Lagos is the Federal Capital of Nigeria. It is also the Lagos State Capital and has a well established city government. It is the centre for all diplomatic missions and has a large and busy port. Diplomats, government officials, businessmen, workers, traders, travellers, all flock to Lagos, as well as many unemployed hopefuls hoping to make their fortunes. The population is estimated at 2 million and increases daily. The City is undergoing considerable reconstruction and development. The old and the new mingle together: Large commercial complexes next to small trading stands; mini skirts and traditional robes. It is a city of sights, sounds and smells, some pleasant, some not so pleasant, but all giving evidence of the vibrance of the city.
The best way to get to know Lagos is on foot, for it is on the street that everything is happening. Lagos is not an easy city for a tourist, but if you are willing to look the rewards are many.
Traditional history says that the first settlers on the Island which was variously known as Oko, Eko, Awani were the Awori, the children of Olofin, a small Yoruba group normally resident on the west bank of the River Ogun, beyond the Lagoon.
The Olofin (Chief) and his people first settled on Iddo Island. He divided Lagos among ten of his sons. His son Aromire, a fisherman was the first to take possession1 of his land. He grew vegetables and peppers and finally settled at the place of the present Oba's (King's) Palace, the Iga Idunganran (meaning Pepper Palace). Later the other sons also took possession of their land.
A petty quarrel developed between the Olofin's people and a rich woman, Aina, who was falsely accused of witchcraft. She called the King of Benin for help, and thus gave the King the opportunity to send an army to Lagos. After many futile attempts Benin won. Lagos became a southern outpost of the Benin empire.
Ashipa was made Head War Chief over the Benin warriors at Iddo Island. He was given men to assist him in his duties as governor of the town. He received the Royal Drum - Gbedu - which is the one usually beaten only for the Kings of Lagos. All the Kings of Lagos up to this date are descendants of the Ashipa family.
King Ado, Ashipa's son, continued to exact tributes from his subjects for the King of Benin. His men often harassed the Olofin's children who therefore built a meeting hall on Aromire's pepper farm, now the Oba's palace.
King Gabaro followed King Ado. He moved the seat of his government from Iddo to Lagos Island. He continued to exact yearly tributes for the King of Benin, but he made the Olofin's children Chiefs and gave them absolute power and authority over their lands. Their descendants are up until today traditional Lagos Chiefs, the Idejos which means land owners. They received white caps as marks of their office. The Chiefs who came from Benin wore silk hats but for uniformity adopted the white caps used by Lagos Chiefs.
About the year 1730, Akinshemoyin, a brother of Gabaro, became King. He invited Portuguese slave dealers to Lagos. The foundation of the walls of Iga Idunganran was laid. The palace was roofed with tiles (palm leaf roofs were the usual in those days) which were a gift to the King from his Portuguese friends. The Portuguese also gave the town its name Lagos, meaning lakes, referring to the fact that Lagos is bound by a lovely lagoon on each side.
The Portuguese had long established trade relations with various parts of the country, particularly with Benin. Imported to Benin were iron, brass, and copperbars used for art work, woollens, linens, spirits, firearms and ammunitions. Exported were pepper, elephant tusks, palm oil and palm kernel, and later more and more slaves.
By the middle of the 18th century new empires had developed mainly through slave trade. The Oyo Empire included almost all of Yorubaland as far as Dahomey The conquered peoples paid tribute to the Alafin of Oyo and had to contribute slaves. The slaves were exported through Lagos and Badagry.
About 1750, Ologun-Kutere became King in Lagos. He was a friend of Kinc Abiodun of Oyo. Trade and slave trade flourished.
After the death of Ologun-Kutere the following Kings reigned successively Adele, Oshinlokun, Idewu Ojulari, Oluwole, Akitoye and Kosoko.
The Lagos Slave Market became popular among slave traders in Europe itnerica. It is known that most of the slaves imported to Brazil, Cuba, Trinidad, arts of the United States came from Yorubaland.
In 1833 the British government outlawed slavery in all her territories. But n tan diminishing, the traffic increased more and more in the early years of the century.
In 1845 Kosoko ascended the throne in Iga Idunganran after ousting his u Akitoye who was not the rightful heir to the throne. Akitoye came into contact with the British Consul, Beecroft. The Consul advised him to appeal to the British Gov lent who would be ready to assist him in regaining the throne. Akitoye promise sop the prohibited slave trade and to strengthen the British trading position in itate.
In 1857 Queen Victoria of England sent a message to Kosoko asking him to iown the slave trade and to sign a treaty with Great Britain. Kosoko refused to uch a treaty using the excuse that he was under the King of Benin to whom the ti should first be submitted by her Majesty's Consul.
On the 26th of December, 1851, the British under Beecroft approached the c if Lagos with five battleships. After a pretended overture for peace they opened vith long range cannons and attempted to land. The coastguards frustrated at having laid submarine stakes for the ships. After two days of long range battle during which four ships had been grounded, Beecroft landed on the surf and a close-fought battle ensued. It lasted a day and a night. Finally Kosoko and his men fled to Epe where they settled.
On the 1st of January, 1852 Beecroft reinstated Akitoye on the throne of Le shortly after, a treaty with the British was signed. It stated that slave trade must no longer be practised, that the missionaries must not be disturbed in their ministry ir own, and that human sacrifices must be abolished. Akitoye was not popular. However with the ships and cannons of England he retained a puppet rule until his sudden death in September, 1852.
His son Dosunmu succeeded him as King of Lagos in 1852. His failure to end the slave trade led to the complete annexation of Lagos.
On the 6th of August, 1861, Lagos became a British Colony. Dosunmu unwillingly signed the declaration of cession. He retained the title of King in its usual African s and received a yearly stipend from the British.
In 1862 Kosoko returned to Lagos with only one of his chiefs, Oshodi. He signed a treaty with the British, relinquishing claim to the ports of Palma and Lekkie which consequently reverted to the Lagos Government. Kosoko died in 1872.
In the following decades a British administration was built up in the Color Lagos. It took the form of direct rule. The Governor, a sole commanding officer, assisted and advised only by a small legislative council composed of British officers Occasionally a nominated African sat in the council. Efforts of the governments concentrated on the economic development, and without doubt, Lagos was yielding higher revenue.
With the strengthening of the Government of the Colony and Protectorat Lagos, British influence spread into Yorubaland. The trade which centered in L; attracted the leading traders of the interior.
On the 1st of January, 1914, under Governor Lugard, the different regions o British influence were amalgamated. They became the "Colony of Nigeria" with Lagos as the capital. It comprised the "Protectorate of Nigeria" and the old Colony of Lagos The inhabitants of the Colony of Lagos passed for British subjects, while those of the protectorate remained British protected persons.
The development of roads and railways and the proclamation of Lagos as the capital ensured a steady influx of ethnic groups from all parts of West Africa. The protection offered by the British administration to escaped slaves also attracted ex-slaves from Brazil and Sierra Leone into Lagos. The Brazilians settled mostly around Campos Square, popularly known as Brazilian quarters. The Sierra Leonians settled mainly around Olowogbowo Street.
Since about 1900 anti-imperialistic and anti-colonialist movements grew, and Lagos was the centre of it all. In 1922 Herbert Macaulay, "Father of Nigerian Nationalism", founded the Nigerian National Democratic Party.
In the 1930s and even more during and after World War II movements for independence grew and became stronger. Nnamdi Azikiwe and Obafemi Awolowo were among the active politicians.
After several constitutional conferences Nigeria finally became independent on the 1st October, 1960. Lagos was the capital of the Federation of Nigeria, and since 1963 of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Lagos was Federal Territory, not belonging to any of the three Regions. It was the centre of national life.
On the 15th of January, 1966, came the first Military Coup which toppled the reigning civilian government. General Aguyi Ironsi became Head of State until his death in June of the same year.
On the 29th of June, 1966, came the second Military Coup after which General Yakubu Gowon was brought to power and made Head of State.
In 1967 the country was divided into twelve States instead of the former three Regions, and Lagos State was created. Since then the city of Lagos has been the capital of the Federal Republic as well as of Lagos State.
In addition to being the seats of both governments Lagos is the centre of commercial and industrial activities, the main port of the country, and a meeting point for international organisations. Its growth in recent years, both economical and social, has surpassed all expectations.
There are several rent-a-car services in Lagos, all offering chauffeur driven caff only. This is an expensive way to get about. You have to expect a minimum of N12 op a day.
All taxis are bright yellow. You can find them at the airport, at the major hotels an on most major streets. Taxis on the road are usually cheaper than those waiting at the hotels.
A fair price to pay is 50k anywhere within Lagos Island. This requires hard bargaining on your part. Agree with the driver about the price for your trip before you enter the taxi. If you think he is charging too much you can bargain or take another taxi. Do not pay the driver until you are out of the taxi, and then try to have the exact change. Tipping is not customary. Frequently a taxi will stop for you even when it already has fare, or pick up someone else on the way to your destination. Each person makes his own agreement with the driver.
