Lagos

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Lagos, the town of hustle and bustle
Where hustlers delight in hard work and
Reap the rewards therewith.

Lagos, the city of enlightenment
The heart of civilization
Where pleasure is as good as work

Eko! Where the waters dance at the struggle of man
Where the waters breeze to cool off the heat
Where the waters smile at the troubled soul saying if you‘ve gat
Nothing, at least i am beautiful enough to make you happy
I can give you a pseudo comfort but beware!

Lagos, where it is every man for himself alone
The bus conductor in his aggression nags as he gathers his fare
While the hungry beggar peeps by the window to beg for alms
From a well dressed troubled passenger whose mother just died, in the mortuary
In debt, landlord screams daily, children and wife are demanding, unable to
Cope with a difficult boss at work, tired of life but still must ‘jaiye’

Lagos, a city of hope,
Where hope is for every man
Every man hopes he will make it someday
Every dawn whispers hope
Every struggle chimes expected victory

Eko, a city of no non-sense
Where everything seems possible for the smart man
When a strainer takes in water, everything goes out of it immediately
Not the case in Eko, where the strainer takes in water and turns it to opportunities
Only for those that can see.

From Ojuelegba to Mushin
Bariga to Akoka,
Yaba to Oshodi
Obalende to Iyana ipaja
Eko la siwa
(We are still in Lagos)

Marina, when i hear Marina
My heart beats for the acclaimed champions
Victoria Island, when they whisper Victoria Island
My eyes strains wide to see the achievers
Ikoyi, when they breathe Ikoyi
I smile at the smart ones
Now I hear of the movement
And I say, oh Banana.
Eko la siwa
(We are still in Lagos)

Eko, where the bridges tells you that you are in the city
Where the journey on the bridges brings solace even when you feel like running out
Lagos as the learned call it,
Las gidi as the happening ones call it
Eko akete, eko, ilu afe
Lagos, where the bridges wave the London bridge rhyme

                                                                                          Living in illusion

Illusion turned to reality
Eko for show; Eko for action

Eko! The city of ‘Eyo
Eyo, the masquerade that displays purity
Bringing simplicity into the proclaimed complexity
Teaching wisdom as essential as it is vital
Saying matching wisdom with smartness is just life

I can imagine why we have the hat as a figure of authority
The long rod for chastisement
And the white robe for purity and sincerity
Eyo, the offspring of Eko

Think of seeing the extreme cases of situation
Think of Lagos
Lagos, where most actions are to the extreme
Lagos, where the inhabitants are hyperactive
Where result is a must.

Ajegunle, the abode of the powerful
Ajegunle, where the real Lagos is defined
Ajegunle, where hustlers have no resting time
Ajegunle, where humility is as normal as breathing

Lagos, where the true man cries not for help
Where the dignity of labour is respected
Where class is widely defined
As outgoing as one is; the confinement of another
As privileged as one is; the disadvantage of another
As surplus as it is in some areas; the increase in scarcity in other areas

Eko, where poverty is truely defined to the party concerned
I see the child and mother under the bridge begging for alms with excitement
Where hope has turned to bread
Begging for food yet hopeful of a better tomorrow
Begging for shelter yet happy for the breathe of life
Begging for water yet full of smiles

Under the bridge, under the bridge
This is another important place in Lagos
Where under the bridge is a family house for some people
Where orphans choose relatives
Everyone lives in love because no one knows tomorrow
No one owns anything
The land is free for all
Government rule over the land but the people see themselves
as the responsibility of government
Night comes, each person picks his corner
At the dawn of a new day everyone sets out for the daily struggle

Under the bridge
Packed with dirts
Where the good man tried to make it clean to beautify Las gidi
The poor owners of the area screamed for their home space
Under the bridge turned market

Hmn, i can see the good works
The renovation, clearing and restructuring
Horticulture and maintenance
Lagos is still Lagos

Lagos, where motherhood is appreciated
Extreme plight of the African woman is displayed
She wakes up to ensure the children are up
She prepares them for school
She takes them to school
Conscious of her resumption time at work
Oh! The difficult female boss that will not just understand
She says we are both women; what makes you special
Oh! The difficult male boss that will not just understand that i am married
His eyes turn red at anything in skirt.
Oh! That workaholic boss that will not just understand there should be
Work/life balance.

Lagos, where the mad man knows the value of money
Where beggars have taste and are choosy
Where children knows the value of money
Where money flows like spring water
Slow yet steady
As dirty as clean
As pure as diluted

Lagos the city of liveliness
The centre of commerce
The economy determinant
The land of decision
Where heads hunt for jobs
Where jobs hunts for heads
Where information flies at the same speed as fun

Lagos, where pidgin has turned to mother tongue
Where traditional identity is lost
Where culture is painted western
Lagos the city of fast moves

The town of hustling
Where the hustlers sell water in kegs
Aboki, i heard them saying they are your family members
We are one they say

The home of ideas
Where ideas flourish
Where no idea is left unattended to
You weave your thread together; it becomes money
You gather your dirt; it becomes money
Your waste becomes money
Your errors and mistakes becomes money

Shade cries to Chukwudi
Anana speaks with Ibrahim
Mattew is in business with Zainab
Oluchi weds Babangida
Apekwe fights Jibiya
Mayaki danced with bamidele
Lagos, the home of all tribes

Lagos the city of queens
Lagos where spinsterhood is as abused as appreciated
Do i hear Moremi Chicks?
Do i hear Laspotech babes?
Do i hear LASU girls?
It sounded like Lagos girls
Who bring fear to married women at the sound of their stilletoes

Lagos the city of the young at heart
Where the sixty year old is still trying out a new business line
With the hope of making it
Where the seventy year old granny cares so much about her appearance
Where the Seventy year old man competes with a man
In his late twenties over a maiden head
Where the old are very young at heart
Where the heart breathes a different air from the appearance
Where the wrinkled face still carries a heavy make up
Where the old woman sees herself as a bride
Lagos!

