This Is My Lagos #MyEkoSeries 005

Living is Lagos is crazzzzyyy, oh my goodnes! It requires some sort of expertise to survive in this ever-moving, ever-rushing, ever-noisy, ever-dusty, ever-angry, and yet, ever-bubbling city that is the apple of Nigeria’s eyes.

Image source: Britannica

With how crazy the city is, man, aren’t there hundreds of people still flooding into it on a daily basis, looking for greener pasture. Well, I’m one of them. I won’t be surprised if you reading this are one of us too.

As Adekunle Gold already sang it in his hit song, Ire:

“The grass is greener on the other side… That’s what I thought before I took the ride”

Without doubt, there are lots of opportunities imbedded in this Lagos – for those who know what they are doing – but damn… it gets really hard to get your hands, even a single finger, into the big treasure pot, because what brought you to Lagos is the same reason tens of thousands others have migrated into the yellow-bus city. With well over 21 million people fighting for a space on a 1,171 km² land mass… Yeah, it is a serious hustle.

This is Lagos
Image: Pulse.ng

Sometimes, most times, I forget Lagos is a state. It just feels like one big city with no state or capital, just major streets and landmarks.

Eko akete
Eko ilu ogbon
To ba duro, wa gbe e lo, 
To ba weyin wo, wa gbe e lo 

Meaning; Lagos the land of the smart ones where you cannot afford to dull yourself else, you will be forced back to your village. Hey, read about how I was rubbed twice in Lagos here.


I remember always saying, “Me, I can never live in Lagos. Never ever!”

“Not with all their crazy hustles and bustles and rushed life. Lailai, I can and will only go visiting”

Well… here I am now, like a ton others like me, trying all I can to understand and adjust to the lifestyle of Lagos and I’ve been doing this for two years and some weeks.

Pheeew!

Who would have thought, right?

***

Why did I move to Lagos?

It’s no news that Lagos is the hub of entertainment in Nigeria and in case you haven’t figured it out yet, I literally live, breathe, think, eat and drink entertainment.

Bolaji Gelax - Radio - Studio - OAP

After much deliberation, I handed in my resignation at the radio station I was working in Ogun state, packed my bags and off I came to Lagos in the first quarter of 2018, in search of greener pasture.

How has the search been?

I wasn’t expecting Lagos to be immediately smooth and rosy, but boy, first few weeks after my relocation; I started to question if the move was right.

I attended countless auditions. So much so that I earned the nickname, “Audition Queen.” Cost of living here is so freaking high that I was broke in no minute. Savings got dried up like methylated spirit yet no callbacks. Chai! I thought I was suffering with the merger salary I was receiving at my former workplace but Lagos redefined hunger for me. I was always hungry, almost to the point of starvation. {Watch out for more details in my Memoir}

Bolaji Gelax - Gelax Chatroom
See how malnourished I looked… *shakes head*

Dearest #Galaxy, Lagos is not an easy place for a creative hustler with no financial backings. Everybody is doing what you are doing. Heck, everybody can do what you can do! It then boils down to ‘who get leg pass’ or ‘who fit open or bend am pass,’ BUT of course, there is the ‘time and chance happens to all,’ the selected few.

As if the hunger and numerous “We’ll get back to you” were not enough, I got evicted from where I was staying. Hehehe… it wasn’t even funny. I was ready to find NCCF hostel to stay till I figured things out but luckily, one of my oldest friends came to my rescue –God bless his heart. He housed me for about a year and again, I got evicted but this time, it was impromptu. Gosh! I was too scared to even cry. What was I to do? I couldn’t go back home. That wasn’t even an option.

My aunt said maybe it’s a good thing, I can finally move on from Lagos but damn, I wasn’t ready to give up. I never give up. I am legit the most tenacious person I know, no caps.

The next day after my eviction, I packed a small travel bag and my laptop (Goodbye, Mine) and left Lagos with a promise to myself that I would be back in three months.

That was funny and sounded unbelievable to the few people I told, even Bobo because they knew I had no plan, no money, no nothing –just my zeal and passion worn on my sleeves and my faith in God. An exactly three months after I left, I got a job offer in Lagos but then, I had no place to stay.

You must be thinking my village people were after me, right? *laughs*

Did the village people get me?

Nah, my God is bigger than them…LOL.

My gift of friendship came through for me, yet again. Quick advice; get you friends who believe in you and you, them. Otherwise, why are you friends in the first place. Friendship, in my opinion, should be symbiotic.

Anyway, that was how I found my way back to this polluted city where everyone is always in a hurry to God-knows-where.

Me, who had said I’d never ever live in Lagos, got the opportunity to ‘escape’ yet I scraped my way back.

Why? Why did I come back to Lagos?

I came back because I’m resilient, I can persevere

Bolaji Gelax - Gelax Chatroom
Also, I came back bcos I love talking!

And because…

Lagos is intoxicating 
Lagos is addictive
Lagos is Lagos. 

When you are in Lagos, the stress and traffic you’ll face to locomote from one destination to another is enough for one to crave the peace and tranquility of another town but nope, people like me will always find our way back. We won’t be called hustlers if we didn’t, shey? So yup, I came back to Lagos because…

I'm a hustler, I'm a I'm a hustler homey (Yeah)
I'm a hustler, I'm a I'm a hustler homey (Yeah)

It’s been over two years since I made that move. Believe when I say it hasn’t been rosy –far from it actually. I’ve passed through hell but here I am, stronger than ever and loving the ride.

Bolaji Gelax - Gelax Chatroom
Photo Credit: Daniel Ose

I think I’ve earned the right to boldly say… THIS IS MY LAGOS.

Credit: The ‘I’m a hustler’ line is from Cassidy’s 2005 track, I’m a Hustla ft. Mary J. Blige

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8 thoughts on “This Is My Lagos #MyEkoSeries 005

  1. Lagos na wa!!! don’t worry Gelax! Lagos is still owing us big time!!! Shebi me that wanted to relocate after experiencing other ‘calm’ city during service year still find myself here!!! Keep keeping up wherever you find yourself…Lagos or Yankee…We Move 😁😁

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