Lagos Island for Dummies: An UgoTalksAlot Guide to Life Lagos Island Ocean

The Island. The créme de la créme of Lagos. The title in all fairness should go to Banana Island in particular, but let’s be honest and objective with the goals we set in this life.

A lot of people live and swim work on the Island because a lot of businesses are situated there. Some people live there to be close to work or other necessities, others live there because JJC carried them there but like everywhere else, the Island has its pros and cons, so here’s what you need to know to make your life a little bit easier.

1. Bring Your GeePee Tank

Remember how I wrote  in a previous post, that there is is no water in Lagos and you need to bring your borehole? Well, this doesn’t apply to most places on the Island. There is plenty of water in Lekki and what you need is a Geepee tank to store all that water. The only issue is, the water doesn’t come from the tap, it comes from the sky and the ground. You may want to consider buying bowls and buckets for packing water from the floor. Also, it may be a wise financial investment to buy shares in the company that makes Dettol because it will be your best friend.

2. Buy a Boat

Does this man have two heads?

A boat is an investment really. If you can afford one, you should probably get it. With your boat, you can enter the ocean and row over to the mainland while your mates are growing old on third mainland bridge.

When everyone is destroying their cars, you can just roll out your boat and enjoy your life. Who needs to go on a cruise ship, when you can row your way across Lekki-Epe Expressway?

Jokes aside, let us take a moment to pray for our friends & family in Lekki and VGC. As the bible says, we should also enemies in state house that have refused to fix drainages. 

3. Bring your gutter.

So as you can see, gutters do not exist in on the Island. Especially in Lekki. They are a myth. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. If you want to go there, bring your own from the mainland. On second thought, mainland drainages get as dem be too sha. Maybe you can rent some from Ibadan or Osogbo to buy gutter and bring, theirs is not amazing but it’s much better. 

To be fair, even when the government attempts to create gutters, Nigerians in typical Nigerian fashion will turn it into a dustbin. 

4. Invest in insecticides.

Island mosquitoes are mosquitoes that have gone abroad to gym and they have come back. Yes, IJGB mosquitoes are an actual thing.  These mosquitoes have body, they are woke and they can suck all your blood at once. You won’t even see them coming, you will just start feeling your blood disappear from your body.

Because I like you, I will tell you what to do. Just buy one big Raid, one big Baygon and a medium-sized Mortein. When you have bought them all,  just use them all at once. Make sure you finish everything, then mosquitoes will die. Or at least I hope they will.

5. Your Bank Account Should Have Sense Small.

You want to live on the Island and you don’t have money? You think they share houses for free in VGC? Everything here has rent price on top. Even your house rent has another house rent added on top of it. Even if you buy a house or build your own property, the Island will still collect rent from you.

Think of it this way, rent is so comparatively expensive that everyone has to chip in to help. So if you walk into Ebeano Supermarket to buy something; there is the standard price, then there is VAT, then there is Lekki VAT, then there is rent. So at the end of the day, something that costs N1,000 elsewhere will go for N1,500 or N1,700.

There is also the small issue of the toll gate. That small money you will pay every day. At the end of the month, you would have paid someone’s minimum wage salary. With that one alone, you suppose know say Lagos Island no be for small pikin. Well except the pikin is an OBO (Omo Baba Olowo), rich man pikin.

 

If you know this lifestyle is not for your pocket right now, don’t worry we have you covered. You can check out our guide to Lagos and subscribe to get notifications about our upcoming city guides. You know, I care about you and I’m just trying to help your life.

Don’t forget to comment and share. You don’t know who’s life you are saving.

Advertisements

Lagos for Dummies: An Ugotalksalot City Guide

Lagos. Home to between 12 and 21 million people -depending on who you ask. The land of opportunities, wealth and traffic from hell.  Lagos is what Nigeria wants to be when it grows up, what almost every other state in the country can only dream about. If you blow in Lagos, you have blown in Africa. But with all of it’s glamour, Lagos can be very overwhelming. So let me help you break it down, so you don’t get confused.

  1. There are many smaller Lagoses

1 WaB7UPGxoTQXBTPEYXgkjw

Lagos is divided into 5 parts:

Lagos Mainland; where most of the regular folks stay,

Lagos Island; for the rich big boys and girls, high life lovers and some longer throats.

Banana Island; for those whose fathers are close friends with Dangote, or people who are just mad.