Below is an indication of prices.Airport—Lagos (Bristol Hotel) N2-50
Prices vary widely according to how well you bargain and how reasonable the driver is willing to be.
Pan African Transport (office in the Mainland Hotel Tel. 41101-9 Ext. 219) is an airport shuttle service with small air-conditioned buses. They promise transportation to and from the airport for N3-00 on request.
Public buses run through all the major streets of Lagos, but they do not have a fixed timetable. In peak hours they usually are packed full. The initial fare is 5k. For sater distances another 5k may be needed. The City buses are red.
There are also private buses of different sizes and shapes. They stop at all bus stops and yell out their destination. They often take out of the way routes, however their prices are like those of public buses. They are usually decorated with colourful rings and provide an interesting though sometimes chaotic view of Lagos. An adventurous tourist might spend a day exploring the city in this way.
There is a regular ferry service between Lagos Island and the Apapa port which ves from Marina opposite the Ports Authority Building. ie every 30 minutes, on the hour and half hour, ce: 2k one way.
Ferries to Tarkwa Bay leave from the jetty at Federal Palace Hotel, on weekdays:
Departure: every 2 hours between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.
return: every 2 hours between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.
Saturdays, Sundays, and Public Holidays:
departure: every half hour from 9 a.m. to 5.30 p.m.
return: every half hour from 9-30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Adults 80k, children 40k return ticket.
Another ferry, to Tarkwa Bay, the Eko II, leaves from Force Road jetty every hour Sundays.
A regular boat service to link the different parts of the City is planned in order relieve traffic on the congested roads.
Lagos is connected with all the major cities of Nigeria by Nigeria Airways. Consult for current timetable.
There are two major railway lines in the country, both go north-south. One leads n Lagos to Kano, the other leads from Port Harcourt to Maiduguri. Both lines are located between Kaduna and Kafanchan, not far from Jos. If you are in a hurry it is not advisable to go by train especially if you want to travel eastwards. Whereas by car it takes about two or three hours to go to Ibadan the train takes about twice that for the same distance. The train to Ibadan leaves Lagos on weekdays at noon and arrives in Ibadan at 5.16 p.m. e for a one-way-ticket: 1st class N5-00, 2nd class N2-50, 3rd class N1 -30.
The train to Kano leaves Monday, Wednesday, Friday at noon and arrives in K; 8.30 p.m. the following day. By bus it takes 24 hours.
The price for a one-way-ticket to Kano is: 1st class N29-10, 2nd class N14-50, rd class N7'30.
To go by 3rd or 2nd class may be an adventure. To go by 1st class may be quite comfortable.
The Railway Station is located in Iddo, near Carter Bridge, at the pedestrian crossing. There is a plan, however, to relocate the station.
There are some regular bus services linking Lagos with other major cities. Their prices are reasonable. The Midwest Line buses seem to be most reliable. They leave their station and booking office at Ikorodu Road/Jibowu Street, Yaba. The Mid' ne also has an express taxi service which can be booked at the same station, when installed will be 4745
Other buses or long distance taxis leave from the Iddo non-suburban lorry I enton Causeway, usually very early in the morning. Choose a vehicle in good r( ith a driver who seems reasonable.
Hotel accommodation is a problem in Lagos. There are usually more visitors than hotel beds. It is therefore necessary to book a room in advance if you want to be sure to get one, and to arrive at the hotel in time on the day you have booked.
The hotels are all relatively expensive. Although there are a few smaller and less expensive choices the price differences are small, and it is therefore advisable to try to make reservations at the better hotels.
In order to help you in your choice the hotels have been rated:
A. The best hotels Lagos has to offer providing a variety of services and accommodations.
B. These hotels offer fewer services and have generally clean but simple rooms. Often the prices are similar to category A.
C. Smaller hotels. The service in these hotels is average, however they are conveniently located and usable.
The hotels in each category have been listed in alphabetical order. Prices do not include 10% service charge.
Many claim that some of the best nightspots in West Africa can be found in Lagos. New clubs frequently spring up, others close down, making it difficult to include every one. Nightclubs offering all different types of music are described, dinner if served starts around 8.30 p.m., but the music does not get going until after 10.00 p.m. Most places stay open as long as there are customers.
On weekends most nightspots are lively. During the week we recommend New ran Can, the African Shrine, Club 22, and Bacchus Club among others. Those clubs which are associated with special artistes (Fela at the Shrine, Ebenezer Obey at Miliki Spot, Sunny Ade at Banuso Inn) are best when the stars are playing. Check in the daily papers to see who's on.
You might have to try a number of clubs before you find your favourite, but with the wide choice there will be one to please your taste and pocket. In some places you can bargain if the gate fee seems high.
Another enjoyable way to spend or start an evening is at the cinema and the chapter begins with a list of some of the popular cinema houses. Movies usually show at 6 p.m. and 9 p.m.
To help you find your way around Lagos and discover the highlights of the City the following tours are suggested.
Each tour describes the route and gives information about places of interest along the way. These are in italics and discussed in detail after the tour is outlined.
Modern Lagos is that half of the Island which is located along the Lagos Harbour. Start this tour which has to be done by car at the junction of Marina and Martin Street (at Kingsway Stores), and drive all the way down the Marina, along the Lagos Harbour. On the left side you will pass Leventis Department Stores, Plaza Building (under construction), Unity House with an interesting mural on the outside, the General Post Office, Christ Church Cathedral, the Old Secretariat, State House, Lagos House, King George V. Memorial Park, and City Stadium which is just being rebuilt and modernised. After turning left into King George V. Road you have the Lagos State Governor's Office on the right (formerly the Prime Minister's Residence). At the roundabout turn left into Awolowo Road. On the right hand side is the Nigerian Museum and next to it the Craft Centre.
At Tafawa Balewa Square turn right. The square is on your left, while the Houses of Parliament are on the right hand side. Going further round the square you pass the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, the Lagos State High Court, the Federal Supreme Court, and King's College. From here one has a good view of two of the tallest buildings in Lagos, Independence Building and Western House. Now drive straight on into Catholic Mission Street. Soon you will find Lagos City Hall on the right and the Catholic Holy Cross Cathedral on the opposite side of the road.
After the Cathedral turn left into Oil Mill Street. If you are keen on buying some typical textile material or a dress you can stop at Aladire Ltd. (on the left upstairs). Then turn right into Yakubu Gowon Street. From Tinubu Square with fts fountain the main shopping area begins. On your right on Yakubu Gowon Street, just after Mandilas House, is the Taiwo Olowo Monument, the tomb of a wealthy and influential Lagos businessman. It was built by Brazilian master masons around the turn of the century. Drive on Yakubu Gowon Street until you come back to Martin Street, and have a refreshing drink at the Bristol Hotel.
Depending on the traffic situation, on the time you spend in the Museum and for lunch, this tour may take between one hour and almost a whole day.
It is the main Anglican Church in Lagos. In 1853, eight years after Bishop Ajayi Crowther and others landed as the first Anglican Missionaries in Badagry, the first Church/Schoolroom was erected on the present site of the Lagos Central Library in Odulami Street. It was built with mud and thatch and could accommodate 300 people, In 1867 the foundation stone was laid for Christ Church, a brick building for 400 people. It was dedicated in 1869.
In 1925 the foundation stone for the Cathedral was laid by the Prince of Wales, afterwards King Edward VIII. The Architect was J. Bagan Benjamen. The Church is designed in a new-gothic style. It was finished in three stages and finally completed in 1946.
The present 4-Manual Pipe Organ was built in 1932 and rebuilt and modernised in 1966. Albert Scweitzer played on it in 1949.
The Cathedral is the seat of the Bishops for the Lagos Diocese.
In the colonial days this was the Governor's residence. After Nigeria became independent in 1960, it became the President's residence, and even Major General Ironsi lived in it after the first military coup in 1966. When General Gowon became Head of State in 1966 he decided to live in Dodan Barracks (Ikoyi). State House is now used as Guest House for visiting Heads of State and State parties.
Adjacent to the State House it was the house of the first Assistant to the British Governor and is now the residence of the Governor of Lagos State.
Open daily (including Sundays and public holidays) from 9.00 a.m. to 7.00 p.m. Admission free.
The Nigerian Museum was established in 1957. It contains over 20,000 objects of which only a small number can be exhibited in the present building.
At the outside stonewall a beautiful piece of contemporary Nigerian art catches the visitor's eye: a bronze statue by Ben Enwonwu entitled Ayanwun (Ibo), the rising of the sun.
A strange looking sculptured conical stone is in the roundabout in front of the entrance. There are more of these "Akwanshi" in the courtyard of the Museum. They come from an area on the right bank of the Cross River (South-Eastern State) inhabited by the Ekoi peoples. Almost nothing is known of their origin or purpose, but they are believed to have been carved between the early 16th and early 20th century and tradition connects the stones with ancestors.
Representing the oldest traces of culture there is an archeology gallery, exhibiting mainly stone tools found in Nigeria.
