When you hear gwoza town what comes to mind is the infamous 2014 boko haram massacre and the unrest the people have battled with for the last two to three years. Before Gwoza made headlines, I had- and still have- beautiful memories of this hilly, vibrant city. Growing up, on our way to Mubi, we will always pass through the pulka hills and I was captivated by the balance of the different sizes of rocks, it had a calming effect on my ten year old mind, and made you marvel at nature’s precision.

The people were also a colorful bunch; very lively, deeply cultural and adventurous. the town was usually full of visitors, not only for it’s beauty, but also for the mobile forces training college and markets. The Gwoza emirate was also well respected in Borno state, with a powerful first class emir, and a great deal of intellectuals that called Gwoza home. Gwoza is made up of several ethnic subgroups with 24 villages and over ten languages spoken.

The Mandara mountains is a spectacle to behold, it is a natural fence beautifully surrounding Pulka, overlooking the game reserves by meandering towards Mubi and beyond in Adamawa State, towards Cameroon.

The people are traditional guinea-com (sorghum) and millet farmers
with small scale animal husbandry. They have come to embrace Islam since the early 1940s, and Christianity since the late 1950s, but have maintained many aspects of their traditional life and religious practices. Their food and slow, majestic dance steps remain a unique, integral part better experienced than imagined.

Now that peace has returned to the lands, and the people are gradually putting their lives back to together, I am looking forward to huge investments that will turn this city back into the vibrant city it was, and grow it to compete with other mega cities of the world.

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Farida Yahya is an entrepreneur, biochemist, writer, and mentor. CEO, Lumo Naturals and Editor-in-Chief at Northernlife.NG. Her interests include volunteering, charity and activism. She loves to read, write, create and network.