First things first, Lagos apartments are OVERPRICED. If you think you will get value for your money, please get ready to be shocked out of your wits. What you will find is that rent property quality is not even at par with the cost placed on it. I’ll get back to this in a bit.
So January 1st this year I had a list of what I want in 2017 and top of that list was paying my own rent. Rationale: My dad retires this year and it was past time papa mia stopped footing the rest of my responsibilities. Then I thought again, Olodi-Apapa (where I currently stay) is too far. I’ll search for a place in a central location in Lagos and pay.
Thus the search began. First I learnt that what I have known as a self-contained apartment all my life is called the Mini-flat in Lagos. So by Lagos definition, a self-contained apartment is just one-room with bathroom and toilet carved into a corner of it and a Mini-flat is usually a room, sitting-room, kitchen and toilet facilities in it. For me and everywhere I have lived (Ogun and Ondo) except Lagos, what I described as a self-contained apartment will be regarded as just what it is – a room.
That understood, I limited my search to “Mini flat” in Ilupeju, Airport Road area of Oshodi, Gbagada, Yaba, Onipanu and Maryland. Budget: 250,000 Naira per year. Can I hear some short snorts, somebody? Google became my friend, that’s aside the BBM announcement I made about searching. The first few responses I got to this “advert” was “250k? For Miniflat in this Lagos? Make it 300 or worse 350 na”. At this, I get my small Nokia and put the calculator to good use. Let somebody not come and be counting bridges in Lagos abeg. After the calculation, I realised going up on my initial will put plenty pressure on my pocket. After rent, I will sha still pay bills and feed and look good; all of which also cost money. So 250k or nothing.
Between Jiji.com and Nigeriapropertycentre.com, I managed to find some agents. The first I met in Yaba, very customer-centric, was the one who taught me the difference between self-con and Miniflat according to Lagos. Then we (My twin and I) decided to go see the apartment and then he says we’ll be paying 3000naira for inspection fee. The Ijebu in me kicked in. I need to pay to check? What if I don’t like the place? Will I get refund? Answer: No. I calculated; if I saw five different agents to check different places, 15000 is gone? LOL! So I quickly told him I’ll call him later about it as we’re undecided as to whether we want Yaba.
My next stop was Oshodi. I saw two places there. The first place, if you have a car, you will be parking on the street. That told me one thing. The man who owns the house is not progressive. Is he praying his tenants never own cars? Did I mention the almost non-existent ventilation? Lagos is hot enough for one to add cramped apartment to the wahala. My answer, Mbanu! The second place had a very poor road network, and the apartment, two stories up, had not been connected to water. Again, no thank you. For both I paid 1,500naira inspection fee.
Please note that at this time, I hadn’t thought to ask my dad how much my current two-bedroom apartment costs. Next stop was Ogudu, this one was found by a friend. The sad part about that area was that both ways, I will always be in traffic: whether to work or from work. That’s like adding ten years to my twenty-something already. Still, let’s see the apartment. It was nice. The builder or landlord however made a mistake: the window of the sitting room and the stair outside the house are on the same level; which meant if it rained and water flows down the stairs, it will flood the room. Did I go in rainy season? No. How did I know? Chuck that to the few times my twin and I have gone to Popsi’s house while it was being constructed. The detailed eye helped where nice would have just been enough for some people.
Long story short, I found another apartment at Onipanu. 270,000 yearly as rent and 120,000 for “agency and commission”, the agent said. Total: 390,000 Naira in the first year. Note again, this is rent only. Then I called papa and he said “120k commission and agency? Isn’t it supposed to be 10percent of rent again? That’s what the law says. That’s too much to pay”. That’s when I decided to ask, “Daddy, how much do you pay for this our place?” Let’s just say the answer got me realising I can pay 1 and three-quarter year’s rent at my current place. Did I mention that my current house can comfortably park 10 cars, has steady water supply and is only “far” when you’re coming from after Oshodi (Ikeja, Ojota, Ketu, Ikorodu)? Also to and from work or anywhere, I’m always against traffic unless the Apapa traffic demons (oil tankers and freight vehicles) are out to play.
Final decision: Rent paid and I will not be moving.
