UPON my arrival at the Sheraton Hotel in Ikeja, the heat had fully consumed me and – mind you – this was round about eight o’clock in the evening. After I checked in, my real Nigerian experience started to take shape, which included swimming every day. The hotel chaperons or elevator button pressers were always so friendly, which slowly erased my notion that Nigerians are quite aggressive when they speak to people. But I figured that since Lagos is renowned as Africa’s Big Apple, people will be serious about service delivery. I should say one of my favourite places in Lagos would be Victoria Island. It’s considered as Nigeria’s busiest centres for banking and commerce, serving as the headquarters of most major Nigerian banks and international corporations. This island is one of the most exclusive and expensive areas to live in Nigeria and is popular amongst expatriates and employees of multinational corporations. It is basically a merger of Kleine Kuppe and Long Beach. Another place I visited was New Afrika Shrine, also known as Fela’s Shrine. It was absolutely extraordinary. You could meet every kind of person there, from street vendors, businessmen, tourists and even government officials. My first impression before doing research was that it was a really big beer hall. But upon closer inspection it became clear to me that this was or is Fela Kuti’s shamanic temple and political soapbox. It is being currently administered by Femi Kuti, late Fela Kuti’s eldest son. Palm Wine, which by the way does not have a clearly indicated alcohol percentage, is the Shrine’s premium drink. The local beverage, which is dear to many Nigerians, with some people even believing that it is better than factory-brewed drinks due to its many health benefits. It honestly taste like a sweeter version of tombo, but tapped from a palm tree. I unfortunately did not make it to any of the informal markets around Lagos, because one week is not nearly enough to explore and experience the city in all its glory. I had an opportunity to eat Nigerian Kapana though, which is called Suya – and apparently the University of Suya in Ikeja has some of the best in the country – but I won’t lie, our own kapana is simply the best.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015