by Wilson Orhiunu

I am currently reading a book entitled – The Call for a performing generation by Paul Adefarasin of House on the Rock church Lagos. I guess I am the first person to take this book up Kilimanjaro.

An interesting fact – the Logo of Rock Publishing (Publisher) looks like a book hewn out of one face of Kilimanjaro. This book seems written for me.

On day 2 of our climb I was in my tent reading a House on the Rock book while listening to Hillsong on my MP3 player (on top Kili the big volcanic rock); how ironic.

Chapter 2 of the book – What’s in a name – talks about how our names and .the names of given us by our fathers hunts us down.Joseph the dreamer was used throughout the book as the prime example.

I identified with the book because my father’s name was Jacob and that name got mentioned a few many times in the book. Jacob’s name was changed to Isreal and the rest is history.

My mother’s name is Charity and I find myself doing charity work.

Enough perambulation. Now,to the gist.

Why Kilimanjaro.

Was watching God TV when an old man said ‘its like climbing Mount Everest, not many people do that’. I cannot remember what he was even talking about but the words stuck like glue on my brain.

As Everest is too much wahala, I decided to practice with Kilimanjaro.

I didn’t know where to start. I read an article on a Doctor who was planning the journey to Kilimanjaro and noticed in the article that he was going with – Discover Adventure (DA) and so I gave them a ring.


Fitness- A good level of fitness is advised. DA send out an exercise programme of daily walks etc. I didn’t use their programme as I was on my own fitness regime. I was later to find out that altitude is no respected of fitness.

Clothing- A full list of clothing materials is provided (akin to the boarding house list used in Naija). List includes sleeping bag, sleeping mat, waterproofs, jackets, thermals, trekking trousers, warm hat and gloves, cap, Sun block (I been think say black man no need am; (see pictures), whistle, water bottle, torch light, head etc. All expensive. A good walking boot is a must. Underwear and socks must be changed daily.The maxim to bear in mind is – you look after your feet and your nyarsh at all times (excuse my French).


Swahili is the main language although a lot of Tanzanians speak English.

Shahili words to know are-

Jambo- Hello or Goodbye

Asante Sana- Thank you

Pole pole – Sowly slowly

I actually bought a CD with songs with these titles which I can e-mail to anyone who wants it on MP3 format

Charity- I did it for Sense and my target was £5000 although theyexpect a minimum of £2,5000. I intend to pass any surplus to the Deaf school in Lagos.

Risk limitation- First to bear in mind is you only die once. Next is to ensure life insurance is in order (in case of incacity!).

Then there are the immunisations. I chop needle sotey my hand bend. I took Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B (not required for trip but mine had ran out), Typhoid, Tetanus and Diptheria, Yellow fever and Meningitis C. On top of that I come nak Malaria tablets- Lariam (fit make person craze) and Diamox for altitude sickness prophylaxis ( I no sure say the thing work).

History in the making.

No one in my village has climbed Kilimanjaro before although rumour has it that some witches did a symposium there in 2003.

One cannot authenticate their claims so to all intents and purposes na Babawilly first reachKilimanjaro from Ukuagbe Village. E ! Eyeeee! Or should I say Halelu ! haleluyahh!


Outbound Friday, 7 October 2005

Drove from Birmingham to Q-Park long stay, Bath Rd, Yaba. Heathrow and left my car there for 10 days. Took shuttle to Heathrow Terminal 3 and boarded 21.50 hrs flight to Addis Ababa via Rome.

The flight arrived 9.05hrs next day. E bi laik saw Ethiopian Air no like Naija man. The pilot put serious heater on or perhaps Nepa take light for where their aircon dey. Na heat dem take finis us all. Headache plus vomiting – all join. In the heat I had to make corrections on my poetry collection – My time as I needed to e-mail corrections back to Birmingham from Addis Ababa. I will not forget that flight. When mai moni come una no go ever find Babawilly for economy lai lai!

Saturday 8-10-05 12.40hrs depart Addis to Kilimanjaro via Nairobi (na so we dey pick up passenger laik say na Molue we dey). Finally arrived by 16.40Hrs.


Airport in Arusha and we travel 1 hoour to Ameg Lodge in Moshi. Nice fenced compound with 2 gate men. E bi laik na Warri we dey only say Nepa and armed robbers no dey here.

