Tuesday, June 24, 2008


On the way in from Lagos airport to Ikoyi this morning, the tragic drama of Lagos unveiled itself yet again. Between Ikeja and Lagos, a commotion of okadas clustering round. As we came near and the traffic slowed down, there he was, dead, by the side of the road. His head twisted to the side. People looked down at him silently. A little further on, there was his bike, all mangled metal.

A few minutes further, I realised the taxi driver had taken an unusual route. There we were, in the midst of Oshodi, on Agege Motor Road. And there it was, in perhaps the densest part of the city, stark poverty. A woman with no lower legs sat on a small square of cardboard by the road side, the rain driving down. A danfo started reversing. She had to shout to stop the ugly metal can driving back onto her. The tragedy of the world was written on her face. Further on, piles of old shoes for sale, women picking through second-hand bras, men selling trousers, holding them up to passersby. Christian melodies mingled 50/50 with the muezzin. Everywhere a mixture of brown and black, mud clinging to all surfaces. Men argued aggressively, their voices tense. Oshodi is nonstop 24 hour panic slowly below the surface of perpetual chaos. People’s lives slowly being ground down by the noise, the dirt and the fury.


lamikayty 12:08 pm  

Yikes! but sadly that is the real Lagos!

Anonymous,  12:09 pm  

Jeez Jeremy, you have been a barrel of laughs lately. Any good news?

Anonymous,  2:08 pm  

Ko easy o.

Anonymous,  3:09 pm  

That's the side of Lagos that one rarely gets to see all the time. And i think that's closer depiction of life in Niaja in general, when you take away the flashy cars and big houses and trendy spots, you'll find that most of the population live like that.

Sad but true.

Richard Trillo 3:23 pm  

Yeah, there is some good news. The good news is that as a result of all that misery and wretchedness, some of us on this dumb little planet are living prosperous, fulfilled lives. That's a good deal. Isn't it?

olushola aromokun,  3:47 pm  

@lamikayty: that is the REAL Lagos. Where have u been? The moon? Meanwhile, Jeremy..your posts have been so on point nowadays, you sure are on fire! And that's why I sm going to add the link to your blog on www.werunthings.com Useful links (homepage) for the rest of this month. Cheers bro

FineBoy Agbero 4:34 pm  

Ah, egbon, siddon there o.
Na wetin some of us dey battle everyday be dat.
Now u know why we think Fashola's planting of flowers is a big waste of time and resources.
Na flower we go chop?! Ehn?

olu,  9:33 pm  

Olu suddenly develops an appetite for flowers...

Anonymous,  8:24 am  

It is a common thread that runs through the nation. There is an "Oshodi" in most parts of Nigeria.

Anonymous,  8:39 am  

I love Oshodi! It's the best place to stop and fill up my boot with mountains of oranges!

I drive over the bridge very often and one thing I've noticed as I'm stuck behind the fuming Danfo's is the incredible Oshodi 'ROAD ART'. Next time you're there and hardly moving just have a look down at the road and you will see the incredible patterns of all the metal objects that have been squashed and flattened into the road surface. Beautiful shining screws and washers, jagged strips of metal etc etc. Half of the round is now metal!

Whenever I'm in traffic(which is a lot)I'm always on the look out for it. Has anyone else ever noticed it or do I spend too much time on my car!


olu,  11:23 pm  

I bet you sound like Bro.Jeremy when he first set his eyes,ears and nostrils on Lagos traffic.Give it a few more years brotha: you will be as jaded as the rest of us.

Lagos 4ever !

Anonymous,  10:33 am  


my jadedness no be small o.

That Oshodi is like the new Ozumba compared to some of the roads I face in Lagos every week......try taking a trip down to Kiri Kiri / Maza Maza one of these days and you'll see what I mean. Just pray you get out the same day you go in!

I have to find something to while away the time.....my other favourite is the MA YAGBE signs!

Next time you are nearing Cele bus stop on the express look out on the right for "Don't Urinate here. FINE N1000 and DIRTY SLAP!" always makes me laugh....

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