Adiong ubom – The Boat Makers

Okorutip (as the crow flies) is a community of fisherfolks and farmers, located at Ibeno, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria on Longitude 7° 56′ 21″ E and Latitude 4° 33′ 21″ N. This is a peaceful locality, with happy people living there, A visit to the town for a community gathering with fisherfolks sometime in 2022, led me to an interesting set of workers – Adiong Ubom (The Boat Makers or One who makes or repairs boats in literal terms in the Ibibio language). The workers here who were mainly of the male gender, ranged in age from 16 – 50+ worked with manual hand tools but got the work done to the best of their abilities.

Boat making is an important business in a place like Okorutip, as the people here certainly need their services to aid farming activities. Several manual tools were employed but it was very effective for their craft. Wood, nails, clamps, saws, and hammers of different sizes and shapes were used to carry out their project/constructions. A regular fishing boat they said could take one to two months to complete, while gigantic boats for deep-sea fishing could take 3 or more months to complete.

We were made to understand that the construction wood was sourced from their community and neighboring communities in Cameroun.

It was a sight to behold. Indeed the Nigerian is truly industrious and creative.

This story is contributed by Babawale Obayanju, a communicator/storyteller based in Benin City, Nigeria.