What's there to do in Lagos: Part deaux

I love Lagos to bits. As a result I get fiercely protective when anyone is even a little bit critical of it. Especially if the criticisms are largely unfounded. A little while ago a blogger that I now call friend blogged that there wasn't anything to do in Lagos but, drink overpriced drinks, eat overpriced food, see films in the cinema, and go clubbing. His article made me livid. I was positively mad with rage. I was so mad that even though I was knee deep in dissertation writing, I etched out a brief response. However, I fear that I did not go far enough.

I love myself. Over the past year I've come to the realisation that there's no one in the world that's more important to me than me. There's no one who's more responsible for my welfare than me. My happiness isn't anyone's responsibility but mine. As such I cannot afford to take the back seat in any and all matters that concern my welfare. I am lucky enough that I have never lacked for anything. I am lucky because my parents, Mama and Papa Afam have done well enough that I am yet to come across a passion of mine that they cannot afford or will not support. I am not ashamed of this privilege but I am not so ignorant as to assume that everyone is as lucky as I. Because I am so privileged, there exist no excuses that could justify my boredom or idleness. To be bored and idle given everything that I have would be disrespectful to those that do not have as much. The only thing worse than that would be to complain about boredom and idleness to someone who isn't as privileged as I. How can you complain about a faulty windshield wiper to a man that cannot even dream about owning a car? Wouldn't you feel foolish if you did?

I do not pretend to know everyone's situation, but I'll go by certain indicators. If you went to boarding school in England before you went on to an English or American University and your parents did not starve or sell their house to afford the privilege, then shut up. You are not the average Nigerian. You cannot pretend to have the problems of the average Nigerian. I do not even know that a lack of things to do is the problem of the average Nigerian. I see the boys who play football by the beach on weekends. I see the boys who play football in Osborne phase 2. I know that they can boast of a diverse group especially where income and opportunities are concerned. I do not play with them, because I do not like football. I do not like team sports because I find the movements of the other players confusing. But the sports I do like, squash, swimming, and tennis, I do.

Ayanam wrote that he met his first girlfriend over a game of basketball, but because the same opportunity does not exist here it is likely that he'll be single forever. I do not play basketball. I detest basketball even more than I do football. I have never played a sport that highlighted so many of my physical inadequacies but just by running a search for basketball courts through google, I can tell you that there are basketball courts in Opebi and Ilupeju. I cannot comment about their condition as I haven't been but they're a good place to start. You must remember that your opinions are not valid when there are facts that prove otherwise.

For example:

There are no basketball courts in Lagos.

There are basketball courts in Lagos.

So what good was your opinion? Was it not a wasted thought?

One of my favourite things to say about Lagos, is it is what it is. There is no reason to expect it to be anything other than what it is. In Lagos, the heat is sweltering, the clubs are loud and smoky, the people are materialistic and driven, the power can be anything from inconsistent to non-existent, the traffic is terrible, but what good will it do us to sit down and complain? We must do what we can to be as comfortable as we can in our present environment. That's not saying that I do not want things to change, but do we sit in darkness until there is power? Do we quit our jobs because the commute from the mainland to the island is unbearable?  

In all things we must remember that the facts trump our renditions of events every time. Find me something that you do, that you simply cannot do in Nigeria, then we might talk. Don't talk about the things that are quite easily done like basketball and golf. It is unfortunate that the bowling centre in the Palms shopping mall closed, but Economics and good sense tell me that it would not have closed if it was a profitable endeavour.

In his article he asks, "what are the fun things to do in Lagos?" and I answer, "fuck loads! tell me what it is you want to do and I'll find it for you but I'm not your employee, and it isn't my job, not yet anyway. When attempting to do anything even remotely journalistic, one must never fail to do some research."

Happy Days,

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