What I like to call ‘the Ogun state annex’; all those people living in Ogun state but claiming they’re in Lagos

And finally, there is Ikorodu; because that place is so far it should be a state on its own. The beautiful thing about Lagos is that she does not discriminate. Whether you live in Ogun state, inside water or on sinking sand, we are all Lagosians.

  1.  We  are Lagos and we are plenty

1 fhw_Bfskkqd0b1RZaiEK7A 1 22pdBqq3a7ds_Tc8ekoS9g

 

Let me give you some perspective, if you ask the New York Times, there are roughly 21 million people in Lagos. The UN says that Ghana’s population is about 27 million, New York has 8.4 million people, London has a little more with 8.7 million people, Berlin has 3.5 million people or that Paris has a little over 2 million people, you get my point? So, if you think you’re just going to walk inside Lagos with one Ghana-must-go bag or Louis Vuitton suitcase (I don’t discriminate), and come and out hustle the hustlers that have been here since, you are very silly. But not wrong, it’s still possible.

  1. Bring your own water. Lagos has none for you.
1517208_img-20130810-00915_1404156072522_s_jpegbe664208275e2870da6239f442de24ea
Image from Nairaland

If you are thinking about moving to Lagos, make sure you come with your pumping machine. If you can bring your borehole, that is even better. I’m not kidding, bring your borehole with you. You will just create a small space in your compound, or estate and drop it there.

Why? Because Lagos State, unlike other states, does not supply water to its residents. Well, technically, the Lagos State Water Corporation says it supplies water to maybe 30% of Lagos residents, but, I personally have not seen any house that doesn’t have a GeePee tank pretending to be a DSTV dish.

  1. The most important word is BUS

1 9IKmvE5cBy8vP1CnQe9LHw

You may also know it as danfo or molue or whatever you like. But you know what? Bus na bus.. If you come to lagos thinking you can taxi your way around town, oh my God, you’re not even ready. Also if you think that a big boy like Lagos would have a train system that could get you to most places, you are also not ready. It’s not like Lagos doesn’t have money, I mean this is the biggest boy in all the 37 lands (Abuja included), Lagos just has more important things to do. Things like finishing the $6bn Eko Atlantic and Banana Island.

  1. Where will you base?

1 Hm75YghJ3xy_jD8aoeIpSA

Finally and most important thing you need to know, where will you live? If you’re expecting me to answer that question, you’re not serious at all, you can stay there and keep waiting. I should leave my blog and start finding accommodation for you? Are you okay at all?

With all that being said, welcome to Lagos. Bring your patience, your GeePee tank and your hustle; don’t say I didn’t warn you. Have a nice stay.

All Images unless otherwise stated are from  Rotimi Okungbaye check him out!

Stay; A short film

Watch the teaser for Stay, a short film by Ayomide Adeleke. A terrible incident leaves Femi, played by Baaj Adebule haunted and he will do anything to get his life back. The film also stars Diana Eguwatu and Shalewa Ashafa. Stay was written by Ayomide Adeleke and it is also his directorial debut.

The time I was mistaken for a kidnapper

I left the office a few minutes later than I usually do, there had been a few mistakes in some of the contents I created and I had to fix them before leaving. 

As I stepped out of my office compound, I tried to hail down a keke that would take me to a junction from where I could easily walk home. A keke without passengers breezed by me, too fast for me to signal the driver, a second followed immediately after but I hailed down a third. 

I hurriedly entered and brushed my knee in the process, it sent a sharp but quick pain through my body. I thought to myself that if I were ever  in a keke accident, I would probably lose both my legs. Good thing God watches over me. The keke began moving and I plugged earphones in. 

The keke driver took a longer route, hoping he would find more passengers going to my stop, his gambled payed off when two men a few feet from each other both hailed us down. Despite the fact we were two at the back and not the usual three, one of the men opted to take the very uncomfortable front seat, which is essentially part of the drivers seat. 

The driver started moving again and in a few minutes a woman, on the other side of the road, hailed us down again. She was in a very dark green skirt suit, handbag in one hand and a polythene bag in the other. The driver yelled the direction he was going as he slowed down and the woman nodded in the affirmative.  

Initially, I was seating in the middle of the keke but I had scooted towards the right when we picked up the two men and since I was the one facing the other side of the road the natural thing for me to do was to scoot to the middle so the woman could enter. I decided to wait till she approached but instead of coming towards my side, she walked behind the keke and to the left. 

