Ben Chukwu – It may be a common sight of cyclists moving in convoys along major streets of Lagos and other cities of Nigeria but little attention has been paid to the huge potentials that abound in this sports tourism.
While international competitions have cashed in on the huge opportunities available, Nigeria has not fully appreciated it thereby losing out on not just the physical value but its huge tourism potentials
EN: Please introduce yourself briefly
Ben Chukwu: (Smiles) I am Benjamin Chukwu, a cycling tourist, mountaineer, entertainer, social advocate, model and fitness trainer. In fact my caps are much as I represent anything impactful to my generation.
EN: To what extent do you think cycling tourism has been explored in Nigeria?
Ben Chukwu: Not really much. It is so painful that in Nigeria, we haven’t started to scratch the surface. The potentials are making so many countries rich and so many international competitions are putting their host countries on global tourism maps but with Nigeria left behind.
EN: What level of awareness has gone into the recognition of the potentials?
Ben Chukwu: There is no better time than now for people to embrace this sport. This is due to the increasing suicidal rate in the country. So many people have been giving up due to depression and anxiety. So many others are obese and dying of blood related issues. There is no how you can be a cyclist and have blood related issues. It tends to cool down and rejuvenate ones mental and physical metabolism.
In tourism, cycling can be used to unite warring communities and also settle border related issues. Unfortunately, people see cyclists on the road as jobless people especially while going to work on an early morning and you see hundreds of cyclists on a tour. Funny enough there are CEOs of companies cycling away among the pack. The moment people pay attention to cycling as a sport with huge potentials, the better for us as a nation.
EN: Are there age limitations to cycling?
Ben Chukwu: There are no limitations to cycling as it can be beneficial to different people for different reasons and recreational purposes. Families can go on cycling within residential areas with low traffic, companies can do staff cycling for sports week, and more. So you see, with this all ages and status can benefit from this.
EN: What should we expect from you in the nearest future?ss
Ben Chukwu: I am working on a project I wouldn’t want to disclose now but Nigerians should watch out for me and then will get to appreciate the diversities that can come from cycling in developing tourism in Nigeria.