Lagos Na Wa!

There was a book I came across once titled “Lagos Na Wa! I swear” now as a young teenager (and even as an adult) I had no business reading that book. It chronicled the sex lives of some Lagos people and it was quite raunchy.

Now my post has nothing to do with that book, but it has to do with my recent trip to Lagos. I grew up in Lagos and though I am from Anambra State, I consider Eko (Lagos) my home. Most of my cherished memories are here; my first kiss as a 3 year old in the garden (I am sure the silly boy doesn’t even remember me). My 5th year birthday party, which was da bomb! and over 20 years of growing up that I can’t even begin to go through.

I had a great childhood and just being in Lagos brings tears to my eyes. I went with my kids so they could see where I grew up. My sister still lives in the house we grew up in and when I went there, it was so emotional. I saw the books we read as kids, I went to my dads room and saw an envelope with the words (Chioma’s baby teeth) and sure enough two of my teeth were in there. That really cracked me up; that’s my dadda! (of blessed memory) so organised and paid attention to every little detail. I found the two metal hand-painted elephants that I had played with as a child…who would have thought that two rusty elephants could cause so much joy!

We lived right across Ikoyi Club and a few of the people who hawk stuff around there still remembered me. I could tell they were surprised to see me all grown up and with children.

I stayed with my cousin in Lekki because I figured the kids would have fun with her daughter and my cousin would have more time for me. Apart from that I just couldn’t bring myself to stay in the house without my dad. Lekki was fun, people in Lagos definitely have a more active social life than us Abuja people. It was from one wedding or birthday party to another. I went to The Palms and was going round like one village girl. I mean, the only malls I have seen are in the States so I was a bit taken aback. Even the way Lagos people greet ..Mwah ..Mwah (the double cheek kiss) “you look great dahlinng!” Na wa oh! And the fashion…! In Abuja you don’t need to do to much to be a babe, in Lagos they have different categories of babes, but everyone is a babe!

I hadn’t been to Lagos in the past few years so I was very happy to be home! I drove past my primary school (St. Saviour’s, Ikoyi) while I tried to negotiate my way round streets. And I just kept gawking as I saw familiar and unfamiliar sights.

I could not believe how much I had missed Lagos. I was in no hurry to go back home. I missed being able to buy just about everything in traffic, I missed all the water (my kids couldn’t believe all the water and bridges). I missed tej and balogun and being able to find unlimited varieties of different products (In Abuja getting the right weave is even a problem). I missed my friends and family (A lot of people I couldn’t see are still fighting with me). I missed Ghana high food. I missed Double 4 Pizza (I still think they make the best pizza). I missed Awolowo road (That was my major joint!) and I missed my dad more than I usually do.

There are a few things I didn’t miss.

The traffic! It was crazy as usual. My friend got married while I was there and the traffic to her wedding venue was something else. At a point I just got down and started walking because cars were not moving. That’s the thing about Lagos, one major event can paralyse movement for miles around. In Abuja no matter what’s going on only the immediate area will be affected.

The mosquitoes! Ridiculous! My kids looked like they were recovering from chicken pox, as they had spots all over. The electricity situation! I know we have power outages in Abuja but what I experienced in Lagos was too bad. Case in point: I don’t have a generator in Abuja and it’s okay but in Lagos, living without a generator is suffer head.

It’s been a while since I got back to Abuja and my holiday has long been over, but I still think of Lagos with a twinkle in my eye 🙂

40 thoughts on “Lagos Na Wa!

  1. yeah the hair is cute. Cant wait for it to be long I hear one of your sisters might be about to betray her natural roots. Ofcourse I’m not in support of that at all.

  2. Lagos is a place you just can’t hate. With all the wahala…you still prefer the pace of life down there than any other place, even when that place offers more (Constant light, less traffic, no mosqitoes and so on).
    I guess it is the traffic, hot gossip, light shortage, mosqitoes and so on that makes us coming back for more…God, Have mercy!
    I really miss being there (Lagos) but what can I do…Well, God knows best!
    If you can survive in Lagos, then you can survive anywhere in the world.