- Lagos apartments are priced based on Location. Please note, location doesn’t necessarily mean quality apartment. It only means you’ll be paying almost double the price of a Mile 2 apartment in Yaba
- Only you know your pocket. Don’t let your big girl/boy status be determined by those who think living in one area isn’t good for your status when they are not supporting you with a dime.
- That thing they say about Lagos and packaging, it’s true. Don’t let your need for a fine house take your eyes off the really important details. Go with a detailed eye.
- If you have a low budget like the one I had, look beyond the really catchy areas of Lagos. It doesn’t make sense to drive a Murano while living in one-room in Magodo when you can get a mini-flat or standard flat at the same rate in Okota, Mile 2, Palmgrove or Egbeda and still drive that Murano.
- Only you know what you want. Don’t let Lagos’ idea of what is good make you lower your standard.
- Most importantly, life is too short to be living to pay rent alone.
It’s Friday and there’s a party about to start. Drinks are showing up. Small chops are making mouths do the Skelewu. soon, feet will join the movement. You see It’s TGIF somewhere in the city of Lagos. but before i go join the party…
The gods of writing must be having the time of their life right now as they imagine the many stories that could win literary prizes if only someone will write about current happenings in Nigeria. In the same vein, these gods must be having a good laugh at the situation called Nigeria. Allow me to explain.
Until some days ago, I’ve been away from here. It’s hard putting aside the worrying state of things to put thoughts to text. In my defense, i want to say that the Muses deserted me but that is not what happened. “What happened?” You ask. The only answer: Nigeria. Well to be fair, Nigeria has always happened but recently, more often than not. Nigeria is renowned for its corrupt abilities and fraudulent nature. Cameron gave it a fancy name: fantastic corruption.
However lately, Nigeria has found more ways than one to remain the topic of the day internationally: the conspiracy called Chibok girls, the desperation called Niger Delta Avengers, the disaster called Nomadic farmers, the rising despair called saving the economy, The southward turn of the naira, the growing fear called depleting oil and the sad situation called job cuts and rising unemployment.
When you grow up in a country like Nigeria you come to expect anything.No matter how depressing the news, life goes on. You thrive on the belief that where life exists, hope abounds. You expect nothing from the government but understand that when your tide turns, the government expects everything from you. So you get used to the negativity and make jokes about it until then. So like most Nigerians out there, i take bad news like one would buy roasted corn at a street corner- in stride after only a slight pause or shake of the head. But in all the years of my existence, all twenty-five of them precisely, nothing came close to breaking me than accumulated events of the past few weeks. There was the fuel price hike, thousands of job cuts across the country, the back and forth in government (too many propagandas and too many of those who take a knife to Nigeria like it’s their family inheritance.)
There was a time when it-is-well was the statement that marked the end of every complaint but these days even that is no longer enough. To agree with Igoni Barrett, each of us has become Ministers in our own right- Ministers of power, works and housing, defence, youth development, education and so on. we provide these things ourselves.
Lately, many of my friends are leaving the country. Some for study, some for work but in retrospect, for many of them it looks like a permanent move. Of course, I’m happy they can leave this despair called Nigeria behind but I’m sad at the avoidable circumstances that prompted their decisions. Nigeria is a country that beats hope out of you no matter how much you try not to let it. Weeks ago, I found myself looking out too. I find I want to take a break from all the depressing news surrounding Nigeria especially as the Naira keeps doing a Hopfrog against other currencies. And when I think “Oh, that’s typical Nigeria”, this time it lacks the conviction with which I used to voice those words.
Therefore I came back here to the one place where I can write out my thoughts without losing them. When I first started this blog, the idea was to give relevance and meanings to the regular, the everyday. Now as much as I cannot term every post on here an everyday kind of story, I find that you relate to some of the stories and give feedback albeit privately. Perhaps this is not your typical everyday situation, it is slowly becoming mine.
Right now, I write not as one hiding behind the fictive creation of a story nor behind the condensed words of poetry. Here I write as one who needs to be reminded, why I should continue to love Nigeria despite all its madness.
This is for every man out there who is in constant psychological battle for his masculinity
Gentlemen, shall we?
