Lagos is a place of many things. The fun, the not-so-fun, the hustle, and getting hustled. They all make an important part of the memories we all have about Lagos, and even when we are no longer in Lagos, the memories stay with us forever.
Five people talk about the memories they have of living and growing up in Lagos, some sharing their favorite memories of growing up in Lagos in this Lagos memoir, and through it all, it just goes to show how much of a beautiful place Lagos is.
Growing up in Lagos was fun for me as I grew up in different areas of Lagos State namely Isale Gangan, Ita Faaji, Igbosere and Bamgbose (where I met my husband).
The place I enjoyed the most was Igbosere where we lived very close to the High Court and Law School Hostel because there was a Togolese lady that used to sell Akume – made of Garri and ogi. I also enjoyed the seafood and ladyfinger that used to be sold around there, so sumptuous.
Not to forget during the Easter period when our neighbours close to Bamgbose would prepare Frejon and Tapioca after which we go to the Bar Beach.
I can also remember that it was in Bamgbose where I lived with my parents that our Togolese neighbours taught me how to make puff and buns plus they did know how to throw a good party.
My Favourite memory of Lagos was the Tuwo Shinkafa that one woman used to sell on Sawyer Street. After school, my siblings and I will rush to finish up our chores and assignments so that we could meet up with the woman’s start time.
I think the one thing that made the Tuwo fun to eat is not just because of the fact that it was so sweet but its exclusivity. It wasn’t sold all round the clock, it was only sold in the evenings so if you get there too early or too late, then you won’t meet anything.
My favourite memory of growing up in Lagos was the Fanti carnival. It was such a good mix of fun and workout.
I remember that it was just so fun and colourful, not to forget the beautiful dancers. My friends and I would have dressed up so early and gone to position ourselves at Campos Square so that we can join the party from there.
My Grandma would have packed food for us (because you don’t want to be hungry while out at the carnival). During the carnival, you would see all kinds of tricks, someone fetching water in a basket and the basket wasn’t leaking, the men that could comfortably dance on the stilts without falling.
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Those were such good days and I truly look forward to relieving this memory soon.
I was born in 1953 into a community that in all ramifications was a kind, friendly, caring, loving, social, organised, cooperative, God fearing, interdependent, wonderful and sane society. My popular King Street in Lagos Island (now Candido Da’ Rocha St) is surrounded by Odunlami st, Kakawa St, Bamgbose St, Sawyer St, Luther St and Smith St and the area is also known as Popo Aguda, Tinubu Area.
It was a thing of pride to be born there back then because of the achievements of some inhabitants e.g Da Rocha family, Augusto family, Sho-Silva family, Ali Atanda family, St Matthews Daniel family, Branco family, Olorunkoya family, Disu-Akinyemi/Bakare family, Ismail family, Smith family, Vincent family, Orilonishe family, Nelson family and others.
I met the true meaning of that proverb that it takes a community to raise a Child. Every Elder of that community then had a natural role to play in the young one’s life as a social duty and they were generous in doing it. The morals and family values back then were so high and we were groomed to uphold a good family name and to put God first in all our doings.
It has got to be the community and security for me. The fact that you could go to anyone’s house, be there for hours and your parents wouldn’t be anxious was a good memory for me.
I remember the different neighbours we had and I really thought they were related to me growing up, it was when I was a bit matured that I realised that they were just neighbours that we became really close.
I really do miss that communal living where everyone cared about each other and looked out for one another.
Lagos is the Centre of Excellence, and we mean that in every sense of it. If the success stories out of Lagos are not enough to make you believe that, then the human stories and memories from people who lived and grew up in Lagos should do the trick.
Share your favorite memory of growing up in Lagos with us in the comment section, maybe we can get to share it in our next Lagos memoir.