Oreoluwa Fakorede: This is Lagos, the capital of contrasts

by Oreoluwa Fakorede

People, dreams, fleeting joys and repressed sorrows
Cars owned, cars leased and cars borrowed
Traffic, the runners without a sport who gather
Children going home to missing fathers
Wives and the husbands that are not theirs alone

Lies told in person, in texts and on the phone
Wannabes, pretenders and false impressions
Well-dressed mental illness and ignored depression
Crowded buses and the grace of the owner’s corner
Pollution, pedestrian deaths and the back burner
Danfo yellow, LAWMA orange and LASTMA brown

Wedding colours elsewhere, just add a flower crown
Ikoyi money, Obalende poverty and no in-between
New high-rises, faded hopes, the roads going to ruin
Haves, have-nots and the dividing street
ATM galleries, curbside art, icy stares in the heat
Victoria Island, perfumed women and checkpoints
Eko Atlantic, flooded streets and missing the point

Death-wishing motorcyclists and hapless riders
The thoughtless human rush in a geographic collider
Friction, burning tires, slums and the needy
Hotels and adultery, the plush and the seedy
Red for an unwanted window wash, green for relief

Church, prosperity and the war on belief
Pretend fine dining, “no change,” profits and losses
Rising overtime, stagnant pay, ungrateful bosses
Displaced persons and syndicated begging
Tight jeans, ankara headscarves and ripped leggings

Everyday heroes, bread, beans and building sites
Bus preachers, prayers and broken streetlights
Struggle, means to ends that mean nothing
Bridges between yesterday and another nothing
Estate agents, untruths and bold claims

New clubs, same lives, time wasted with old flames
Empty pockets, packed parking lots and rain
Hollow laughter, air kisses, masks for the pain
Nobodies, known bodies and the almost famous

This is it, the capital of contrasts, welcome to Lagos.

Op–ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija

Ore is a content strategist and self-professed feminist. He has previously written for YNaija and Y!. His literary work explores music, women’s rights and relationships

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cool good eh love2 cute confused notgood numb disgusting fail