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Isio’s Travel Adventure in São Tomé: Part III

Isio De-laVega

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It has been two weeks since I arrived the island of Sao Tome, and I think I may have put on 3-5 kilos. I feel it when I move. The last two weeks have been an alternation of utterly interesting explorations and utterly lazy days – where I come back home so exhausted from 6-7 hours of exploration, or I just waddle into the kitchen and the fridge to stuff my face with food before going upstairs to watch Tyrant and oooh, and ahhhhh over the suspense.

The second day of my second week, I wanted to go into the village again. Walking up the unending flight of stairs was breath-taking. I really mean breath…taking. I got up there and started to pant. The pregnant girlfriend of the owner of the guest-house showed her concern. She asked if I was pregnant too.

WHAT, WHOOOT? WOWWW.

I went back to my room and exercised until I started to sweat. 3-5 kilos fayah. Una must go.

Shege.
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I continued my waka the day after. When I got to the village, I sat under the palm-roofed shed and enjoyed the street scene. There were children, dogs and people just interacting on the street. From nowhere, there was this old woman (must have been around 70 years of age), she just came around, happy as a kite, spoke to everyone, and there and then started to kizomba on the street. I was half surprised and half taken-aback, to see this old woman just enjoy herself so under the sun – without a care in the world. The mama no send anybody o. She bent over and put her palms to the floor and started whinin’ her waist and jiggling the bombom. And she wore a skirt… Ewooooo! My eyes kennat see such. I commot eye sharply. Did not take any photo and focused on my fish which I wacked with my ten fingers. Only one fish I ate. I stared to watch my diet from that day.

Before 3-5kilos… The best pizza I ever had in my life!!!! No jokes.
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After…
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In truth, I think I have learnt only a few things about the Sao Tome people. I won’t say I have learnt a lot, because I find it exasperating when foreigners come into Nigeria and stay in their nice, mosquito-free rooms on the island, only to go back to their countries and say they know ALL about Nigerians and how we ALL behave (even though they probably only met Southerners). Or, worse, the ones that only go to mosquito infested lands and return to the west and inform the whole world that they have been to AF-RII-KAA. And oh, what an absolutely pitiful, pitiful sight.
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Yimu.

Oga, you went to a rural village, in the remote areas of a country, in a fraction of a big continent. I don’t know what you were expecting, mbok.

Anyway, like I said. Let’s just say everything I have learnt about the island and its people is nothing but a fraction of who they are. But the summary of this fraction is that they are uncomplicated, polite and friendly. They, the young, old, poor and rich carry themselves with a quiet dignity that is admirable. Every time I was back in the guest-house, I would sit on the terrace and look out into the ocean and just take a moment to appreciate the place, and the series of events that led me there.
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Being such a small island with less than 200,000 people in it, I don’t think the island draws in enough revenue from tourists and tourism to support its economy in a major way like the Maldives, Zanzibar or even Seychelles. It is a blessing and a curse, I think. Tourism could mean big bucks for them. It could bring big businesses, it could bring employment opportunities for the locals. Because everything there is so beautiful, I believe in 5 – 30 years the island would have changed.

I hope it is for the better, though a practical person must know, that not all change is for the better. Tourists will bring fame and recognition to the island, but then people rarely leave their vices behind when they travel. Drugs, alcohol-abuse, rape, prostitution, human trafficking and all manners perversion could be a costly consequence. I almost fear for this beautiful, simple place, even though I want them to do well, and get that “luxury-island-destination” fame and fortune, I still fear for them. At the end of the day, the only people who can save the Sao Tomeans from the deadly cost of the change that is to come are the Sao Tomeans themselves, and I pray they hold everyone – rich or poor, African or non-African to the high standards they hold themselves.

Ahhhhhhhh… serious things… How about we gist a little, eh?

Soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo that was how some of awa Naija brothers almost disgraced the whole country here o!

Hian! Please before I start, let me issue a major disclaimer… so the men-folk y’all don’t crucify me, mbok… These are not my words, this is NOT personal – I am simply reporting the NEWS. That being said, this is not about ALL Nigerian men… this is about THE NIGERIAN men that went to Sao Tome and did somethings that the locals shared with me. Okay?

