Honestly guys my trip in Bénin was really eventful so get ready to enjoy as I dish out to you hot gist😂😂😂.
I remember prior to the trip, I showed my Dad a video of a friend who went to the Python’s Temple and my Dad’s exact words were ” If you decide to go into the temple and put any snake on your neck, don’t bother coming back to my house. What kind of spirit will you bring back?”
Myself and the Wakaholics set out to explore Ouidah on our second day in Benin and I’ll briefly share our experience with you.
The language barrier was a major constraint for us in Benin. I honestly thought I understood French, I mean I was one of the best students when I took French classes but everything was too fast in Benin, lol), so we got a chaperone from Casa Del Papa and he wanted to exploit us big time. He was first rude and threatened us (who honestly wants to be stuck in another mans land? Not me!) but that was resolved and we got a cut from the original price. You can check out what we did on our first day here
First stop was the Python’s Temple, remember my conversation with my Dad already? There was no way I was going into that place so I just took pictures of the place and luckily for me my fellow travellers weren’t interested in the Python’s Temple so I was good to go.
Opposite the Python’s Temple was this ancient chapel that has been since 1909
Then we proceeded to Ouidah Museum of History where I learnt so much about the town Ouidah and slavery in Ouidah. The Museum is located within the compound of the Portuguese fort. The fort housed slaves for a very long time. I’ll share quick facts I learnt from the museum during the slave trade era.
- Never say the king is dead or such a person would be beheaded. The death of the king was announced by a person beating a calabash round the town.
- The more loyal a slave is, the looser the iron grip around the neck.
- The result of adultery was to be beheaded.
- No one could speak to or look at the King directly during a meeting or else he/she would be beheaded.
- While the Portuguese took the Men as slaves, the French took the women.
- The slaves were given one bread per day to share and there were about 20 deaths per day. The dead were thrown into the sea.
- The women slept on their back(as they were raped very often) and the men on the stomach (to prevent them from seeing the women as they were raped).
- The pregnant slaves were more expensive as it was believed that the children in them would yield more slaves.
- The Kings didn’t initiate the slave trade but benefitted handsomely from it. They exchanged people for coins, gold etc.
- 41 virgins or women who had attained menopause were used to get the sacred water for purification.
- It was common practice for the king to have 10 wives and when he was having sex with one, the remaining 9 cheered them up by clapping.
- The king hated the groaning of a subject being slaughtered so whoever was doing the slaughtering had to do it once and for all or else the person would also be slaughtered.
- The fort was made such that if a slave decided to escape, just right outside the walls of the fort was a river filled with crocodiles at every corner. So the choice was either to endure the fort or get eaten by crocodiles.
I learnt so much about slavery in Benin I could go on and on but I’ll stop here.
Unfortunately, we were not allowed to take pictures inside the museum so this is all I have.