Opeyemi Awoyemi, 22, IT Specialist and Co-founder, jobberman.com
Living in Lekki is funny, it’s like a blessing and a curse combined. You’re happy that you are staying in an upscale environment (which depends on which part of Lekki we‘re talking about) but you have to keep track of traffic spike periods in your head, else you‘re in for it. Even when you do your analysis, sometimes they get shoved by nature in the bin, same goes for your plans and appointments.
I am an IT developer and work in a web start-up on Broad Street. I live at NICON town around Jakande. I sleep late and as such I wake up late say 7a.m. To get to the office at 9a.m., I have to take a bike from Jakande to CMS or else I will be getting to the office at 10 or 11 at times. Coming back presents the worst as you are guaranteed 3 hours of sitting in the bus, which I grudgingly do. Other times when I am in a hurry (most times), I simply take an okada back home.
In my opinion, Lekki’s nearness to the Island where most people work has really been exaggerated, as Surulere is also near in a way. The prestige of it comes from being on the “other side” of the Island which is merely a bandwagon effect.
Surprisingly enough, when people on the other side hear Lekki, they think the whole of Lekki is like Europe – you need to be there to see things for yourself. Living in Lekki ascribes no status to you; everyone is there – from the uber-rich to the uber-poor.
The okada is my favourite choice of transportation to and fro the office because of my impatience with hours lost in traffic jam doing nothing.
There were times when I had a car to myself and I had to turn back home to return the car, on seeing the huge traffic jams. Okada safety is in question, but one’s choices are minimal.
Hadiza Duncan, Lawyer
Lekki Big Babes… that is what they call us. As long as you are a single girl living in Lekki phase 1, you are a Lekki Big Babe.
And there are levels.
First of all, they think you are probably a ‘Daddy’s girl’. The daddy in question here, being no blood relation of yours. How else would you be able to afford the astronomical rent? Most likely your flat is a room and parlour or a single-room self-contain depending on how generous daddy is.
Then, if they hang around long enough to discover that you are not a “Daddy’s girl”, then it is obvious that you are a spoilt, lucky, rich kid who has never had money issues because Daddy’s money was always there for you.
If per chance you are not a ‘Daddy’s girl’ and you don’t have ‘Daddy’s money’ then the looks become either a) disdainful or b) pitiful; depending on whether you are: a) one of those modern day girls who is so interested in her career that she has forsworn marriage until she reaches the top (by which time it will be too late, foolish girl!- probably arrogant and snobbish as well!) or b) you have scared away all the decent men because, after all, how did you even get there? You must have done some not-so-pleasant things to reach even a salary where you can afford those astronomical rents. Plus, you will be too high-maintenance for the ordinary man to afford so.
So why Lekki, when I am a simple-hearted easy-going girl with simple tastes and not so high expectations? And why Lekki Phase 1?
For me, it is personal comfort pure and simple. My office is close by. The estate provides me enough of a sense of security which I need since I live alone. I can even go jogging or walking in the wee hours fairly confident of my safety. Everything I might need is close by- restaurants, boutiques, shopping malls, gyms, movie halls.
Not to mention that flush of importance you feel inside when you say respond to the question “So where do you stay?” with a very casual “Oh I live in Lekki Phase 1”.