Usually, people living in Lagos talk about traffic and how negatively it has affected their lives. They often say it with passion and dream of a Lagos with little or no traffic. Most of them talk and take no action. You probably be wondering what kind of action can be taken to resolve the traffic situation. Logically, issues like this can only be handled by Government but please, permit me to share my Lagos story and maybe at the end you might learn something.
I was born on the mainland of Lagos, a poor environment with little or no basic infrastructure. As kids, we were allowed to roam the streets, get dirty and live a stress-free life. Everything feels normal, even though we were poor. However, growth came later, our finance grew, and we experienced the tenant to landlord growth of Lagos. Ordinarily, this was meant to be a success story but as the saying goes “every success comes with its own challenges”. Our house was built in the remote area of Lagos which was approximately 30 kilometers away from town. Living became stressful, life changed from loving to loneliness and my parents were always coming home late.
Fast forward to me becoming an adult and fending for myself in Lagos. At the beginning, I made the same mistake as my parents, I took rental cost over stress and mental health. The mentality of how much should go to landlords keep ringing in my head and eventually I settled for a house that was located 50 kilometers from work. I choose a big house in Iyana Ipaja to a studio apartment in Oniru and office was in Victoria Island. Trust me, it was hell.
Nine months into living in Iyana Ipaja, I met a colleague at a drinking bar close to the office, a place where people living far hangout because of traffic. While I was worried and complaining, my colleague was relaxed and happy. He laughed and eventually gave me the magic word “I traded living in a big house to a studio apartment for sanity”. I pondered on his words all night and by the next day, my life changed. The goal to move to the island was established. I started off by living with a friend for three months and later moved to my place. Then life became good.
People hardly do the comparison of what is lost and how much is paid to avoid losses. Lagos has a band wagon mentality where an unrefined assumption is taken hook, line, and sinker. People need to focus more on their well-being than money. The opportunities in Lagos will not be lost even if we decide to live closer to our sources of livelihood. This will make us think better, more productive and earn more.
In conclusion, anyone living in Lagos should try and live close to their hustle. Life is for the living like they say, and no one should let Lagos traffic kill their joy. Live well and let love lead. #EMBA27.