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 Rahman, a 30-year-old guy who came to Lagos looking for a new adventure, and who is still undecided on whether he likes it in Lagos or not.
Note: This interview was edited to fit the tone of Lagos Laif.
What made you come to Lagos?
I came to Lagos three years after I finished my first degree at the University of Ibadan. I had my hopes up high because I attended one of the best universities in Nigeria, and I was one of the best in my class that year.
For me, I had thought getting a job won’t be that hard, but three good years of nothing after school humbled me.
I started taking different professional courses. Joining several fellowships, and eventually, I got a multinational job. It was the type where they have offices all over the country, and to be honest, at that time, I was frustrated and the job came in at the right time.
I told myself I needed new scenery, so I decided to fill into the Lagos office, and that was how I was shipped here.
What was the first mistake you made while you arrived?
Looking for an apartment. I can’t forget the kind of stress that put me through. I was close to losing my mind because the house agent was taking me to different houses that looked like a sheep shed and were calling ridiculous amounts for it.
Because I was desperate for a place, I took where I didn’t even like for a very high price. And four months after I took the place, we all got a letter of evacuation because the house had been sold and the new owner wanted to bring the whole building down and rebuild.
Even though some parts of rent were returned, Agreement and Commission were in the mud.
Do you still think coming to Lagos was a wise decision?
It’s a two-way thing for me. Sometimes, I think I made a wise decision, and some other times, I feel I made a bad decision.
The times I feel I made a good decision is whenever I remember the pool of opportunities moving to Lagos opened me to.
The chance to network with the people that matter, to make friends, to have fun, and interesting places to visit. But the times I feel I made a bad choice are some of those times when I remember the cost of living in Lagos.
When bills hit me hard, sometimes, I just want to go back to my parents’ house and say bye-bye to adult life.
How often do you go back home?
I go home every chance I get, and I do it for the peace and serenity Ilorin has to offer.
Like one of my friends always says, ‘Lagos is for crazy people.’ That doesn’t mean I don’t like it here. I love it, but once in a while, you have to think of your mental health too.
Final take away
Lagos is not for everybody, and Lagos is for everybody. You just need to have your head screwed on right and tight or you’ll lose yourself chasing what’s not.