Wednesday, June 27, 2007



Someone sent me this article in the LA Times. It makes for an interesting read. I was kinda disappointed because when I think of New York I don't just think of the chaos but also about the ritziness, the fashion, the night life, the literary culture etc. This New York of Nigeria described in the article is a bit incomplete, wouldn't you say. Any thoughts ya'll want to share on this article?

(ps: Will try to post stuff often but I as you guys can tell I don't have much free time these days. There's so much stuff going on that I wish I could take time to write about and post but you'll have to bear with me. Lagos is chaotic true true. By the way can someone tell me how to get video on a tape or cd uploaded to You Tube. I have tried the obvious but it is just not working.)


Lagos: 'The New York of Nigeria'
It is among the world's fastest-growing cities, at once a chaotic megalopolis and a thriving center of entrepreneurship.
By Robyn Dixon, Times Staff Writer
June 25, 2007

Exploding city
LAGOS, NIGERIA — Away from the noise and hustle and stink, the shriek of energy, the never-ending buzz that is Lagos, a man reclines on a gravestone, serenely reading a book.

His name is Immortal, and he sells life insurance. He says he is waiting for an angel.

"I just come here to relax," says Immortal Emenike, 40, from his unexpected haven in Trinity Cemetery in Olodi Apapa neighborhood. "I like the serenity, the fresh air. It's very hard to find in Lagos." Nearby, a goat named Sikira nibbles on the vegetation. Outside is a wall of sound: buzzing motorcycles, car horns and traffic.

Like many Lagosians, Immortal appears nonplused if you ask him what he loves about the raucous mega-city he calls home. He has a passion for Lagos, yet seems wary of questions, in case they're not kindly meant.

"Lagos is like the New York of Nigeria," he says. "It's a jungle where a lot of things can happen. Things that don't happen anywhere will happen in Lagos: the unexpected."

Lagos is one of the planet's fastest-growing mega-cities, with people drawn not only from rural Nigeria but also from all over West Africa to hack out a living. Depending on your point of view, it's either a center of irrepressible entrepreneurialism or a nightmarish city of unplanned chaos, a cautionary tale on what not to do.

No one is sure whether the population is 9 million, as last year's house-to-house census claimed; 16 million, as estimated by the U.N. Population Fund; or 17 million, as the Lagos state government insists. The United Nations agency has predicted that Lagos will be the world's third most-populous city by 2015, with 23 million people.

It's not a place for the fainthearted. From the first wallop of steamy air on alighting from a plane, Lagos is a plunge pool of intense exhilaration, jumbled with measures of shock, frustration, rage and boredom.

Despite poverty, intractable social problems, mind-boggling corruption and dire failures of planning and infrastructure, "I think this total doomsday scenario that Lagos is going to be this total Dickensian horror place is not right either," says Daniel J. Smith, a demographic anthropologist at Brown University. "Nigerians have lived with the failure of their government to provide leadership and infrastructure for a long time, and so they have adapted all these ways to make things work.

"There's this incredible ethic and tradition of entrepreneurship, and maybe that's related to living in a place where you can't count on the government to provide services and amenities."

Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas has argued that the mega-cities of the future will look like Lagos: chaotic and spontaneous with planning solutions improvised on the run rather than following some master plan.

Even arriving can be a shock. "Lagos airport? In a word, don't," cautions the Lonely Planet Bluelist of destinations to avoid at all costs.

Borne downward on the airport arrival hall escalator, international visitors arriving for the presidential inauguration at the end of May found themselves trapped, with a solid crowd bottlenecked at the bottom. They crashed into a wall of backs, tripped, stumbled, even leaped over the sides, literally falling into Lagos with a thunk.

Then there's the metal jigsaw of rickety trolleys pressed around the baggage carousels and sometimes a wait of hours to collect as huge bags of traders' goods are unloaded.

Outside, license plates proclaim that you've arrived in "Lagos: Center of Excellence."

The jostling thoroughfares are much more than mere arteries for the choking traffic. The roadside is an open-air market, a car sales yard, a photo studio; a truck depot, pool hall, butcher's; a lumber yard, an office, a sheep yard; a place to hang laundry on the highway sidings, or to nap on any available surface.

There are some sights that strain credulity: A city skyscraper just folded like a house of cards one weekend.

