Well, if I asked anyone of you to name one difference between a street in Lekki and one in Surulere, I am sure the person would fail that exam. Because you will most likely go on to mention ten. Lekki is like another world, especially if you are a proper Mainland brought-up Lagosian. I have been in Lekki for about a week, so I have changed my mind; I really need to become a rich Nigerian, I swear.
In Lekki, it is difficult and almost impossible to get ‘credit’ on the streets. In the Mainland, your neighbor in the next compound or even in the next room, if you live in a ‘face me I face you’ compound probably sells ‘credit’. Even your mother could be a ‘credit’ seller. In Lekki, what you see on the street, if you see it at all, are signs for the purchase of recharge cards, not ‘credit’. Please take your uncouth ‘credit’ buying self away from here.
Then food. You know how on the mainland, you can buy food just two or three houses away, from the Iya Basira who has awesome stew, where one hundred and fifty naira can fill your belly… Well, in Lekki, there is no Iya Basira. The restaurateur is named Miss Bash, and she has manageable stew, but only one thousand, eight hundred naira will fill your belly.
One week of staying in Lekki, and you will start carrying shoulder. I swear, it is an involuntary reaction; your shoulders just automatically go higher, and if you are not careful, your accent will change. This is partly because humans are inherently proud beings, and also because half of the teenagers here school in the US, or at least Ghana. And they say things like: “My driver is here” or “Call a taxi”.
Note of warning though: If you are a mainlander and you know your stay in Lekki will be short-lived, don’t get too comfortable. All that taxi and private car life will mess you up, and you will cross that toll gate and enter Oshodi bus, and then realize how soft you have become. So it is either you stay for a day or two, or you better stay forever. So you do not end up wondering what your parents were doing when others were buying yachts and sailing in the evening. In this same Lagos. Smh.
Written by Chika Jones, tweets @chika_jones