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Voices of the City: Funke Makinwa | FUTURE LAGOS




“I realised very quickly that the people make all the difference with regard to one’s experience here”

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This week we meet with Funke Makinwa, the founder and editor of Dynamic Africa, a platform that showcases cultural content and creative ventures from Africa and across the diaspora.

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Voices of the City is a weekly feature that spotlights the everyday lives of our citizens, living and working in the city. By asking the same five questions to all our interviewees, we discover not only how our experiences of the city differ, but also what we share. It is a daunting task to try and capture the diverse experiences of our city’s inhabitants, but we feel that it is a worthy, and necessary, endeavour, in order to better understand the present and future of our city.

This week we meet with Funke Makinwa, the founder and editor of Dynamic Africa, a platform that showcases cultural content and creative ventures from Africa and across the diaspora.  When she is not curating the various Dynamic Africa feeds, she freelances as a copywriter, social media maven and online marketing strategist.

What about Lagos inspires you the most?

The people I know in Lagos probably inspire me more than anything. Having moved back to the city recently, I realised very quickly that the people make all the difference with regard to one’s experience here. Having people around you that are extremely helpful, supportive and loving is so essential and I feel incredibly lucky because of them.

Besides my personal relationships, I am also inspired by the potential Lagos has. I swing between optimism and pessimism when it comes to that potential, but I try to stay closer to the former. There is a lot that can be done, and Lagos has so much to harness and achieve. So much has already been done and achieved, which in itself is a reason to try and keep an open mind about life in Lagos.

Wall at Freedom Park, Lagos, the site of a former colonial prison

Wall at Freedom Park, Lagos, the site of a former colonial prison

Do you have a secret space or place that you enjoy in the city?

I am not sure that it’s much of a secret anymore, with how much Afropolitan Vibes has blown up, and rightfully so because it’s an amazing event, but I love going to Freedom Park. Aside from the delicious shawarmas, pepper soup and grilled fish you can get from the different food vendors there, it’s a beautiful open air environment that is incredibly well-maintained. On any given evening, there is bound to be great live music too. I have gone there to do anything from working on my laptop to meeting up with a date.

What was the last exciting event you attended in the city?

It’s a toss up between FotoParty on the rooftop of City Hall, and a Vibes house party in Victoria Island that was hosted at a really beautiful apartment block by the water. Apart from those there have been a couple great exhibitions in the past year including Bialere and LagosPhoto.

Keke NAPEPs in traffic

Keke NAPEPs in traffic

What frustrates you about the city?

Definitely driving and the traffic. We need alternatives to kekes, danfos and okadas (popular modes of public transport). Apart from having to deal with bad drivers, I enjoy driving for the most part. Although with poor road conditions, and where there are no street lights, it can be incredibly frustrating and, not to mention, dangerous. It takes a lot of skill and patience to deal with the frustration of driving in Lagos. Worse so, it can make all the difference between me deciding to go somewhere or not.

You can have dinner with one person living or dead. Who is it and why?

It would be my grandparents. I never knew either of my grandfathers, and I did not really appreciate both my grandmothers since I lived abroad and was rather young while they were alive. My heart will forever yearn to know the stories I’m sure they could tell. I would take them to my favourite pounded yam and egusi spot.

 

Credit

  1. Image of Freedom Park: BBC/Ayo Bello

Read more Lagos Voices: Lola AdefopePapa OmotayoOyindamola FakeyeMedina DuggerDolapo Adejuyigbe, & Mojisola Adegbile

 

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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.