Papered all over walls and suspended from any pole are advertising billboards and banners, as though the city were screaming out its own exuberant and often perplexing monologue: "Food is ready." "Slow down, bridge under investigation." "Plumber is here." "We paste posters." "Keep off the wall." "No parking no waiting no hawking." "Please pay your tax regularly." "Do not urinate here. It is prohibit." "Don't offend our ancestors with fakes. Insist on the original prayer drink." "Overhead banners are prohibited." "It is illegal to have anything to do with touts. You may end up facing various miscellaneous offenses."

Taxis are plastered with biblical verses and homespun advice: "Love everyone Trust no-one." "Watch and See." "No controversy."

Businesses grab attention by turning to religion: "God is Able Store." "Heaven Economics." "Miracle Outfits." "Divine Ultrasound." Then there are more the bizarre appeals, such as the "Peculiar Beauty Salon," or the "Cholesterol Hair Conditioner" found in some outlets.

The exuberance is reflected in Lagosians' flamboyant clothing and the startling towers of bright material that women wear on their heads like flames of color. There are nightclubs where patrons fling all the plastic tables and chairs into the air when things are really humming.

Taiwo Adeyeye, 19, arrived alone from the town of Ogbomosho in Oyo state in April.

"I love it because it's a commercial city. It's a place where you get a lot of buyers for your wares," says Adeyeye, who lives in a room behind a baker's shop and walks all day in the sauna-like heat selling bread from a tray on her head.

"It's not really everything that I'd want," she says of her room and job. In the little leisure she has, "I just walk around the area. I feel good walking around. The things I see all around excite me."

Smith, the demographic anthropologist, says that despite government failures and corruption, Lagosians have developed small trusting business networks, allowing them to survive and profit.

"People look at a place like Lagos and some of them think, 'Why would anyone ever want to go there, because it's so big and populated and there's so much poverty?' " he says. "But people are carving out a living better than they would have been able to had they stayed at home.

"People have managed to cobble together an informal economic infrastructure that enables them to carry out all these commercial activities somehow. Everyone's getting water for their homes somehow, and every business manages to hire a generator to keep their business going."

Ezekial Charles, 38, a pastor and businessman who arrived seeking his fortune in 2001, sits in the shade of a tree surrounded by litter a few yards from a busy highway.

"I think you get used to it. When there's no light it sometimes is painful, but still I feel happy," he says, referring to the long and frequent power outages. "I love the population, the way business is flowing. A few people are honest, let's say a quarter of them. People here can help you and make life easier for you."

Even the rich cannot escape the city's notorious traffic jams. But for the poor, opportunity knocks with every "go-slow." Buyers collect their purchase before paying, in case the traffic moves along. Then, according to local etiquette, it's up to the seller to run thundering along to collect the cash and give change. The traffic lanes are always busy with the sound of flip-flopping feet in cheap Chinese footwear and the shout of traders plying their goods.

Everywhere there are entrepreneurial openings: Two boys put up a traffic cone blocking access from a clogged artery to a highway, demanding money to pass. When one driver refuses to pay, he and one of the boys scream at each other, waving arms and blazing with fury. Just as it seems someone will pull out a gun, the row abruptly evaporates. The cone is removed. The driver passes.

"Roads are the worst planning problem," Lagos state government planner Benedict Kehinde says. "I can say that there wasn't any planning. The government would acquire land, and people just moved on and constructed buildings, so it becomes difficult to build roads on that land. So you have to wind your way around the existing structures."

At times the city is visual anarchy, with piles of uncollected trash, mountains of jumbled timber, abandoned car skeletons, tires. Lagos produces half a million tons of trash a day, according to a recent environmental report to the state government, and much of it is collected and dumped anywhere by freelancers.

A train drifts by with people crowded on the roof. Traffic buzzes the wrong way up a one-way street, spreading across the lanes like waters in front of the opposing traffic flow.

Lounging near two dusty outdoor pool tables on a recent election day, civil servant Kola McCauley, 30, waxes lyrical about his hometown.

"I love my city. I love Lagos. It's very lovely. The people, they're very intelligent. They're very versatile. They're very hospitable and accommodating," he says as a screaming match erupts between voters and polling officials a few yards from where he sits and police have to be called in.

Mostly, Lagosians know when to stop. But not always, says Immortal in the cemetery, taking a break from his book.

"You have to be cautious all the time. Maybe I'm walking and I step on your shoes, even if it's by mistake. It can cause a big fight, and in the end the police arrive. It's because of the pressure of society.

"You see it every day. Things that should be cooled down are blown up like a volcano. The serenity here helps me to mellow and think of good things."


kulutempa said...

