DAY FIFTY-EIGHT At 9:00 Adu arrived with the mini-bus to take us all on a tour of Kano. First stop was the Criss Cross Bureau de Change where everyone changed money then we drove up to the Central Mosque. The heat and dust combined to form a thick haze which hung over the city like a shroud. In the square surrounding the mosque we photographed a horde of ragged children that gathered round the van.
From the mosque we drove to the Kano Emir’s palace. A rare surprise was in store for us. The Emir (the town chief) was about to make one of his rare appearances. His approach was heralded by a tall man dressed in a splendid red, black and green robe and mounted on a black horse.
When the Emir arrived he sat on a raised platform (no one is allowed to be higher than the Emir) and answered each question from the crowd by whispering to one of his green- and red-clad assistants who then spoke it aloud.
After the palace we spent an hour looking through the Kano Museum then drove via the old city wall to the old market. We spent a lot of money there: Linda bought a gorgeous woven blanket for 200 FF [French francs] and traded her watch and 500N¹ for a bracelet & a pair of ear-rings. I bought a bracelet for 25N.
On the way back to the camp we stopped for a local lunch at a canteen.
That evening we went out to a curry place.
¹Nigeria’s currency is called the Naira.