What can I say?
It’s been an unusually intense two weeks plus for me.
Some days I can’t even believe I’m still here, but here I am. This is the longest I’ve ever stayed in Lag, and I’m going to be here for a little while longer.
Una see wetin MDCN don cause? I was already dreaming of the ancient town of Ile-Ife or the calm city of Benin, I didn’t mind traveling all the way to Enugu. Anyway, that one na tory for another day.
Before I launch into my post, here are 5 facts about Lagos that you probably didn’t know:
1. Lagos is the smallest state by geographical size in Nigeria.
2. Lagos is the most populated city in Nigeria.
3. Lagos is the economic capital of Nigeria.
4. Lagos is the second fastest growing city in Africa.
5. The name Lagos was originally given by Portugese explorers as “Largo de Curamo” which means a collection of lakes.
(Credits: Naija.com, Facts.ng)
I won’t even lie I’ve always had some form of trepidation when it comes to facing the hustle and bustle of Lagos city.
All my life I’ve had the privilege of visiting Lagos only for a couple of days at most, and usually with someone to show me around.
However not this time. I’ve literally been on my own (aka OYO), transiting from Idi-Araba to Ojuelegba to Yaba to Oyingbo then Ebutemetta, until much recently when I relocated to a nearby apartment.
It’s true what they say “Eko o gba gbere rara” which means “There’s no room for dulling in Lagos.”
For someone who is inexperienced about street-life and also coming from a less intense city like Ib (which is the “new Lagos” anyway, with the rapid rate at which it’s growing), I’m learning to be hyper-vigilant about everything and everyone in Lagos, just because…you never know.
My new motto is: Shine your eyes well!
Thankfully, I’ve not experienced any incidence of theft or assault throughout my stay, Hallelujah to Jesus!
For the life of me, I have never envied Lagosians, I’m always like “What’s in your Lagos sef?” 🙄😑
A couple of times I’ve actually argued with people over the pros and cons of living in Lagos. Apart from the bubbling city life, remarkable job opportunities and lots of fun places that can be visited, Lagos to me, is just a hubbub of mental and physical stress. Here are a few:
1. The Traffic.
Traffic congestion in Lagos is incomparable. Depending on where one resides, some folks (including school-aged children) leave their homes as early as 4 a.m. and do not return until late evening. I can’t even imagine that kind of lifestyle. Thankfully, traffic doesn’t happen so often on the route I take. And from the information I’ve gathered, where Lagos traffic is concerned, things are better than they used to be. As for me, I just can’t do it, I will pack my bags and jejely leave Lagos ni o.
2. The crowd.
Lagos is r-o-w-d-y! Like seriously, visit a place like Tejuosho market, and you will wonder where that sea of people come from. You can’t conveniently walk in some parts of Lagos, without getting shoved from behind or bumped into, by other pedestrians. Lagos is a place where everyone is constantly on the move, if you’re not after something, it is likely that something is after you.
The good thing though is that I like to watch people, so the Lagos crowd kinda provides me with some side-attraction; from the random beggars on the street, to the Igbo traders displaying their wares on the floor, then my co-passengers inside Lagos Molue and all sorts of roadside vendors, I always get my fill of daily drama and comic relief 😅
3. The noise.
I don’t like noise abeg and Lagos has too much of it. When it’s not the Agberos shouting at the motor garage, it’s the noise from buses, okadas and trailers blaring their horns, and everywhere you go there’s one generating plant or the other in use (EKEDC no dey try abeg). In general, there’s sha noise everywhere, schools, churches and mosques kuku plenty. One good thing is that the van drivers don’t play high volume/deafening music (something I don’t miss about SVG). It’s not too strange to also see brawls breaking out among people on the streets for one reason or the other. Lagosians are very entertaining.
4. The Hustling.
Chai, Lagos is full of hustlers. People typically migrate to Lagos in order to “make it” and will do whatever it takes to get “there.”
Everyone is trying to make ends meet usually at other people’s expense. The headquarters of The Nigerian Opportunists Club is located in Lagos. Too many victims of fraudsters and scammers on a daily basis. I don’t trust anyone in Lagos (not anywhere in Nigeria sef), I simply walk by faith and not by sight and God has been faithful.
Lagos has been described as the city that never sleeps, and how can they when money-making is their number one priority? 😬
With these few points of mine, I hope I’ve been able to convince and not to confuse you, that the city of Lagos is no place for the faint-hearted. Kudos to Governor Ambode and co, one day Lagos go better.
Having said that, it is also expedient for me to reiterate that Lagos is a land of abundant opportunities. It provides the confidence for you to dream and dare, and the courage to face any challenge that occurs. With the high rate of successful feats and giant accomplishments in Lagos, compared to other parts of Nigeria, you’re instilled with the hope to dream and live your dreams.
So on behalf of myself and other visitors to Lagos, I say,
Welcome to Lagos, where GREAT things happen.
Eko o ni baje o.
PS: So like I mentioned in my last post, I will be helping some of my Facebook friends promote their growing businesses on my blog. This will hopefully run through the first half of the year. Stay tuned.
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With love from Lasgidi,