Lagos = New York? I think not. Even the chaos in NY is organized! And only the NY residents have a right to exude that pride that Kola McCauley dared to voice: NY has given the world the Statue of Liberty, MoMA, Broadway and Central Park. WHAT is so "lovely" about Lagos?? What is so "accomodating" about the people who live there, 75% of whom are liars? Jokes.

Anonymous said... pics if you can so the world can see...and to kulutempa - those are valid questions, but she's not saying lagos is like ny she's saying it has the ny status in please! here's a cool one re: fashion

pamelastitch said...


that article seems quite balanced to me. I think when the author compares Lagos to NY, he was drawing similarities:
a) Lagos draws a large crowd of diverse peoples in the same way that New York does.
b) Lagos has a huge population just like New York.
c) Lagosians are extremely fashion conscious as New Yorkers are
d)Lagos is a huge business metropolis like New York is.
e) Does crime occur in Lagos? Most definitely.
f) Is Lagos Chaotic? yes most definitely but so is New York, that is the reason that many leave New York after some time.
g)Is Lagos disorganized...yes most definitely.

But one thing stands true of both places: if you can survive in either places, you can survive anywhere and that is what most lagosians take pride in - the strength that comes from living and surviving in Lagos!!

Are 75 percent of the population, liars...that one na tori for another day....LOL!! Liars exist everywhere....

That said.....
me out!!

Uzo said...

Na wah oh...Not a complete picture but come what may, i love my city

Omodudu said...

Abegi Lagos sanitation = NY sanitation kapish. Abi don't you guys see hawkers on 42nd street. Infact I am taking my cam on a fact finding mission this weekend.

ECLECTIC said...

Apolgies for this shameless plug:-)

Please click on the link below to see how you can get you free tickets to a charity extravaganza in the west end. Performers include Semekor African Dance, Semendo Flamenco dancers, Yes Brazil band and dancers and much more. For a night to remember, click here.


Zena said...


Having lived in both NY and Lagos, I can say there really are a lot of similarities btwn the two cities, you hate it and love it.

@Omodudu, lemme tell ya, go on flatbush Ave or Marcus Garvey and my dear you'll see ppl hawking cellphone chargers,water,roses,I swear
and the sanitation, infact ehn!NY can be filthy, have u bn to the subway stations?
everything kulutempa and Pam said is true,
But kulutempa does are tourist attractions now...

Really, they are similar

Adaure said...

Not saying they are not similar. Lagos is absolutely similar but this is just a complete and balanced story on ONE SIDE. The other side which I mentioned is missing.

Also I am not sure if the title is refering to Lagos as a grandiose place (don't have the right words)that people see as a place to succeed and excel just as New York is. I am not sure I am explaining it well. You know how every small town girl wants to go to New York to be a STAR on Broadway or in Fashion magazines and runway or how dudes want to work on Wall Street. Is that sort of what she is getting at? That Lagos embodies the same for Nigeria. Help me out cos I sort of sensed that but 'it' didn't really LAND so to speak (LOL)

Omuluzua said...

Hi Addy,
Please vote for Dscribe on blogville idols

have a great weekend!

June Olive said...

Lagos and New York. The analogy is very poignant. I like the idea you had to put this up. I have found myself clicking my heels on the E train in New York saying, hmmm there is no place like home but I have Ojota on my mind, and when I am dodging puddles in Brooklyn after light rainfall, I think Balogun market. This article hit the nail on the head. I think Lagos does embody the same for Nigeria as New York does for America. Even in Naija movies you always hear the village chick who is excited that her brother from Lagos is coming to take her to live with him. She is excited because Lagos is the place to fufill your dreams. Lagos is New York.

Saymama said...

Funny enough, I commented about this article on my blog as well just few days ago. It left quite a bitter taste in my mouth. The insular views and persistent negativity when people write about Nigeria has gotten on my last nerves. Call me biased or territorial if u must, bt "really"!!

catwalq said...

Not too accurate but very close.
Was tickled/saddened by the paragraph on the go-slow traders having to run after their customers when the car starts moving. I have seen children get hurt and it is just heart breaking. I do not know how all these government officials in their air conditioned cars do not see the damage this life is doing to the children's health' life and full potential.
I guess a rolled up window shuts out much more than sound, stench and heat.

snazzy said...

i liked that it gave a good overview of lagos, despite its many problems, it is the place where most nigerians want to be.

anyway, i heard u on the radio going on about thursday's flood, i can tell you that was one day I wasn't loving lagos. But hey, where would we be without swimming cars. Laters

deilah said...

