I call it the ‘multi-rumu township’.
Portharcourt wasn’t compulsorily part of my planned trip that month, I already had too much fun all year and thought I’ld just leave Accra as soon as I’d finished my last semester’s paper. The Calabar Carnival was my original destination for some reasons. Not to digress too far, My friend and mate Dan Opulah (Don Dan) thoroughly convinced me to stop over at PH a few days before continuing to Calabar to which I agreed to but with little enthusiasm (we had an inside joke about Dan and his ‘township’).
Our journey to PH from Accra was uneventful save for some delays on getting to MMIA1 in Lagos. Port Harcourt’s international airport looked way better than it had the last time I was there. We checked out with little hassle where Dan’s driver was waiting to take us to their home. Dan insisted on driving home not minding the fact that we each just had a bottle of Alomo and Lacasera cocktail during our flight.
Portharcourt is quite a beautiful city, I call it the “Rumu-township” (quite a number of areas have names starting with the pseudonym ‘Rumu’ like Rumuogba, Rumuola and Rumuobasi just to mention a few). So if you plan being in Port Harcourt for the first time, it’s advisable to make a mental list of all “rumus” to avoid mixing up your locations.
We got into Portharcourt on the eve of the Carnival’s climax as planned so we wouldn’t miss the final event of Carniv PH. Going through the city that evening, there was of course the ‘hustle n bustle’ of a big city which curiously had 1 or 2 major roads serving all other minor roads (something I’ll never understand considering how expensive and expansive the PH metropolis is).
My friend lives in the popular old GRA in PH, an exclusive area for the ‘oil thieves’ rich folks and big government workers. The old and new GRA serves as home to virtually all the fun spot in town and my friend being who he was made sure we didn’t sleep at home that night. We toured every night spot we could find starting with a late night movie at the Silverbird cinemas. I can’t remember if we saw Django Unchained or Christmas in Compton that night ‘cause everything became a blur from there on. I reckon I slept through part of the movie as a result of the journey or probably the effect of the Alomo cocktail.
Our next stop was Liquid Lounge, where we had dinner with some of our mutual friends. We began our club tour and ended the night at strip club. By this time, we’d already ran through our budget for the night and I was starting to have an idea of how expensive and fun life is in PH although it was just my second visit to the city.
The next morning (Saturday) was the highlight of my trip. It was the final day of the PH Carnival and I quietly anticipated our outing while dealing with my hangover because we had a personal invite from a popular musician who was a friend of Dan’s family.
Our day started at the GC freestyle parade and climax World Music concert. The parade was particularly fun, loads of costumed babes, lots of popular starts and government officials, Governor Amaechi all clowned up is some costume and of course Miss Agbani Darego. It’s was a raunchy man’s heaven! Having too much to spend that day could be of grave consequences. Everything was of course expensive with prices jacked up all over town. Hotels, Bars, goods and the popular PH babes and almost triple of Lagos’ prices.
That year’s carnival was colorful, the ladies and their dance routines, their jaw dropping costumes. The city wide parade was fun and due to free movement of traffic (I wasn’t about to trek the whole of PH). I also regretted missing the Boat Regatta and reggae night but made up for it by securing scores of contacts of prospective dates and babes.
We later met up with Duncan Mighty whom we spent the rest of day our day with.
The world concert that night was as dope as it could get; the music, comedy and getting to hang out backstage with so many celebs, PH’s 1st son, my friend, Timi Dakolo, 2 Face, Timaya, Uti, Agbani Darego, popular Rivers State celebs and of course Shaggy who was the headlining artiste. The day ended much like the previous one with little change to my bank balance and a sore throat from singing along all night long.
The next day (Sunday) started without church, we just couldn’t get up early enough, moreover I was dealing with the headache from the previous day’s outing. We had a quick brunch and headed for the beach where we chilled till evening before leaving for evening mass at Dan’s church. After church, we went straight to Duncan Mighty’s house where we treated to a sumptuous dinner with all the celebrity rigmaroles (the dude just got paid big for his major role in the carnival). There was no dull moment with him especially with my talkative of a friend.
We got back to Dan’s home well after midnight after another late night movie but sober for the first night since getting to town as I needed to prepare for my midday trip to Calabar the next morning (Monday). Unsurprisingly, Dan insisted on coming with me opting to drive the over 3hours journey all by himself with his elder brother as our chaperone.
I wasn’t so eager to leave now with my hostess (Dan’s Mom) fusing all over me and inviting me over every Christmas; apparently, I was his first School mate she was meeting. Its was almost 72hrs of pure fun in the Rumu-Township and we were all geared up for part 2 in Calabar which ended up being as fun, cheaper and someone I know beginning the new year with STI treatments.
That just about sums up my “Rumu-town” experience.“
Read the sequel: My Portharcourt Trip Highlights.