This place is really not for children, go hard or go home.
It has now been 688 days since I hurriedly packed up my life and hopped on the next plane to Lagos. To be honest, I did not know how or if I would cope, but it’s probably a good sign that I’m still here. Right now, I would not trade living in Nigeria, for anything in the world, except for 24 hours of electricity, roads that don’t indecently fondle my car with every bump, and maybe a 24 hour grocery store.
With so many amenities missing, why am I advocating for Lagos living? Because I have shined my eyes appropriately and now know how to better maneuver it. Here are some of my guidelines for better living in Lagos.
Because man cannot live on salary alone! Even if you’re one of the few that takes home a million Naira a month, you will find that you can always use a little bit more money to power your generator. Multiple streams of income are VERY necessary. So in addition to your monthly salary fix, come up with something else legal that can earn you money, whether it’s baking something chocolate covered to sell, or becoming a professional closet organizer, do something and make people pay for it.
- Apply phonetics with care.
Let’s face it, many people will pay extra attention to you, if you speak with a foreign accent (real or locally acquired) but that doesn’t mean you should throw it about anyhow, your bekee should be used sparingly! Yes, the accent might help you get a table faster at that overcrowded Sunday brunch but other times all your grammar will do for you is increase your Island tax and have you paying triple the price or with significantly less bargaining power. You should save the phonetics for those that care to hear it; the overly coiffed ones who grace every blessed, red, blue, and green carpet or the jesgetsbecks who need to know that their whining will be well received by kindred spirits.
- There’s a thin line between sane & wèrè. Toe the line!
I know the saying, if you fight with a mad man, from a distance nobody will know which of you is mad, in most cases, I would agree. However, sometimes you’re taken “there” and you have to rise to the occasion or they will use your head. So when that VIO officer has decided it is you that will involuntary contribute to his children’s school fees by jumping in front of your car for an imaginary expired car registration don’t wind down your windows or unlock your doors, just bone him and inch slowly towards him until he jumps back to where he came from, then drive off. Every so often, your red eye has to shine, so that boundaries are set.
- Prima Donnas need not apply.
In this organized chaos, there is plenty to whine and moan about, but its best to keep that to a minimum, because everyone has their own issues they are facing as well. It can be crazy and seemingly impossible, but if certain situations will truly leave your nerves frayed or with tears in your eyes AND you intend on living in Lagos or anywhere in Nigeria… toughen up, it will be for your own good. This place is really not for children, go hard or go home.
It doesn’t end here, but perhaps these guidelines will be my next huzzle.
Editor’s note: Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.