By Omotolani Alamu
1.Cote d’Ivoire is a West Africa country with a population of about 23 million and the country shares borders with Liberia, Mali, Burkina Faso, Guinea and Ghana. Its president is Ouattara Allasane.
Cote d’Ivoire has more than 60 local languages, but its official language is French. Some people make the mistake that Dioula is a language from Cote d’Ivoire and that it is the most spoken in the country, but that is wrong. Dioula is a commercial language from Mali. Its popularity in Cote d’Ivoire is because majority of the traders are from Mali and Niger.
A multiple of locals language mean also multiple of culture, food and belief systems. Cote d’Ivoire has various types of food (not only Attieke, which is very popular). They have Foufou (made with red plantain and red oil +soup); they have Foutou banana (made with red plantain mixed with Cassava), Foutou Igname (pounded yam) and foutou manioc (made with Cassava).
Some communities eat Placali, Kabato, Tapioca and Attieke – all accompanied with local soup of course.
Attieke is the most popular because it the most easy to find and everybody can eat as soon you want. However, it is mostly eaten by singles and the poor because it is cheap. People rarely eat it in households, except if you buy it outside.
2.Ivorian music is listened to in all the French countries in Africa and some English countries such as Liberia, Ghana and Nigeria. The main music style is Coupé décalé, but there is also Zouglou, hip hop, Rap and slow. Coupe décalé is the type of dance that have steps. He artists are so many but the most popular are: Arafat DJ, Serge Beynaud, Debordeau Leekufa, Shanaka Yakuza, DJ Mix, DJ Leo, Le Molar, Clair Bailly, Bamba Ami Sarah and Vital.
One thing that is certain is that Ivoriens are very good dancers (people will say their dances are violent) Ivoriens can dance to songs from most others countries, but it is difficult for people from others countries to dance well to a dance like Coupé Décalé.
3.One thing one can find in Cote d’Ivoire that Nigeria actually doesn’t have, is the constant supply of power and treated water. The government is able best to provide 24/7 light to all the households, so no need to buy ‘pure water’ or bottled water. The name of the electricity company is called Compagnie Ivorienne D’ Electricite (CIE) while the water company is Societe De Distribution D’eau De La Cote D’Ivoire – SODECI.
4.Ivoriens are also very welcoming. An lvorien lady, Alphonsine Go Lou, said: ‘we don’t fight. I never heard about an Ivorien and a Nigerian fight since I’m in Ivory coast. We just have to accept each other with all our differences and adapt when you are in someone’s country while respecting their culture and how they are.
5.Cote d’lvoire is a well-organized country operating with foreign technology. Its streets are extremely clean. They don’t have commercial vehicles (Danfo) like we have in Lagos, but public transportation is dominated by their orange and yellow cabs. The Orange cabs operate everywhere, including streets; while the yellow cabs are restricted to the major roads alone. The cabs are available any time till dawn. The Ivorien ladies drive the most expensive cars and majority of their cars use diesel. Our Nigerian brothers and sister still go over there with Nigerian customized plate numbers.
6.Life in Cote d’Ivoire is expensive, especially transportation. A Nigerian, Mr Abiodun Folorunsho said from his personal experience, the country is well organized. They follow rules and regulations naturally and compulsorily. The people are not in a hurry for anything and are easy going. I will say on the average, life is easy compare to living in Lagos. House rent is generally more expensive than in Lagos but also depends on the areas. Places like Cocody are expensive but you could get cheap houses in places like Abobo and Adjame.
Also, all businesses have time for breaks. They don’t joke with mid- day breaks and they return back to work by 2pm daily.