That piece of writing certainly is a work full or savage and biting satire!

Jola Naibi said...

An accurate description of Lagos, I was actually drawn into the graphic descriptions but I have to agree with Adaure...they should have left out any comparison to NY or any other city for that matter. Lagos is a class of its own.

uknaija said...

Lagos is like New York in the way big cities are like other big cities- the madness and craziness and the highs and lows of life

pamelastitch said...

who was on radio??


truth said...

I frequently refer to Lagos as the NY of Nigeria to my foreign friends because the cities share the same fast-paced life style citizens bear to survive...even when there's nowhere in sight a valid reason for a rush. Cefini.

Whether the post is balanced or not is one subjective topic, but one thing is clear; it indeed tells the tale of a city that no matter how run down, remains a cradle called home to many of us.

Anonymous said...





Anonymous said...

runescape money
runescape gold
runescape money
runescape gold
wow power leveling
wow powerleveling
Warcraft Power Leveling
Warcraft PowerLeveling
buy runescape gold
buy runescape money
runescape items
runescape gold
runescape money
runescape accounts
runescape gp
dofus kamas
buy dofus kamas
Guild Wars Gold
buy Guild Wars Gold
lotro gold
buy lotro gold
lotro gold
buy lotro gold
lotro gold
buy lotro gold
runescape money
runescape power leveling
runescape money
runescape gold
dofus kamas
cheap runescape money
cheap runescape gold
Hellgate Palladium
Hellgate London Palladium
Hellgate money
Tabula Rasa gold
tabula rasa money
lotro gold
buy lotro gold
Tabula Rasa Credit
Tabula Rasa Credits
Hellgate gold
Hellgate London gold
dofus kamas
buy dofus kamas
wow power leveling
wow powerleveling
Warcraft PowerLeveling
Warcraft Power Leveling
World of Warcraft PowerLeveling
World of Warcraft Power Leveling
runescape power leveling
runescape powerleveling

eve isk
eve online isk
eve isk
eve online isk

Roger David said...

How to Play Roulette Online
The Various Roulette Bets and Rules
Roulette and the House Edge
Betting methods of Roulette
Roulette Rules and Information

Online Roulette Some people like the bright lights of Las Vegas. They book their room in the Flamingo, fly down, see some shows, eat at the Vegas buffets, and bet a little money on the roulette wheel. However, this is an expensive, once a year type proposition. What happens if you are bored one night, and want to play some roulette, right there and right then? Booking a red eye flight to Vegas isn't an option. This is exactly the reason why playing at online casinos has sky-rocketed in popularity over the last few years. It's fun, it's quick, and it mimicks the real life experience of playing at a real casino. Why play roulette online instead of at a real casino? As I already mentioned, the cost of playing at Vegas is much higher. You have your room fee, your plane ticket, the cost of eating out while there, etc. It is very expensive. However, playing online is free. You can play at 3 am in the morning, while dressed in your bathrobe, eating a bowl full of popcorn. No one will rush you; you can take 20 minutes to place your next bets. You can have a notebook full of roulette strategies in front of you and no one will hassle you. The allure of the online casino is the convenience and ease of use.
Roulette Systems
Roulette Strategy
Online Roulette
Online Roulette Tips
Online Roulette System Rules

Roulette Strategy Betting
Easy Roulette Strategy
Free Roulette Systems
Progressive Roulette Systems
Martingale Progression
Popular Casino Roulette
Roulette Martingale
Roulette Systems
Single and Double Zero Wheel Roulette
Roulette History

SEO said...

