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Who Is a Lagosian


Who Is a Lagosian? What does it entail to be a Lagosian? Where are Lagosians, and how many types of Lagosians are there really? What makes me or qualifies me to be labeled a Lagosian? Pertinent questions plaguing an introverted mind. Permit me to excise the thoughts that have held me captive for a long time, the conundrum bothering me on what a Lagosian is actually all about, hence don’t be put off by the recurring term”Lagosian”.

I guess there are several routes that qualifies me as a Lagosian.I am Living On a Government Approved Salary structure or even an entrepreneur ,a law abiding and tax paying member of larger society? Yes that’s me a Lagosian.I am Permanently domiciled in Lagos hence could approve myself a Lagosian .In my convoluted Geographical connections, I stay in Lekki  a little, Ajegunle my area at intervals ,Agege my family house ,I schooled in Oshodi precisely the millennium  building , Surulere is where I earn my means of livelihood buoyed on and encouraged by hope of a better tomorrow in a today full of life’s challenges,e go better one day .From the foregoing I have proven myself approved a Lagosian, competent to comment on all issues relating to this great city of yours.  I am not just a Lagosian,I carry the weighty burden the suffering being a Lagosian entails  every day.

A commercial Okada Rider going about their business gets their bike seized, fines paid or bikes destroyed. It’s a huge burden, debilitating suffering in Lagos city. As a Danfo driver Agbero must collect their share, the area boys backed by a compromised Local Government calling themselves NURTW must collect loading fees, the only justification being tickets purportedly issued by the council, yet not getting commensurate service delivery in return, I am really suffering in Lagos.

As a small trader managing to survive in a cut throat Lagos economy, I am told not to hawk on the road side, goods seized and destroyed yet prices of the only shops available are out of reach of the common Lagosian. The shoprite shopping Centre where i can’t even afford to rent their car park, much less a whole shop. Even getting shop space in a local market is equally restrictive, financially reserved for the exclusive moneyed, the connected Lagos elites that I don’t belong to yet I am a Lagosian.

As a secondary school student my life isn’t any better, since Social Welfare does not exist to provide me school essentials and I am unable to afford new uniforms, the only option left is to continue patching and mending my only pair of School Uniform. Yes that one patched with tommy Hilfiger logo at the chest, Nike(just do it) at the buttocks. To even look for a cheaper alternative outside is an exercise in futility, since our uniforms are only produced and sold in the school again at an high price which my  principal claims is the control Price from Alausa the seat of the Lagos state Government. We have seats in class government gave us new buildings ,not new books to read and understand to see the other side of life an incomplete education, deck already rigged to disfavor poor Lagosians,I am a suffering  Lagosian.

As a graduate regardless of my grade/discipline, getting a job any job whatsoever in Lagos is harder than a rich man going though the eye of the needle. The few jobs going I am unable to get even if I was qualified, unless I know someone who knows someone in a position of leadership, one of the big boss in the company hence i am left with the unenviable sole option of being a security man or an event usher smiling even laughing as I welcome guests masking my debilitating despair at a sorrowful life devoid of hope, did I just hear you suggest jobs online? Where you are swindled by smart alecs who advertise nonexistent jobs fleecing the desperate in the process. In the alternative Government Jobs you have to jump through several hoops to even get to interview stage, in any case the immigration story is enough of a discouragement.

Yet in all of this we still hope, we don’t live but we survive floating on hope an encouraging hope of upgrading from the battered and exploited rank of the poor invisible Lagosian to the other part of Lagos the Government seem interested in, the Lagosian who live and work on the island, Lekki,Ikoyi the ones brimming with hope blazing ahead, buoyed on by several opportunities. This is my tale of two sets of Lagosians I am a Lagosian but still not one because I am an invisible Lagosian. A youth, one whose only motivation is the quest to end the endemic circle of suffering he has been subjected to in Lagos. Like DON Jazzy’s song lyrics Surulere loosely illustrates enjoins patience, the song enjoining me to anchor my despair on optimism surulere…….

 Where there is no struggle, there is no strength..Oprah Winfrey

The writer Adewale Ogungbesan is a final year student of Ladoke  Akintola University of Technology Oyo state ,studying Management and Accounting  and tweets from @aaogungbesan

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