While Lagos is quite a familiar city to me, it is actually my first time living here. My first visit here I was age 7 or so and didn’t return till I was in University. Before now, it was easier for me to enjoy the sights and sounds of Lagos because I was merely visiting. Seeing it all polished and dandy because I was a guest. However I have lived here now for six weeks and while it has been ok, my eyes open daily to things that are peculiar only to this city that I quite frankly can’t compare to anywhere else I have lived. It’s just there, in a world of it’s own. I have put together a few of the things I have acclimatised to.


Always carry a power bank and wifi every where you go. I found this particularly odd, but this is the way Lagos people roll. Nobody has time to be dragging with mtn or glo over their undependable data. So the solution is to buy a  mobile mi-fi plus a power bank to charge your device(s) because of course, no light. It’s more of an accessory to clothing now because they come in all types of colour and pouches.


Isale apoti is for church. That is to say your best clothes are for church. This is weird for me  as I am a casual dresser but apparently your lace, your suit, best shoes etc are to be worn to church. Sundays are for taking photos. You need to be on fleek both for Jesus and for instagram.


The real MVP in Lagos is not the guy whose generator comes on seconds after NEPA takes light, it’s the one who leaves his generator on for hours after light has been restored.


If you weren’t before, Lagos forces you to be in the moment. Be observant. It is not a gradual thing that you adjust to. It is sudden. Perhaps because half your life is lived being stagnant in traffic, you see more. You see that a street beggar has tribal marks, you notice a car that has been following you for a while, you notice all the cars that look like yours in traffic, you fear getting robbed so you look out, you lock your car instinctively and still check the handle to be sure it did lock.You are alert.


Dress to impress. Literally.


Incase of any emergency perhaps due to someone maybe hitting your car, trying to pick your pocket, driving recklessly or generally just bullying you, switch to your native language immediately. Or pidgin atleast. Do not be the one speaking English by the side of the road trying to explain your dilemma while everyone stares at you like who is this JJC. In an emergency, English is not your language. I repeat, English is not your language.


Flood is not anything. Just too much water. C’mon get in there and wade.


If you are a lady riding a car quite early in the morning without make up or fancy shoes on, an okada rider is likely to call you ashewo despite he hitting your car rear. (One day, we will discuss this one exhaustively)


As long as you live on the island, you have made it in life. The End.


If someone messes with you, say to them very categorically without blinking your eyes – Do you know who I am in this Lagos?



BONUS; If you want to get priority parking, entrance into executive hotels and clubs, you better be driving an SUV.



***NEPA- I know the name has changed quite a few times but I insist on calling our electricity company NEPA.

***Isale Apoti- Sunday best. Literal translation; The clothes you keep down below the box for special occasions.



19 Comments Add yours

  1. hrh7 says:

    This is such a true and yet humorous list.
    And I completely understand what you mean about people calling women ashewo. It’s a default these days. If you have the time and I hope you do, please go to my blog (http://insearchofperfecthair.wordpress.com) and read the post; Learning to be a bitch.
    I hope you fully acclimatize. Have a great weekend.

    1. eclectictope says:

      Hi @hrh7 thank you for reading, glad you enjoyed it. And ofcourse I will definitely check out your blog.

  2. Abodunrin says:

    Hahahahha…temitope welcome on board…cnt stop laffin,u must observe in lagos o or else the more u look d less u see.As for d ashewo part i still dnt get y dats d most prefered word to tell a lady. May God help us…Eko oni baje.

    1. eclectictope says:

      What’s worse is that if you challenge them for calling you that, they almost want to fight.

  3. Akin says:

    Nice one there Temitope. “This is Lagos”. I hope you know what that means.

  4. Adeola says:

    Lasgidi state of mind!! Locking of car door, is one habit that follows you out of Lagos….. And non lagosians be calling you paranoid 😒

    1. eclectictope says:

      Hehehe. Even when parked at home, I always double check. Because in Lagos you never know

  5. Claspie says:

    This is funny and real because I’ve lived here for a while now.
    I think asking someone “do you know who I am” will elicit “who are you?” unlike in Abuja where asking “do you know who I am” making people do a double take cos no one knows who is who.
    One thing I’ve learnt is that literally people literally behave like goats, it’s funny and annoying at the same time.
    One last thing, if you walking and someone hits you or stops you for directions, keep it moving. Don’t stop. Applies when driving, I think.

    1. eclectictope says:

      Yea I have heard that it probably means you are about to get robbed. Such audacity only in Lagos. You want to rob me so you destroy my car first.

  6. Claspie says:

    Oh also, Lagos people think living a stressful life filled with spending your day in traffic causing a reduced quality of life means the city “hustles and bustles”.

  7. Victoria says:

    This post is so hilarious, yet so true! I’m not a lagosian, but I so can relate with this post. I’m okay with just visiting Lagos abeg. Lasgidi is so much fun yeah, but I doubt if I can survive living there. You would have to drag me by the hair with me kicking and screaming before I’d consider living in Lagos, I can only live there under duress. Eko for show. Hian! I donno how people survive in Lagos. In the words of Ejura (in the meeting), Lagos was put together yamayama like the ingredients of edika ikong soup. The traffic situation alone gives me cold feet. Lagosians, I hail thee!

    1. eclectictope says:

      Up until 6weeks ago, I still always said I would never live in Lagos but alas. Lol. I absolutely remember Ejura, and her description is just perfect.

  8. Bimpe says:

    Welcome to Lagos!!! I second Claspie point about ‘hustle and bustle’… Lagosians need to know that being in intense traffic everyday isn’t healthy lifestyle…

    1. eclectictope says:

      It’s not o. You should see me dodging any unnecessary meet up lol

  9. demmy says:

    Hahahahahahaha!Hilarious….u nailed it

    1. eclectictope says:

      Thanks for stopping by @Demmy

  10. Yetunde says:

    Tope, this really is hilarious and describes Lagos to a ‘T’ 😁😂😂. Do not try fancy words in an argument, you better quickly speak your native language or pidgin, otherwise you get the look of ‘this wan na ajebutter’ 😁😁😁😁

    1. eclectictope says:

      That was one of my first lesson’s @Yetunde. No time for English. Hehehehe. Thanks for stoping by.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s