I confirmed that music is universal in Costa Rica — Ego Ogbaro
Singer and songwriter, Ego Ogbaro, tells OGHENOVO EGODO-MICHAEL about her most exciting travel experiences
How many countries have you visited?
I have visited about 25 countries within and outside Africa.
Which will you refer to as your favourite trip?
My favourite trip was to The Netherlands; Holland, to be precise. Another trip I really enjoyed was the one to Costa Rica, a country in Central America. I actually had my most exciting travel experience there.
What made the experience spectacular?
What made the experience so spectacular was when I actually started going out to explore. The nightlife there was very exciting. I really enjoyed my time there.
Whenever you travel, what do you miss the most about Nigeria?
What I miss the most about Nigeria whenever I travel is my family. I cannot be away from my family for too long.
What are some of the innovative things you have experienced during your travels that you will like to see replicated in Nigeria?
For me, that would be tourism. I think more attention should be given to tourism by both the government and the private sector. If there is an enabling environment, the country will witness the influx of more tourists. Also, our tourist attractions should be well maintained and preserved.
What is the weirdest food you have eaten on a trip?
I am a foodie. When it comes to food, I am very adventurous, so I probably will not say ‘weird’, but ‘something I had never seen or tasted before’. For me, that will be a Boudin sausage, which I really loved and enjoyed.
What are some of the new things you have learnt from your travel experiences so far?
I will not say ‘new things’ because they are things I had known all along. However, when I was in Costa Rica, I confirmed that music is truly universal. During my performances, even if the crowd did not fully understand what I was saying, I got positive reactions from them. Even after the performance, some people came to tell me how much they enjoyed it.
How often do you make friends when you travel?
I make friends very often when I travel. As a matter of fact, I practically do that all the time. I enjoy making new friends.
What is the biggest culture shock you have experienced while in a foreign land?
I do not know about now, but as of 1999 when I visited Chad, men and women could not ride in the same vehicle. I think it was more of a religious thing though.
How welcoming were the people towards you?
The people were very warm and accommodating. They were naturally curious and were willing to know more about Nigeria, and Africa as a whole.
Did the people you met there know about Nigeria?
Well, some people knew about Nigeria, while some others did not know.
Were you stereotyped based on where you came from?
I will not say I was stereotyped. However, in some of the places we went to, even though the people there were also mostly black, they could tell we were not from there, just by looking at us.
What tourist attractions did you visit during your stay?
When I went to Jordan, I visited the red sea and it was amazing. While in Egypt, I visited the famous pyramids.
What are your go-to items whenever you’re packing for a trip?
My go-to travel items include a universal charger, sunglasses, and sneakers.
What advice do you have for intending travellers?
Travellers should have an open mind. Aside from that, as a traveller, you should be ready to explore and find out as much as you can about your destination. Travellers also need to know the laws, culture, food and other important things about the place they intend to travel to.
What countries are on your bucket list?
I will really love to travel to Indonesia; Bali to precise. Greece is also on the list of countries I will like to visit.
Were you recognised by anyone as a singer and celebrity while outside the country?
I was not really recognised, except in places where there were lots of Nigerians.
If you were to be offered an automatic citizenship of any country, which would you prefer?
I will surely pick The Netherlands because I like the country. However, it is often said that there is no place like home, and I love Nigeria. Though we are not where we should be but I believe that things will get better.