Hello, it’s 4:00 AM in Lagos, and the hustle and bustle have begun.
How was your night?
If you are going to work, you should be heading out by now. You don’t want to get fired!
“Iyalaje” and “Babalaje”, it’s time to open for business. Every sale counts!
This is life in Lagos, where the day starts at 3:00 AM.
Ugh, the dust, when entering the state, was choky, the exhaust from tons of vehicles, and oh! The traffic! So ridiculous and time-consuming. I had no idea how the locals dealt with that; it was bizarre!
That was how I felt in June 2019 during my first visit to Lagos. And by the time I left, I vowed never to come back on my own volition. The living conditions were dangerous to my health, or so I thought.
Before I move on, let’s learn more about the hustle and bustle that defines Lagosian life.
LIFE IN LAGOS: THE LAGOSIAN LIFE
The hustle and bustle that defines Lagosian life encapsulates the energetic, dynamic, and fast-paced nature of daily existence in Lagos, Nigeria’s largest city. This unique way of life is characterized by a combination of factors, including economic activities, population density, urbanization, and the cultural mindset of its residents.
1. Economic Dynamism:
Lagos serves as Nigeria’s economic hub, hosting a significant portion of the country’s commercial and financial activities.
The city is a magnet for ambitious individuals seeking economic opportunities, leading to a constant influx of people in search of jobs, business ventures, and prosperity.
The competitive business environment fosters a spirit of entrepreneurship, with individuals engaging in various ventures to secure their livelihoods.
2. Population Density and Urbanization:
Lagos has experienced rapid population growth and urbanization, resulting in a densely populated environment where millions of people live and work in close proximity.
The high demand for limited resources, including housing and transportation, contributes to the intensity of daily life.
3. Transportation Challenges:
Traffic congestion is a hallmark of Lagosian life, with hours spent navigating crowded streets and highways.
Public transportation, while essential, often presents its own set of challenges, including overcrowded buses and long commutes.
4. Work Culture:
Long hours, high expectations, and a strong emphasis on productivity characterize the work culture in Lagos.
Many Lagosians juggle multiple jobs or engage in side hustles to meet the demands of living in a bustling metropolis.
5. Social Expectations:
The social fabric of Lagos places a premium on networking, socializing, and building connections.
Individuals are often engaged in various social and cultural activities, contributing to a vibrant and lively atmosphere.
6. Entrepreneurial Spirit:
The hustle mentality is deeply ingrained in the Lagosian psyche, with many residents cultivating a strong entrepreneurial spirit.
Small businesses and informal enterprises thrive, contributing to the economic vibrancy of the city.
7. Cultural Diversity:
Lagos is a melting pot of cultures, languages, and ethnicities, creating a rich and diverse social landscape.
This diversity is reflected in the food, music, fashion, and traditions that shape the city’s cultural identity.
In essence, the hustle and bustle of Lagosian life represent a tapestry woven from the threads of economic ambition, urban dynamics, social interactions, and a resilient spirit.
While it comes with its challenges, this way of life has also fostered a sense of community, resourcefulness, and a collective determination to thrive in the face of adversity.
Let’s continue with my Lagos experience.
MY LAGOS EXPERIENCE CONTINUED
Fast forward to December 2019, I had to return to Lagos for what I will call “an official meeting.” There were several events planned for this particular trip; there was the Singles Ministry hangout (amazing, by the way), a series of Christmas events, and meet-ups with loved ones.
During my first few days alone without friends, I took the time to enjoy the scenery of Lagos and geography. From God knows where I started thinking to myself, this could be my home; the state has everything I want; this could be a place where I raise my future children. Haha!
Oh, Ruth, with her not-so-crazy thoughts.
On the third day, I went to my meeting at JJT Park, Ikeja, and I had the best time of my life in Lagos.
My cute girl was there, we walked around the park, had some minutes of girls’ discussion before she ran off to her dad. I was beginning to like this place called Lagos.
That night, I was at Ikeja City Mall, my goodness! I was blown away.
I had wanted something close to life in the USA, and life in Lagos was giving me all the feels. I ate to my satisfaction (sure you were expecting to hear that, haha!) and had to go home after that because it was pretty late.
I was getting ready to leave at this point, and best believe, I was sad. I didn’t want to go anymore; I had enjoyed Lagos life for the first time.
Ah, did I forget to mention this?
With the hope of avoiding Lagos traffic and enjoying Lagos sceneries, I was on O’ride (NO LONGER OPERATING) for the most part. Jeez, it was expensive, but it was worth every penny! You should try them anytime you are in Lagos. With O’ride, I was able to calculate my time of arrival, unlike being in Uber or Taxify, you can’t tell when you will get home.
On my last day, my dear friend Timmy took me to Maryland Mall another time to “enjoy the life of my head.” I had loads of fun, a moment of reflection with my friend, we took pictures and saw each other off.
Mind you, when I was there in June, I couldn’t go anywhere alone, but this time, I was already a pro, a Lagos girl.
Before I withdraw my fingers from making meaningful sentences on the keyboard, I would like to share a few pieces of advice with you because Lagos is a place for everyone but a place to be vigilant as well.
TIPS TO ENJOYING LIFE IN LAGOS
- Always remember to collect your balance before the driver moves.
- Traffic is crazy, so if you want to get to a place early, use Bolt or Uber
- While in transit, especially during traffic, DO NOT USE YOUR PHONE; it can be snatched away.
- You will be given torn money at night when you buy “Suya,” most notably. Spend it at night, too 😅, no dulling, I say.
- There is a transport option for every social class; know your level and choose accordingly.
- Be SMART. You can’t afford to be dull.
Are you thinking of what city to add to your travel bucket list in 2020? My advice: add Lagos to it.
Enjoy the hustle and bustle, and don’t forget my piece of advice; it will surely come in handy.