Very fascinating are the fine terra cotta sculptures of the Nok culture. Radio-carbon method dates them between 500 B.C. and A.D. 200, i.e. about 2,000 years ago. The relics of this culture which provides the oldest sculpture discovered in Africa south of the Sahara, were found in an area 300 by 100 miles wide around the Niger and the Benue valleys. The Nok people appear to have been the ancestors of the Ham people who still live in this area. The famous Ife terra cottas are believed to have their roots in the Nok culture.
Another rich culture about which very little is known is the one of Igbo Ikwu near Onitsha in the East-Central State. The very elaborate pots and bronzes some of which are shown in the museum are dated between A.D. 660 and A.D. 1040.
There is a nice collection of the famous Ife bronzes and terra cottas, although most of them can be seen in the Ife Museum (Western State). Most of the full figures and heads represent kings or chiefs. Some of the animal statues represent animals used in sacrifices. A most striking feature of the life size bronze heads is their naturalism. The bronze casting technique of "cire perdue" is illustrated in a special showcase of the museum. The Ife art was flourishing in the 11 th century.
The Benin art which derived from Ife and flourished between the 15th and 19th century, is today the most widely known of all African art. It is shown in the Benin Gallery. Benin art is a court art. The Oba or King had a number of expert craftsmen in his service who created these beautiful sculptures in bronze and ivory showing the Oba, his warriors, his slaves, his regalia, and the ceremonials of his palace.
Masquerades have always had their place in most of Africa. The museum shows a variety of masks and head-dresses from all parts of Nigeria.
On display is also a collection of household gods and human figures, ritual objects, household objects like pots, calabashes, stools, doors, posts, and musical instruments.
A guide to the museum is on sale for N1.50.
Standing in front of the buildings, the House of Senate is on the left, the House of Representatives is on the right. The foundation stone for the latter was laid in 1959 by Sir Abubakar, the Sultan of Sokoto. The building was completed in 1960, in time for the Independence celebrations. The beautiful entrance doors to the National Hall are carved by Ben Enwonwu and depict scenes from life in various parts of the country and from Nigerian history.
Since the Army took over the government in 1966 the building has been used for the Federal Revenue Court and for conferences. Similarly the House of Senate now accommodates various offices.
In front of the Senate Building there is a bronze statue of Queen Elizabeth II who, until Nigeria became a Republic in 1963, was the Queen of Nigeria. King's College
Established in 1909 it has become the best college of Nigeria. Many well known Nigerians fropn all parts of the country are former King's College students.
It is a modern building opened in 1968. It is the central administrative headquarters of the Lagos City Council and is at the same time a civic centre for Lagos. The elegant curved approach ramp surrounding the paved frontage area with the fountains, leads to the Banquet Hall on the first floor of the building. At the entrance to the Banquet Hall are two large carvings by Mr. Edubor on either side depicting traditional culture. The Hall can accommodate a thousand guests and is often used for dances, weddings etc.
A large carving is also on the door of the Cash Office on the ground floor. Apart from the Cash Office there are other Council offices on the same floor which have day-to-day dealings with the public, as well as an air-conditioned post office and a police station.
The third floor accommodates the Council Chambers. On the wall at the entrance to the Council Chambers by Igboshere Road are mosaic pictures showing scenes from traditional Lagos masquerades. The Council Chamber accommodates about 100 members and seats 250 visitors in the gallery. There are simultaneous translation facilities for international conferences.
The Cathedral is a new-gothic structure started in 1934. Its history is linked with the history of the Brazilian repatriates who began to return from their forced exile about 1838. They brought back with them a knowledge of the Catholic faith and were determined to practise and preserve it. For a quarter of a century the "Service of the Word" was conducted in the house of their most influential compatriot, Senhor Izidor Ezechiel de Souza, by their religious layman/leader, popularly known as Padre Antonio.
In 1861 the Brazilian repatriates heard of the arrival of a Catholic priest in Ouidah, Dahomey, and they invited him to come to Lagos. In 1863 Rev. Father Borghero came to Lagos in response to the appeal. He was the first Catholic priest to visit Lagos and celebrated the first Mass on Lagos Island on September 24th, 1863. In 1864 the Brazilian Community acquired a piece of land for a church dedicated to the Holy Cross. They erected a huge wooden cross on the site. In 1868 Rev. Father Bouche came to Lagos as the first resident priest of the Holy Cross Mission. In 1878 the foundation stone of Holy Cross Pro-Cathedral was laid. In 1881 the building with one tower was completed, and a second tower was added in 1883.
In 1934 the Pro-Cathedral had become too small, and the foundation stone was laid for a new Holy Cross Cathedral on the same site. It was consecrated in 1969 by Archibishop Aggey, then Archbishop of Lagos. The present Archbishop is Anthony 0. Okogie.
This tour will show you some of the old part of the city. You can do the tour by car. But if you are strong and adventurous enough to do some walking in the heat, going on foot will of course give you a richer picture of the life.
Park your car near the Oba's (King's) Palace (see map). After seeing the Oba's Palace (Iga Idunganran) walk along Upper King Street and Reclamation Road until, turning left into Oroyinyin Street, or Moshalashi Street or Idumagbo Avenue, you come to Jankara Market. Walk back to the Oba's Palace along the Lagos Lagoon on Adeniji Adele Road, or take the same way you came, (see map).Time: One morning.
You can enter the gate. At the entrance of the palace ask somebody to guide you through that part of the palace which is open to the public. There is no entrance fee, but you are asked to give a contribution at the shrine in one of the rooms, and after the tour to give a token to the household.
The present King is Oba Oyekan II. He has been reigning since 1965. He is a Christian and a pharmacist by profession.
The palace consists of an old part (on the left) and a new part (right). The new part was opened on Independence Day, the 1st of October, 1960, by the late Prime Minister, Tafawa Balewa. It contains offices and is the residence of the Oba today. The carved wooden doors at the entrance are by Felix Idobu.
The old part of the palace was built during the reign of King Akinshemoyin who had good relations with the Portuguese traders. Among the rooms which are open to visitors are the shrine-room—in remembrance of the King's ancestors, and the throne-room—it is the original parlour and is built in mud with bronze pillars (from the time of the Portuguese.) In front of the palace you will notice some cannons which also stem from the time of trade with the Portuguese.
When you come out of the palace there are usually some men with talking drums welcoming you. They will not stop drumming until you have given them a small dash.
It is one of the biggest markets in Lagos, and you can get almost anything here. For the tourist it will be interesting to go to that section of the market where traditional textile materials are sold. There is a good choice of tie and die materials, "Adire"—hand wax prints mostly in the traditional indigo-blue—, and "Asho Oke"—hand-woven strips which are sewn together. This material is used for very formal or festive occasions and is quite expensive.
It is best to go to Jankara market with somebody who speaks Yoruba.
This tour is meant to give you a review of how the architecture of Lagos developed.
Begin the tour at the Oshodi family's traditional compound at 23, Oshodi Street (see map) off Adeniji Adele Street. Notice the large monument built in 1968 to commemorate the centenary anniversary of the death of Chief Oshodi Tapa.
Follow along to Tokunboh Street and on the corner of Oshodi and Tokunboh Vou will see an example of Brazilian Architecture, the Yoyo Araromi House, now in disrepair but still showing the Brazilian influence —high pointed windows and an attic space.
Turn around and go back on Oshodi Street to Adeniji Adele Street. Turn left and continue along Adeniji Adele until you come to Odunfa Street. Turn left into Odunfa and you will see the imposing Ebun House at 85, Odunfa Street on the corner of Odunfa and Swamp Street.
Continue down Odunfa (keep checking that you are still on Odunfa because the road bears right and then left where it connects with Evans Street). When you reach Tokunboh turn left and then take the first right which is Upper Campos Street. Park here and you will see the Doherty Villa (1895) a yellow house at the corner of Campos Square and Bamgbose Street. Note the tiles on the front stoop giving some sense of how it used to be. You will also see a small boutique on the left. The clothes are in lovely African prints but are quite expensive.
Now for a look at some Brazilian Houses that have been renovated. Turn right onto Bamgbose Street and at the B.P. Station make a left turn into Kakawa Streei (not the sharp left —the turn is a bit difficult but possible). On the right at 29, Kakawe Street is a lovely Brazilian House now occupied by a group of architects. A bit furthei down on the left at 12, Kakawa Street is the Water House (1895) another gooc example of a restored Brazilian House.
Continue on Kakawa until you come to Yakubu Gowon Street Turn right and bea right on Tinubu Square. You will pass the Fernandez House (Brazilian) at the corner o Tinubu Square and Bamgbose. If you want to see the best example of a Brazilian hous< still in use park your car near Tinubu Square. Walk right on Alii Street (off Tmubi Square after Bamgbose) and left on Obe Street. Follow Obe Street until you come tc Elias Street. Turn right on Elias Street and at the corner of Elias and Odufege Street yoi will see the Elias da Silva House, (1880).