For once let’s talk about what it means to be a man. Let’s leave society’s drama of man versus woman and social media standards of men and women. Let’s look beyond the Yoruba demon hash tags and the men-are-insensitive speeches and take a look at what it really means to be a man.
Admittedly the Nigerian society is unfair on women. It’s very demanding on us, tasking us to have woven ourselves many yards thick into the fabric of wifely actions and/or inactions from our teenage years. Judging us to be good wives and great mothers, expecting us to birth and raise children who will be model citizens from the moment we become women and making sure anything short gets us the “you’re not a good woman” tag. But this is not about women.
Carried away by the noise constantly raging between the sexes, we forget that this part of the world is equally unfair on men. It’s more subtle but it’s there. It’s there every time you approach a girl for a relationship and in the first few sentences, she’s gauging how much you’re worth, if you can cater for her needs and if you can really match up with the image of the man she has in her head. So first you have to be better than the man in her head or some prior man in her life.
Society’s unfairness is there in the subtle way it expects you to cater to your family and woman’s needs not minding whether you even have enough for yourself. It’s also there in other men’s expectations of you. So from go, you’re made aware of the many people you have to convincingly provide for to be called a man. There’s you, family (nuclear and extended), woman (or women) and of course social responsibility. It’s brutal if you’re unable to. Society will not hold back.
So you get a job to keep up with those expectations. You’re happy with the job but soon, the little you make is no longer enough because the bills at home keep going up or “your mates are driving good cars and you’re still on leggedez benz” or “Temi’s boyfriend took her to Dubai for Christmas but where did you take me?” So you buckle up and start one or two side-businesses in order to meet up responsibilities and keep up with the social scene. Did I forget to mention that the kind of career you find yourself increases your reputation? Oil sector is equal mega hit. Business and ICT equals he-get-prospects. Banking is big-boy. Medicine/Law/Engineering gets you a he’s-a-professional. Every other, you’re on your own. Try explaining to a Nigerian what it is you do as a copywriter (hopefully they don’t get it confused with copyright).
The unfairness is there in the expectations from family in taking care of your younger ones or in even supporting the home front especially if you’re the first born son. And just when you’re getting the hang of it, just when you’re beginning to understand what it means to be a man, then you’re subtly urged to begin to include iyawo rere in prayers because you need a woman who will hold home down so you can focus on the hustle. So like the woman who doesn’t want to be tagged for Shiloh 2030, as a man too, you don’t want the tag of someone who can’t keep a woman. So you try to be a man and man your way through heartbreaks and sadness and deaths and depression and manipulation and family. So you learn to be bigger than you really are, even if it means faking it and dressing it up. You have to be a man. Remember?
What about sex? Every day you go online, somebody is talking about 6 inches and 9 inches and without even realizing it, you’re measuring yourself against someone’s preconceived idea of how many inches you need to be a conqueror in bed. You begin to wonder if that hot new girl you are about to conquer has been with someone bigger or smaller and if you’ll somehow do better or less than her last man. You begin to ask yourself if the you’re-the-man which Precious was chanting the last time you both rolled in the hay was her being good at faking orgasm or her being the real deal.
In the end, the struggle to be a man is no small feat. Men may break your heart, take advantage of your love, choose the hustle over you; in the end those things are things society conditioned them to be in order to be called a man.
So for once, guys tell us, what does it mean to be a man?
As a writer, there are certain things that come to you easily; particular attention to things (details) even when it seems you are not looking.
So sometime ago, a contact of mine used a Display Picture that most people keep hidden, an insignia of a particular confraternity. Usually I’m not one to ask people stuff about their DP except we are very good friends, I proceeded to ask him about it nonetheless and if he was a member. He answered in the affirmative. He then proceeded to explain his reason as “youthful exuberance”. My antenna went up just then. I thought he could have just own up to his choices and then let it go. I’m a sucker for people who own up to their choices, good and bad anyway. But calling his choice “youthful exuberance” when he is apparently still proud of his membership didn’t go down well with me.
