An island stopped in time; a throw back to a time of colonialism, slaves, exploitation and silversmiths.
Ibo Island has a chequered, yet fascinating past. As you walk through the ancient Portuguese town, it doesn’t take much to imagine how this derelict city was once a fashionable hotspot in its heyday, from the mid 1700s on. The grand Portuguese villas, with intricate ironwork, high ceilings and large verandas are now crumbling and slowly being reclaimed by nature.
Just a stone’s through from the city centre is the famous pentagonal fort of St Jao Baptista. Originally built for defence, the fort was soon utilised for the abominable slave trade.
The fort tells the tragic story of the countless lives lost and exploited; the foundations that built the lavish Portuguese city.
However, the fort is now at the heart of Ibo’s future, with old and young silversmiths using it as a place to practice the same ancient Arabic techniques as their forefathers to make and sell jewellery to the growing number of visitors to the island.