The guy sitting at the left was buff, his muscles weren’t huge, but he was tall and ripped enough to be intimidating even without his beard. So when he stepped out from the keke and motioned for the woman to go sit in the middle, she was taken aback. I could read the worry and cautiousness on her face, it was unmistakable. She took a step back and the man realising the impression he’d made offered to sit in the middle but it was too late. She walked towards the right side of the keke and then back across the road and signaled the driver to go. 

He yelled at her to come back, which wouldn’t have helped much anyway and when she ignored him he took off. 
I spent the rest of the keke ride trying to understand what was going on in this woman’s head? To be honest, I was wondering whether she thought I was a kidnapper, why didn’t she just come to my side of the keke to start with. Did I look that scary I wonder. 

It’s easy now to think about how suspicious four men in a keke motioning a woman to sit in the middle is. I’m probably sure she would be sharing the testimony of how God rescued her sometime soon. 

Addicted To The Glam

I am confused and this is why.

Over the weekend TapJets, a US private jet charter service, released a statement accusing Dammy Krane of using a stolen credit card to hire one of their jets. They also promised to prosecute him to the full extent of the law.

 

If Dammy Krane is convicted, I’m sure one of the questions he would be asking himself is why he didn’t fly first class. In his mind is he thinking first class is no longer a big boy stuff? This whole situation got me asking myself some questions. Why are people addicted to some lifestyle we can’t really afford? Who are we really trying to impress and why?

Celebrities living above their means is not news and for the life of me I can’t understand why? Flashing money has never gotten anyone a hit song or a blockbuster movie. The best it does is to keep you in the headlines long enough for you to eventually get arrested or steal a picture of someone’s dogs. It’s not like we have paparazzi chasing down celebs like there’s no tomorrow. No Nigerian entertainment journalist or photographer is paid well enough to bother. Like have you seen our entertainment journalists? They have more important things to do abeg.

And that’s the funny thing to me, nobody cares if celebs drive a sedan or a land cruiser, no one gives a damn if they live in Lekki or Surulere. No one. The only people that care are those that want money from them and armed robbers picking targets. If you are reading this and you care but claim you are neither a beggar nor an armed robber, clearly you need to think about your life, just go and look at yourself in a mirror because all is not well.

This is not just a celebrity problem, it affects regular people as well. I have nothing against wanting to send your kids to the best schools, but there is an issue when you want to send your kids to a school that you know, you and your spouse and your extended family combined cannot afford. It’s a dangerous thing to live above your means. What if there is a sudden need for cash? A health emergency or a surprise bill?

And those of you guys that are dating someone and you can’t tell them when you’re cash strapped so, you take your babe to mad restaurants and eat garri like crazy. I’m here for you. Mscheeew. What’s worse is that you borrowed that garri ahead of time because you already knew stupidity was following you. Then you will now post the picture of the restaurant on Instagram but forget to add the garri. Can we all please respect ourselves, this adulting thing is hard enough without you your no-garri-eating Instagram photos putting pressure on us to be great. Some of us will actually like to get through this come-up phase with all our marbles intact.

What do President Buhari’s media aides actually do?

I have a question that needs answering, what do Buhari’s media aides actually do?

A while ago one of Buhari’s media aides tweeted this,

40000-957x580

Now I get that they are supposed to hype the government and make the president look good, or at least better than he is, but this is a school boy error. The entire system social media system of the presidency is a school boy error. But chill fess, how in the world is opening 40,000 email addresses an achievement? Like that is the kind of thing you don’t talk about. You mean Nigerian government officials didn’t have official emails till Buhari became president? What a wawuu, what an Hembarrassment on Nigeria.

More to the point, take a look at this

a

What exactly does it mean when you are the spokesperson TO the president? Is it that you speak to the president on behalf of the people and if that is what it means I don’t remember anyone voting for Garba Shehu, so how on earth did he become the spokesperson TO the president. It also makes sense that Garba Shehu would be the spokesman to the president, when you think about it, it makes perfect sense that Buhari is hardly ever in touch with Nigerians. Mr. Shehu must be telling him something else. Also note how he’s the senior special adviser on media and publicity.

Done that? Now take a look that the picture below, notice anything here?

c.PNG

I’m guessing he’s the junior special adviser on media and publicity. I know it doesn’t read junior special adviser but think about it, if there is a senior there has to be a what __________? (10 marks).

Although I wonder what happened to him, is it that he hasn’t written junior-government-officials-WAEC or what? Also I wonder, how do these people advise the president? What is a senior matter and what is a junior matter? Or is someone just a glorified assistant or over-titled deputy?