Okay.

You see in Sao Tome, there are a lot of people of mixed racial heritage, the Creoles, many of whom are direct descendants of the old Portuguese colonial settlers… their yellowness no be here at all… with shiny hair that blows with the wind. Sooooooooooooooo, that was how dem say awa brothers con confuse seeing all these yallow-yallow babes, and decided to approach these babes by offering them dollars and pounds, just because…

Anyways, dem say many of the girls took offence and reported to their families, their men and to themselves (Because family, relationships and parent-hood are a big deal in Sao Tome, they share these information and feel collectively insulted by such solicitations. Never forget that Sao Tome is a really small place, and that the whole country’s population is only about 190,000 people. You can imagine how many people are in a district. Walahi, every adult I met was in one kind of relationship/partnership with another). Anyways, due to relative high number of Nigerian visitors who kept doing this from the ones who have visited, it has led to many of the locals having a poor opinion of us generally, particularly because of these few, who solicit their yallow-yallow women

(Please, na so me hear am, na e I take write am so… no be me talk am o!) Anyway, if it’s any consolation, they say some Cameroonians and Senegalese men do it too, but Naija men do it the most. So, I guess it’s errrrrr… a thing with some of awa Africanus Brotheriuses.

Well, what can I say? I personally think that we are better than this, and that it is unfortunate that this is the image SOME OF US, have given about ALL OF US. It just makes you wonder what other people think of us out there – generally, and what -in particular- they must think of our men, and our women. What do you guys think? Are our men so base? Do you think our women are such money-grabbers?

For the rest of the week, I thought the story of the yallow-yallow loving Africanus Brotheriuses. I also thought about the story of a foreign paedophile that I found utterly disturbing. An old man of 75, would lure the children of the locals with sweets, then take them in his car and violate them. What kind of human being thinks it is okay to violate 5 year old girls? Jesus! Perhaps there is justice in the world after all, for the paedophile was arrested and sentenced to jail for 25 years.

Ahhhhh, this world. Who are we, and what have we done to ourselves? Hopefully, someday, as human beings, we would ALL collectively do right by the young, and the weak. The foreign paedophile was a very wealthy man who probably had local staff and all. But he messed up, and their law held him accountable. They didn’t excuse him, they didn’t tolerate it, hide it, or try to manage it – just because he was a source of “daily bread.”

This is one of the many things I have come to love about these people.

Isio De-laVega Wanogho is a Nigerian supermodel, a multi-award winning media personality and an interior architect who is a creative-expressionist at her core. She uses words, wit and her paintings to tell stories that entertain, yet convey a deeper meaning. Follow her on Instagram @isiodelavega and visit her website: http://www.idds.pro to see her professional body of work.

20 Comments

  1. Annie

    October 20, 2015 at 9:20 am

    Isioooooo…. I want pizzzzzzzza! love this article, so so true about foreigners saying they know much about a country when its only the four walls of a hotel room they know. Nice piece!

  2. Tolu

    October 20, 2015 at 9:25 am

    Hotness of life?!
    Isio, I think we would have looked better together on this Island o. Isio versus Tolu?. I need some support here please
    Nigeria men and their stupidity anyway you can’t over blame them because that’s what Our Naija ladies have indirectly thought us and keep preaching to us everyday that with money you can get into any skirt or jeans.
    And by the way, like how much will it cost me if I want to have a time out there for a week?

    • Isio De-laVega

      Isio De-laVega

      October 20, 2015 at 10:19 am

      Hi Tolu! Thanks for the compliment. You could budget between $80-$100 per night for accommodation. I stayed at the guest-house Casa Ondas Divinas in Santana Districtit. I cooked most of the time, and only ate out occasionally, so that was about $100- $120 a week. Flight Arik Air to Ghana and TA Portugal from Ghana to ST. Hope this helps! xx

    • Bola

      October 20, 2015 at 6:04 pm

      Is the island visa free from Nigeria? Or you have to apply for some kind of visa. I want to visit.

    • Ade

      October 28, 2015 at 4:14 pm

      Nice one, I really want to explore some African countries.
      kINDLY advise of visa formalities… thanks in advance! lovely shape you have got!!