For me, youthful exuberances are choices one would rather not associate with as one grows, but which are part of a person’s growing up reality. If you’re proud of your choices as an adult, then it no longer qualifies as youthful exuberance. A friend argues that though youthful exuberance is not necessarily something you’re not proud of, it could be something you’ve outgrown nonetheless.
If this guy’s choice was something he has outgrown or regret because he did it out of curiosity or peer pressure (I didn’t ask his reason), why is he identifying with that choice? However, confraternity is not the subject of this article. This article is about a young man who blamed his choices on youthful exuberance when he still very much enjoys the benefits of that choice as a young adult.
I think everyone of us have done things that looking back, either makes us smile, fill us with regrets, make us wish for those times, is the reason why a particular nickname stuck or just become great entertaining stories for when we meet old friends again. I think it is fair to call exuberances experiments i.e. experimenting with life until we get to that point where we can make informed decisions about what to let go of and what to continue with. If as a young person, I had experimented with drugs and alcohol and then decided to stop because I have outgrown that period of my life, then I can call it exuberance. If I had at one time derived joy in partying all day every day, going from one party to another, with no direction to my life and then one day I stopped it all, then that also qualifies as youthful exuberance. But if I still do these things and take pride in them, then it is not exuberance.
I’m open to a different opinion though. What do you think qualifies as youthful exuberance and what does exuberance mean to you?
Tonight, we will be doing things a little differently. Today’s article went up on another blog I’m a contributor on. I had a different topic planned for here so I had to debate with myself about it. In the long run, that topic won the debate. So here goes, Should tribe be a major factor when getting married? Click on that and it will take you to the other blog. I hope you enjoy it as always and please don’t forget to share and leave a comment.
I love you guys always.
Once upon a time, I was a radio freak. Radio put me to bed every night and woke me up in the morning. I remember there used this be this show on Cool FM
(before adverts got more space than programmes) where listeners called in to have their boyfriends/girlfriends tested. Basically all the listener needed to do was call in, provide phone number of the said person and give vital information that could help the presenter cook up a valid lie.
On this particular day, a guy called in. According to him, he had invested money, time and emotions on the lady and he was at the stage where home-to-mama was the next sensible thing. However he wanted his lady tested so he can be sure they were on the same page. The presenter called the lady; let’s call her Sandra, telling her that a company she applied to is of the opinion that she is the best candidate for them. However, because of the nature of the job, they require people without commitments as they will be more flexible. The presenter then asked her, “Do you have a boyfriend?” If it were you, biko, what would your answer be? Therefore, Sandra answered, “No”. Na there kata kata burst.
Let’s come back to two days ago. While scrolling through Twitter, I saw a tweet about how you can find out if your boo has other boos via http://www.knowyourboo.com . Na so I click. I was curious about the new ways people have invented for monitoring their partners.
According to the Masterminds of this app, “the only thing you and your Boos’ other boos have in common is you all call the same number (well except your Boo is one of those James Bond kind- then we can’t help you), so the more people enter your Boo’s phone number, the more potential boos your Boo has.” I’ll try to ignore the “Boos’” up there as that technically means even the person wey dey search for Boo’s Boo get plenty but I’ll chuck it up as grammatical error. Who else sees the fault in this creation? Just in the event that I’m the only one seeing it, let me share.
Say for example, 20 of my friends input my number and follow the prompts thereafter. According to the app, that translates to me having 20 “potential” boos, not minding that those who searched me out could be anyone. Let’s just take this as another app to add humour to our already boring lives (Something tells me this could be Anakle at it again. Remember that Bride Price app that went viral one time? Yeah)
This brings me to the many things people do to monitor their partners. I’ve been privy to instances where Baes ask their Boos to give the phone to whichever friend the Boo had told them they’d be with just to confirm if Boo is where he/she claimed to be. All to be sure they’re being cheated on. Why go into so much trouble? What happened to trust in relationships?
In my opinion, if your boyfriend/girlfriend is a passive, chronic or not a cheat, you would know at a certain point in the relationship. However I have to agree that some are actually gods at this cheating thing, you would never know. The question is, after knowing, what do you do with that information? Do you stay in the relationship and keep hoping that you monitoring them will eventually cause them to stop? Do you take it as fate and look the other way just so you don’t kill yourself on top man matter? Do you go on one of your own and defend it with the tit-for-tat resolve or do you just get out of the relationship altogether?
