At exactly 23:59 on July 07, 2019, I touched down in the city of bright and bold colors; the city of zouglou and coupé decalé; the city of attiéké and alloco. Abidjan—a windy, wide awake city—was more than ready to welcome me after nearly six years of absence from its soil.
It was a steamy night, but I refused to let the soaring temperatures spoil my sense of excitement……. this was the beginning of my re-connection with this vibrant, progressive city. I left Abidjan on September 03, 2013 aboard Air France, en route to Washington D.C.—I had made an audacious decision to relocate to D.C.
At the time, this was a terrifying experience for me because it meant moving away from those I cherish so dearly – my mom, my sweet family. Good thing I was determined never to avoid change out of fear. Besides, life has taught me that to gain what we want, we must be willing to sacrifice what we already have [in some cases]. And that’s ok, nothing comes easy. Don’t always expect a win-win.
Also, there wasn’t any indicators that my decision at the time was the ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ move. And guess what? I gave it a try—a commitment to passion, I call it. And today, I can safely say it was the right move, at the right time. It has presented me with a chance to reinvent myself. Anyway, that’s an entire topic for another time.
So, though my eight-week visit to Abidjan this year was engulfed in sadness due to the passing of my rare, cheerful mother, I still found a way to brighten it up by visiting a few alluring scenes across the bustling, cosmopolitan city. Below is a snippet of Abidjan Through Nabie’s Lens:
Centre Artisanale de la Ville d’Abidjan
This picturesque, homey arts and crafts center is your go-to for: (a) cute carvings, (b) exotic cloths, (c) gleaming jewels, (d) unrivaled wooden masks, (e) paintings on glass that are unique to Africa, (f) pleasing shea and cocoa butter products, (g) stuffed animals made from authentic African fabric, (h) alluring bronze, brass and silver work, (i) beautiful wooden bowls and baskets, (j) leather-covered boxes, and many more.
Located in Treichville, one of Abidjan’s 10 urban communes, this vibrant artisan village is endowed with everything you could ever image in the world of handmade arts and crafts. In fact, it is a place where art is crafted in your presence! Just don’t forget to negotiate the prices. Happy shopping and haggling while out there.
..stay tuned for more on Abidjan