The drive from the airport to the Lodge went through various shanty towns. It felt odd driving past African proverty as me sef black laik dem.I see my people dey suffer. Suffer dey Africa paparapa… so the song goes.

Meet my room mate for the night- Steve A teacher from Leeds. We would be sharing a tent for the whole trip. I introduced myself and informed himI snored for England. We switched on the television and it was Angola versus Rwanda. Fifteen minutes later Nigeria was not going to the world cup in Germany. Was a way to start! Persin wan cry but shame no gree me.

We arranged our stuff into 3 parts. One to be left behind at Lodge – including spare clothes, passport and wallet. The second was the rack sac to be carried daily containing water , toilet roll, medicines etc and finally the night bag- a second rack sac with is carried by the porters. PORTERS! PORTERS! I say suffer dey Africa paparapa…


Must stop to yarn about the porters. 2face talk say ‘me I get plenty things to yarn about eyee’. Well, he is not the only one. This trip is impossible without the porters. Naija man lacking in political correctness will call them ‘Agbero’.

For the 30 of us on the trip there were about 60 porters in all. They go before us in the morning to set up lunch. After the meal dem go wak chop remain, pack up and race to the night camp. Once there they set up the tents for sleeping and the 2 main dining tents.

Then they assist the cook with preparation and serving of supper. After meals they provide water for our bottles and clear up. Next morning they wake us up by bringing hot drinks – a choice of Milo, coffee or tea. Then they help with breakfast before dismantling the tents. Everyone then piles their second bag in a central point for the porters to carry. During the day they make detours to streams to kee

p up the water supply. 90 people drinking 4 litres a day plus cooking and washing requirements is a lot of water fetching!

On about day three up the mountain some poor guy is sent back down to get fresh fruits and vegetables. He then returns to the next camp with his load.

Suffice to say at the end of the trip we ll contributed $ 70 each to be shared amonst the tour guides and porters. As lvels dey , na he one wey tour guide chop remain e go give porter , abi no bi Naija talk say wetin concern Agbero with over load?

Walahi I go wake Bobby Benson make e come re-record im hit. Na so we go dey sing am-

If you marry Kili Porter

I don’t care

If you marry Kili Porter

I don’t care

If you marry Babawilly

God bless you

If you marry Babawilly

God bless you.

Eee! Eyeee!


Still 8-10-05. After dinner Ray, our Oga pata pata, ex- soldier and now a Paramedic gave us the ‘rules’. A bit like Brad Pitt in the ‘The Fight Club’ or should I say like RMD in em, em, em- me I no too dey watch Nollywood sef, OK like RMD in Violated 1, 2 or3. Na wa.

Rules are you don’t overtake the lead guide, if you wan piss for bush tell persin before you disappear make dem wait, if you must, (how do I say this without causing offence) do No 1+1 then you can leave the deposit behind the rock but the tissue paper must return with you. Simple reason is that above the tree line toilet paper and any other litter will remain for many years to come. E bi laik make you put yua dorti tissue paper for fridge, Tuffia!Everyone was given a ‘black bag’ to store their used tissue paper. Na that time persin come talk say we dey lucky. Im friend tell am say for some trip wey dem go, both tissue paper and deposit had to be kept till they came dowm. Chineke! As everything for rack sack dey plastic bag what if persin mistake toothpaste bag for… Abeg e don do.

Other rules were drink 4 litres a day, look out for each other and eat as much as possible.

Doctor come brief us- anybody wey dey take melesin make e hands up or forever hold im piss (excuse the pun). E talk say if anyone collapse for top of mountain, no bi dat time you go come talk say you be Hypertensive. Small small everybody begin talk wetin dem been no declare for medical form.

You may also like


Bimbola Okuyiga September 3, 2006 - 4:44 pm

Very interesting and very Original. I met the writer today

Jonathan July 7, 2006 - 6:09 pm

Well done. I think I will go up the mountain too (In 25 years time!).

STELLA July 4, 2006 - 2:55 pm

That was like a good, beautiful story. Very good. I liked it. I felt I was on the journey with u.

Anonymous June 30, 2006 - 6:39 pm

Well done. You're an inspiration.

Ruth Green June 30, 2006 - 6:38 pm

This is the most amazing piece I have read in over 25 years!!!

Reply June 29, 2006 - 1:43 pm

Funny write up to your adventure, I saw the photos in photo box too. Maybe, I'll try this someday. How come na you be de only broda wey do the climeb?


Leave a Comment