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.
- There are many smaller Lagoses
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.
- We are Lagos and we are plenty
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.
- Bring your own water. Lagos has none for you.
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.
- The most important word is BUS
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.
- Where will you base?
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!