Anyone who has lived in Lagos longer than 12 months understands how crazy it is to live in Lagos. Before I came to Lagos, I had the opportunity of living in various cities of Nigeria. From North to East and to the South as well. For most of my 20s I had a perfect fairy-ideal of what Lagos was, probably because I used to visit Lagos.
It took years for me to understand why there was more to Lagos than advertised in the national dallies and why people say that if you can make it in Lagos, you can make it anywhere. Living in Lagos is hard o, not a movie at all.
Growing up, my father had this habit of buying about every national daily from New Nigerian newspapers to the Guardian Newspapers. I grew up in a home of all boys where we had to argue about everything after digesting the articles in the dailies. One question that always stayed in my mind was, how come 90% of the vacancies always came from Lagos? I came to this assumption after asking different people that Lagos is the centre of commercial activities in Nigeria.
For some reason, I thought there had to be more. Maybe this is why I kept getting job interviews from Lagos after my one year compulsory NYSC service year after obtaining my degree.
At times, I bought into the belief that if I could only just get to Lagos, then all would be well in my life. I thought, Now, I will be safe forever.
In truth, I did get a job in Lagos—but living in Lagos changed me. I think now I am more patient after having to complain about the lifestyle for so long. I get up earlier than normal and travel 2 or sometimes 3 hours to work, that’s like the same number of hours to travel from Lokoja to Abuja. (Stole that from my Sweetheart).
Yes, I was disappointed to realize that Lagos promises you something it doesn’t deliver. It’s a bummer. I realized that Lagos is the only place in Nigeria where you are preparing for work feeling sleepy, in transit to work feeling sleepy, during lunch break, you feel sleepy and even on your way back you still feel sleepy. Then I started receiving stories of people resigning for various reasons ranging from complains of query letters from employers about sleeping on duty, poor attitude to work, to accidents to stress to spoiling of office appliances out of lack of concentration, bla, bla, bla… I guess that explains the reason why Lagos has the most advertised vacancies in the national dailies.
Life in Lagos is difficult. It is a definite roller coaster ride where you are constantly anticipating what’s next to come. It is both exhilarating and frightening at the same time. But it is an adventure and you never know what might come next. There are also opportunities more than you can imagine around. We all change and learn new things each day. To Live in Lagos, you need to be willing to grow with the challenges of sleep and conquer the high slopes of the roller coaster, no matter what lies ahead.
So in retrospect what did I learn? I uncovered yet another secret to a successful living with the help from the harsh Lagos life. My Lagos
Photo Credit: http://techtrendsng.com/