Lagos, the economy aisle of Nigeria, People; young and old troop in and out of Lagos every day to claim the riches it has to deliver. It is believed by most people that someone can make it anywhere in Nigeria until you make it down to Lagos. There are riches alright but you have to toil Day and night to get. I thought moving to Lagos will be so easy for me until I got there. My name is Blessing, this is my story.
I was born into a family of 5; consisting of my dad, mum, and two kid brothers. All my life I stay in Ibadan from my cradle to my university days, though I traveled out of Ibadan on holidays, but not to Lagos .i can count like six states that I have visited but Lagos wasn’t part of them. Even my national youth service corps days I was posted to Kogi state after that I returned back home. My dad use to be a warehouse manager until he retired, there is this phobia any myths he always tells us about Lagos, the lifestyle, and the rushes of people can’t make him stay there and he made sure his students didn’t.
After my service days, I stayed at home for like a year trying to secure a job but no avail. Things were hard at home and there was nothing I could do about it. Everyone had high hopes for me. When I couldn’t take it, I left for Lagos. I had no family or relations I can stay with but I risked it. I wanted an atmosphere that can challenge me intellectually and also where there are enough career opportunities for me. My dad never approved me going but I was determined to leave. I use to have a male friend back in school days, had to call him and he offered for me to stay at his place pending the time I get my own place. I quickly jumped at the offer then move to Lagos when my major aim of looking for greener pastures and bringing all the riches home
Getting to Lagos, things weren’t how I expected it. I couldn’t secure a better job immediately. Spending all my savings on interviews and job agency fees still there wasn’t any positive response. I stayed at my friend’s place for three months. He was making sexual advances at me. When he saw that I wasn’t giving in to his advances, He sent a message to me;
Compliments of the season
How have u been enjoying the Xmas groove
Something just happened now
I received a call from my Godfathers/saying I must not accommodate any lady who is still doing her period I simply don’t know how to break the information to you because I just did some spiritual work which I placed in the room which menses can spoil that’s the reason
We need to re-plan so if it possible you find somewhere to Squat for the while till I rent the apartment which is close to our residence by January month-end so that you both can stay there sorry for the bad news but I just had to because it’s Very serious now even I am going to send my Girl home today due to the warning I received
Sorry for the bad news, it’s strictly a warning to me, let re-strategies when you see this message it’s quite urgent
I had to option than to move from the house to another place in a city where I had no family members to help me.
The cost of living in Lagos is very high always making me cascading to the earth. A very good friend of mine that I made along my hustle offered me a room and will be paying her 10k every month but I add no choice than to take the offer. I moved to Ketu. My apartment in Ketu had its own toilet and bathroom en suite, and there was a tap too, but water seldom came through. I often had to lift big washing bowls on my head to fetch water in the next two streets, sometimes it’s shameful but I had no option, as for the light, I couldn’t pass my neighbors, so I befriended him in. Order to charge my phone and rechargeable lamp whenever he puts on his generator set. We all still pay electricity bills through for the light that we almost never saw..
Sometimes, I just want to give up and go back home but I was still pushing. Believing that there is light at the end of the tunnel of my Lagos Journey., after 4 months at Ketu, the landlord gave us a quick notice, saying he wants to give the place to his kid bro who has accommodations issues had no notice to move out again and started scouting all over. My other friend got frustrated with all the stress, she went back home. I was left all alone until I was able to secure a place at Isheri Osun. Light shined on me I got a small salary paying job at Ikeja.
Waking up before dawn and returning home after dusk, braving two hours traffic jams twice daily, surviving the intermittent of Oshodi under bridge Boy, and angry drivers who had no regards for you or what you paying. In a week, I spend 5k on t fare with the not much been collecting, am hoping for better days when all the stress will worth it. Some days, I Go to bed without food because I want to save money for T-fare. Some Days I live large like someone one that is having her last meal on earth. Still and still I thank God of life. My parents feel am in a big city I should be able to send some cash home every month, who am I to complain or explain things to them. Sometimes I oblige and send little pennies home. Sometimes I turn deaf ears to them .you can blame me, I barely have enough to feed my self.
Despite my obvious challenge, my confidence in Lagos still remains optimistic, I believe Lagos can become my success story. for what it’s worth, Lagos isn’t My success story yet.