To describe Lagos is to describe a Nigerian song that is bad on most days, but whose lyrics you can sing along to and whose melody has the ability to move your body wilfully, depending on when and how you hear it.
On some days, it is loud and rustic. You’d get a headache from listening to the noise as it disrupts your peace. On some, it is the spirit that connects tipsy friends in a house party as they move to the same rhythm. On other days, it is a vibe; a familiar madness that reminds you of home and is in fact home.
It reminds you that no matter how hard you fight it and keep it from getting in, those lines will seamlessly work their way to the quiet of your memory and you will sing along whether you like it or not.
Living in this city might not be what wanderlust stories are made of, but it undoubtedly is whatever you make of it. It is bad or good depending on which side of the bridge you’re on, who’s in your circle, how much money you guys have, what you want to accomplish, and what stories you can spin out of it.
For me, the food-snapping, party-going, business-savvy, air sign millennial, every day in Lagos is an escape from one kind of madness into a different kind of madness; one kind of bliss into a different kind of bliss. If there’s anything I’ve learned, it is that Lagos does little in terms of shaping our stories compared to how much we do in shaping ours.
In an attempt to start documenting some of mine, here are super short memoirs straight out of the city of Lagos.
Monday’s Story: Ain’t No Sunshine In Bogobiri
“His face shone as I alienated the rest of the crowd and it was just the both of us in the room and he sang the words of Bill Withers to me. His smile was soothing, like those of a husband madly in love with his woman.” READ HERE.
Tuesday’s Story: Black Out At Maroccaine Bar.
“Rumour has it that John and I finished the entire bottle of Vodka. For context, this is a tall bottle of 40% spirit chased only with a few gulps of Sprite. I don’t want to think so. But that’s what they said.” READ HERE .
Wednesday’s Story: Food Shack Blues.
“History has it that their date at Food Shack was so good, they saw stars in each other’s eyes and fell in love – or an infatuation I could never contend with. The ambience was so calming – blue and red lights dancing in a cosmic display and providing lucid warmth in contrast with the cool Lagos night breeze – that time passed and they ended up in each other’s arms.” READ HERE.
Thursday’s Story: Lady Masseuse
“As I lay on the table, stripped down and ready to be eased into comfort, I caught a glimpse of a frame on the wall. It read, “What do you do with your talent?” Oil dripped all over my bare skin with intensity; falling, then rolling until they were caught in the cups of her palm. Her hands moved on my bare back, shoulders, and waist like a dance where the dancer conjured all emotions through movement. Visceral, not verbal.” READ HERE.
Friday’s Story: War at Club 57
“Everything happened all too fast. Two of my friends held John who was too drunk to make out a coherent statement. The other guy had a red cut on his face. I rushed to the middle and almost fell on my back from the toggle. But I didn’t even need to be there. It didn’t take long for all of us to be escorted out of the club. Tayo stood in doubt of his girlfriend who had managed to turn the conversation around, making him the villan. John stood drunk. The rest of the guys tried to settle the bill.” READ HERE.
I hope you enjoyed reading these as much as I loved writing them. As a ghostwriter, my job is to tell stories; it’s about spinning reality into magic, documenting time, and creating history. I hope you connect to these stories and they give you the courage to document your very own stories one word at a time.
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