I have always been a lover of water and water body. It is evident in the fact that I am a remarkable swimmer, even if I say so myself. I love the beach, though I don’t visit often. On the back of this fact, one of my favorite places to hang out is near a water body. Did I hear you say “may be you have mammy water spirit”. Thunder fire you!!! The perfect hang out for me will be a place where I can listen to live soulful music, jazz band maybe, near a water body while I think about the origin of the universe over a few drinks. If I wanted to make it more fun and lively, I would have some of my best friends with me and we would just be lit.
Growing up in Ilorin one of the places, heck, the only place that fits this bill was “Water view”. Water view can be accessed from Tanke via CBN quarters(Extension) road. The actual address is “44, Akanbi Oniyangi road, Ilorin” but you know we just use landmarks to describe places on this side of the world. Water View is actually the name if the Guest House (or perhaps Motel) which sits directly opposite the ‘Playground’ if I may. The playground is an open field which has metal (and some plastic) chairs and tables where people can sit down and enjoy the view of the Agba Dam right across.
I believe you are probably wondering why I am so particular about this place. I grew up in Ilorin and growing up, Water View was a fun place to go. It hosted a lot of picnics, hangouts, birthdays, you name it. In the day time it was a serene environment to go have some time alone or with friends. You could just have a quick business meeting, a date, perhaps you want to have a different perspective on a book or project you are working on, Water View was a place to think. At night, the place is what I would like to call LIT! There was live music most days, grooves going on every now and then, you have barbeque spots and many more. I was probably too young to stay out late those days, but on days I was fortunate enough to hang out at noon/evening. I enjoyed every minute of it. Sadly this isn’t so anymore.
For what it’s worth, the pepper soup was LIT, especially the cow tail pepper soup. I recommend this option any day anytime. It is quite rich and the first sip gives you the overwhelming calmness and reassurance that your immediate problems are insignificant and everything will be fine.
Security. It is quite secure, well I have never hear of an incidence there neither have I ever witnessed one personally. There were private security guys out there the other night I was there.
Drinks. Cold. Even water. It is not like other establishments where you might be told that the drinks aren’t cold because they just stocked the freezer. Most places don’t stock up on drink till its evening in preparation for peak periods at night. However here you can get a cold one even in the afternoon. Bottoms up!
Before I go on, let me just say this isn’t a review to cast the establishment in a negative light. I don’t want to give them a bad image, I hope this post reaches the right quarters so that the management of this establishment can be challenged to do better and bring back the glory we so desire of this Water View.
The Service. So terrible! I have been there twice in the last one week and it has been the same. In a sane environment, the moment you walk in, a host (or waiter) should track your movement, probably give you a minute to settle in and come take your order. However, today especially I was sitting for over one hour with my friends before I got anybody to attend to us. It wasn’t a busy day, in fact, we had only one other group present (whom we met). It was quite appalling and I registered my displeasure emphatically.
The Environment. I am so particular about this because, it is located beside a water body. The establishment has so much potential. Safety measures have been taken to demarcate the people are and the water shore. There are railings encompassing the premises but other than that, the whole place is just…Basic! Many years ago there were garden lamps and greener grass but now the garden lamps are broken and the grass is bare. I imagine the potential of this establishment if it was in a place like Lagos. Sitting on prime real estate in a good neighborhood. My God, the Feels!
The Bar. The Bar, while I understand that this place is a more of an outdoor hangout, an extension of the Guest house if you may, I would expect that the Bar be a more permanent structure instead of this make shift container we have here. It is an eyesore but that’s just me talking. Please do better!
One of the drawbacks of not getting a person to attend to you for over an hour is that, being an outdoor location, we expect that the Tables and Chairs would be dirty especially in this season when we have a lot of dust in the air. So you arrive at your table to see dirt and leaves all over the place and yet you have to find a way to clean it up by yourself. That is terrible and if I were to let my pettiness take me over, I would have probably turned back.
I understand that the government put some form of restriction on activity on the water but think about it for a minute, the opportunity we have there. The traffic that will flood the area if some form of water activity was introduced. Kayaking. Rafting. Think about it for a minute.
Install sprinklers that would work in season and out of season to keep the grass green and luscious. It even makes for a brilliant photo op. I would love to come take pictures there.
Perhap make an area available for smokers and a different area for non-smokers. Remember that the area is a beautiful place to come relax and unwind. I would find it difficult to unwind if the next table to me is infiltrating the immediate atmosphere surrounding me with cigarette smoke. Also, last time I checked, Marijuana was a controlled substance however out there people use it openly and without regard for public consciousness. This paints the establishment in a bad light socio-culturally.
Press on the hosts to be more attentive to arrival of customers and clients.
All in all, I understand this things cost money and I do not claim to know the turnover of the establishment but I know surely with proper planning and consultation, many of the talking points I raised can be met and Water View will be a lovely place we love once again.
Stay tuned for Lord Josh’s update post coming up soon.
Peace. Love. And Chicken grease!
All images are copyright of @Okizle for AjalaTalesBlog