A Persistent Woman in Benin


Mâtiné de Souza.


Educator, Tour Guide, Trader, Women’s Right Activist and Street Children Crusader

I met Mâtiné three years ago on a road trip from Nigeria to Togo. I was so impressed with her accomplishments that I wrote a magazine article, Ghost of Slavery Past and Present.’ At the time she cared for street children in her home helping them find a foothold.

Mâtiné had a dream to open a center/school for street children of Quidah, her home town. Mâtiné’s positive attitude crossed paths with an American photographer and traveller, Craig Sherod, and within the last year, they opened:

Homeless Children’s Center of Ouidah


Nigeria to Togo: A West African Road Trip


data=VLHX1wd2Cgu8wR6jwyh-km8JBWAkEzU4,JAae5s4hmys2HKBe20Nk78EGhoKIbo3aV0k7yvfi963iqWynAEIrBC6an16KfoCH3ZFKRmy5VAbk4cQdfQ1L4NCZeF1Hb7kFhj45r48qEsW5PmrKLujZ-uTR94-qGCbr9y7Tm6KjJCur854nbk9Lx4mkU8j235EXaLvZE5Td81qYC1K20n4DhySH-QTHVbWogiMQn532Let us search like those who must find, and let us find as those who must continue to search. -Saint Augustine

Nigerian Field Society (NFS) is a volunteer organization with the mission to explore the culture and environment of Nigeria, specifically, and West Africa, generally. With a four-day Easter holidays looming, NFS offered a West African adventure to Togo. Eighteen people from diverse backgrounds— American, Nigerian, Chinese, Norwegian, Australian, British, Indian, Filipino—came together for the trip. Our intrepid leaders, Ayo Inika and Sunny Narag, volunteered their time and skills to put together a cultural, culinary and hiking adventure. Their dedication to logistics, their good humor and versatility was appreciated and held in high regards.


Easter decorations on Lomé roundabout.

On April 17th in the early morning hours well before dawn and under light rain, we begin the 243 kilometer road trip that would take us across four borders—Nigeria to Benin and Benin to Togo. According to Google map, this trip should take 6 hours. Obviously, Google has not been to West Africa. Fourteen hours later, we arrive at our destination, Hotel Equateur, Lomé, Togo.  To read more, Click Here.


***All Photographs and text are under international copyright laws. No re-use without the permission of Lesley Lababidi 2019.