by Ayodeji Rotinwa
Lagos living, for me, has been a journey that remarkably, I can’t quite put into words. I am from Lagos, was born, bred and have lived here all my life and every day I discover new things about this great city. I love how Lagos is slowly but surely finding its true form, like a caterpillar, out of a cocoon, turning into a butterfly.
Lagos is a city that fans fires of passions and emotions. Lagos is a city of extremes. There is no middle ground. There is no moderation. This usually is dynamite for writing. Should in case one’s creative juices run dry, an excursion to a Lagos market location, will do the trick of unlocking one’s creative tap.
As a writer, in my work, Lagos is and will perhaps remain a treasure trove of inspiration. I can find a story in an overheard conversation at the mall, on a sidewalk with skyscrapers in the distance, at decadent, flamboyant gatherings/parties Lagosians are well-renowned for. Lagos’s pulse is ever-changing, ever-evolving, its almost elusive. Documenting, writing about it can be a writer’s life’s work. Take Teju Cole’s ‘Every Day is for the Thief’ for instance. A book about a man who returns to Lagos after more than a decade and puts down his many experiences. These experiences are diverse, mind-boggling, curious, heart-warming, in equal measure. That is the spirit of Lagos.
Lagos living, for me, has been a journey that remarkably, I can’t quite put into words. I am from Lagos, was born, bred and have lived here all my life and every day I discover new things about this great city. I love how Lagos is slowly but surely finding its true form, like a caterpillar, out of a cocoon, turning into a butterfly. I remember Lagos of the 90’s, long streets, quiet neighborhoods, palm trees, stately colonial houses. Yes, today those are replaced by supposedly state-of-the-art luxury apartments, followed closely by suffocating granite dust, smog, exhaust from the cars of the innumerable nouveau riche moving in, skyscrapers tearing into the air, new malls, developments everywhere…
While I love the old Lagos I welcome the transition into the new, cosmetically enhanced and hopefully, improved. While shiny new buildings may adorn the city, former parks and gardens converted, prices, rates, costs shoot up into the solar system, the true spirit of Lagos (from whence I draw writerly energy) will always, always remain.
Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.