Lagos Story is a weekly series that features a quick story of an individual who lives in Lagos, detailing why they came to Lagos and how the struggle has been.
This week, we speak to Fejiro who works as a crane pilot for a construction company in Lagos. We discuss what made him come to Lagos, and how the struggle has been for him so far.
Note: This was done purely in pidgin, and edited to fit the tone of Lagos Laif. Also, we met Fejiro at the Lagoon front inside Unilag while we took a break from work, and he was excited to share his Lagos story with us.
What made you come to Lagos?
Coming to Lagos was purely a decision made for the sake of my safety and survival. I made that decision after I was discharged from the hospital in 2015: I was shot, tied, and thrown into the river to die but God kept me alive for a reason.
I’m an Ijaw boy and I was engaged in all the illegal oil bunkering going on in my community back then, and as much as it was a dangerous lifestyle, we were seeing lots of money. At least, in a week, whenever we went out, I got paid between 300k-600k.
After the attempt on my life, I took that as a sign from God to stop what I was doing, so I pondered on what to do with my life and decided on coming to Lagos.
For me, I came to Lagos for a new beginning.
What was the first mistake you made while you arrived?
When I first got to Lagos, I was not used to life outside of my creek back at home, so it was hard to adjust. I was used to a life of guns, danger, and sharp sharp money, so it was really hard for me to adjust to the life of doing menial jobs to eat and live.
The first mistake I made was believing that I survived back in my creek so I could survive anywhere. Boy, Lagos showed me pepper and taught me some lessons I will never forget in my life.
Lagos is the real school of hard knocks.
Do you still think coming to Lagos was a wise decision?
The best decision I’ve made for myself since I became an adult was coming to Lagos. The reason is that if I was still in my creek, I’ll either be dead or be in prison right now.
Coming to Lagos opened my eyes to so many things I was blind to, and now, I see life beyond what I used to see back at home. I’ve tasted a peaceful lifestyle and I can say I’m addicted to it.
How often do you go back home?
I haven’t gone back home since I left, and I think it is out of the fear that something bad might happen to me if I go back home.
Bros, we trouble area well well that year.
Final take away
You might be getting money and all the good things from a life of crime, but I can assure you it is not worth it.
You will constantly have to watch your back. You will have money and it won’t save you from a lot of things. People will be after your life. You will always put your family and loved ones in harm’s way. But if you lead a life void of crime, the road might be hard, but with consistency, hard work, and intelligence, you will get there one day.
In Lagos, there is a pool of opportunities, if you can dare to dream.