By Hadassah Agbaps - August 10, 2012

Once upon a time there was a man called Kotal Kanta.
"Kotal " in Hausa means "no Challenger".
This was due to his prowess in boxing and wrestling.
He was the commander of a garrison in Gungu in the old Kebbi state.

Kanta had only one wife but many concubines.
Her name was Bokola.
She was exceedingly beautiful with full dark hair.

Kanta and Bokola had an argument which lead to Bokola fleeing with a hundred maids.
Kanta sent his courtiers on horseback to appeal to her to return to Gungu.
The lady refused insisting she would remain on the spot she had reached.
The "no Challenger" had finally been challenged by a woman scorned.

Kontal Kanta decided to go after the woman he obviously treasured.
He met her at the spot where she had made a decision not to return.
There was a baobab tree at the spot which Bokola was said to have laid her head and the dye (probably henna) in her beautiful hair made a mark there.
To remain with his wife, he built a city called Surame.

It is said that no fewer than 800,000 artisans built Surame.
The city is said to be a unique feat in military engineering as it was made up of a collection of seven cities, each with it's own gate and in the center was the royal palace.
The very next city to the palace was for the warrior class.
The next was for the nobles and so on to the lower classes. It would have been a herculean feat for an enemy to defeat Kanta due to the numerous rings of protection and defence around him.

Today, Surame in Kebbi State is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Do you know that Surame's city walls and Kanta's palace were built using.....wait for it...........Shea butter!
Shea Butter
This was reported to have been shipped from Nupeland which is in present day Kogi State.
I fell in love with this story written by Eryca Freemantle a fellow Nigerian woman. She came across Surame by sheer accident while conducting a research on Shea butter in Nigeria.
We have loads of untapped natural treasures in Nigeria all waiting to be utilised....

Nigerian Natural Resources

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  1. So did he win Bokola back?..I mean 7 cities is very impressive...

  2. Yes he did...what girl won't fall for that !!!


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