Theres nothing that youll not hear about Lagos.
It is the place where everything happens. The haven where dreams find oneness with fulfillment. Lagos is the city where impossibility is nothing.
It is also said to be the only state in Nigeria where jobs are available for anyone who cares to work.
With an estimated population of 21million people (according to the National Population Commission of Nigeria in 2016), and a whopping 123,000 people migrating into the city on a daily basis, as stated by Rotimi Akinwunmi Ambode, it is believed to be the most populated city in Africa despite its small mass.
Nevertheless, what is unknown to most people who come to Lagos based on what they've heard about it is that, for every day one wakes up into the intense pressure that cannot be separated from the city, one may find self living a life that is not considered normal outside the state.
It is this abnormality that makes it almost impossible to find an average worker on a nine-to-five with a happy face while commuting to work as well as the return trip home.
Due to the high level of development on Lagos Island, it is believed that most of the available jobs in the city are located there. Nevertheless, a low appreciation in wages has stopped most employees in a bid to get an accommodation close to their workplace; and as a result, a greater number of them find solace in affordable houses on the mainland.
Thus, in order to get to the office on or before the time of resumption, traffic congestion which prevents early arrival at work is experienced as a norm. This happens as early as five or six in the morning, as the case may be.
The farther you live from the Island, the earlier you programme yourself to leave your bed; and where a percentage of Lagosians leave for work in order to arrive early at 5am, for some, hitting the road an hour earlier is a daily business which finds them sleeping in transit.
Unarguably, you cannot be leaving in Abule Egba or Ikorodu and leave for work at 6AM. If you do, it merely means you're not ready for work.
Such is the nature of this disorder that if 7AM finds you at home by chance on the mainland, you're in for it.
However, apart from the psychological imbalance that cannot be separated from this disorder, there is also the issue of health implications.
Recent studies have it that the importance of getting enough sleep cannot be overemphasized because it plays a vital role in good health and well-being throughout our lives.
"45 minutes of sleep can make a huge difference. We get our deep restorative sleep in the early-morning waking hours when REM sleep occurs. If you shorten that, you are going to feel unrefreshed, and you’re not going to have enough sleep," says Damon Raskin, MD, a sleep expert affiliated with Concierge Choice Physicians in Pacific Palisades, California.
Heart attack, diabetes, and obesity are some of the challenges associated with an insufficient amount of sleep which can experienced in an instant or build up over time as revealed in another study.
Sleep deprivation also causes fatigue, daytime sleepiness, clumsiness and weight loss or weight gain. It adversely affects the brain and cognitive function as well.
Be that as it may, it would have been better, or even healthier if the average Lagosian gets home before 7pm to counterbalance the unavoidable sleep loss. But then it is not the case.
If coming to work in the morning is characterized by stress and delay, going back is worse and tedious.
In fact, there are people who get home at either 10 pm or 11 pm, as the case may be. And there are others who instead of spending four to five or even six hours in traffic, stay back at the office till 11pm when the road is free to some extent, before leaving for their respective destinations.
Of course, a good number of them gets home by 12 am, to wake up by four, and hit the road again at five.
Unable to meet up with this toxic fast pace of Lagos, are the group of workers who would rather travel to work on Mondays with everything they need for the week, and return home on Fridays to spend the weekend with families and friends.
For them, the everyday rush and bustle of Lagos is just too much to handle.
They find it more comforting to sleep over at the office than face the stress and tiredness of going home. At least, if not for anything, it helps in saving the money budgeted for transportation.
"For young people coming to Lagos to get a job, it's important to always have it at the back of your mind that you are not going to get a big job and a big payday in your first week or month," says Jude Egbas, a news editor at Pulse.
"Things are not so easy in Lagos. Lagos is as tough as elsewhere in Nigeria, if not tougher.
"What is important is to have a mindset of starting small and be willing to do odd jobs if it comes to that. If it means living in or for a start, why not?
"But have a goal in mind and keep honing your skills or talents as well, because that's what will eventually help you ascend the ladder in a very chaotic and mean city like this one," he concluded.
Besides the issue of Lagos' distorted lifestyle, there is also the issue of time which burdens the mind and heart of the average Lagos worker like a ghost from a forgotten dream.
You cannot be working nine to five in Lagos and have some quality time to spare. The fast pace at which the city carries everything that is in it forbids it!
There is only time for your job and everything that surrounds it. There is no time for familiarities like it is elsewhere; because working nine to five in this city binds you to just three places - home, the road and one's place of work.
These, among other reasons, are why there is a low level of interaction between people living in the city despite the fact it is a small place populated with over 20 million people.
"Relationship in Lagos is to some extent based on where you live," says Agnes Marquis, the director of Play Studio, Ringier Africa.
"You cannot be living at one extreme far away from where your partner lives. How will you find time for each other?
"Of course, people will always find a way to meet if they want because they can squeeze out time, but it can be very difficult sometimes due to the situation of things. No doubt, Lagos is a great place to live if you live well. The city has something to it. There's a vibe here. You can see your dream come to pass here.
"But at the same time, it can be crazy for people working nine-to-five. Lagos is not a place to work nine to five."
"Like, how productive can you be when you stay in traffic for over six hours on a daily basis, conjoined with the things you go through to have a normal life in this city?
"You cannot be comfortable because everywhere you turn there's a mix of everything. And if you're not careful you will burn out. Nevertheless, it is important to have a set goal if you're working nine to five. Know what your end goal is, and work persistently towards it. You must also try as much as you can to manage your expectations, and be realistic because everything that glitters is not gold," she adds.
Essentially, it should be infused into the consciousness of everyone migrating to Lagos that life in this city is not as easy as it is displayed in the movies and on social media.
To a reasonable extent, it is nothing close to it if you're working nine-to-five.
Yes, Lagos is a mega-city where spending a million Naira in the club is perceived as normal. It is the home of celebrities, company CEOs, and the live fast riders who are willing to do anything for the money.
True, Lagos is the haven of the most luxurious apartments and a mixture of everything.
But it should also be emphasized that though this coastal state is the center of excellence in many things, anxiety and depression, live on the roads through which the city carries everything that is in it.