Lagos, Africa’s Big Apple?

by Olamide Udoma

Everyone experiences cities differently. As a child I did not understand the complexities and the magnitude of Lagos State. My Lagos was Ikeja, where my friends and I lived and where I went to school. It was small, simple, and fun. As an adult Lagos is an amalgamation of mini cities, with individual characteristics and cultures, linked by congested roads and electricity pylons. The State is continuously growing and the infrastructure is far from adequate for the population. It is a city where power is important, poverty and riches sit side by side, living like a king is at the your finger tips (depending on the deal you make today), and the mix of people is eclectic. It is a city of chaos, diversity, opposites and similarities, where you find extravagant weddings and flamboyant Nollywood stars juxtaposition with forced evictions and corrupt policemen. It is no longer small and simple but it is definitely fun.

The Lagos State Government is keen to portray a Lagos that is the ultimate metropolis, a beacon of a state. However this just isn’t how everyone experiences Lagos or is it? What does your Lagos look and feel like?

About FutureLagos

Olamide Udoma is a researcher, writer and filmmaker holding degrees in BSc Architecture, MA Design and MPhil Infrastructure Management. Olamide has worked in London, South Africa and Nigeria with various organisations focusing on transport management, slum upgrading and housing rights in urbanising African cities. At Our Future Cities NPO, she is the Lagos manager and editor.