But I’m not done, let me introduce you to,  Bashir Ahmad.b.PNGAt least he’s more humble than our Junior adviser who refused to put junior in his bio. Maybe he should listen to some more Kendrick Lamar.

You would think Mr. Ahmad has been able to distinguish himself from our earlier suspects and in some ways he actually has but the problem here is that Garba Shehu and Femi Adesina keep doing his darn job. Isn’t Bashir Ahmad supposed to be the Official Tweep of The Federal Republic of Nigeria? I think that’s a much cooler title if I do say so myself .

There has to be some type of confusion in Aso Rock if Garba Shehu and Femi Adesina are doing Bashir Ahmad’s job. I wonder if he still gets paid? #FixitJesus.

Last but not the list is my model Official Tweep of The Federal Republic of Nigeria.

d

I’m not a Tolu Ogunlesi stan but the difference is kind of clear, I’m guessing his job of is more of this,

e.PNG

but it also leaves me with a question. If we have an office that is dedicated to running three twitter accounts for the president why do we still need Official Tweeps of The Federal Republic of Nigeria? Why cant we just interact with the presidency through the official accounts instead of paying people to come and be glorified social media ambassadors? After all if the person behind the EFCC’s twitter account has not gathered mind to come do ambassador work, who are these ones? They don’t even tweet funny stuff to start with.

NYSC Journal: Listening To Corpers Was The Biggest Mistake of My Life

You know that experiment where you tell someone sitting at the beginning of a column of chairs something and ask them to pass it on till it gets to the last person? Usually by the time it gets to the last person it’s totally different, it happened in camp at least twice a day. In fact, it started before camp and by a week into it, I was convinced that otondos where some of the most stupid people God put on earth.

I think my NYSC experience would have been 50% less stressful if I didn’t listen to what other corpers said. It’s not like I went round asking for advice or trying to find answers to questions that were bugging me but a lot of information passed around camp was either done with a bugle, word of mouth, or a poor public address system that meant you had ask someone else.

My first experience with this was when I was making inquires about the documents I would need in camp. People told me I needed 10 copies per document, some said 15 copies. Eventually I ended up looking like a  teacher that was coming to share exam questions to a hundred students. I still have that file in my house and it’s only missing five copies. To think I held that bulky file for three during registration.

The worst was when I redeployed and had to go to the secretariat to register my behind. There were dozens of corpers at the gate trying to make photocopies when I got there. Let me just add that the photocopy war in NYSC is real. I asked what was going on and I was told I needed to photocopy a form 5 times and fill all. I’d have asked why but seeing as the only reason I was asking a corper in the first place was because an official had instructed me to ask a corper, I didn’t have much of choice. At least 30 corpers, stood behind a red barricade and held out forms. There were two girls who collected and returned the forms in batches, running the few meters between the barricade and the wooden kiosks that housed the two photocopiers. Everyone wanted to be in the next batch so there was a lot of pushing and shoving, never mind this was going on under the very hot Lagos sun while wearing khakis and caps.

I was just about to join the queue after suffering in the free form hustle of the red barricade when someone told me that I had to take passports in my NYSC vest and attach to the forms. Despite having like 35 passports in my wallet, I spent another  two hours trying to get new passport photos because, mine were in plain clothes.

I would then rejoin the queue and spend another two hours on a line that never moved. When I eventually made it to the very crowded front of the line, the official only asked for one form with one passport photograph. I was still trying to pull out a form when my eyes caught other peoples forms. Imagine my surprise, when I discovered that   ANY TYPE OF PASSPORT would have been fine.

I thought of finding the person who told me to make five copies and take new passports was too tired to be angry, the money I’ve spent so far on photocopying alleged NYSC documents is at least one months allowee.

 

Why do we love US & UK accents so much?

This is my second in Why is it series, you can catch up on the earlier post here if you missed anyone.

I have a lot of questions about accent, especially how Nigerians treat people with accents. I’m not talking about a persons understanding and use of English, I am talking of a Yoruba persons ability to pronounce that word as HAH-BILI-TY all the while speaking proper English.

I’ve met a ton of people, including friends and family who have told me that wouldn’t even tolerate a friend if he pronounces ‘bread’ as ‘BREEAD,’ meanwhile they’re pronouncing ‘he’ as ‘E‘.  I always ask why and I usually get responses from “why not” to “I just won’t” and asides the fact that I think this all is a little E-PO-CRITI-CAL, it’s just plain confusing to me.

