I woke up really early so I could go for a run to the end of my street and back. That would be a quick 3 kilometres but as I stepped out, I had to tell myself this was not the smartest idea and went back to bed.
I wrote about why I love harmattan but really though, the harmattan is not even joking with anyone this year. I’ve so far recorded temperature as low as 15ºC. It is not funny I tell you. If you own a car, it can be easy to discard how cold it is because you’ll head from your home, to the car and then to your venue. Your interaction with the weather is mostly buffered.
If you have to use motorbikes/okada or kekes to transport yourself from one point to another, I have to say this “May the gods be with you” because the wind will do a number on you.
Anyways, I’ve got some tips on how to survive the Kaduna harmattan. Its not difficult and you’ll find out its stuff you probably know about.
Sweaters, Coats and Jackets
This is pretty obvious. You need to keep yourself warm and protected from the elements. If you’re going to be outdoors often add a sock. The cool thing about harmattan is no one really cares what you’re dressed like because they all understand. Suit with ankara pants and a scarf or wedding gown with socks, it doesn’t matter. Just keep warm and use your sweaters.
I think this tip is applicable to almost any hack you can think about. The harmattan period is really dry so you have to deliberately try to keep yourself hydrated. The Kaduna harmattan is even more peculiar because it is so cold in the morning and equally hot during the day. This can get you dehydrated faster than usual. Walking around with a bottle of water is not such a bad idea.
Dry or cracked lips are a thing during this period. The really dry weather will have you licking your lips at least 5 times in every minute. The thing with this is, licking your lips makes it dry up faster. It is a cycle. You lick your lips to moisturise it but it ends up drying up and then you do it over and over again. Licking it constantly actually can damage your lips.
The simple solution is to have with you lip balm or chapstick at all times. This saves you a lot of licking. I carry my chapstick with me everywhere I go and I’m also on a mission to completely exhaust it.
Deep breaths have a way of making you feel better but this is not always the case during this time of the year. Of course they still do but you’ll notice the air is so dry and dusty that inhaling is not such a relieving task as it should. It isn’t so relieving for me though.
Nose masks help buffer the effect of the dust. If you go running or have asthma, you should definitely have a couple stored at home.
White and scaly skin are a norm this season. I don’t even flinch when I notice it because that’s the doing of the weather. However, I advice you take with you a small bottle of lotion or moisturizer so you can apply to your skin once it is getting to dry.
I’ve also found that petroleum jelly aka vaseline works. What I do is get my skin moist and apply the vaseline. It keeps you warm and also prevents your skin from scaling.
End it all with a cup of tea. It doesn’t have to be fancy. It could be in the comfort of your home, the “Mai Shayi” at the junction on your street or at Habil’s Cafe where you have it with a lovely ambience. It is all tea or hot chocolate and you should get it for the weather.
What’s your tip to surviving the harmattan in Kaduna? Let us know in the comments and don’t forget to subscribe to the monthly newsletter below.