Skip to main content

Lagos Mainland, packed and spread

satellite view, Ikeja

Stay where you are


In Lagos people tend to stick around where they live. Traffic may be one reason, the expanse of the city another and the fact that there is no key attraction able to draw crowds in the evening or on week-ends from one end of the city to the other. Very few parks, no square where people would feel happy to spend some time hanging around. The only big migration is work or religion related.
Security also plays a role. Today streets are safe on the islands and increasingly in mainland's neighbourhoods during the day. At night, it is a matter of bad luck but stories of attacks are still in the news in some areas; the area boys are still alive and potentially dangerous. As a result, streets are not considered as an area one should expect to spend too much time on, except of course, for those running a business there: plenty of activity takes place on the streets, from water carriers, gas and airtime sellers, hairdressers, shoe repair, fruit and and vegetable sellers, restaurants, etc... These ones seem to live on safely.
But trust is not there among fellow Nigerians so properties are walled and gated.

packed and spread
On the mainland though, space is used up, houses are packed against one another, providing from the sky an impression of giant computer motherboard stuffed with corrugated-iron transistors and microchips, streets are like veins



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Underground party on the rooftop of City Hall in Lagos Island

Friday night, 7.30PM, Lagos Island is buzzing with road-side lamp-lit by ambulant merchants, suya sellers and other food items. Pedestrians are dashing to their destination through cars, kekenapes, okadas, hawkers. For some it is time to get home, for others it is the beginning of party time. As we approach the City Hall building, which is now used for offices and to host functions, voices become louder, vehicles are queuing-up to climb-up the ramp leading up to the entrance hall of the building with its façade adorned with squared column and glass protected by stylised irons grids. Cars are parked along the ramp and security staff is pressing car drivers to move on immediately after having disembarked their passengers. The main hall is hosting a wedding reception, luxuriously decorated. The music blares and a strong smell of fish is filling-up the whole place.


I am going to another function on the rooftop, but to do this I must cross the wedding entrance all and  slip past a cloth c…

the fish market of Epe

Epe (pronounced Ekpe in yoruba) is a small city located on the narrow stretch of water that separates the lagoon of Lagos from the one, further in the east, known as Lekki lagoon. It is built on the small hills that border the water. It is connected by a bridge to the Lekki peninsula.
The town is famous for its fish market located on the water side. It is the place to buy fresh water fish, some of them still alive. They are kept in plastic buckets but also directly in the lagoon water in woven baskets.
Many more is for sale such as crayfish, crocodile, turtle, monitor lizard, big snails.  Game meat is also available coming from the nearby forest of the Omo reserve. We saw two wild cats with white spotted black fur and a strong scent; As we left we saw antilope legs arriving to the stall.
Some fishes are particular, one is sending electricity shocks when you touch it, another one was looking like a prehistoric fish with a sort of dinosaur like shell; there was also one with giant scal…

2017 Lagos Biennial - Living on the edge

Ebutte Metta, Apapa road, Saturday afternoon 2PM. Residents go about their business as usual. Road-side shops are waiting for their customers, mamas sell fish, tomatoes, pepper, and so on. An empty bus breaks down in front of us. Its driver attempts to push it by himself but to no avail. None of the walkers-by offer assistance, actually they have got their own business to mind and the sight of a bus breaking down is nothing extraordinary. Considering that we are standing and not about to move, my driver decides to go and help him push the vehicle on the side of the road. We are now able to restart our progression and we turn into the road leading to the railway compound which is closed by a large two way gate. Vehicles have to alternate through one of the lane for security reason.
The railway compound is a residential area abundantly provided with buildings that used to serve the railway industry back in the days. A firemen place, the headquarters of the railway company, warehouses, …