welcome to zaria

Zaria is a town with lots of surprises. It’s located in Kaduna state, in the northern part of Nigeria. Never been to Zaria before and also didn’t have any expectations so basically everything I came across was a surprise to me. Spent a month here attending attend lectures, tutorial and clinical sessions at the Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital (ABUTH), Shika.

ahmadu bello university teaching hospital

zaria teaching hospital


In Zaria, motor bikes ‘okada’ is a major means of transportation. These things are everywhere. Aside the ‘keke napep’, buses ‘molue’ that move around, and of course ‘legedez benz’, the bikes are quite popular.

Transportion in Zaria


keke napep in kaduna state

okada motorcycle in nigeria

public transportation in kaduna state nigeria

The funny thing is that these bike operators seem to believe that there are the major form of transport because they drive like the roads belong to them. They can overtake you from any angle, in fact you do not seem them coming. The next thing you know, they are riding very close to your side.

The vehicle owners also seem to be very inpatient. They tend to overtake a lot. They could see a vehicle coming from the opposing traffic and still overtake. It’s so bad that the oncoming vehicle has to drive off the road. This happened to me just recently and it gave me palpitations. Amazing thing is that the offended driver does not complain, he just continues his journey, probably because he does it too.


the roads in zaria nigeria

Though I haven’t been to a lot of Nigerian cities, another peculiar thing about Zaria is that there are beggars everywhere. It would shock you to know that majority of these beggars are children who could do something better with their lives. Without exaggerating, one could meet nothing less than 20 beggars on an average day in Zaria. In traffic, campus, buying things, hospital, even around the wards. Yes, they may be from low socio-economic backgrounds but does that mean they automatically go into the begging ‘bizness’.

Now let’s talk about the facilities.

You can imagine a guest house whose bathroom is worse than that of a public boarding school. If only the managers of those facilities would renovate them….hmmmm

Guys let me let you in on a little secret. Hausa is the lingua franca of Zaria. Almost 90% of the locals I met spoke hausa. It didn’t matter if they were from other tribes. The environment is such that you need hausa to carry out your daily activities. Hausa is spoken everywhere and the annoying thing is that they assume you understand what they are saying. And if perhaps you are like me and you do not understand, then you are made to feel out of place.


street food vendors in zaria nigeria

Interesting story

My first day in Zaria, after registering for the MDCN exams, two male staff were conversing in Hausa and one of them asked me a question in Hausa and obviously I had a blank expression on my face. Then he looked at the other one with a look of “really she doesn’t understand?” then he said something else in Hausa to me and I still maintained the blank expression on my face and the next thing that came out of his mouth was “you don’t understand Hausa, you have failed the exam already, how would you communicate with the patients.” I was ‘wowed’.

There were about 600 foreign trained medical doctors there for this same purpose, of which less than 50% speak Hausa, so I really wondered how someone could stand there and say such to me. Anyway I just brushed him off because I knew what I came there to do. I didn’t come there to fail.

Interesting facts

I was told the northern part of Nigeria is famous for its yoghurt but I don’t think it’s anything to write home about. Also the roads in this town are filled with pot-holes but this is not un-expected as Zaria is in Nigeria *wink*

On the other hand, Zaria is quite an affordable city. Foodstuffs are sold at a cheaper rate than other cities.

yam tubers and irish potato sold on the streets of nigeria

roasted corn street food


During my one month here, I met doctors who had trained in different parts of the world; Benin republic, Bulgaria, Caribbean, China, Egypt, Gambia, Ghana, Hungary, India, Iran, Ireland, Oman, Philippines, Russia, Saudi Arabia,  Sierra Leone, Sudan, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine and United Arab Emirates.


chronicles of zaria

Here lies the end of this chronicle.

Let me know your thoughts, especially if you have been to Zaria before or if you were also there for the MDCN training, share your experience in the comment section below. Remember to subscribe/follow this blog if you haven’t done so already. For the fun experience at Zaria, stay tuned for my next post, you don’t want to miss out on that. Ciao darlings…

With love,


Read about the highlights of Zaria

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  • Highlights of Zaria - Lifestyle by Janet May 1, 2017 at 1:11 pm

    […] I told y’all I was gonna write a sequel to the chronicles of Zaria. […]

  • Anonymous October 16, 2016 at 5:08 pm

    Nice one…

  • 2376mylife October 13, 2016 at 8:46 am


  • Nexie October 11, 2016 at 8:37 pm

    The little “beggars” bothered me a lot too. Once I gave one of them the left over of my Viju milk; it was delightful to see he shared it with his mates. I was so touched I had to give them all some money. Later, I learnt the story behind the “little beggars”… apparently, these kids were sent to study here; left in care of guardians with money, clothes and foodstuff but the guardians take all the money and foodstuff….so, they would have to beg for their own survival! The annoying part of the “little beggars” is waking up to hear them beg at your gate. May God bless their little souls!! One of my most enjoyable moment in Zaria is meeting these Nice and Calm Doctors who truly desire to teach. One has to agree “the Doctors are REALLY REALLY NICE”!! Oh… The search for good food!! 😟😟😟

    • phiephiee October 11, 2016 at 9:03 pm

      Lol the search for good food indeed. Thanks for leaving your comment. Remember to subscribe to lé blog and look out for my next post on the fun experience at Zaria. Cheers 😊

  • Delnegro October 10, 2016 at 5:24 pm

    I was in Zaria for the MDCN program too, It reminded me a lot of my stay in Abakaliki (capital of Ebonyi state)a few years ago. Well, the accommodation available seemed to be quite similar…okay maybe I had a bigger and nicer bathroom at Abakaliki..lol. On arrival in the city, my first act was to begin a countdown to departure date. I couldn’t get out of the city soon enough, but as the weeks rolled on, after me and my friends had our bouts with malaria, we kinda’ got used to the city. So much that departure date wasn’t really exciting,actually felt like staying a couple more days. Don’t know if the city grew on me, or it was the new friends I made. Anyways, it was a beautiful experience….I also think the ‘kid-beggars’ count exceeded the 20 mark…lol
    You did manage to take some really nice pictures of the city too…Well done!

    • phiephiee October 11, 2016 at 9:00 pm

      Your comment literally made me ‘laugh out loud’. Thanks for taking time out to read the post and of course leave your comment. I appreciate…😚


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