A Melting Pot of Culture, Progress, and Thriving Economy
Lagos represents so many things to the people of West Africa. This vibrant port is the economic and cultural center of the region. Many people come to Lagos in search of a better future. Thus, it is unsurprising that this Nigerian country is one of the fastest-growing metropolises in the world, with more than 27,000 people coming to Lagos every year.
As they say, this is the only city in Africa that provides opportunities for all notwithstanding the background and education. There is room for everyone in Lagos.
Here we are going to tell you an exciting story about this thriving West African city.
Lagos consists of several different islands on the fringes of the Lagos Lagoon. This was initially considered to be Lagos territory before it started expanding on the mainland, west of the Lagoon’s mouth.
Nowadays, people usually talk about two Lagos areas — the Island and the Mainland. This division lasted until the formation of the Lagos state when this city was divided into seven Local Government Areas accompanied by another six Western Region Areas.
People of West Africa have several great reasons to consider Lagos as New York of their region. One of the similarities with the “Big Apple” is the fact that Lagos stretches over several islands and the mainland. We are going to mention some of the most significant parts of the city, apart from Lagos Island, which is the business district and the seat of the state’s administration.
This is the island on the eastern part of Lagos city and the former administrative center since numerous federal government institutions settled there. If you visit this part of Lagos, you’ll see military and police facilities as well as the federal prison and the federal court. Once favored by the middle class, this area now belongs to the upper-middle class, and it provides everything needed. Besides banks, offices, and shopping malls, you can find a variety of night clubs and massive golf courses.
The fancy borough of Lagos is connected with Ikoyi via a bridge, and it is home to top-notch mansions and condos. There is also a famous bar “Beach” that perfectly complements the environment.
As you may suppose, this is an industrial center of the city that also has a buzzing nightlife. However, Lagos Island seems to take over the flattering title of the nightlife epicenter, especially on Victoria Island.
Turbulent History Has Made the City What It Is Nowadays
The original inhabitants of this Nigerian megalopolis were Awori people conquered by the Benin Empire in the 16th century. Benin people were responsible for its original name Eko, which stands for “war camp.”
This wealthy port caught the Portuguese eye in the 15th century, and the name the city is known by today stems from them — Lagos meaning “the lake.” This city played a significant role in the British fight against slave trade, the same as the rest of the West African region.
Lagos became a British colony in 1862, and that’s when its modernization began. In 1914, it became the capital of Nigeria, and it continued to be so long after this country gained independence in 1960.
The Creole people, who migrated to this area along with other African nations and those who freed themselves from the claws of slavery, have made Lagos a multicultural center that quickly expanded.
After the establishment of the Lagos state in 1967, the Lagos state government was created.
This Nigerian city played a double role as both the state and a federal center until Abuja became the country’s capital in 1976.
Architecture Infused With History
Lagos is the city with the highest skyline in Africa as a reflection of wealth and economic power. Some of the latest projects like Eco Atlantic City, supported by Bill Clinton, or the highest hotel in this part of Africa, clearly show that Lagos has true potential of becoming the center of this part of the world.
When you start roaming the streets of this bustling city, you’ll notice that every historical period had left an architectural mark. You are going to see the European colonial buildings mixed with modern ones. There is also a Brazilian influence brought by the Creoles, as represented by the Water Tower and the mosque.
Culture and Entertainment
As one of the largest cities in Africa, Lagos has taken the role of the promoter of the cultural identity of African people seriously. There is a number of festivals that are a must if you want to get familiar with the cultural diversity this city has to offer.
Some of these events, like the Black Heritage Carnival and the Festac Seafood Festival, are keeping the tradition alive. Other major cultural events like the Eko International Film Festival and Eco Jazz Series are steps toward the ambitious goal of making this West African metropolis a “global city.”
For all of the classic art lovers, there is a National Museum at your disposal as well as a number of world-class art galleries.
If you decide to visit during these exciting happenings, Lagos has to offer a wide range of hotels that are going to suit everyone’s taste and budget. If you are one of those tourists that go local all the way to absorb the way of life completely, you should go with some of the local hotels. There is always an option of staying in one of the internationally known hotel chains like Sheraton.
This is not all this vibrant Nigerian city has to offer, so here is a list of some facts that also tell a lot about Lagos.
- The largest number of Nigerian millionaires lives in Lagos — 130 people whose net worth exceeds $30 million, without private properties.
- Lagos is the only city on the African continent that has made the “Top ten most populated cities in the world” list with a population of over 16 million.
- This city is the birthplace of different music styles like afrobeat, which is maybe the most recognizable, then the Nigerian hip-hop, juju, etc.
- Lagos port is one of the biggest and the most significant ports in this part of the world. The most valuable products here are oil and petroleum that make 14% of the country’s GDP. At the same time, they make 90% of the Nigerian export.
- For all these reasons, the city traffic is hell. Be prepared for huge traffic congestions that can last for hours. Residents who are well aware of this problem often start their day at 3 or 4 a.m. just to avoid traffic jams.
We believe that we were convincing enough. The only thing left for you to do is to get ready for a huge infusion of African culture mixed with an international vibe once you land in Lagos.