people, size, ambitions, visions, all these make plenty of things to tell about Nigeria, the land of plenty
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coconut treats for sale
Tarkwa Bay is a stretch of divinely fine sand at the exit of the lagoon into the ocean, it is shielded from the high sea by a seawall of huge stone blocks which provides to the beach goers a bit intimacy from the tankers entering the harbour of Lagos.
a beach with a view
Opposite the lagoon entrance is a vast construction work for the birth of a new city, Eko Atlantic: 250,000 people will live there on 9 million square meters. This will be a new center for finance and energy sectors, built on reclaimed land. It will be powered by its own power grid, independent of the rest of the country which produces about 20% of what Nigeria needs everyday. So far three towers have come up the ground.
Eko Atlantic: one, two, three
Well, back to the plastic strewn beach. it is a quiet getaway from the city center, a 15 minutes boat ride from Falomo bridge in Victoria Island. The sand stretch is lined up with reclining chairs of wood and cloth. A cloth roof is providing life-saving shade. One can enjoy the quiet of the beach, music is amazingly discreet compared to the other beaches along the Lekki peninsula. Food and drinks are available, fairly affordable for the drinks. Grilled chicken or grilled fish with French fries constitute the menu options.
once upon a boat
One can walk up to the nearby lighthouse and its ocean facing beach which is much wilder than the one of Tarkwa. Bodies of stranded vessels are lying on the shore, some very corrugated. There are just a few shade spots under roofs made of palm leaves. An interesting no man's land.
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…
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…
Roland Ogiamien is a renown wood carver. He is now retired in his home town of Benin City and is now in his 80s. We met him in his simple workshop, a barn opened on the surrounding greenery. A part of the studio is used to store wood pieces and make sure they are well dried. He is using a collection of german ustensils to carve and polish the wood. He spent most of his career working out of Lagos before relocating to Benin.
Roland was explaining that the wood he uses today is different from his early days. Ebony has become rare and wood carvers have had to switch to other types of wood. Traditional heritage is a large part of his inspiration which he translates on wood with his own particular style, exploring various techniques for the finish of his pieces. History
Ogiamien is the name of an important royal family in Benin Kingdom. Towards the end of the Ogiso dynasty (12th century), Ogiso Owodo did not have a son to succeed him, his brother Evian therefore took over after Owodo…