Tuesday, June 6, 2023
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Uduak Ubak’s Blog : Summer in Nigeria?

It’s the month of June and for Nigeria, the rains are here.

For some, this is bad news as it spells floods, bad roads with pot holes, licking roof and all. For others, it’s the best season of all characterized by cold nights, dreamy weather (meant for creativity), less heat and less dust which equals less allergies.

Summer in Nigeria
pix credit – www.summercampnigeria.com

A question by a little boy inspired this article. He was asking if this was spring and when are we expecting winter.

If you are living in Nigeria or the western part of Africa, I’m sure you are like ” yeah! Right”. But this question was coming from a three year old who just learnt about the different climate of the world.

It is quite interesting that at such an age he was exposed to such a topic but the sad thing is that in the course of teaching him about the world’s climates, the Nigerian climate was left out.

In Nigeria, we have two main seasons – the dry season and the rainy seasons. The dry season is characterized by a lot of sunshine and with it comes heat and dust because there is little or no rainfall.

It is usually ushered in by harmattan. This is a dry and dusty wind that comes from the Sahara Desert and blows hot and cold over Western Africa. During harmattan the early hours of the days are typically cold or often very cold and the afternoons are hot with high temperatures that decrease towards the evenings, and the evenings grow into cold nights.

These harsh conditions of Harmattan cause skins to dry and lips to crack. Using Vaseline or oil-rich creams and lip gloss can prevent dried skin and cracked lips.

The other season is the rainy season and as the name implies, it is characterized by a lot of rainfall. In some places, the rain can fall for as long as three to five days without fully stopping. Of course at this season you get to see most people with umbrellas and other rain protecting attires.

As I turned to explain to the little boy about dry seasons and rainy seasons, it dawned on me that not only are these children not being taught this enough in their schools, the society seems to confuse them all the more with the way ‘summer school’ is used in our communication.

Here in Nigeria, summer school (or summer university) is a holiday program organised by a school or a school district, or provided by a private company, that provides lessons and activities during the summer vacation.

Considering that summer isn’t one of our seasons in Nigeria, why do we have “summer schools ” and “summer holidays” locally? Would it be such a bad thing to coin it after our own seasons or use another name altogether?

Anyway, it’s the month of June and I hope the season treats you well!


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