  3. larz

    October 20, 2015 at 9:55 am

    Sao Tome is now on my mind.

  4. ENNY**

    October 20, 2015 at 10:16 am

    Hi Issio, I would really like to know the route you took to Sao tome. My brothers getting married and he’s chosen Sao Tome as honeymoon destination. Problem is we don’t know how to get there. The route we saw online takes 3 days and costs over a thousand dollars. Please share?

  5. miss Pynk

    October 20, 2015 at 11:00 am

    Isio I am ready to go to Sai Tome…the husband just has to agree.

    So glad you are having a fantastic and relaxing time on a proper holiday.

    pynk360.com

  6. gwen

    October 20, 2015 at 11:04 am

    Hello All,
    What is the Pura Vida Soja?

  7. Kelechi

    October 20, 2015 at 11:38 am

    Been to Sao tome, the ladies ain’t looking bad tbh, and you do not need money to impress the ladies out there, Nigerian ladies has messed up the psychic of Nigerian men to think you can win over any lady with money. Sao Tome is more like a large community, where everyone cares mostly about family and relationship.

    • Puzzles

      October 20, 2015 at 12:36 pm

      so you are one of dem naija men, abi?

  8. T

    October 20, 2015 at 1:19 pm

    Isio, you’re so beautiful, graceful, elegant and INTELLIGENT……..gosh! You’re a really talented writer just so you know. I love the fact that you’re really down to earth also

  9. T

    October 20, 2015 at 1:20 pm

    That being said, Sao Tome looks like a really beautiful place to be in……would love to go there someday

  10. Oyaga

    October 20, 2015 at 2:44 pm

    Isio girlllllllll. @ T took em words right out of my fingers.

    I am just weak at how you are able to type out scenarios and control our imaginations this way..

    I totally agree with you on how fame and the spotlight can dilute and even destroy culture.. If it does hit big like the other tourist sights, it will get adulterated! fell sorry for them or not.

    Btw, what’s with the sexy pictures you’ve been giving us on instagram with your lipstick color and steezz.

    well done oh.

  11. Gabby

    October 20, 2015 at 4:44 pm

    Dear Isio, i am so grateful to have someone like you just say it as plain as it should be. i honestly enjoyed this piece.

  12. NIRA

    October 20, 2015 at 4:49 pm

    Naija men and their lust/ fascination with fair ladies!!! Don’t know whether dem use fair women jazz dem!!! No wonder a lot of naija baes resort to bleaching to get fair at all cost!

  13. Nikky

    October 26, 2015 at 10:20 pm

    A very good read, São Tomé will be a place to visit, is now in my bucket list…..yeah, when it finally become a tourist attraction for many, they will learn to take all the fillies that come with it.

  14. Asabe

    October 28, 2015 at 12:22 pm

    Good to have you back Isio.. and its obvious the trip was enjoyable and insightful as well..
    I actually got touched by the analysis of the various life options and the fact that the choices and their consequences are just different, not better… thanks so much and I really hope that answered whatever question prompted the trip in the first place..
    Of which,…Isio wrote about reflections after a near death experience and all the deep things that accompanied the experience now, our spirikokos in the house press CTRL+IGNORE…and some commentators started talking how Nigerian women make Nigerian men to believe certain things about women in general… the day Isio writes about man and woman matter, abeg make nobody talk skabash, parental control or any of those stories that touch o!!!..

  15. dede

    November 4, 2015 at 12:05 am

    Sao Tome looks so beautiful and untouched

  16. queenbee

    May 29, 2016 at 3:23 pm

    Sao tome is life. It truly is stunning. Naija people just leave too much bad news in too many places they go. EveryOne always has too many bad things to say about Nigerians. I personally admire the resourcefulness and the ambition but yes….being kenyan ghanaian with several years spent in both West and east the truth is nobody tends to praise Nigeria for anything good. Shame..because the few are doing things terrible enough to leave a shadow on so many great things that Nigeria accomplishes. Let’s just say you won’t ever hear anyone other than a Nigerian saying ‘can’t wait to visit nigeria’. I mean even Rwanda gets better press after genocidal war than naija.

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