Bolaji Seun is a winner of the Ogun State Heritage Award in the tourism category in 2018. He is a travel writer, and he has been to 33 states in the country. Bolaji aims in all his travels to; reshape and correct the wrong impression about the country and advocating that the country has amazing breathtaking tourist destinations. Besides, he believes in his mantra of peace.
Bolaji Seun has many horns to blow when it comes to Nigerian tourist destinations. Yet, he believes he has more to learn as he hopes to do better in reshaping the ill-portrayal of Nigeria has an unsafe destination route for tourists.
We met at the Social Media Week, Travel Massive Africa Day Experience, Lagos and when we finally had some moments, there was so much to hear and learn.
Our conversation swings from his experience at the Travel Massive where he was part of the panelists, his opinion about Nigerian roads and safety, culture, arts, people, tips and guidelines for young tourist enthusiasts, and his future plans.
Travel Massive Panel
Why traveling around the country?
Yes, everyone travels and there is a motive for that. For me, my motive for traveling is to make Nigeria a tourist destination and to showcase Nigeria’s beautiful tourist attractions and destinations to the world… Traveling in Nigeria is really a beautiful and wonderful thing to do… And I will ask you to do the same hahaha. Thank you.
As one of the panelists at the Social Media Week Travel African day, Lagos how was it for you?
I was a bit nervous because it was actually my first time being on a stage, however, I spoke about Nigeria and Africa at large. I spoke about Africa and how it’s difficult for Africans to travel within Africa, unlike the Europeans… And also emphasized that Nigerians should start talking about tourism and exploring the country rather than going outside there.
Nigeria; Road, and safety!
Road transporting is definitely the top challenge tourist face, how do you as an experienced explorer manage this?
Road transportation is one of the challenges people faced while traveling because the roads are bad, even some roads leading to the tourist attraction center and this could lead to a shortage of tourists or patronage of those places Well! For me, I don’t mind the bad transportation system and the road too because I am used to traveling on bad and good roads and that won’t discourage me from accessing those tourist attractions places but the poor road system needs to be upgraded.
You have been to 33 states out of the 36, what do you think Nigerians have in common despite her multi-ethnicity?
Hmmm…Yes, it’s by God’s grace and grace is always sufficient to do more extraordinary explorations. Nigerians are friendly people and understanding, and as a man that goes around advocating love and peace, even aware of the ethnicity differences, this isn’t an issue for me. Therefore, I use my tour trips to unite, preach peace irrespective of our differences and ethnicity. For example, the Northern part of Nigeria and how some people have portrayed it to be. My opinion changed when I got there for I saw nice people from different tribes and religions. I always go to any place preaching peace and love… We can use peace and love to unite and make Nigeria one nation.
BJ, talking about the Northern part in terms of security for tourists, in an interview you mentioned that Nigeria is safe, are there no security threat at all for tourists or an explorer?
Yes, I vividly remember when I told the interviewer that the Northern part of the country is safe. Nevertheless, I have always said that people give false impressions and information about the Northern part of the country because of some media giving out false information to the world about Nigeria. They never write positive things about the country…However, the Northern part of the country is not the way people perceived it to be because its a nice place where tourist can explore and have a nice time…Since that has been said, there are only three states in Northern Nigerian I won’t advise a tourist to visit, Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe. This is where the Boko Haram terrorist group often operate and attack innocent people. And that is all.
Culture, arts, and people
In all your travels, any historical monument you find appealing?
The Kano Palace is one of the historical monuments in Nigeria that I love. It is a nice and wonderful sight to behold.
When traveling, culture and arts are fascinating, do Nigerians really value what they have based on the places you have visited?
Nigerians don’t really value what we have, but they value other people’s tourist attractions. You see many Nigerians traveling abroad to see other people’s culture and art while they abandon theirs… Nigeria has a lot of beautiful places for sightseeing and I will advise us, Nigerians to start exploring those beautiful places…
Is it safe to say when you travel try to learn about the culture, art and the people?
Yes, it is safe and you should learn about other people’s cultures and traditions, lifestyle and people’s behavior… It’s a good thing to learn about other people’s cultures.
From your experience around Nigeria, will you say that our tourist attractions are Nigeria’s selling point?
Hmm…They are selling points and we have a lot of beautiful places which we can sell out to the world and we Nigerians need to start talking about our tourism potentials, attractions, and cultural heritage…
Tips and Guidelines
Can you recommend anywhere to tour for a start?
Yes, I can recommend Lagos and you can start with Badagry because there are beautiful places to tour and enjoy your time there in Badagry, Lagos. The wonderful tourist attractions in Badagry includes the point of no return, the heritage museum, the slave trade museum, the beach of course, and other places in Lagos such as the Lekki Conservation Center.
And to get ready for an adventure, any tips on what to go with?
Hmm….for any adventure, you go with enough money because it is expensive but worthwhile.
What advice do you have for young tourists?
The young ones need to be humble and work hard, be passionate and enthusiastic about tourism and travel… And you will be great… But one thing! Humility is the key to greatness.
Next Travel Plan
33 states and still counting, any major event you looking forward to?
Yes, I’m looking forward to visiting Borno, Yobe, and Adamawa probably this year to complete visiting 36 states of Nigeria.
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