Orile where the masses manage
Where the true Lagosians live
I better be careful with my wallet
Ah! Things are cheap here, i can get my food stuff

Get my cloths, bags and shoes
Yes ma’am, i’m at Balogun market already
Hello! Now i’m at Idumota
I will get the shirts at Mandillas
Tinubu, Isale Eko
Oyigbo, Aguda
Orile, Aswani
The exchange centres

The place of liveliness
The place of struggle
Where everyone tries to make their sales
Man, woman; old or young
Sweating is as good as smiling
Where goods are smiling at you
Where you go for what your pocket can afford
Where people feel happy the most
Because they are making money
Where you will be dazed at the way the so called illiterates speak good English
Where there is no difference between a graduate turned market women
And the traditional market woman
As rowdy as you cannot imagine
Lagos Markets!

Lagos, the land of wonders
Lagos where talents are displayed
I saw the beautiful actress and handsome actor
The home of the film makers
Where the beautiful skyscrapers call for attention
Where the skyscrapers call attention
I saw the talented drummer
The man with the golden fingers
The Lady with the pleasant voice
The great writers and poets
The professional bankers
The intelligent engineer
And other people i can appreciate
Lagos, the city of commerce

National theatre
National stadium
Shoprite; park n shop
Goodies
Musson centre; Tafawa balewa Square (TBS)
The palms; polysonic mall
Lagoon Restaurant
Oniru and Kuramo Beach
Fast food joints at every angle
I think of Lagos!

The land of churches and mosques
As crowded as the number of churches
Decadence is as grand as the population of worshippers
Where every available space brings the thought of a doctrine
The beaches are associated with prophets and the acts of prophets
Lagos, a land of diversity

Lagos, where the water covers the land
Where Agriculture is seen from a far
Where the little green surface is for beautification
Where the flowers blossom
Green leaves as expensive as fuel

Lagos, even the air recognizes Lagos
Where the population controls the weather
The rain season turn harmattan
Lagos the home of noise
As noisy as serene
Where the noise sings productivity
The night as active as the day
The day starts before the dawn is set
On the way to work the man is sleeping for sleepless nights
On the way from work the woman is sleeping for tiredness

Lagos where the people measures with the sand
Competing with the pebbles at the beach
Where people travel to work on a daily basis with gladness
The Lagos spirit they chime
Ikorodu, Berger, Ibafo
Or do i hear the whisper of Ibadan?

How will i say Lagos and not say birth place of Agbero
Agbero, the local transport tax collector
Selfish Tax collector
Do i say tax
Oh, i mean personal contribution into a lazy pocket
Where the driver wakes up very early to make some morning business
Only to see the Agbero waiting even at the time he was in the bathroom

Agbero, a lazy man with pride
Who sees the hungry path and decide to thread it
Who is power drunk illogically but legally
A way of income distribution
A way of sharing the national cake
By exploiting those that have never seen the cake before
Let alone feeling it
Or even imagined what it should look like
Let alone having an idea of what it tastes like

Lagos, where all forms of vices are seen in their raw form
Where the man in the black uniform acts in shame without shame
Where different uniforms give orders
Do i hear LASMA?
The lion on the road

                                                        Where the man in the black uniform out of greed and selfishness

Cooperates with the man in the green uniform
To exploit a driver who is running up and down to meet up with delivery
And still have some left over for his family and dependants

On the road on a dark night
The black uniform stopped the Jakande bus
Give me my dues; i heard
What could that mean?
Before i could turn my head
I saw the driver already on the ground crying and apologising over
His sweat
i said, oh , Lagos.

Lagos, the city of Maruwa,
Some people say keke or better still keke NAPEP
Where the man and the woman
Enjoy the cruise on the three wheels
BRT, the giant lag bus
The messiah of workers on the road

                                                                             Eko, where life seems good

Where westernization is at its peak
Where every man has a good taste
Where hope is part of life
Where the government is as active as her people
Where neither the government nor the people can
Out-smart each other

Gbemi Ibrahim

Gbemi Ibrahim

Gbemi has worked as a ghostwriter for well over ten years and counting. She is a pro in business and executive communication. More so, she has a mastery of creative writing and making a polished document out of disorganized thoughts and ideas.

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Gbemi Ibrahim

Gbemi Ibrahim

Gbemi has worked as a ghostwriter for well over ten years and counting. She is a pro in business and executive communication. More so, she has a mastery of creative writing and making a polished document out of disorganized thoughts and ideas.

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