Really I think monitoring your partner is just a quicker way to six feet below. Yes, you can ask bae where he/she is at, but leave him or her with the discretion of whether to tell you whom they are with. Usually, you wouldn’t need to ask. However going the route of asking them to give someone else the phone, following them everywhere in a taxi, stalking their social media or even calling in to radio shows to have them checked out, that’s way over the top.
So if you ask me, the best way to monitor bae is not to monitor bae.
But do tell, have you ever monitored your Bae (past or present)?
When it comes to life, I believe simple is better. I don’t like complications. So I put that belief into everything and whatever I do. Relationships included. Friend equals friend. Ex equals ex. Boyfriend equals boyfriend. Toaster equals toaster. Let’s-not-mix-up-roles-let-everyone-know-where-they-stand thingy.
However lately, I’ve been caught up in conversations about having contacts with exes and sharing throwback gist with them every now and then. Tête-à-têtes in extreme cases. Now as much as I’m an advocate for to-each-his-own, I don’t believe in being friends with exes. In fact, when someone tells me we-can-still-be-friends after a breakup, I see it as insulting because the end result of that (usually) is the friends-with-benefits zone and at best, a situation where you tell me everything going on in your life including your heart troubles (things you told me when we were in a relationship). Why would I want to put myself through such misery? Just why?!!
Let’s say I even go ahead to chuck my feelings at the time and listen to the woes, the best I’d give is “sound” advice which will obviously not be sound or a couple of eh-yahs rightly interjected in necessary places. So for me, it’s best we go our separate ways. It’s not about being immature. It’s about self-respect and then mutual respect in the afterthought. It means I respect myself enough to give me time away from you to heal and I respect you enough to not come to you with stories about how I have things going good or bad (
Here’s where maturity and civility can come in. If after said relationship, we see each other anywhere and everywhere, I’ll personally take it upon myself to ask about all the months in between the last time we spoke and that day we met again. In fact, give me the full download and I’ll be the best sounding board you’ve had in months. Also feel free to call me up three or more months later to tell me how my advice worked and ask how I’m doing. But do not, I REPEAT, do not call me the very next day to ask if I’d like to hook up sometime or if I missed you in the time we’ve been apart. Nna, please don’t make me wire you shiko there.
Moving on, as much as I realize that examining one’s life from time to time is needed, I don’t think reminiscing with Exes is the way to go. Yes there are days when you look back and say, “Oh! I had it good with so-and-so person” and there will be days when you’ll say “I’m not going to act in so-and-so because that was my mistake with this person”. But in all of those I-wish moments and now-I-know-better days, don’t share them with the characters involved.
Usually when the past reaches out, it is for a feel-good moment. So if you’re reading this, please know that moving on without the baggage of let’s-be-friends is maturity too.
Here’s a scenario. Two friends are discussing plans for a friend’s wedding whose Aso ebi costs 20k. Friend One says, “I don’t think I’ll be paying for Aso ebi because what I have is money saved up for school”. Friend Two says, “How much is 20k that you can’t pay”. Friend One says “20k is much o. I’ve been trying to save up for fees since last year and even though I met the mark some months ago, I don’t think I want to spend the extra on Aso ebi I may never wear again”. And Friend Two goes “How come you’re the one paying your fees? Can’t your dad pay? Tell him na. Why are you stressing yourself when he can easily give you?”. Oh, and the issue of Aso ebi, that’s matter for another day but I digress.
So I begin to think. This person has attended primary school on parents’ money. Secondary school on parents’ money. University, parents paid. Then post graduate, you expect them to pay again? It’s not the expecting that’s baffling, it’s the sense of entitlement that comes with that expectation. Aye ma le o… Did your parents come to the world to live and die for you? Yet people like that start working and only send their parents a token of what they get. Some mosques/churches even get more from most people than parents of those people do. Or how many of us really send 10percent of our earnings to parents every month? But we’ll eagerly do so for churches or mosques because “Tithes are a must”.