Look at the media and the entertainment industry, a general perception is accent-up and remain jobless and while I can reluctantly stomach it for broadcasters, presenters and journalists, I don’t understand why an actor, acting as a regular Nigerian, will have an accent fit for the Queen of HINGLAND.

After all the Hollywood movies and series you’ve seen, it surely must have dawned on you that a very Australian Hugh Jackman or Nicole Kidman sound American in American movies or a British Idris Elba, Irish Liam Neeson all sound American when they act as Americans. So why do Nigerians sound like they’re from south side Chicago or Birmingham when acting as Nigerians in Nigerian movies? I’m confused.

Why are we so uncomfortable with the way we sound that the moment someone speaks to us with an extra ‘r’ we instinctively respond with an incomplete, unorganized, castrated and half baked accent to the point that we sometimes sound like idiots.

It’s so bad that in one sentence you will hear a UK, Yoruba and US accent. Jokes asides, there are actually people who went to India and came back sounding like Kim Kardashian.

If accents were so easy to pick why is it that the Nigerians that spend decades in India, Ghana, South African even Ireland  come back with accent in tact, but some blessed person will go on two weeks vacation to New York and come back sounding like Bobrisky. 

Is it because we feel they’re better than us? Do we feel like our Nigerian accents make us sound considerably less educated or less exposed? I’m in a fix and I need you to EPP me HUNDERSTAND this.

Why aren’t there more success stories of Nigerians from poor backgrounds?

This is my first in the why is it series where I want you to help me find answers to mosquito questions, i.e, questions that don’t let me sleep well at night. In case you missed the introductory post, you can find it here. So here we go.

Why is it that the majority of success stories in Nigeria are from people originally of middle class or wealthy backgrounds?

I grew up believing that no matter you were born with, if you worked hard enough you could accomplish anything and it didn’t matter where you went to school, where you lived or who you knew, just put in the work and success would wiggle its way, slowly but surely, to you. I believed that till I found out about polytechnics, networking or should I say connection.

There are millions of Nigerians who go to polytechnics and have a permanent concrete ceiling trolling them harder than the fake news media covering Donald Trump. Their certificates are useless, in the sense that climbing up any cooperate ladder, no matter how hard you work, is next to impossible. If your polytechnic diploma gets you in the interview room of any serious organization, for any well-paying position in Nigeria, that right there is a sign that God called your pastor. The man is praying hard for you and you should seriously consider giving some prophet offering. Either that or your connection, I mean network, is more than Obasanjo’s own.

Speaking of ´connectwork´, let’s not pretend that if you come from poverty in Nigeria, networking is limited to very select places and people, which is my nice way of saying networking is making sure your oga-madam likes you…a lot. Someone might want to say social media and that is true on some level. Social media has made meeting and interacting with new people very easy but the chances are, if you’re living below the poverty line in Nigeria, you either cannot afford internet or a smartphone, or you live in an area where you realized that MTN is not everywhere you go. And if MTN is not there, just forget it. Nigeria runs on connections, everything, post proposal, from winning a contract to securing a bank loan is about having the right phone numbers or email addresses and connected people flow in separate classes. Classes that even Thor’s hammer finds difficult to break.

Then there’s our own form of caste system. Our bad behaviours that say if you and I cannot relate on some brother-sister-aunty-uncle level, you will not enter the kingdom as long as I have the keys, #DJKhaled, and what better way to relate than with money and social class?

Look around you, there aren’t that many rags-to-riches stories. Let Google guide you as you look up your favorite celebrities, politicians, business people, a lot of them didn’t start from ground zero. They may have gotten to that point at some time in their lives and crawled their way back up or as I like to put it many of them have lost money, but still had friends.

Don’t get this wrong, I’m not suggesting that these people had stuff handed to them, they fought and have the battle scars and blood stained clothes to prove but the simple truth is a lot of them and a lot of us started and are starting from a higher pedestal than most Nigerians and while the laws of working hard may apply as black and white to the privileged people, it’s very grey for most Nigerians. Why is that?

 

 

 

The “Why is it” series 

There are a lot of questions that have been bugging me for sometime now and I’m not any closer to finding out the answers. Since I can be quite obsessive, I need to find answers to these questions or at least new way to think about solving these questions.

I have decided to start a new series called Why is it?

In the series I’ll try and explain how my mind has been processing these questions, what I’ve thought about and what I can’t wrap my head around. These aren’t opinions and I promise they aren’t stupid questions either. They’re about faith, religion, politics, culture, social change and boredom. I want to know what you think about them. 

I’m excited about this. 

✌🏾 Peace and blessings