Dear ‘transplant’, Lagos is bigger than you think
Life in Lagos goes beyond the setting that most people know.
Bus conductors will try to rob you of your change, your patience will be tested, traffic he said will test your mental health, your sleep patterns will be ruined and you will be pushed to your limit while you adapt.
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For some, adaptation is a must because they need to make it in Lagos, as they cannot risk going back to their villages. For others, they are naturally imbued with high tolerance levels to rubbish and struggles, with good temperament to boot.
Others also learn these things through life lessons. When we, however, consider the demands of Lagos and the relation of that to its toll on quality of life, a lot of people prefer staying close to the capitalist hubs, and that means some parts are more crowded than others.
It also means that some parts of Lagos are forgotten, despite being home to another type of Lagos life entirely - a calmer, but equally fast-paced type of life.
Areas like Ikeja, Ogba, Yaba, Surulere, Ilupeju, Gbagada, Oworo, Bariga, Mushin, Lekki, Ajah, Oshodi, and a few others are more popular than others.
The average Nigerian 'transplant' to Lagos does not know some parts of Lagos like Papa Ajao, Ipaja, Ejigbo, Iyana Ipaja, Ayobo, Eleko, Badore, Okesuna, and other parts, even in the more mainstream parts of Lagos.
These areas are not filled with backward people. The reason they got overlooked in modern parlance is that they're far away from capitalist centers and they couldn't catch up.
However, life is very much with them and they're as Lagos as the next place. Speaking to a resident from Ayobo yesterday, he told Pulse that, "It (Ayobo) affects my life as I grew up in Bariga, but in some ways, it (Ayobo) helps me calm down, energize and activate."
"The only problem is how people are reluctant to come to see you and you need extra energy to want to go out," he said.
In truth, housing is also cheap at Ayobo and areas like this. A mini-flat, for example, could go for as low as N150K with the landlord even rolling a carpet out for you if you're willing to pay once.
Bikes take you to outrageous lengths at just N50 and the big apple get serves in reasonably good quality electricity supply, depending on your area - at least, by Nigerian standards.
Golden cups also come in measured security, but the major problem is how people require extra work to get to capitalist centers.
Should investment move to these areas?
Probably. The idea of investing in such areas is attractive, especially if the venture directly and appropriately serves needs in that area.
Labour and cost of operation might also be as easy as the cost of promotion and set-up, but the distance between where you are and proximity to a prospective client could become a problem as the business grows and/or thrives.
While it could promote attention and spotlight on these regions, the business might be risky as a venture in itself.
Should a Lagos millennial then go to these locations?
If you're adventurous, yes you should visit these places to grab a full understanding of the workability of Lagos, away from the Lagos capitalism has afforded you.
You could also see that a calm Lagos is possible and understand that overcrowding is the major reason why your mental health has become a maverick.
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