  3. Love your hair, very sweet and neat.
    Heheheee, the traffic eh? Of course, home wouldn’t be home without the traffic. Mosquitoes, yeck! One trick I use with my kids I put rubbing alcohol on their arms and legs b4 they go out. It’s the taste and smell of the alcohol that the mosq. hate.

  4. awwww… the envelope with your teeth… that must’ve just brought back a million memories! wow… they do the double cheek kiss thing? no be small oh! Ghana high food sounds delish! I definitely can’t wait to visit Naija and Lagos in particular.. well that an port harcourt(my spot for life!!!). Have a great week big sister mine

  5. @9ja opeke..true saying once u’ve survived lagos u can survive anywhere

    @lady a , I will try the rubing alcohol next time.thanks! and glad you like my hair.

    @msmt lol…lagos is still the west african new york/london.My friend from sierra leone says when he tells his family about lag..they go “yeah yeah that can only happen in America”

    @onb.. seeing that envelope was really the climax for me..and trust me you have to eat ghana high food.

    @uknaija.. Thanks for stopping by my blog.I am sure those of u abroad even miss lagos more..

  6. What struck me the most about this post was that the people that were hawking opposite your house were still there when you returned years later. Seemingly no improvement in their financial/living conditions.

    It’s scary b/c it could be anyone not moving from a certain point in their lives to a “better” point.

  7. He he he. Lagos na wa!! Say that again. I visited sometime last yr after being away for about 3yrs and had to syke myself seriously not to be oppressed by lagos babes. Went to see the palms and silverbird galleria and was really impressed.

  8. @imham..true talk.didnt think about it.. but millions of people in the country live from hand to mouth. I saw my aunts steward..the guy has been a steward since I have been alive! I mean he just looked old and poor ..luckily his madams takes care of his family …but alot of other nigerians have no one..Its just a rat race! Those of us who are fortunate enough to live above the poverty level,,either through hard work or by virtue of our birth should thank God.
    Anytime I see a lady my age hawking tomatoes in the market i think ” What is the difference between this woman and me..Lord i Thank you”
    @calabar girl..thanks for coming to my blog!lol about lagos babes..I know i had to go there with my best baffs!

  9. Lived in Abuja for almost a year and Lagos longest in Nigeria and Lagos is just it. Even though I’m not a social butterfly, the palces to go, events to attend and excitement in the air is really nice! Then you meet interesting people, although I find a lot of Lagos chicks are very pretentious.

    Abuja is nnice and cool to retire to… for my family at least! As for teh negatives in Lagos – filth, TRAFFIC etc, well, one just has to accept all….

  10. I grew up in GRA Ikeja but I spent so much time on the island so I loved this post as it brought back great memories. Now when I go to Lagos I stay with friends and totally flipped when I saw fresh mushrooms being sold at Palms.

  11. @favoured girl..thanks for dropping by, lagos is truly home!
    @eguono78..welcome to my blog, glad you like it..went to the website very lovely.Its a small world cus I remeber tuoyo from when we were wa every body don grow.
    @ omara..i know! wasn’t palms a big suprise? i actually bought bacon to take to abuja(the bacon we see isnt normally crispy) to you soon and thanks

  12. Hey Chioma,

    I think I know you. We met around ’95 (if you’re the same Chioma from Trinity) and we stayed in touch until everyone went to their various unis. I am so sorry to hear about your dad. I can imagine how tough it must have been to go back to your childhood home without him. My condolences.

    I am so outing myself now with all this extra info 😉 If you’re not the person I think you are, forgive my rambling.

  13. I miss Lagos. St. Savior’s School was were I started too. I’ve got some beautiful memories from that time…

    I wish you all the best with your sweetheart!

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