Tuesday, September 10, 2013

8 reasons to bid Lagos high (2)

I've been crazy busy in the past few months, traveling and working and occasionally biting off more than I can chew. So I may have also forgotten about my plan to follow up with this series. But now it's time to continue the list that I started back in May. You remember, the reasons that Lagos is actually kind of awesome?

So without further ado...

The third reason to bid Lagos high - Nigeria may be classed as a developing country, but living in Lagos is probably not the 'Africa experience' most people would picture. You won't live in a grass hut or wash clothes in a bucket.  There are no giant bugs - really there are almost no bugs at all, I get bothered by mosquitos and flies far more often in the states than here. There are shopping malls and rule of law and all the rest. There's even a Mercedes dealership and an Apple store for pete's sake.  When I got here the level of development was actually the most surprising thing. I'd seen the "Welcome to Lagos" BBC documentary full of people living in grinding poverty, but it didn't prepare me for how the '1%' - i.e. expats and wealthy Nigerians - live.

See below for examples of the level of development I'm talking about:
All sourced locally - and yes, all varying amounts of 'crazy expensive'

The fourth reason to bid Lagos high - Big population = big talent
With over 170 million Nigerians it stands to reason that there must be a whole crowd of really talented individuals in this country. Living in Lagos you get to see the cream of the crop. There are art gallery events every weekend, original plays coming out constantly, and lots of excellent opportunities to hear live music. Nigeria has produced more than it's share of talented authors as well. While I suppose you could read Chinua Achebe anywhere, it makes the reading that much more powerful if you have a little context. I'll try to link some more of the music, art and cultural stuff in the future, but trust me, there's a lot of it out there for anyone who's interested. (You can also google the African Artists Foundation, Terra Kulture and Nike Gallery for more info.)

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