Forget the Abuja vs Lagos matter, let’s say the truth make devil shame small: Lagos is a killer. Lagos is a carnivorous city, a dream-eating beast. Lagos will break your heart more than any Yoruba demon can.
You ask a typical Lagosian why they put up with so much: the endless hours in traffic, the perpetual guards-up edginess, the grime and grit, the madness and mayhem the city is capable of unleashing and they will tell you ‘we like am laidat.’ They will tell you they are there because Lagos has many doors of opportunities.
But here’s the thing; Lagos has doors of opportunities, but those doors are hardly ever open.
Here’s another thing; those doors of opportunities, when you get there, you find a queue of people who want the same thing as you. Who probably want it more than you do. Who have been waiting in line since the beginning of time.
Lagos will give you a door of opportunity but you will have to break the door down to get in. Especially if you know nobody, no big man, with copies of the keys to open the door and let you in. Sometimes, there will be people standing by the door, the keys in their hands. They are monsters. You will have to pay with an arm or leg or heart or soul before they let you in.
Now, here’s the shocker. You think you have paid your dues. You think you have given everything. You think you are at that place where accolades start rolling in like a movie tape. You think you don suffer. Then Lagos changes it sharperly for you. You get through the door after giving so much of you and you find out that your suffer never even start to dey warm up. You find out that the real monsters are the ones waiting for you inside these doors of opportunities.
You think it is by giving all you got? Wrong, Lagos will gnaw at your carcass and won’t even bother to spit out your bones. “I have given all I got, I have given everything I have”, calm down, borrow some more and give. If you like, give your life join, Lagos will still ask you ‘wetin do your ghost?’
Lagos takes everything.
That’s why I laugh when Arsenal fans brag about their strong hearts and unbreakable spirits that are inured to disappointment and despondency. If you haven’t found yourself in the mechanical jaw of Lagos, the Carnivorous City, if Lagos hasn’t broken you then put you back together so it can break you again, if you don’t know what it is like to give and give and give so much of yourself for something you are not even guaranteed, but you give anyway, because there’s a certain rush, a twisted kind of thrill in the rat race, when they are calling people with heart, people wey get PhD for sufferhead, don’t even bother to raise hand. Man, humble thyself.
Nonsense and Goners.