Return to your car and get back on Yakubu Gowon Street. Follow along until yoi come to Chapel Street. You are now entering the section of the City which has beer influenced by Sierra Leonian architecture. Turn right into Chapel Street. Just past the Methodist Church at the corner of Chapel and Bankole is the Benjamen House built ir 1920 Though the house has not been kept up one can still see the Sierra Leoniar influence. Note the wooden windows, stucco inside and out, high wooden ceilings. Stay left on Bankole Street. On your left you will see a large green and white house—Oh Bankole It is newer than Benjamen House but still gives an impression of the style Note in particular the designs on the facade. These are typical of Sierra Leonian houses
Take Bankole to Olowogbowo Street where you turn left. Continue until yo reach Yakubu Gowon Street. Straight in front of you is Niger House, a fine example of British Colonial architecture. Take Yakubu Gowon Street as it goes toward the bridge. Bear left under the bridge following the signs for Marina. As you go along Marina you will see a mixture of Colonial and modern architecture. Most of the colonial buildings have been described in Tour 1.
As you drive along you will see the Nigeria Police Station (colonial), Kingsway (colonial), Plaza Building (modern), Unity House (modern), Christ Church Cathedral (colonial influence), the Old Secretariat (colonial), State House (colonial), Lagos House (colonial). Turn into King George V and follow the roundabout left onto Awolowo Road. You pass the Craft Centre (colonial). Turn right onto Racecourse and see an impressive collection of colonial buildings all outlined in Tour 1. Turn left in front of Independence Building, the highest in Lagos. Park your car and cross the street to Western House on Campbell Street. Go up to the top floor to Quo Vadis for a refreshing drink and a beautiful view of the city you have just explored.
Originally Lagos had many of the characteristics of a Yoruba Village. Each family had a compound which was usually arranged with the houses placed around a single courtyard. One example of such a compound is the Oba's Palace on Upper King Street (see Tour 2). Another example is Oshodi Court. The house is distinguished in front by a green archway. As you walk through the archway you will see the well designed, well kept Chief's house with its lovely columns. The other houses around the court are for the other members of the family.
This area of Lagos is called Epetedo. Many of the families living here fled Lagos when the British attacked the city during the time of King Akitoye and went to Epe. They returned to Lagos to their traditional homes after an agreement was reached.
During the 19th century the face of Lagos changed due to the influence of the Brazilians, Sierra Leonians and the British.
The Brazilians in the late 1800's and at the turn of the century built houses of bright pastel colours with balcony grills, dormers and attic spaces. The windows were large with a pointed Gothic shape. The houses were ornate, sometimes garish but very well Grafted. Ebun House built in 1914 is no longer used by the original family. It has been allowed to run down and has been divided up among tenants. However remnants of how it used to be are still apparent. Note the imposing gate, the heavy colonnaded terrace and balcony. There are a variety of relief decorations on the columns. These motifs run throughout the house. Inside there are wooden carved banisters and columns. This house was probably the ultimate in baroque style in Lagos, somewhat gaudy but well constructed.
The Elias da Silva House built in 1880 has been preserved. The original family still own and maintain the house. This is a key factor in whether or not a building is kept up. There were many lovely houses in Lagos but for one reason or another the families left the houses and they then fell into ruins. Notice the elaborate entry gate decorated with enamel lions. The house gives a sedate and well-proportioned impression. Enamel tiles decorated all the windows, however they are now only on the upper storey.
At the same time, the Sierra Leonians introduced row houses in the Breadfruit Olowogbowo area. They built two storey buildings often with a shop on the ground floor. The houses are distinguished by their whitewashed stucco inside and outside and by large wooden windows in both the front and back of the house.
The British came and built many public and private buildings. These white spacious buildings can be seen throughout the city in Ikoyi, and in Ebute Metta (the Railway Compound).
The houses are distinguished by their large verandas and gardens. Most of them were built on a large site with a dominant driveway and garage. They had separate servants quarters and individual septic tanks for sewerage. The inside was arranged with a large parlour—dining room downstairs and a few spacious bedrooms upstairs. The arrangement of the houses graphically points out the difference between the British small family and the Nigerian extended family. This British influence is still felt m recent buildings. However due to lack of space and the demands of the extended family many more bedrooms are built and all the rooms are smaller. Apartment buildings in Surulere and houses in Yaba show this influence.
Finally rapid industralization and urbanization have had their impact on the city. Office buildings and high rise apartment buildings are rapidly springing up. These buildings reflect international influence, however more and more attention is being given to using local building materials and designs.
As you drive around all of Lagos see if you can identify the different influences you see. One of the interesting aspects of Lagos is how these influences intermingle.
Recommended time for the tour is four hours.
This tour in the main shopping area can easily be done on foot. It is best to go early in the morning or late in the afternoon to avoid the heat. Start from Bristol Hotel and walk to the right along Martin Street. Turn left into Frederick McEwen Street, then take the first or second street left, then right into Breadfruit Street. At the junction of Breadfruit Street and Balogun Street there is a colourful cloth market. Mainly "Ankrah" print materials and materials from the eastern part of Nigeria are sold here. If you go into the narrow paths within the market you may have a nice time looking, choosing, comparing prices, and bargaining. Walk back to Bristol Hotel along Breadfruit Street.
This tour will take approximately two hours.
This tour can also easily be done on foot. If you are strong enough you may connect this tour with the tour to the cloth market at Balogun/Breadfruit Street.
Coming from Yakubu Gowon Street walk along Balogun Street until you see Upper Offin Lane on your left (it is off 69, Balogun Street). There is a good choice of African prints on sale. The next street left after Upper Offin Lane is Kosoko Street. Walk down Kosoko Street. At first you will find mostly African prints, later a wide choice of lace, velvet and other fancy materials. Walk down the hill and look for Ereko Lane on your right. Follow it up to Ereko Street. Go right on Ereko Street until you come to the junction of Balogun and Martin Streets. Follow Martin Street. On your left is Shitta Mosque, designed by a Brazilian architect and built in 1890 in a mixture of Gothic and Renaissance style.
Suggestion: At Breadfruit Street turn left and have a refreshing drink and lunch at Tabris Restaurant.
The tour may take two hours.
The tour should be done on foot. It leads through the always busy traditional local shopping centre of Lagos Island.
Start from Jinubu Square and walk along Nnamdi Azikiwe Street. There are many small shops along the street, and you can find almost anything there from crafts, clothing, shoes to housewares. On the left side between Breadfruit Street and Balogun Street a new Central Lagos Shopping Centre including shops, parking facilities, restaurants and hotel, is under construction. On your right you will pass two mosques, the smaller Ali Oloko Mosque and the Central Mosque.
Shortly after the Central Mosque turn right into Idumagbo Avenue. You will notire that most of the houses have two storeys with shops inside and outs.de. Following this busy street you will find Jankara Market on your left. (For details on Jankara Market see Tour Number 2, page 65).
If you are too exhausted to walk back, take a taxi back to your destination.
It is named after Madame Tinubu, a woman who came from Abeokuta ,n the early 19th century and became very rich in Lagos. She was on friendly erms with King Akitoye, but not with his son and successor King Dosunmu. It is said that she was a fnend of the King of Dahomey and secretly reported to him anything that occurred ,n Lagos. Apparently she had become so powerful that she issued orders which should only come from the King. King Dosunmu finally banished her from the town in 1856.
Tinubu Square is surrounded by a mixture of buildings: the Central Bank the Federal Ministry of Finance, Tinubu Methodist Church, some offices a Fernandez house built in the Brazilian Style, and small huts and stalls. A new plan for Tinubu square is currently under consideration.
The first mosque on the same site was built of mud in 1804 about a quarter of a century after Islam was introduced in Lagos. In 1873 it was rebuiltt by Shitta-Bey with bricks and iron sheets. About two decades later the present building was erected in which strong Brazilian influence can be seen. Master Masons Lazaro Borges da Silva and Francisco Nobre, Master Carpenter S Balthazar des Reis.
The tour leads through one of the city's most beautiful low density living areas. It has to be done by car and is good for a relaxing afternoon.
Coming from Lagos on Marina turn left into King George V Road. At the roundabout bear right and drive along Awolowo Road. At Kingsway roundabout you may have a look at the new Falomo shopping centre. Shortly after the roundabout turn right into Queens Drive which leads along Five Cowrie Creek. At the end of Queens Drive follow Alexander Avenue and Gerard Road. Stop at Ikoyi Park and have a walk. Then continue on Ikoyi Crescent and branch off to the left onto Kingsway Road. At the Ikoyi Hotel you may stop for a drink or snack, to buy crafts, or even take a swim. Follow Kingsway Road until you come to the roundabout and drive back to Lagos on Awolowo Road. Or go back to Lagos via Ikoyi Road (see map).
Like the Ikoyi Island tour this one is also appropriate for a quiet afternoon. If you do not have a car take a bus to Bar Beach (Victoria Beach) and go for a walk along the ocean.
