calabar. The city didn’t just play host to European Businessmen, she also played host to European Missionaries like Mary Slessor.
From inception, Calabar have always been the number one tourist spot in Nigeria. The city is fondly called “The Destination Point” by Tourist. Calabar is undoubtedly the “Seat of Nature” in Africa. The city’s natural endowments makes it impossible for any city in Nigeria to purloin her position as the “Nation’s Paradise”. In terms of tourism/culture, Calabar comes second to none in Nigeria and generally West Africa.Calabar is a nature made Paradise, not man made.
What makes Calabar the Nations Paradise?
The city has one of the bestweather balancing in Nigeria, making it most favourable for International Tourists.
An aerial view of Calabar clearly shows that the city has one of the most beautiful landscapes in Nigeria. Green, fresh and lovely.
Of course the culture of the Calabar people and her beautiful carnivals! This is one aspect that places the city ahead of any other city in Nigeria. Culture to the Calabar people is sacred and basic. Festivals are very important to the people of Calabar. During festive periods the level of cheerfulness amongst the people can be compared to that of the traditional Jewish Passover. Calabar is also popular for her carnivals. Carnival Calabar is convincingly the biggest street party in Africa, it is the most colourful, electrifying and amazing festival in Africa. The carnival runs through December every year, adding more splendour and opulence to Christmas.
Is Calabar still the Nation’s Capital? Of course it is! A city; carved, situated, structured and placed by Nature will always luxuriate in that privilege. Calabar is a Paradise that will continue to grow deathless and blossomflowers with nectar.
WRITTEN BY EDWARD EGBELO