Still waters run deep. That adage aptly qualifies Rojenny Holiday Village, the single largest tourism resort in South-East Nigeria. Located in the serene town of Oba, Idemili South Local Government Area of Anambra State, just on the outskirts of the commercial city of Onitsha, along Owerri-Onitsha Expressway, and occupying a long stretch of land estimated at 8 sq. km, it is undoubtedly a dream destination for holiday-makers from across the world.
A stop at the gate gives you no idea of the buzz of activities that go on inside the premises. Even the ROJENNY HOLIDAY VILLAGE engraved boldly on the gate does not reveal much. But as you step into the compound, you are amazed. First, the gentle breeze caresses your face, as if to say ‘welcome to our world’. This sure is the home of African hospitality. You look straight ahead of you and behold a massive expanse of land, long stretch of trees, beautiful lawns, and gigantic structures dotting the length compound. You are awe-stricken. Wow! you exclaim, and the person next to you says you ain’t seen nothing yet.
This is where your tour begins. A walk around is even more eye-opening. You discover immediately that a day is not enough to see everything that there is to see. Where do you start? The tourist attractions are too numerous: the lush-green fields; the zoo (which habours such wild life as baboon, python, the green monkey, tortoise, lion, etc; rare birds such as peacock, eagle, flamingo, ostrich, etc; aquatic animals like turtle, alligator, crocodile, etc); the Ozo Village and Museum; the Rojenny International Stadium, which was said to have hosted seven continental matches involving Nigeria, Algeria, Angola, Egypt, Morocco, and Cote d’Ivoire during the time of Jasper United and Udoji United Football Clubs, and also camped Nigeria’s Golden Eaglets under Fani Amun for two years and three months during the time of Ibrahim Babangida as Nigeria’s Military President; the over 1000-capacity conference hall; the amusement park for children; the joy rides; the lawn tennis court; the basketball court; the volleyball court; the Olympic-sized swimming pool with elaborate and fully developed poolside; the Paradise Nite Club; among others.
More interesting is the fact that you never perspire while you are walking around. Though a manmade tourist centre, Rojenny has a natural feel, which makes an all-year-round tourist delight. Coconut and other trees line the two sides of the avenues and ensure a regular supply of cool and gentle breeze, giving the environment the feeling of a temperate climate.
In case you get hungry, there is the newly developed Angelic Garden and Restaurant (which has sprung on the ashes of the African Restaurant and Bar) for your quick relaxation and refreshment, and there is also the English Bar for assorted wines. If you decide to stay the night, which of course is the ideal thing in a place like Rojenny, there is the Nwaezeora Lodge which has enough beautiful and tastefully-furnished rooms for all guests, plus the new guest house which is currently at the furnishing stage. Besides these, there are also neighbourhood hotels which work in partnership with Rojenny to accommodate any number of visitors.
Again, Rojenny is a tourist destination. Modelled closely after Disney World in the United States of America, it provides at once all the things necessary for a tourist to stay busy as long as his tour lasts. It is developed in such a way to serve as a base for tourists wishing to visit other tourist sites in South-East Nigeria, like the Ogbunike Cave, the Umuahia War Museum, the Agulu Lake, the Igboukwu archaeological sites, the Njaba River, and so on. The position of Oba is also an added advantage. It is said to be at the centre of Igboland, whether from Agbor in Delta State, from Nsukka in Enugu State, from Ndoni/Ikwerre in Rivers State, or from Ozuitem Abriba in Abia State.
Rojenny is also a place for spiritual tourism, irrespective of one’s religious conviction. The Blessed Michael Cyprian Tansi Memorial Chapel provides a place of worship for Catholics and Christians of other denominations. There is the African traditional shrine for adherents of African Traditional Religion; and there is the Mosque for the Muslim brethren.
The quiet atmosphere of Rojenny makes it conducive for writers and researchers from any part of the world. The tourist sites are enough inspiration to any writer and can eliminate the so-called writer’s block. Sitting very close to Tansian University, Oba, and just few kilometres away from Madonna University Okija, Rojenny is certainly the destination of many research students who may wish to use the library facilities of both universities. Moreover, research students working on Igbo culture may have no better place to go.
Conceived and developed by Chief Rommy Amandi Ezeonwuka, a native of Akpo in Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra State, Rojenny is indeed a wonderland, a multipurpose centre with a complex mix of African culture and western civilisation. It is a choice destination for excursions, sports recreation, relaxation, picnics, conferences and seminars, research, cultural entertainment, and so on. This tourist haven, constructed between 1983 and 1986 and opened to the public in November 1986, will soon host a Diaspora Tour, which is aimed at giving African Americans, whose ancestors were taken away from Nigeria as slaves, an opportunity to visit Nigeria and have a feel of the land of their ancestors.