By car, coming from Lagos on Marina, cross the bridge onto Victoria Island. Drive along Ahmadu Bello Road and turn left at the first roundabout into Ozumba Mbadiwe Avenue. On your left is Five Cowrie Creek, on the right you pass the Institute of International Affairs and the Law School. After the Law School turn right and follow the road until you see on your left the newly built Eko Hotel (presently still under construction), beautifully located, overlooking Kuramo Waters and the ocean.
Drive on towards the beach. Park your car and go for a walk. Then drive along the ocean on the newly built Victoria Beach Way. At the end you can see some of the work going on to protect Victoria Island from coastal erosion. Because the moles of the port entrance interrupt the eastward drifting current of the ocean, millions of tons of sand now have to be pumped from Lighthouse Beach to Victoria Beach to restore the natural shoreline. This will also prevent the entrance to the port from beinq blocked by sand.
Follow Ahmadu Bello Road back to Lagos. You might like to stop on the way at Federal Palace Hotel for a drink, snack, swim, shopping, or even a meal at the Cafe de Chine, (see page 75 for map).
For this tour it is best to drive. It may take between 1—2 hours and half a day. It can be combined with the tour to the National Stadium, Surulere.
Coming from Lagos take Nnamdi Azikiwe Street. At Idumota, shortly before barter Bridge, there are two bronze monuments on your left: one is for the soldiers who Jied in World War I; the other is for the Civil War.
Cross Carter Bridge. Then go straight on until you come to the sign board leading ight to the University of Lagos.
You will pass through a lower middle class living area. On the right is Iddo Market, Mainland Hotel, Oyingbo Market, Mobolaji Johnson Sports Stadium (Rowe Park); on the left is Yaba Methodist Church. The signboard leading to the University comes soon after you pass Saint Dominic's Church on the right.
After seeing the University go either back to Lagos via Clifford Road, or proceed to the National Stadium Tour (via Herbert Macaulay Road, City Way, Tejuoso Street with ts new Model Market, and Western Avenue, i.e. start the National Stadium tour from the end.)
In 1912 a bridge was built to link Lagos Island with the Mainland. It was reconstructed in the present steel structure, broadened and adapted to new standard in 1 926. It was named after G. T. Carter, Governor of the Colony of Lagos from 1891-1906.
It is a federal institution and was founded in 1962. Initially there were four faculties: Business, Social Studies, Law, and Medicine. Up to date over 2,000 students have graduated and there are now 3,500 students in the University. The faculties represented at the moment are the College of Medicine, the faculties of Education, Law, Engineering, Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts, Business Administration, and Science, the School of Environmental Design, the Institutes of Marine, Biology, Computer Science, Mass Communication, and Continuing Education. A Department of Chemical Engineering will be started soon.
Apart from the College of Medicine and the Teaching Hospital which have a separate Campus in Surulere, all the Faculties are on this Yaba Campus. As you drive in you will see the College of Education on the right, and soon after this the Sports Centre. At the end of the main Campus Road there is the Senate Building, Administration Building, and the new Haile Selassie Auditorium. Behind this, bordering the lagoon, is the Cafeteria, the Student's Union Building and the Yakubu Gowon Library which is worth looking into. On the left hand side of these common facilities is the academic group north with the buildings for the Faculties of Humanities, Law, Social Sciences, and Business Administration. On the right hand side is the academic group south with the buildings for the Faculties of Science and Engineering.
If you have time it is nice to walk or drive down to the lagoon and have a walk along its quiet waters. Sometimes one can see many canoes on the shallow lagoon fishing, or transporting things to Lagos.
On the way out of the University stop for a drink at the Staff Club.
For this tour you need a car. It will take about two hours.
Coming from Lagos Island cross over to the Mainland on Eko Bridge and follow the signs to the National Theatre. Visit the theatre. Then drive along Western Avenue until you see the National Stadium on your right. After visiting the Stadium premises follow Western Avenue until you branch off to the right into Tejuosho Street. This will lead you to the newly built multi-storey Model Market. Have a look round the market and then go back to Lagos via Clifford Road. On the Ebute Metta part of Clifford Road, between Ibadan Street and Jebba Street, is St. Paul's Church. Note the beautifully carved entrance doors by Fakeye.
For a long time Carter Bridge was the only link between Lagos Island and the Mainland. When the traffic situation became unbearable Eko Bridge was built. The word Eko is the Yoruba name for the city of Lagos. The bridge is a modern concrete construction opened in February 1969, the extension of it on the Mainland was completed in 1971. The final stage, linking it to Western Avenue was completed in 1974.
The unique location of the Theatre, surrounded by three major highways, demanded the design of a round building, neutral to all directions and perceived equally well from all sides. The aim of the design was to give the impression of agility simultaneously with structural stability.
The Theatre includes a theatre hall seating approximately 5,000 persons, a conference hall for 1,600 seats, two exhibition halls and two cinema halls. It will be completed for the World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture in November, 1975.
In 1959 a stadium was constructed on the present site. It was at this time that the beautiful iron doors now gracing the entrance of the stadium were designed and built. The original stadium was used during the Independence celebrations in 1960 and then demolished in 1 961. Work started again in August 1 971 and the new stadium was completed in November 1972 in time for the Second-All Africa Games which took place in January 1973.
The site covers thirty acres of which twenty are used for the games facilities, while the remaining ten will be used for housing facilities. The main stadium is mostly used for football games. It seats 50,000 people, stands 1 0,000, and has been known to hold as many as 80,000 on a busy day.
At present the various facilities are not available for individuals but plans are being made to make this possible in the future.
This tour can take half or a whole day depending on choice. It is advisable to take some food and drinks along.
Take a ferry boat to Tarkwa Bay at the Federal Palace Hotel jetty. The small boat takes about 20 minutes one way. On weekdays it leaves every 2 hours on the hour from 9 to 5 o'clock. On weekends it leaves every half hour. A return ticket for adults is 60k.
From the point of disembarkation, walk for about 10 minutes to Tarkwa Bay Chairs and umbrellas can be rented there. (Umbrella 75k, chair 25k.) If you are strong enough we recommend that after resting for some time at Tarkwa Bay you walk for about 15 minutes to Lighthouse Beach. Long walks, swimming and surfing are possible there.
The last ferry boat leaves Tarkwa Bay jetty at 6 p.m.
A pleasant day trip can be had from Lagos to Badagry and back. On the new Lagos-Badagry road it takes about 40 minutes. It is a small town situated about 57 km west of Lagos on the creek. It is a historical town having the infamous reputation of being the centre of the slave trade, in the 1880s.
Plan your day by packing food and drinks and getting an early start. Take Eko Bridge and join the road at Iganmu interchange. Signs will show you the way.
The road leads directly to Badagry where a sign will direct you to the main part of the town. You come to a round-about which you follow half way round and then veer off to right, down to the creek. Turn left and park your car in front of the Post Office. Walk down to the creek where you can arrange for a canoe and a boat-man to take you across. The boats look old but make the trip without mishap. A fair price to pay is 50k for adults round trip, free for children. Tell the boatman at what time you wish to return and he will be there to pick you up.
On arriving at the opposite shore you will usually find some young boys willing to help you with your load, for a small dash. The walk is through lovely grass fields with cows grazing, two small villages, to a coconut grove bordering on the sea. It takes 1 5 to 30 minutes depending on your pace. It can be warm at mid-day so if you are unaccustomed to the sun, wear a hat.
At the sea there are small huts if you wish to stay in the shade Or you may prefer setting up your picnic in the coconut grove. The beach is pleasant but the sea can be rough and demands caution. If you are bothered by sand fleas, light a fire of dried coconut husks and the smoke will quickly clear the area.
After returning to town some boys will show you around for a small price if you are willing. The old slave chains and market place may be of some interest. The history of Badagry is closely related to that of Lagos and they shared many of the same influences. Brazilians, Sierra Leonians and missionaries have left their mark.
The Kings of Lagos often escaped to Badagry when they fell into disfavour. You might like to take a look at the Oba's Palace.
If you still have time, the old Lagos-Badagry road will bring you to a small mat market with some of the finest mats in Nigeria. The market starts after 4 p.m. Ado Odo, the town, is very picturesque. To get there follow the new Lagos-Badagry road back to Lagos for 9km, then branch off to the left and follow the old road 15km to Ado Odo. At the first road junction in the village turn right, then left, and left again into a small dirt road. Ask for the mat market locally called 0ia osi. You can follow the old road back to Lagos but it is faster to return the way you came.
Recommended time for the trip is one day.
In order to get a feeling for the countryside and villages surrounding Lagos we suggest that you take this day trip.
Start out early in the morning and bring along food and drinks.
Leave Lagos by the Ikorodu Road. Follow the road north to Ikorodu (20km from the Airport Road junction. You will come to a roundabout in Ikorodu. Follow the direction indicated for Shagamu—Ibadan, leaving Ikorodu on your right. Take the next road right and you will be on the new Ikorodu—Itoikin—Epe Road (60 km).
As you drive along you will pass forests, swamps and villages. At Itoikin (35 km from Ikorodu) you will cross the Itoikin River, a small river which is quite beautiful.
