Culture Shocks For Aspiring Migrant Lagosians

Ah the big city of Lagos, center of excellence, land of the African dream. From all over the world Lagos is viewed as a land of countless opportunities and limitless ambitions, in short if you wanna make it as a Nigerian, you have to hit Lagos at some point in your life.

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But before you pack your bags and bid your Southern, Eastern or Northern home goodbye, here are some reasons you may want to re-consider your trip.

Speaking Yoruba
Lagos being a re-dominantly western state is largely populated by Yoruba speakers, as a foreigner with little to no knowledge of the language, navigating the streets of Lagos may prove difficult for you.
I’m speaking fone’.
What I mean is that If you don’t know how to speak Yoruba and you’re headed to the big city, make absolutely certain that your village people are firmly behind you in spirit. The inability to speak Yoruba is absolutely hazardous in this part of the world.
Lemme break it down for you with this simple scenario.
The primary mode of transport in Lagos happens to be this striped, yellow, metal death-trap with planks of wood and metal railings for seating called the yellow bus, or just ‘bus’ depending on the level of literacy of the Lagosian you ask. My point however, is that even if you’re set on shunning conversation with every single Yoruba person you come across, you’re going to have to speak to the bus conductor. Think of a bus conductor as a sort of gateman to this metal death trap. You will quickly find out that every single bus conductor in Lagos speaks strictly Yoruba.
Every. Single. One.
Its either that or these guttural, smokey, groans that sound like pidgin.
Problem though; how will you get in or off the bus when you can neither speak to nor understand the conductor?
I’ll let you figure that out.

So I’m a migrant myself and is it just me or is the frequency of greeting here a lil… over the top?
When I newly moved here, I got a reputation in my neighbourhood for being disrespectful, simply because I walked past old people that I did not know.
It was after some months that an aunt of mine was kind enough to point out that in this part of the world you smile and bow to even the flies over iya elerun’s shop after you make a purchase.

Lmao. Man, this is one you’d have to experience for yourself to get it.
In Lagos it’s very possible to leave home for work at 8am and get to work at 4pm.If you ask me why? I honestly can’t give you a precise reason, It’s like every road hazard possible happens on the roads of Lagos every single day. Example:
Passenger: Driver! Wetin dey do this line na, since e never move
Driver: Madam nothing dey happen o, only be say e be like say one car break down for front, one tanker con jam am e con catch fire. The tanker driver won con run leave the tanker, as e won cross one bus con jam am. Oyinbo people con say the road no good, say e no safe, they won con start their construction work today. Na im make the road no free like that. Nothing too much dey happen.

Religious Explosion
Ah the joys of being woken up by the Imam and the Head Chorister screaming simultaneously. In Lagos, the distance between any two worship centres is max five feet. Meaning that it is very possible to living ‘face me- I slap you’ with a Pentecostal church, a white garment worship centre and a mosque.

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In fact, 99.9% of Lagos housing is are either above, beneath, beside or inside a church. So get set to constantly be in the presence of God no matter what.

The fear of Ritualists
Every Lagosian biggest fear. If you don’t personally know someone that has mysteriously disappeared, you know someone that claims to know someone that swears he knows someone that has.
Gory stuff really; people being relieved of their heads and …certain other parts I’m sure you will soon find out about.
I once met a woman who could swear on her life that there was a popular ritualist den situated under 3rd mainland bridge. You can imagine my perplexity when I realised that it was an over-water bridge.

Pop-up beggars
Remember how the beggers at home are usually confined to the market place or specific street corners? Yah that doesn’t exist in Lagos. They’re literally everywhere, they litter the streets of Lagos.
Like you could literally stop to buy corn by the road side, one second you’re faced with the vendor, you reach in your wallet to get money and the next thing you know you’re faced with a blind man holding a stick. Traumatizing shit.

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I think this is a major reason you may want to consider. Bruh! There’s noise everywhere. From the parties to the traffic to the daily religious programmes. It’s almost impossible to speak without shouting on the streets of Lagos. On a real though, Lagos state is never quiet even after one bottle of Jack daniel’s, two tablets of lexotan and A grade ear plugs.

But all in all, Lagos has its charm and you should most certainly go. Wish you luck.

Don Writer

Oreoluwa fondly called Don Writer is writer and ProBlogger with a B.A degree in English. He's passion-driven and goal-oriented.

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