Ode to Eko

LAGOS has been given many appellations, some of which are downright controversial and others just fitting.

A popular politician, a former governor of a state in the eastern part of the country once described Lagos as a “no man’s land”.

Needless to say, the expression drew the ire of not a few Lagosians who saw the expression as an insult and a blatant disregard for Lagosians’ much-adored hospitality. For Eko Akete, “everyman’s land” would have been more appropriate.

Looking at the things Lagos is known for, some of which are so common that people are used to them and are taking them for granted, Eko Akete has decided to write an ode to this complex and confounding city.

Lagos, the city of plenty waters where the troubled sea and the gentle lagoon are infused into one

Lagos, the home of the strongest of the strong and the richest of the rich

Yet, home of the poor who daily strive to improve their lot in life

From the “water streets” in Makoko to the paved stones of Victoria Island

From the dusty roads in Agege to the “impenetrable” gates of Banana Island

Lagos’ residents in their millions are known for their zeal to brave the odds and swim against the tides.

They may not have the godly strength of Hercules but they have slain the seven-headed monster over and over

What monster can be worse  than mind-blowing traffic, hungry and bribe-seeking traffic officers, increasing cases of kidnapping, acute power outage and water shortage, short notice of demolition of people’s homes and shops and mysterious fires destroying places already marked for demolition?

Lagos, a land of hope, of plenty, desperation and despondency

A land where opportunities abound side by side with trouble, where beauty stares ugliness in the eye.

This is Lagos, Eko Aromisa legbelegbe.