Orifunke Lawal

This poem by Mosobalaje Abimbola (King Abimbola) is one that perfectly and effortlessly describes what Lagos means. It encapsulates the daily life that most people in Lagos can relate to. This is the second entry in The Lagos Series and we have twenty-eight weeks to go. Last week, we had a post on Lagos Yoruba Demons. Read it here: Lagos Yoruba Demons | The Lagos Series, Week 1


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There are many names which Lagos can be called;
A whore who welcomes everybody into her bosom
Without discrimination,
A restless soul –because she never sleeps,
even when darkness bites into the soul of the day.

If like me, you love music, you’ll listen
To the unrhythmic rhythms of Molues, BRTs, hawkers,
You will hear the silent, but heavy thumps of hearts
Imperfectly held in figurines with faces soaked with sweat.

You can say Lagos is that disrespectful child,
But not the spoilt brat like a fermented meal.
It bears no respect for anyone; you could be in a suit,
Sitting on the step of a BRT, while a boy in shorts
Sits comfortably in a chair with his ears plugged with a phone.

No one is allowed
The luxury of nothingness;
Somehow, the sojourners get rods to play
their drums, It is how they remind themselves of living.

Here, since the sun shone, it has never set
It will never set.
For those who have chosen to suckle life’s milk
From the sagging breasts of the many-breasted woman,
I hope we never choke on its fluid.

King Abimbola

What Lagos Means 


Missed the last episode of The Lagos Series? Read it here:

Lagos Yoruba Demons | The Lagos Series, Week 1


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The Lagos Series is a project which aims at sharing an enlightening, entertaining and inspiring narrative of Lagos in both written and visual media.

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