If you’re reading this article from the comfort of your home, congratulations, you made it. However, if you’re reading this and you’re still in school, then I’m sorry for you. If you’re thinking “Nonsense. I don’t need your pity, I’m fine”, then I’m even more sorry for you. You are not fine. Except there are Christmas lights hanging and a Christmas tree sitting in a corner of your dorm room.
Speaking of things hanging, our executives have decided against tackling the obvious logistical challenges of an excursion to the Hanging Gardens of Babylon and have settled for the next best thing; the Hanging Lake of Sub-Sahara, popularly known as the Iyake Lake, Ado Awaye, Oyo State.
While their decision is a source of disappointment -cos who doesn’t want to see Nebuchadnezzar’s famous hanging gardens- there is some comfort to be taken in the fact that the Iyake Lake is one of only two hanging lakes in the entire world. And unlike its boring counterpart in the Glenwood Springs of Colorado, the Iyake lake is hardly the only sight to see around the mountains from which it is suspended.
Yoruba people have some of the most exciting traditions in this country so it is only fitting that this wonder of nature falls under their geographical jurisdiction. And, they haven’t let us down. With their unique, never-failing combo of superstitious and extra, they have managed to turn Iyake Lake into a cultural mystery. People of Colorado, come and see how it’s done.
It is believed that water from the lake has the power to cure most diseases and ailments. In fact, rumor has it that the Iyake Lake has helped barren women get pregnant for centuries now. It’s as simple as “You’ve been trying to get pregnant for years? No wahala. Take this cup, go to Oke Ado Awaye and drink from the Iyake Lake. Your problems will be solved, and it’s not the cup.” That’s actually really cool but what I need is water that makes sure I’d never go thirsty again. As a living human being. Better yet, how about water that I can refrigerate overnight and the next day it has frozen into a Canadian Visa. Jokes apart though, the Iyake Lake is single handedly a body of water, a pharmacy and a fertility center. Damn!
The lake and its water are sacred; it is a taboo to swim or bath in it. Norms. It doesn’t stop there though. Legend has it that the Iyake lake is in fact bottomless and that it actually leads to another world. (Yes, add portal to the growing list). It goes on to say that a few Europeans once dived into the lake to discover its depth but never came out alive. White people and discovery sha. What’s your business with its depth? As I write this, I imagine diving into the lake and climbing out of a manhole on a street in Paris. I better work on my French before this excursion. Who knows?
A couple of meters from the Iyake Lake is a hole in the ground that’s known as ‘Agbomofunyake’ which roughly translates as ‘takes the child to give Iyake’. As implied from its name, this hole is believed to be a door to the Iyake Lake i.e if you fall into the hole, you end up in the lake. No time. However, as there is no guarantee that entering the Iyake Lake via the Agbomofunyake hole still takes you to Paris, I’ll recommend that you limit your cross-continent dreams to diving into the lake directly; Agbomofunyake sounds like an angry hole.
Some other attractions of Oke Ado Awaye: ‘ese awon agba’ (which translates as ‘footprints of elders’), the Ishage rock (which some people believed dropped from the sky), an elephant tree and a few other structures. Like Arsenal this season, these structures are existent but not important enough to mention.
Verdict: The Iyake Lake sounds like the place to be. So does Paris. But, are they one and the same? Come find out on the 11th of January.
Merry Christmas Guys. Remember to tell us what you think of Ado Awaye and the Iyake Lake in the comments section below.
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