Continue straight approximately 9km until you reach the next roundabout (Ketu). If you turn right and drive on the small road for 4 km you will arrive at Ejinrin, an old market town by the lagoon. If you have time it's a worthwhile side trip.
Return to the Epe Road and continue straight on for 16km until you reach the Aiyetoro market roundabout as you enter Epe. Take the right turn and drive along the Marina crowded with local shops. At the end of the street you will see the fish market, (if you arrive between noon and 2.00p.m.). The fishermen can be seen landing with their canoes full of fish. The fish are sold directly in the water to keep them alive and fresh.
Drive left up the hill. From the top you will have a nice view of the lagoon and the town. This part of the town has been developed as a government reservation area.
Continue straight and you are now on the Epe-ljebu-Ode Road. You will pass through hilly countryside, rows of rubber trees and pleasant small villages. About 20 km from Epe you will come to Yemoji (in the Western State). At the beginning of the village is a small natural swimming pool which was made when the river was dammed. A washed off signboard just after a small bridge will lead you there. The water is clear and cool. It is a lovely spot for a picnic and a swim. It is not as well kept as it used to be but it is still a pleasant place. (Adults pay 50k, children 20k).
When you are ready, take the same way back to Epe. When entering Epe at the small roundabout bear right around the northern part of the town. Follow the road as it curves left and descend the hill to Aiyetoro market roundabout where you first entered Epe. Bear right and return the same way you came, back to Lagos.
Recommended time for the tour is one day.
If you watch people in Lagos it looks as if everyone is buying or selling something all the time. The shops carry almost everything but the prices are high. The markets also have anything you might need, a bit harder to find, but at better prices if you are good at bargaining.
Leventis, Kingsway, and UTC are the biggest department stores. They all have their mainstores along the Marina, Lagos, and branches in different parts of the city. These stores sell clothing, housewares, food etc. etc.
Apart from Sundays there are a number of national and religious holidays.
1st of October: Independence Day, commemorating the attainment of independence from Britain and the creation of the Federation of Nigeria on the 1st of October, 1960.
1st of January: New Year's Day.
Christmas: 25th December, commemorating the birth of Jesus.
Boxing Day: 26th December.
Good Friday: variable between March and April; commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
Easter: two days, always on a Sunday and Monday; variable; it is always two days after Good Friday; commemorates the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Id-el-Fitri: variable, two days. It is the festival at the end of the 30 days fasting month of Ramaddan.
Id-el-Kabir: also called Greater Beiram festival or lleya festival; variable, two days; commemorates the substitution of a ram for Ishmail (for Jews and Christians Isaac) when Ibrahim was asked to sacrifice his son. Many Muslims sacrifice a ram on this day.
Id-el-Maulud: also called Mauladun Nabiyyi; variable, the birthday of Prophet Mohammed.
All Muslim holidays are variable. Due to the shortness of the Muslim year they move a few days backward every year in the modern calender. The exact days depend on the actual sighting of the moon.
Eyo: It is the most important traditional festival. The Eyo comes out only on very special occasions: to honour an important personality, on the occasion of death or remembrance of death of an important personality within the old Lagos families, at the funeral rites of any Oba, or on important national occasions. The Eyo never leaves the Lagos Island. Traditionally, only certain families have the right to take part in the Eyo masquerade. A group of Eyos, representing the ancestors of one of these families parades the city. Each Eyo, a male member of the family, wears a white robe covering his head, face and body completely, a white hat with the name of the family written on it, and a long stick as symbol of authority. This is used to beat and scare people away. When two Eyo groups meet the junior one points down the stick as a sign of respect. The Adimu Orisha group is the most senior in the hierarchy of the cult.
Women are traditionally not supposed to see an Eyo. On the appearance of an Eyo any person has to remove his shoes and headgear.
Gelede: The Gelede is an annual festival of Egbado/Awori origin taking place sometime in September/October. It is an Egungun, i.e. a masquerade. This one is an Egungun festival on the lighter side. The masqueraders appear as jesters mimicking people of importance in society and making fun of everything generally. Each masquerader depicts somebody, dead or alive. Originally the Gelede used to parade the streets for a whole week. Now it has been reduced to a day or two. The centre of it is around Isalegangan Street and Ita Taiwo.
There are many masquerades which are not indigenous to Lagos but celebrated by groups of immigrants. Some of them have lived in Lagos for generations but they still keep alive the tradition of their origin. These masquerades are celebrated in an area of the city where a larger number of the respective ethnic group have settled.
Igunu: This is a powerful secret cult which holds its own court and haunts witches. Members of the cult have their own annual festival conducted in a serious manner. They go to the outskirts of the town and come back carrying small shrubs on their shoulders. They parade the streets with the Igunu, a tall figure in white robes on stilts representing the ancestors, and they go to visit important personalities in the town. The dynamic Salumogi, a very short masquerader, clears the way for the tall Igunu, beating people with his whip. When the Igunu goes around people greet them with "eso, eso", and everyone has to remove his cap and shoes.
The cult originates from the area around Bida. The Nupe peoples brought it with them a long time ago and it is found in areas where there are pockets of these people who are now referred to as Tapa but are considered to be Lagosians.
When you drive around in Lagos any evening but especially on weekends, you may find gaily dressed people in small or large crowds, feasting, drinking, singing, drumming and dancing. They may be celebrating the birth of a child (usually the naming ceremony or baptism is on the eighth day), or a wedding, or the death of an old person or the anniversary of his burial. If an old person dies this is not a cause for mourning in Yoruba tradition. Rather it is a reason for joy and thanksgiving because the deceased has had a long and fulfilled life, has had children, and has now, at the right time, returned to god and the ancestors.
If you want to know what is going on in respect to cinemas, theatres, concerts, exhibitions, sports, games and other special events, look out for posters and check in the daily newspapers, particularly the Daily Times.
You can also contact the following information centres:
Nigerian Tourist Association, 47, Marina, Lagos, Tel. 20335, 22674, 52465.
Nigerian Arts Council, 163/165, Yakubu Gowon Street, Lagos, Old Niger House, Tel. 50295, especially for exhibitions.
National Museum Society, Nigerian Museum, Awolowo Road, Tel. 21918: Ext. 6, for Museum events (usually cultural programme on last Monday of month at 7.30 p.m.).
Goethe Institute (German Cultural Institute), 174, Yakubu Gowon Street, Lagos, Tel. 24461, for films and exhibitions etc.
British Council, 227, Herbert Macaulay Street, Tel. 45094, 45095, 45096 8/10, Yakubu Gowon Street, Lagos, Tel. 56990.
French Cultural Centre, 7, Military Street, Onikan, Lagos, Tel. 26650, 50088 especially for films.
Italian Cultural Institute, in the Italian Embassy, Eleke Crescent, Victoria Island, Tel. 26301 Ext. 20 for exhibitions, concerts etc.
American Women's Club, P.O. Box 5648, Lagos — publish "Fancy That", a magazine with Lagos News.
Glover Hall, Customs Street, Lagos, Tel. 22820, for plays and cinema.
Nigeria is rich in both traditional and modern art. Much of this fine work can be found in Lagos. The Nigerian Museum (see Tours) has an excellent collection of traditional Nigerian art works. Indigenous art is being encouraged by the State and Federal Governments. For example every year there is a Lagos State arts festival, puring this festival there are competitions in music, art, dances etc. The finale is usually a boat regatta.
In November 1975 Lagos will host the Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture. The festival aims to promote Black artists and bring to light contributions of Black people. Contributions come from all of Africa, South America, North America, Europe, Australia and Asia.
A new theatre and cultural complex built in Lagos for the festival (see Tours) will become the centre of cultural activity in Nigeria.
There are numerous galleries which exhibit modern and traditional art.
Places worth checking into are:
Goethe Institute (German Cultural Institute) 174, Yakubu Gowon Street, Lagos Island Tel. 24461.
Nigerian Arts Council (Gallery Labac) 163/165, Yakubu Gowon Street, Lagos. Old Niger House Tel. 50295.
Bronze Gallery, 39, Campbell Street, Lagos Island.
Gong Gallery, 10, Lake Street, off Yakubu Gowon Street, Lagos Island. Mrs. Black, 29, Raymond Njoku Road, Ikoyi. (Right off Awolowo Road, then first street left, house is on the right) Open: 5.30 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursdays.
Mr. Effionayi, 199, Herbert Macaulay Street/Adekunle Street, (Sculptor's workshop).
African Arts Gallery (Mr. Ade Wallace), 13/15, Apongbon Street (off Yakubu Gowon Street), Lagos Island.
Mr. Roland Ogiamien Sculptor's workshop, Airport Road, opposite Police College, Ikeja. Open 8.00 a.m. — 7.00 p.m.
Yakubu Gowon Library, Ghandi Room, University of Lagos, Yaba.
Yaba College of Technology — Art Department — Herbert Macaulay Street, Yaba. Grille and Oshunbe are lecturers and artists in the College.
