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#Pulse36 Day 21: Hi Tinapa, bye Tinapa

If you’re a movie director looking for location ideas for your post-apocalyptic movie, try Tinapa.

It’s mostly empty, except for a handful of workers, and I can’t think of a better place for a post rapture scene.

Hi Tinapa, bye Tinapaplay

Hi Tinapa, bye Tinapa

(Pulse36)

But what the Hell is Tinapa anyway?

Former Governor and Current Baby boy of Cross River State, Donald Duke, had grand plans to make Calabar the number tourist destination in Nigeria. And he tried. He really did. The Calabar Carnival was born, and of course Tinapa.

Hi Tinapa, bye Tinapaplay

Hi Tinapa, bye Tinapa

(Pulse36)

And after many architecural designs and 450 million dollars in funding, Tinapa was born in 2007.

It has a water park, a port of its own, a movie studio, a massive hotel of over 200 rooms, a mall, but it’s all empty.

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Beht Why?

If you ask me, I’ll say it’s their village people, and I’ll be right. But first, some context.

Tinapa wasn’t just supposed to be for leisure. An integral part of the model was business. In fact, the river was dredged so ships could dock.

And according to Adekunle of Vanguard, (who said according to former head of Tinapa, Bassey Ndem), at its peak in 2009, this place raked in 30 million bucks. In dollars.

Then politics happened.

Most of these politicians are petty. We know this place is Donald Duke’s brainchild. So many of these politicians, instead of continuity, will now decide to abandon it and create their own projects. Typical Nigerian style.” Maurice, our host in Calabar said this. His sentiment, not mine.

He’s probably right though, because not much seems to have happened in the past few years. Most of the traffic this place gets happens only once a year. Christmas, in carnival season.

Follow our #Pulse36 travel stories on Instagram @pulsenigeriatravel

Recently though, it looks like there’ve been efforts to try to push people this way.

Hi Tinapa, bye Tinapaplay

Hi Tinapa, bye Tinapa

(Pulse36)

A monorail was commissioned to carry people from Tinapa to the International Conference Centre across the river. Somehow, it is hoped this rail will help boost traffic from the Conference Centre to Tinapa.

"This place was built since, I don't understand why they're now cutting rope again.' I overheard someone say this.play

“This place was built since, I don’t understand why they’re now cutting rope again.’ I overheard someone say this.

(Pulse36)

I don’t see how this will save Tinapa though. But what do I know. I’m just a traveller.

We took a closer look at the monorail.

Hi Tinapa, bye Tinapaplay

Hi Tinapa, bye Tinapa

(Pulse36)

Apparently, it has barely moved since the commissioning. The rail was powered by a central generator for the commissioning. According to someone we met though, they are installing a new generator that’d solely power the monorail.

We took a walk to the amusement park. The only person there was the staff at the entrance. He didn’t say a word. Clearly, boredom had driven him to silence.

Follow our #Pulse36 travel stories on Instagram @pulsenigeriatravel

More walks around Tinapa, and everywhere around us was very solid structures. This place was built with good intentions. You can tell, but it’s sad, almost depressing to see it wasting away.

I stopped taking photos. Tinapa got more annoying the longer we stayed there.

Then I raised it one last time to take this one photo:

Hi Tinapa, bye Tinapaplay

Hi Tinapa, bye Tinapa

(Pulse36)

I think it’s the most productive thing I did there.

Read previous episodes HERE

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

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