CALABAR:10 things you probably didn’t know!

Posted: October 8, 2010 by CalabarBeckons in Uncategorized

…So much of the Calabar brand, Calabar food, Calabar dress, Calabar girls, C-A-L-A-B-A-R you are too much!

A lot has been said amongst Nigerians and foreigners about Calabar, this admiration stems from the fact that, Calabar is unique; possessing distinct climatic conditions, exotic scenery and an addictively hospitable people.

So let’s take you on a ride of the 10 things you may not have known about this great city called Calabar!

  • Governance: Calabar was the seat of the British Colonial administration of the protectorate of Southern of Nigeria (1882-1906), hosted on the consular hill, which provided a beautiful scenery of the Calabar Estuary. In 1906, the southern protectorate was amalgamated with the Colony of Lagos and the administrative headquarters was moved there. 

    The Old Residency Museum

  • Sports: The game of football was played in Nigeria in 1903 at the Hope Waddell Training Institution, Calabar. The game which was introduced by Rev. James Luke, as a way of getting young men to learn discipline and the team work.
  • Architecture: Built on the Consular hill in 1884,the “Government House” an imposing two-storey pre-fabricated structure of Scandinavian red-pine wood was shipped in known down parts from Britain to Calabar, this magnificent building which tells harbors great stories of our colonial history was declared a national museum in 1959.
  • Leisure: Yearly, visitors from around the world converge in Calabar, every December  for the month long  Calabar festival, which features, live shows, cultural parades, carnival queen pageants, culminating in the two day Carnival Calabar dubbed “Africa’s Biggest Street Party”, featuring about 10,000 revelers dance in gorgeous costumes along the 12 Kilometre carnival route.
  • Home Economics: The culture of “home study” was developed in Calabar, through the Nkuho-  “Fattening Room” an informal learning system, where girls are secluded for months; where they are tutored in meal preparation and presentation,  housekeeping and management, as well as husband/child care. After completion of this process, the maidens are showcased in an elaborate public ceremony. 

    The Old Calabar Estuary

  • Recreation: Calabar is home to the African club- established in 1903, being the first club that catered for the recreational needs of Africans and non- Europeans, since the European club, established in 1896 was exclusively for Europeans. The initial membership of the club was drawn from nationalities and indigenes of the Gold Coast, Sierra Leone, Yorubas as well as Efiks. The club celebrated its centenary celebration In 2003.
  • Trade: Calabar was  the most expanded historic trading post for slaves, oil produce and a hub of European activities in the 14th and 18th Century.  By 1973, the old Calabar rive is reported to have had the greatest share of European traders on the cost, exchanging slaves and Ivory  for Iron and Copper bars, tankards, horse and hawk bells, pewter basins, various colorful beads and purple copper armlets of Angola make. About 130,000 slaves were carried out of the Calabar estuary by Liverpool ships to Sao Tome and the West indies.
  • Biodiversity: The Calabar botanic garden was established in 1893 and was the first of such gardens to be established in Nigeria. In the 70’s it was renamed the Calabar Zoo. Currently, it plays hosts at to a park and relax pub, with an exquisite scenery for summer weddings, adding the touch of “Green”
  • Education: As a result of the interaction between the people of Calabar and the colonialists, a “Calabar High School” is built in the beautiful island of Jamaica, till date it is one of the most competitive and popular national schools in Jamaica
  • Calabar hosts the European cemetery where the very respected and loved Mary Mitchell Slessor was buried in 1915; HM Queen Elizabeth II of England laid a wreath at her grave in 1956,to honour the young lady who single- handedly stopped the killing of twins.


…Experience Nature,Explore Opportuntities, Calabar Beckons!!!

  1. Obo Effanga says:

    Good work. Some more editing for grammar and date still needed though.
    Please confirm, I think football was introduced in 1903, not 1902 as indicated here. Take a look at E.U. Aye’s book, “Hope Waddell Training Institution”, covering the period 1894 to 1984 (?).
    Also in talking about education, I would have expected you to emphasis on education and educational institutions in Calabar, more than a mere reference to the Calabar High School in Jamaica.
    There are very old schools like Hope Waddell (since 1895) which was the first secondary school outside Lagos, in Nigeria. Duke Town School, which was a primary sechool existed even earlier than that. There are also the Edgerly Memorial Girls’ Secondary School, St. Patricks College (1935) and the West African Peoples Institute (1937?).
    Of course, the city boasts of two universities.
    Keep the good work.

  2. Calabarbeckons says:

    Thanks Obo for the observation and feedback!

  3. Comfort Ikpi says:

    Well done. This is actualy nice. My comment is on Education. Why didn’t you go ahead 2 boost of d institutions we have in Calabar, instaed of showcasing dat in jamacia alone. On Recreation, other recreational centres were nt mentioned like d Cultural centre which is now used for multi purpose, cercopan for site seeing as well as others. In Leisure, apart from d calabar carnival, you would have included other places one can relax with dishes as we are known for good and salivating dishes like the ekpang nkwkwo, edikang ikong & afang soup. 4 hosting d european cemetry. I feel it shd b added dat it is d only grave with the tallest grave stone.

  4. Wale says:

    I b Yoruba boy but keep up d gud work

  5. Hey Esther,

    Good Job!!!

    Are you inviting board members to Calabar this December….lol

  6. Amb Emmanuel Gabari says:

    so y wont someone in heaven’s name invite me to this “so much talked about” calabar. Doubting thomas said “seeing is believing”. i dey wait ooo.

  7. Amb Emmanuel Gabari says:

    rotimi, e don reach calabar matter now, u don dey remind esther of “board members”. no b only board members. na carton members….hahahahah. so u want osho free? abeg pay yr money go calabar jo. IJEBU MAN ……..lols

  8. catherine Eriom says:

    i luv this.such a wide research.Esty keep it on.its very educative.

  9. Dele says:

    “Home Study” lol- No wonder your girls can cook,abeg make una find me calabar girl make i marry o

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s