Fab Arts Oshogbo Airport Hotel, Ikeja
Another thing to look for are the thorn carvers who make a variety of small figures engaged in traditional activities. The carvers can usually be found at Bar Beach and near the major hotels. If you are near the University look up Mr. Adekunle, 12, Abudu Street (off University Road), Abule Oja, Yaba.As you walk around Lagos keep your eyes open for interesting art works in
unexpected places. Note the sculptures in the lobby of the Mainland Hotel, mosaics in Western House, and next door to the Bristol Hotel, or the mural on Unity House overlooking the Lagos harbour.
Also as you walk around you can't miss all the beautiful brightly coloured cloth, Nigeria's most abundant art form.
If you are interested in traditional theatre look for posters featuring Duro Ladipo, Ogunde or Alawada. The plays are always in Yoruba and it is helpful if you bring an interpreter along. If this is not possible, the music and dancing is well worth seeing.
Plays are usually shown at:
Glover Hall, Custom Street, Lagos.
Randle Hall, at King George V. Roundabout, Lagos.
University of Lagos, College of Education, Akoka, Yaba.
Yaba College of Technology, Herbert Macaulay Street, Yaba.
Occasionally modern plays, often in English, can be found at these places also.
If you are relaxing in your hotel and you want to get a feel of the history, traditions and modern conditions of Nigeria, buy a book from the African Writers Series. Some favourite Nigerian writers are Chinua Achebe, Cyprian Ekwensi, Wole Soyinka, Amos Tutuola, and there are many other authors worth reading.
Religion in Nigeria has a central place in most people's lives. There is a multitude of churches and mosques in Lagos, which are all well attended for Sunday services or Friday prayers respectively.
The traditional religion of the Yorubas in the Lagos area focuses on different gods representing different aspects of one almighty, all encompassing God, Olodumare, 0/uwa, 0/orun — owner of heaven and earth — who is too sacred to be directly approached or worshipped.
His ministers or representatives are:
Orisa-nla, Obatala—deputy of Olodumare on earth in his creative and executive functions. ObatSIci is the sculptor-divinity, the maker, responsible for the creation of the physical part of man, and the creation of earth and the arrangements of its trappings. The colour of his dress is white, a symbol of purity.
Qrunmila—deputy of Olodumare in matters pertaining to omniscience and wisdom. 0runmila is the divinity of the Ifa-Oracle which is so popular in Yorubaland. It was and still is consulted by many before every important step in life.
Esu I; I eg bar a — often described as inspector-general who reports regularly to Olodumare on the deeds of the divinities and men. He is also the trickster, malicious; mischief-making in his hobby. His powers can be employed against an enemy. He is the god of witchcraft.
There is a second group of gods who are deified ancestors. The most important are:
Ogun — god of iron, of war, of hunters.
Sango — "the Wrath" of Olodumare, god of thunder and lightning. Spppna — "Lord of the Earth", "the destruction that wasteth at noonday". His main scourge is smallpox and chickenpox.
Apart from these, there is a multitude of other gods, and good and evil spirits. The unborn, the living, and the dead form a unity.
Oracle and Babalawo (juju-priest) play an important role. Although most Lagosians call themselves Moslems or Christians, oracle consulting and "juju" practices still play an important part in the lives of many Lagosians today. In any emergency, illness, misfortune, many people turn to the babalawo for help in solving their difficulties. "Juju" is often used to do evil to somebody or "for protection" if a person fears that another person is using "juju" against him.
Islam was established during the reign of King Adele around 1775. Christianity came towards the end of the 19th century. Methodist missionaries under Rev. Freeman landed in Badagry in 1843 and initiated the work of conversion along the coast. Today both religions are widely practised in Lagos.
Apart from the major Christian denominations a number of new sects and movements have sprung up in Nigeria and particularly in Lagos, like the "Cherubim and Seraphim", and the "Aladuras". Apart from some theoretical differences their practices are probably nearer to the traditional African rituals with ecstatic happenings, lively songs in local languages, clapping hands and the use of drums and bells. They have many small churches throughout Lagos. There are also a growing number of churches belonging to the Pentecostal movement.
Of the four traditional Islamic denominations Nigerian Muslims generally belong to the Tijani Movement. Within this movement there are a number of societies formed principally to further education among Muslims, improve the general welfare of the people, and to pursue Islamic missionary work in a better organised fashion. These rather independent branches of the Central Mosque are the Zumratul Islamiyya, the Jamathul Islamiyah, the Ansar-ud-deen Society, and the Anwarulai Movement. Another movement with a rather small following in Nigeria is the Ahmadiyya movement which believes in the Pakistani Mahdi as a prophet. The Ansar-ud-deen Society and the Anwarulai Movement are particularly well known for their activities in the promotion of education among Muslims.
Nigerians are tolerant people. All these different faiths exist side by side and people respect each others' beliefs. They visit and invite each other for their ceremonies and feasts.
All creeds and denominations have churches and mosques in many parts of Lagos. Here we can mention only a few, mainly on Lagos Island. The services on the Mainland may even be better attended and livelier.
Holy Cross Cathedral, Lagos, Catholic Mission Street (Oil Mill Street/Campbell Street).
Sunday Mass: 6.30 a.m., 8 a.m. (Children's Mass in Yoruba), 9 a.m., 10 a.m. High Mass, 7.00 p.m.
Saint Dominies Church, Yaba, Herbert Macaulay Street (Harvey Road/Moor Road).
Sunday Mass: 6.00 a.m., 7 a.m., 8 a.m., 9.30 a.m., 10.30 a.m. and 7.00 p.m.Others are: St. Paul's Church, Ebute Metta, Clifford Road;
Cathedral Church of Christ, Lagos, Marina/Odulami Street. Sunday Services: 7.30 a.m. Holy Communion, 9.00 a.m. Matins, 10.15 a.m. Holy Communion (Choral every 1st and 3rd Sunday). 6.30 p.m. Evensong.
Saint Saviour's Church, Lagos at the junction of Cable Street/Yakubu Gowon Street/Tafawa Balewa Square "For Christians of all Nations and Churches". Sunday: 8.00 a.m. Holy Communion, 9.30 a.m. Family Service (mainly for children), 7.30 p.m. Evensong.
Trinity Methodist Church, Lagos, 76A, Yakubu Gowon Street/Tinubu Square Olowogbowo Methodist Church, Lagos, Chapel Street (off Yakubu Gowon Street).
Sunday services at 7 a.m. (English) 10 a.m. (Yoruba and Fanti), 7 p.m. (Yoruba and English mixed).
Hoares Memorial Methodist Church, Yaba, Herbert Macaulay Street. Sunday Services at 8.30 a.m. (English) 10.00 a.m. (Yoruba) 7.30 p.m. English
First Baptist Church, Lagos, 24 Yakubu Gowon Street (between Oil Mill treet and Joseph Street)
Sundays 9.15 a.m. Sunday School; 10.30 a.m. Workshop Service; The language of the orning services is Yoruba, except in the 2nd and 4th week of the month. The evening services are in English.
The English speaking arm of the 1st Baptist Church is in Ikoyi in the Aunty Ayo School, id of Biaduo Street, off Keffi Street. There is a service in English on Sundays at 9.30 a.m. Others are under Baptist in the telephone directory.
German Evangelical: The last Sunday of the month at Saint Saviours Church, ace Course, Lagos 6.00 p.m.
Greek Orthodox: St. Anastasios Church, Iddo, behind Leventis Building, unday Service at 10.00 a.m. if the priest is in town (most of the year).
Central Mosque, 46A, Nnamdi Azikiwe Street, Lagos (between Palm Church treet and Tolumagbo Avenue), Tel. 25128.
Ali Oloko Mosque (Marekele Mosque), Nnamdi Azikiwe Street, Lagos, (between Ukanni Street and Shopono Street).
Shitta Mosque, Martins Street, Lagos.
Jamatul-lslamiyah Mosque, Tokunboh Street, Lagos (between Oil Mill Street nd Joseph Street).
Members at the Lagos Motor Boat Club, Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, Tel. 26513, or at the Apapa Boat Club, Marine Road, Apapa. They sometimes have Rowing competitions.
Lagos State Amateur Boxing Association. Secretary: Mr. Gbajabiamila, c/o LSSC, Mobolaji Johnson Sports Centre, Yaba
Training At the Mobolaji Johnson Sports Centre on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays officially and organised on other days by different clubs. Boxing Ring for practice is available at the Alakoro Training Centre, Tel. 21441; at Mobolaji Johnson Sports Centre; at the Biney Community Centre. Gloves are provided by the Association at practices. Training usually between 4.00 p.m. and 6.30 p.m.
Affiliated Clubs: Customs, Navy, Army, Federation of Boys and Girls Clubs, Igbobi Club, P. & T. Admission free.
Lagos State Amateur Cricket Club, Secretary: Ewa Henshaw, c/o LSSC, Mobolaji Sports Centre, Herbert Macaulay Street, Yaba.
Lagos State Cricket Association, Race Course, Lagos, Tel. 20069.
