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 🙂