Kaduna is a state of pleasant people and beautiful attractions. Lush vegetation, a homey atmosphere and royal pleasantries makes Kaduna the jewel that it is. The state has the abundance of ancient caliphates and its people take pride in their prowess of witty proverbs like “rua ba su yami banza” meaning, ‘Water does not get bitter without a cause’.
ORIGIN OF KADUNA
Years before, the Kaduna River once held an abundant amount of crocodile and as a result, the state became known for the presence of these reptiles. The name “Kaduna” then came about as a corruption of the Hausa word ‘Kada’ that means crocodile. Created in 1967, Kaduna state became the north central and the creators also named the state capital, ‘Kaduna’.
CENTRE OF LEARNING
Kaduna state is also called the “Centre of learning” due to the copious presence of academic institutions within its environment. Among the prestigious institutions found in Kaduna is the renowned Ahmadu Bello University (established in 1962 and) located in Zaria. This tertiary institution has the largest library in sub-Saharan Africa and furthermore is the largest, and the most influential university in Nigeria. In addition to these, Kaduna hosts the Nigerian college of Aviation, the Air force institute of Technology Nigeria and other privately owned institutions.
FOODS AND DIET
Asides from the influx of academic institutions in Kaduna, the residents of the state pride themselves in the availability of diverse diets. These meals include Tuwon Shinkafa (a thick rice paste) and Miyan Tuashe a mouthwatering staple food majorly found in Kaduna. In addition, another staple meal is Masa (made by soaking rice overnight and frying in a special pan) and Gwate (corn porridge).
TRADITION AND RELIGION
There are two major religions governing the lifestyle of the people of Kaduna state namely Christianity and Islam. The religious view of both beliefs lends a conservative tilt to the lifestyle of the people, hence a guarded approach to their mode of dressing and expression. Women are clothed in beautifully crafted veils and long Hijabs (a long body covering) while the men fancy long Kaftans (northern traditional wear) and Hula (molded caps). However, it has also caused them to be more homely and welcoming to acquaintances and strangers alike.
Kaduna state however, is famed for its ancient architectural structures that have transformed over time to become tourist attractions and topmost amongst them are;
- The City Wall of Zaria
The 15 km-long city wall of Zaria was built in the 13th century during the reign of Queen Amina of Zazzau to protect the city from attacks and invaders. It had eight gates of access and was one of the most impressive monuments erected in Northern Nigeria.
The city of Zazzau (now known as Zaria) was one of the seven original Hausa states that the great wall of Zaria covered. Due to increase in population and lack of structural maintenance, a major part of the wall now lies in ruins.
- The Emir Palace of Zaria
The Emir Palace of Zaria (or the palace of Zazzau) built in 1995 is a magnificent royal structure erected in the old part of Zaria city close to the Zaria Forest Reserve.
The walls of the Emir Palace are laced with rich hues and speak of rich cultures; the architectural design used in the Palace is patterned after the arewa sign of crossed rectangles and a square. The colors used are quite bright and they represent the creativity and diversity of the Hausa people. The Emir palace is indeed a sight to behold.
- Matsirga Waterfalls
The Matsirga Waterfalls is in the outskirts of Kafanchan, the commercial hub of Southern Kaduna located about 227 kilometers south of Kaduna city, the Kaduna State capital, northern Nigeria. This beautiful waterfall flows from a height of about 30meters, moves through four hollows on the rock and falls into a mesmerizing pool below. Also called ‘River Wonderful’, the Matsirga waterfalls has become a hub for tourist all around the world.
- Kajuru Castle
Built in the year 1981-1989 by the German expatriates who lived in southern Kaduna at that time, the Kajuru Castle is one of many forts and castles built in Africa. It remains one of the most beautiful, youngest and well-preserved castles in Africa.
This luxurious Villa of 1-meter thick granite walls are made of pure cut stones and can house about 150 guests at a time. It currently serves as a tourist site with a luxurious in-house resort opened for all. The Kajuru Castle is indeed a grand African version of the Bavarian castle.
The people of Kaduna are generally homey and welcoming. Their religious and traditional inclinations cause them to be open to helping those around them. They are easily trusting are quick to lend a helping hand to poor or needy around them.
In general, Kaduna indeed is a land of beauty, delicacy, and luxury. Its arms are open to visitors and tourists alike and its borders are a welcome invitation to the world at large.