液压升降机,苏州升降机,苏州升降机厂,苏州升降机有限公司,施工升降机,丝杆升降机,液压升降平台,电动升降平台,天津升降平台,液压升降平台车,升降平台车,沈阳升降平台,天津登车桥,液压登车桥,移动式登车桥,移动登车桥,移动式液压登车桥,固定式液压登车桥,超市货架,北京货架,南京货架,货架公司,货架厂,广州货架,塑料托盘价格,山东塑料托盘,求购塑料托盘,北京塑料托盘,苏州塑料托盘 ,宁波塑料托盘,折叠式仓储笼,天津仓储笼,苏州仓储笼,南京仓储笼。南京货架,南京货架厂,南京货架公司|上海货架,上海货架厂,上海货架公司|无锡货架,无锡货架厂,无锡货架公司|苏州货架,苏州货架厂,苏州货架公司|北京货架,北京货架厂,北京货架公司|货架公司,北京货架公司,宁波货架公司|广州货架,广州货架厂,广州货架公司|服装货架,服装货架设计,广州服装货架|超市货架,北京超市货架,上海超市货架|仓储货架,北京仓储货架,上海仓储货架|托盘货架,重型托盘货架,托盘货架公司|货架厂,广州货架厂,北京货架厂|仓库货架,北京仓库货架,上海仓库货架|深圳货架,深圳货架厂,深圳货架公司|重型货架,次重型货架,成都重型货架|精品货架,北京精品货架,广州精品货架|天津货架,天津货架厂,天津货架公司|角钢货架,角钢货架厂,万能角钢货架|沈阳货架,沈阳仓储货架,沈阳货架公司|青岛货架,青岛货架公司,青岛仓储货架|轻型货架,北京轻型货架,角钢轻型货架|山东货架,山东货架厂,山东货架公司|杭州货架,杭州货架厂,杭州货架公司|中型货架,上海中型货架,广州中型货架|济南货架,济南货架厂,济南货架公司|郑州货架,郑州货架厂,郑州货架公司|展示货架,上海展示货架,产品展示货架|库房货架,货架厂,北京库房货架|武汉货架,武汉货架厂,武汉货架公司|河南货架,河南货架厂,河南货架公司|货架设计,仓库货架设计,货架设计公司|不锈钢货架,深圳不锈钢货架,上海不锈钢货架|阁楼货架,阁楼式货架,阁楼货架公司|移动货架,电动移动货架,北京移动货架|物流货架,上海物流货架,仓储物流货架|佛山货架,佛山货架厂,佛山货架公司|定做货架,杭州定做货架,天津定做货架|江门货架,贯通式货架,防静电货架|宁波货架,宁波货架厂,宁波货架公司|石家庄货架,石家庄货架厂,石家庄货架公司|重庆货架,重庆货架厂,重庆货架公司|河北货架,河北货架厂,河北货架公司|哈尔滨货架,哈尔滨货架厂,哈尔滨货架公司|悬臂货架,悬臂式货架|图书货架,广东图书货架,深圳图书货架|浙江货架,浙江货架厂,浙江货架公司|货架制作,北京货架制作,上海货架制作|西安货架,西安货架厂,西安货架公司|木托盘,上海木托盘,天津木托盘|北京塑料托盘,苏州塑料托盘,宁波塑料托盘|上海塑料托盘,广东塑料托盘,青岛塑料托盘|武汉塑料托盘,山东塑料托盘,南京塑料托盘|钢制料箱,折叠式料箱,网格式料箱|上海仓储笼,南京仓储笼,天津仓储笼|仓储笼图片,折叠仓储笼,折叠式仓储笼|北京仓储笼,广州仓储笼,宁波仓储笼|货架|托盘|料箱|仓储笼|手推车|登高车|置物架|垃圾桶

Roger David said...

Roulette Sniper Review
roulette advantage review
reverse roulette review
online roulette profits review
roulette killer review
blackhat poker review
sit-n-go pro poker review
online poker review
texas holdem poker review
poker edge review
poker squatting review
untold secrets poker review
micon secrets review
blackjack millionaire review
beat online blackjack review
secret of blackjack review
blackjack mastery review
complete blackjack review
purple chip blackjack review
smart bet wizard horse racing system review
sure2profit multibet horse racing system review
cracking betfair horse racing system review
my mathematical formula horse racing system review
easy trader pro horse racing system review
the legacy horse racing system review
go fibonacci horse racing system review
net movie downloads review
unlimited download center review
the movie downloads review
fast tv downloads review
shared movies review
cinema download review
movie download world review
iphone nova review
iphone unlimited review
iphone download pro review
web iphone downloads review
iphone magic review
net iphone downloads review
iphone craz downloads review
iphone explosion downloads review
fill your iphone downloads review
5emas forex trading system review
trend forex trading system review
expert forex trading system review
forex trading machine review
forex uncovered trading system review
g7 forex trading system review
forex killer trading system review
joanas 1-70 horde guide review
brian kopp alliance guide review
warcraft gold secrets review
warcraft riches review
valkors gold guide review
simple golf swing review
the golf swing test review
instant golf lesson review
instant slice cure review
golf swing eureka review