Lagos is a fascinating city. It has its allure; it also has its problems, loads of them. As with most of the problems you find in Nigeria, people have been discussing and complaining about them for ages so we are not going to do that today. The population of Lagos keeps growing, which means the millions who are there aren’t leaving and more people are flooding in; in search of that big break; hoping that God will bless their hustle, give them that VI (Victoria Island) address, or maybe even an Eko Atlantic address.
We decided to do a small non-scientific poll on what people love about Lagos. Okay, maybe ‘like’ as ‘love’ might be too strong a word for most (the real story of how this post came about is a bit longer but we will just leave it at this for now).
All the respondents currently live in Lagos. They also had to have lived somewhere else before moving to Lagos. They had to write a summary on what they love (or like for some) about Lagos. Brief or lengthy, enjoy our respondents’ views below:
People come to Lagos for just about everything; trade, manage businesses, work for large parastatals, school, and holidays, except of course, farming. I came because I wanted to work for an established architectural practice. At least, that was my excuse. Truth is, I came for the music. You know how Nashville, Tennessee; Atlanta, Georgia and New York are to the United States. Well, Lagos is all of that to Nigeria and more, Hollywood included. So what is it about the recording industry in Lagos that I like? I can’t say I’m a fan of most of Nigeria’s music styles, but you have to agree, even if you do not adore it, that it makes you want to tap your feet. I can go on and on about the ubiquitous “move your body” message that most artists in Nigeria send in their songs, to sell their music, get endorsement deals and all, without addressing any real social issue, but I will leave that to posterity to judge. I cannot say that my quest for involvement in the music industry here has been successful. But I’d like to believe that I am trying. I recently joined a group of young music enthusiasts who organize free concerts, amongst other programs for the youth; as well as up and coming artists in the local area where I live. And so far, it has proved to be well worth while. I am glad to be part of something this little, I guess; changing lives, one at a time. – Free Spirit
The things I like about Lagos are things that pertain to the ordinary man in Nigeria. I like Lagos for the fact that is has become a base for over 90 percent of Nigerian graduates who are looking for jobs after their national service. I remember staying at home for six months in Benin with the hope of landing a job. When that failed, I moved to Lagos in search of a job and got one within a month even though the salary was nothing to talk about. I hate Lagos for the fact that you cannot predict exactly how long it will take to make a single journey. A route that should take just 15 minutes to make, can take you 1 hour 15mins for no good reason. – A. Emegwali
Lagos, I’d describe as an ‘Experience’ rather than a city. From the high rise buildings that reminds one of New York, to the stand still traffic, to the way of life of the people, to the speed at which people move and things happen, to the weekly parties, celebrity lifestyle… and the list is endless. – Amaka
The city is widely known for its traffic jams, street hawking, loud horns, crazy driving and seemingly angry people. To some, it’s a city of commotion, fraudsters, unruly people, rich and cheapskates while to some others, it’s a city of endless possibilities, filled with celebrities, media and business moguls that inspire you to be great. When asked where I would love to live in Nigeria, my response was quick, ‘Lagos or Gidi’ as it is popularly called. To me, it’s the only place in Nigeria that causes you to be innovative; it dares a youth to dream and tells you it is possible to be someone without depending on the natural resources (oil) of the country. Simply put, it is an upwardly mobile city where world trends are first implemented before other states try to play catch up. Ok, I may get into trouble here, but picture this, I visited Port Harcourt last Christmas and went to my favourite restaurant in GRA, and I just assumed I could pay using POS when I was done, only to get the shock of my life that it was a cash only place because they didn’t want to pay the charges; thank God we had cash. That city wasn’t done with me yet , I also wanted Shawarma, and I was told I had to wait till 7pm to buy it; my sister and I laughed in disbelief as we can order and have Shawarma delivered to us at any time of the day in Lagos. Beyond the innovative nature of the state, I love the beaches, malls, markets and the fact that you can live a good life even with little income. – Louise B.
Lagos is big city and used to the capital of Nigeria. It has a lot of commercial activities and social activity places; living in Lagos however, can be a different experience depending on where you live.
If you live on the mainland and work on the island, you’d have to wake up as early as 4 – 4.30am if you intend to get to work on time. You’d either have to close as early as 4.30 – 5pm to start heading home; but if you close from 6pm, it’d be better to stay back at work till about 8pm to avoid traffic. Lagos Mainland traffic can get so bad that one spends 3 or 4 hours before getting home. The good side about mainland is that things are cheaper there, food, housing, clothing and a lot of entertainment spots.
Lagos Island is considered to be the place of the rich and upper class especially place like Ikoyi and Victoria Island aka VI. The bad side of the Island is the high cost of living- high rent, food prices, cost of entertainment centres and transport cost.The traffic situation is not yet as bad as mainland’s but I fear it will get there once the place is as saturated as mainland. Wake up time also depends on if you work on the island or the mainland.
Another problem is water / flooding issues. Due to the reclaimed land which is Island, most houses have water seeping into the building from the ground. The water on the island is coloured and cannot be used for cooking. Light condition is also terrible, so generator sounds are the music you hear every day unless you live in a high class area or serviced apartment.
I live and work on the Island so I wake up between 5.30 -6am and I get to work by 6.45 to 7am depending on how quick I find transport (which is relatively easy on most days). Traffic for me is not that bad.
Generally in Lagos, you do not just wake up and visit friends because of the distance. Visiting is usually planned like a travel or out of state trip. You can have family in Lagos and not see them in months!
Another thing about Lagos is its fast life-hustling. Most people have high energy, so fights occur often and most people talk aggressively. There is rarely any gentleman or lady in Lagos.
As a lady, you never get free rides (like I used to in Abuja). All the men do is stare and say “fine girl” even when you really need a free ride.
Life in Lagos is not bad once you get used to the traffic, stress and all. You just blend in and try to make the most out of each day. But if I had a choice I would not stay in Lagos. – NK
I love Lagos because it is a town where opportunities abound. It is a town where neither tribe nor creed is preached and a town where anyone who works hard gets rewarded. – A. Oti
I like Lagos because you can hustle on your own and not have to wait for the government in order to make money; you just need the right investment. Everything doesn’t revolve around oil and gas. – Smalls
Lagos: a place where fantasies are made realities. Lagos is quite a unique place to live because being crazy is normal. In a way, it is not out of place to witness some cracked up scenes, which, in normal climes it would be out of place; but here in Lagos State, it is seen as a normal occurrence . Also there’s a saying that if you can smell the money here, you can make it anywhere in the world. I love my stay in Lagos because the hustling nature of Lagosians keeps me alive and active. Lagos has groomed me as an individual and has prepared me for future challenges. – Stella
Lagos state: a bustling, busy, crazy city. Likened to New York, United States of America, and London, United Kingdom; Lagos continuously bubbles with life. Many Nigerians migrate to Lagos from the smaller urban cities and rural areas because of the notion that their life’s dreams can be achieved.
All kinds of people are found here: The elite, rich, middle class, poor, street urchins etc… Almost all products can be found in Lagos too: the real, the fake… name it; and it can most likely be found in Lagos. The high rise buildings, the beautiful houses, the normal looking homes, the ghettos/slums…..
What I love about Lagos? The art, culture, beaches, entertainment. Chaos and unending hustle on the other hand, is part and parcel of Lagos .- Miss Elle
If you call Lagos your home or you’ve visited, we would love to hear what you like about Lagos too. Please leave your comments at the end of the post.