The centre of excellence, the land of the free,
The Land that never says no to you or to me,
Even in the dead of night, you remain bubbly,
Eko akete, lover of the good, the bad and the ugly.
No applause please, only finger snaps.
I can’t lie, I haven’t had an overflow of motivation and inspiration for blogging this week. However, I will not pass up an opportunity to talk about this great and wonderful land for all the pepperless suya you could offer me. There’s too much for me to say about Lagos, my home, my father’s home, his father’s home. However, I will do the 4 people who actually read these a solid and keep it short and sweet.
NO MAN’S LAND AND EVERY MAN’S LAND
Do you know I’ve once been told by a very close friend that his father said nobody is really from Lagos? Yes, he said it like that “ …nobody is really a Lagos indigene, you all migrated from other parts of the southwest”. Long story short, our friendship was tested for weeks after that and incidentally, it was rescued by the strong patience and diplomacy that lagosians are well known for. As hurtful as it was, I thought about the statement for a long time. Not as he implied it (which was that my birth certificate was a lie) but as a Lagosian who realised that Lagos is too much of everybody’s place that it was near impossible to claim, even for its indigenes.
I NEVER LEFT THE VILLAGE
As a young boy, during the days leading to the holiday seasons, I had always felt like I was missing out on the fanfare of visiting (or at least talking about visiting) “the village” that most of my mates experienced. To be honest, I could have joined in but it often felt weird having to tell them I’m an hour and a half away (depending on traffic) from my “village” at any point in time.
It wasn’t all bad though, I never felt far from home. I mean, I saw my “village people” almost every time we journeyed from Ikeja to anywhere on the Island. So it was very easy to keep tabs on them and their less-than-desirable activities.
WHAT’S NOT TO LOVE?
On that lighter and more positive note, it is important for me to say that I have never once regretted my lagosian status. There’s just too many things to love about this state.
FACT! : According to the annual NBS report, in 2020, Lagos state recorded the highest Internally Generated Revenue of N418.99bn, (a share of 32.08 percent of the total IGR in Nigeria).
FACT!: Lagos State residents were ranked the most peaceful and diplomatic African community for the third year running by the World Peace Organization (at their bi-annual general convention in Kigali, Rwanda on the 17th of March, 2021)
FACT!: I made that last fact up.
In any case, there are a lot of things to complain about in Lagos, like the incessant and often inexplicable traffic, the expensive EVERYTHING, bad electricity and the constant cloud of urgency hovering above everyone. However, what we lack in tranquillity, we make up for in the promise of an exciting, active life. You must truly be a social piranha to have NO options for owambe on a Saturday in Lagos. There are also various career/academic/business opportunities, access to multiple healthcare centers, churches, mosques other religious homes as far as the eye can see AND most importantly, a can-do spirit the like of which you will never find anywhere else. So no, I am not remorseful of my status as a lagosian (even though that was never suggested to me in anyway). I proudly, declare my stake in this great, welcoming state.
Eko o ni baje o! ( o ba je ti)
Ps: In the course of the short research I conducted for this blog, I randomly found out that the owner and key financier of Eko hotel is banned from the US and accused of sponsoring international terrorism (allegedly).
6 Replies to “CERTIFIED LAGOS BOY”
Omo Eko pataki!!!
You know this, my brother!
Eko o ni baje o!
O ba je ti o
Las Las, I’m among the ‘four’ that read this piece. Interesting read!
Wouldn’t have it any other way. Gracias Bimbo!