Practices at the Race Course, Lagos, Tuesdays, Fridays, and Sundays. There are private clubs, e.g. Shell, Ports Authority, UAC, all in Surulere, which admit members of the public to their team. They practice on pitches located inside the club.
Lagos State Amateur Cycling Association, Secretary: Mr. H. 0. A. Gbajabiamila, c/o LSSC, Mobolaji Johnson Sports Centre, Herbert Macaulay Street, Yaba. Practices held on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Mobolaji Johnson Sports Centre and along major roads of the Mainland 3.30 p.m. — 6.30 p.m. Long practices are held on Saturdays.
For information contact the Lagos Flying Club, Aerodrome, Kirikiri Road, Apapa, Tel. 48005.
Lagos State Football Association, Secretary: Mr. Akinwumi, c/o Mobolaji Johnson Sports Centre, Yaba.
Venue: National Stadium, Surulere; City Stadium, (presently being re-constructed), Marina/King George V Road. For matches check in the daily newspapers. Football is played all year round. It is the most common sport in Lagos. There are over 100 clubs in the State, and every team is ever willing to take in good players. It is played for recreation in almost every available open space in the city.
There are three golf clubs in Lagos, the Ikoyi Golf Club, Mulliner Road, Ikoyi, (18 holes); the Ikeja Golf Club, Oba Akinjobi Street, Ikeja, (9 holes); the Ebute Metta Golf Club, in the Railway Compound, Ebute Metta (9 holes). Use of the golf course is only for members and their guests. If you are a short term visitor and keen on playing golf contact the golf professional, Ikoyi Club, Mulliner Road, Tel. 53983.
Lagos State Amateur Hockey Association. Secretary: Femi Akoni, c/o LSSC, Mobolaji Johnson Sports Centre, Herbert Macaulay Street, Yaba. The only practice pitch open to the public is located at the National Stadium, Surulere. Others are privately owned by companies or firms, e.g. Shell, UAC, Surulere.
Lessons every Wednesday and Friday 12-30 p.m.-1.30 p.m. at the Japanese Information Centre, 118/120 Yakubu Gowon Street.
Lagos State Amateur Lawn Tennis Association. Secretary: F.F. Alade, c/o LSSC, Mobolaji Johnson Sports Centre, Yaba. Courts open to the public are at the Mobolaji Johnson Sports Centre, Yaba and at the Onikan Sports Centre. 5k per hour per player is charged. Training according to individual convenience from 8.00a.m. till 6.30p.m. daily. The Tennis Courts at the major Hotels are also open to the public. Tennis Courts for members are at many clubs in different parts of the city, e.g. Lagos Lawn Tennis Club, 12, Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos, Tel. 21298; Island Club, Lagos; Yoruba Tennis Club, Lagos; Shell and UAC Clubs, Surulere; Ikoyi Club; Apapa Club; Country Club, Ikeja.
Lagos State Amateur Netball Association, Secretary: Mrs. Adeyemi, c/o MobolajiJohnson Sports Centre, Yaba.
Courts: Played on basketball courts lined to specification. It is fast giving way to basketball.
Lagos State Amateur Swimming Association. Secretary: Mr. T. Obi c/o LSSC, Mobolaji Johnson Sports Centre, Yaba.
Venues: National Stadium Swimming Pool, admission 25k per head per practice; Mobolaji Johnson Sports Centre, Herbert Macaulay Street, Yaba, 10k per person; Onikan Swimming Pool, Awolowo Road, Lagos, opposite National Museum, 10k_per person. Some major Hotels have Swimming Pools open to the public, e.g. Airport Hotel, Ikeja; Federal .Palace Hotel, Victoria Island; Ikoyi Hotel, Ikoyi. The atmosphere at the hotel swimming pools is more enjoyable but you have to pay a bit more. Most pools are flood lit and open all day till 9.00 p.m.
Lagos State Amateur Squash Association. Secretary: Akintimehin Augustine, c/o LSSC, Mobolaji Johnson Sports Centre, Herbert Macaulay Road, Yaba.
Venues: Mobolaji Johnson Sports Centre, Yaba; Army Barracks, Yaba; National Stadium, Surulere; and in private clubs and compounds. Admission is free, but theplayer is to supply ball and racket at practice. All courts are flood lit and open all day.
A payment of 25k is charged for the use of the National Stadium court.
Lagos State Amateur Table Tennis Association. Secretary: Miss Grace Okoro, c/o Mobolaji Johnson Sports Centre, Yaba.
Venues: Mobolaji Johnson Sports Centre, Herbert Macaulay Street, Yaba, from 8.00 a.m. till 8.00 p.m. Mainly individual games. Admission free.
Table Tennis tables are however scattered along roadsides in Lagos and there is a charge of 2k or 3k (depending on the quality of the table) per person per game. This payment is refunded to the winner of the game.
There are area clubs in almost every other street of Lagos and roadside competitions are even more prominent than Association Table Tennis. It is as common as football in Lagos.
Lagos State Amateur Volleyball Association. Secretary: Mr. Naibi, c/o LSSC, Mobolaji Johnson Sports Centre, Yaba.
Venues: Mobolaji Johnson Sports Centre, Yaba; National Stadium, Surulere.
Practices are held daily from 8.00 a.m. till 6.30 p.m. Admission is free. Affiliated Clubs: NBC, Army, Police, Airways, Airforce.
Many small inconveniences could spoil your visit to Lagos. This section tries to make some suggestions which will help you avoid these mishaps.
Lagos can be very chaotic. You must watch the traffic and be careful crossing streets. Sometimes things take a long time, so you must be patient. It often helps if you are polite but persistent. It is hot but it is important for you to stay cool. If you find yourself in a difficult situation ask someone for help and generally they will. Remember to dash (tip) all the people who offer you small services. They will remember too and be helpful the next time. Nigerians like to laugh and laughter is often the key to solving many problems.
All persons travelling to and from Nigeria require a valid national passport. The exceptions are: Nationals of some West African Countries who may use travel certificates. They must also have an entry permit for the period of their stay. This is also true for holders of British Commonwealth Passports. All other persons must obtain visas. As much advance notice as possible should be allowed. A minimum of six weeks is advisable. Apply to any Nigerian Embassy or Consulate. The following International Certificates of Inoculation are required: Smallpox, Yellow Fever, Cholera. Polio and Tetanus are recommended.
If you are coming from Europe or the United States we recommend that you take anti-malaria pills two weeks before you come, while you are here, and two weeks after you leave.
If you plan to enter by road you require additional documents:
1. International Driving Licence.
2. International Certificate for a Motor Vehicle.
3. International Insurance Certificate.
Vehicles must be insured against Third Party Risks and visitors by road must report to the office of the Principal Licensing Authority, 27, Kakawa Street, Lagos, for documents to be stamped and to receive a circulation permit.
In addition to personal effects you may take away souvenirs but not antiquities unless properly registered. A permit for any antiquity must be obtained from the National Museum of Art before export. Any souvenirs collected from other countries can be exported.
Prohibited items include arms, ammunition, drugs, narcotics, and Nigerian currency.
It is prohibited to import or export Nigerian currency. You must declare your currency on arrival and departure. A maximum of N400-00 in foreign currency may be exported not including currency declared at time of arrival.
Nigeria uses a decimal currency system with two units, Naira and Kobo.1 Naira (N1) =100 Kobo (100k)
Exchange facilities are available at the airport and the main bank branches in Lagos. It is best to use travellers cheques since personal cheques or even bank drafts are rarely cashed.
Note: Do your business early in the day.
Most banks open from 8.00 a.m. to 1.30 p.m. Monday-Thursday,8.00a.m. to 3.00p.m. on Friday, Closed on Saturday.
Most shops have the following hours Monday-Friday: 8.00a.m. to 12.30p.m. morning hours, 12.30 p.m. to 2.00 p.m.-lunch break, 2.00 p.m. to 5.00 p.m.-afternoon hours.
On Saturday the large Department Stores are open from 8.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. without a break. Most other shops close at 1.00 p.m. for the day.
Most Nigerian meals consist of pepper soup made with fish, meat, or chicken, accompanied by a large portion of rice, gari or yam. At parties usually a wide variety of dishes are offered.
Here are a list of dishes you might like to try. Almost everything is well spiced with red pepper and you must ask if you would like a bit less.Jollof Rice — Rice mixed with onions, red pepper, tomatoe puree, oil and spices.
If you listen closely in Lagos you will hear a multitude of languages and dialects. The one most commonly spoken is Yoruba.
The Yorubas attach great importance to greetings. Apart from enquiries after the health of various members of the family and references to the time of day, their greetings always make some mention of the circumstances in which the person addressed is found.
If you take the time and effort to learn and use some of the Yoruba greetings, you will find that you will quickly make friends in Lagos.
In learning the greetings you must remember that Yoruba is a tonal language with three tones, ( / ) up, ( \) low, ( - ) medium. As you learn the greetings you must learn the tone as well.
Vowel Sounds:a is about mid way between the short front 'a' of 'fat' and the long back 'a' of 'father'.