Growing up is fun. It is more fun for some and less fun for others. There are several times one would wish to experience a certain kind of life than that experienced when they were growing up. These feelings tumble when there is a mixer between people from one part of the city or town or the world.
Lagos is a peculiar.
As a popular West African city and one of the most populous cities on earth, Lagos boasts of a good mix of character, style, belief, plenty, want, languages and ideology. An interesting way to look at Lagos is to watch the city wake up at 4am on a cool ride to Alausa, where the State Secretariat is located, passing through the famous Third Mainland Bridge and then watching the mad race that begins around 5am, as though there was a referee who whistles the football game to commence.
We asked a few young persons who grew up in Lagos to share their experience with us. Maybe some of them will resonate with your city. Maybe not.
Schools make Lagos worth it
Daniel, a digital cartoonist, believes that he will sorely miss High school in Lagos. He attended a popular Government school is Surulere and despite the usual trouble waking up and getting dressed for school, being with his friends and enjoying the ‘Break Periods’ talking football and discussing adulthood makes growing in Lagos interesting.
Although these kinds of conversations resonate with young boys in High School across several states in Nigeria and countries of the world, the Lagos situation is unique, as every place have their own uniqueness. Neville, a Front end Web Developer, believes the uniqueness is not limited to the school it – the catching on with the social media frenzy as a young boy, the school fights he had witnessed and the numerous uniformed people he meets on the road each morning to school all make him want to pick up his guitar and play. HE would have to kill that dream sooner than later.
Tomorrow is looking good
Thousands migrate to Lagos every month with the intention of making it big in this glorious city. The thoughts of ‘making it’ was the idea that made several parents from the South Eastern part of the country allow their sons to leave the villages for apprenticeship in Africa’s Big Apple.
For some children who grew up in Suburbs in Lagos, the news of a neighbor packing out to a more expensive or nice-looking neighbourhood or even the buying of a new DVD set for a friend’s family encouraged them to work even harder at their studies and skills they were learning.
Uche believes Lagos makes you work even harder. Growing up for him saw him wanting to be more, to do more, and to earn more. And growing up in Lagos can be that cool.
It can be dangerous
Lagos is not just the beautiful lit streets of Lekki or the calm ambience of several estates across the state. Lagos can be very dangerous, more dangerous while children and teenagers grow older. A popular saying is whatever that is not you is trying to kill you.
Sarah, my younger sibling, was killed in front of our house by a stray bullet. Daniel once recounted the ordeal his friend faced from a Lagos driver who dragged him from Ebute Metta to Iganmu on high speed with his hands stuck in the vehicle, dragging him until his death. Friends can miss each other in a street fight they meet on their way back from school.
The good outweighs the bad
It can be a little tricky to look at the bad and the pain the bad brings along with it that we forget the many good. Of the families that have survived Lagos; those that have ‘made it big’; children who have made their parents really proud and the many victories, although small and unreported are the miracles that keep the city upbeat about the future.
Daniel pointed out that the ‘spirit of hustle’ will be instilled in you from day one. The need to make your life and living worth your while. You cannot go a day without a wonderful or funny story, and that is a good thing.
These are only a few ideas about growing up in Lagos. There are several missing and those will be completed by you. Please share with us in the comment, what is growing up in Lagos for you like?