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#Pulse36 Day 15: If you must do only one in Port Harcourt, let it be this

Port Harcourt has a reputation of its own. It’s famous for oil money, ruthless cult wars, an incredible student population, and a lot of energy.

For me, it was more like a homecoming. I’ve been here before. I always loved bikes, but it was here I knew I had to get on in my lifetime.

It was also here that I set out with friends armed with a full tank and a map, and drove all the way to Ankpa, Kogi State.

These two things have one person in common, Akoji Usman, our host in Port Harcourt.

If you must do only one in Port Harcourt, let it be thisplay

If you must do only one in Port Harcourt, let it be this


The first point of call for us was Port Harcourt’s gold mine. It’s not the oil wells. That’s already corrupted.

It’s the untainted one. The one where all the old values remain. It is Elekahia, the world Headquarters of Bole and Fish.

If you must do only one in Port Harcourt, let it be thisplay

If you must do only one in Port Harcourt, let it be this


We went to Chioma Bole Special. From her stand, you can see the stadium in the background. It was a slow Sunday morning, which was good enough time to play around and ask questions.

Chioma thought she wasn't ready for tge photo. But if you ask me, I think she was born ready.play

Chioma thought she wasn’t ready for tge photo. But if you ask me, I think she was born ready.


“It’s actually my mum’s business,” she said, “she only just named it after me.”

Teach us, Master Chioma.

Yep, we weren’t leaving until she had taught us how she turned Croaker to Goldfish.

The way her hands moved, you could tell she’d repeated this process hundreds of time. It’s almost reflex.

It always starts with the marinating. Take your fish. Put it in a bowl. Now sprinkle salt with love. Just salt to taste.

Then sprinkle your spices too. Add this generously.

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“What’s in the spice you just added,” I asked.

“I can’t tell you.” She laughed.

I wasn’t expecting a different answer, although I’m sure I could smell stock cubes as she sprinkled the spices.

Then she grabbed a bowl of ground pepper. You could tell that it was freshly ground. This one, she added generously.

Then she let it sit for a while. Like a few minutes.

Then it was time to take the fish through hell.

Look into the eyes of the fish, and you'll see it singing D'banj's "Why Me". As per Eja Nla.play

Look into the eyes of the fish, and you’ll see it singing D’banj’s “Why Me”. As per Eja Nla.


You see those gills? Something interesting happens beneath it. She pours a special sauce under the gills and some of that ends up inside the body of the fish. She pours more of it all over the fish so ceremoniously, you’d think it’s baptism.

Then she let fire do its thing, turning it every now and then.

And finally,

Just add Boli and it's time to demolish.play

Just add Boli and it’s time to demolish.


“This is not what I do all the time though,” Chioma said when we were hyping her.

“I’m a final year student of Mass Communication.”

“Which school?”

“National Open University.”

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She talked about plans after to school to work backstage in broadcasting. And plans to rebrand her mum’s business.

We left there and headed to one of Nigeria’s most famous universities, the University of Port Harcourt.

But there isn’t much to see in a University on Sunday, in July.

Where do all school projects go?

I heard about this student, Shevvy. At least that’s what people call him.

Him, along with his team of five built an electric car for their final year project.

Thing is, the car failed, but they tried nonetheless.

But they probably got some things right. This kind of begs the question, where do all school projects go when we submit and grades are out?

Don’t say the library.

Let’s paint a scenario. The first living thing man sent to space was a dog.

Now, all it probably did was back up there, but it made something clear; life was possible in space with the right equipment.

So the next thing man did was try to get to space himself. And then he sent up some gear. And more gear. And now he’s looking to colonise other planets.

Follow our #Pulse36 travel stories on Instagram @pulsenigeriatravel

Sometimes, hidden in the failures are small successes others can build on.

But how do we even know what to build on when we don’t even know what someone else failed at?

Someone, somewhere in Nigeria is going to try to build an electric car and will probably make the same mistakes Shevvy and his team made.

Imagine we could have all the thousands of research students do every year, in every school, in one place.

That’d be incredible.

I hear Shevvy and his team are now into metal fabrication.

Dreams are good, but most times, they need money.

We left Uniport as the rains started to drizzle. But not without being a little vain and playing around with phone cameras.

Did I also mention that I no longer roam around with flip flops? The guys at Keexs sent me some pretty nice shoes. And it seems to be holding up well.

Read previous episodes HERE

*All photos were shot on the Samsung Galaxy S8+.

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