Growing up, my parents always made it clear; whatever money you didn’t work for, is not your own. Our money is not your money. If we give you, it’s because we want to. Not because you are entitled to it. I guess the definition of work in their time and mine are two generations apart. I think 50 Cent’s “Have a Baby by Me Baby, Be a Millionaire” predicted a new kind of profession for this generation. Or how else can one explain the Baby Mama profession of most ladies this generation? You should listen to that song again.
Moving on, I can only think of one, two, maybe three people who ever ‘dashed’ me money. In fact, my father is a staunch believer of whatever life you want to live, you should pay for it. Bills, lifestyle, the whole hog. So till date, if I get a money dash, I find it weird. Like in my head, I’m thinking, did I work for this? How much help have I offered this person to deserve this? Oh, before you start thinking, “this one no like money o”. Please I like money, I like it better when I’ve earned it. And before you think I’m rich, that’s not it either. (it’s been years my parents gave me anything that can be converted to liquid cash). Like you, I dey hustle. Besides, there’s nothing sweeter than spending money you worked for.
I know sometimes you’re fresh out of University and your parents decide it’s not yet time for you to join the workforce as they’d love for you to go for a postgraduate degree, which they’d gladly pay for. That’s fine. They chose to. But when the child’s attitude to that is the feeling entitlement and being unappreciative, then that’s just bad behaviour.
In my opinion, to raise kids with the idea of parents’ money is theirs is us not preparing them for adulthood and all its messiness. For one, these kids because they know Mummy or Daddy will always pay (or be there) will have little or no idea about money management. Then as a parent, you work all your life so you can retire and leave your kids well-off only to realize later in life that they had squandered everything because they didn’t know how to manage their lives without you.
I think parents should once in a while give their kids a long rope so they can begin to make certain decisions themselves. That way you begin to prepare them for a future of true independence.
So what do you think; is your daddy’s money yours?
So far, I have realized it’s easier for one to say “I’m mature” than for them to show maturity. And About commonsense, please don’t let anyone tell you commonsense is common. It’s a lie.
Let me start with the ladies. My dear on-fleek-on-fleek sisters. It’s Christmas, hope on fleek is not un fleek? But I have one very simple question to ask. I hear you all are “claiming” feminist these days. What’s feminism please? And please don’t come here and say that being a “manly” woman is feminism and being submissive is not. See ehn, you don’t need to shout what you are. Life is not a competition between men and women. We are here to complete one another. You are a woman. Be. Take care of you. And take care of him. And when he wants to take care of you, please don’t pull the feminist card. Let him. Let him be the man. And enjoy every minute of it. And if he doesn’t take care of you without you asking, then…
Anyways, back to Feminism, it is not about standing against men nor is it about being untrue to you just to please a man. Feminism is about you as a woman having the say in your own life. Argue in the comment section please.
However that a man should take care of you shouldn’t make you a liability to him nor should it make you a well-dressed beggar. Das how one girl stylishly told Fisayo to take her to Coldstone Creamery. Fisayo eagerly agreed. Shebi it’s to take her and she’ll pay for her buy. Only for Sister to say “ah ahn, you can’t buy ordinary Coldstone for me?” Sister if it’s “ordinary coldstone”, why can’t you buy for yourself with your own money? We ladies need to learn to appreciate little gestures and stop with the sense of entitlement.
My dear brothers, why is it that when we tell you “I like you”, then you begin to form Trey Songz. Brotherly, I like you is not equal to I want to have sex with you. Neither is it equal to I will do anything you ask just so I can be bae. Maybe for some ladies it is. But for me, it only means I like your attitude or personality. Nothing more. Okay, maybe more sometimes. One time I told a guy I liked him (i really did like more than his personality) and he decided to use that as a reason to start misbehaving. So I cannot like you and tell you without you using it as an opportunity to act like an asshole? Brother, where art thy maturity?
I know Adekunle Gold’s Orente song is blowing minds right now. Adekunle win for that song sha. E cash out wella. But you guys are missing the point of that song. The point is Orente will not complain when you have commonsense. And Commonsense in this case means knowing the right to do at a particular time without being prompted. Look at it this way, Adekunle did not have money but he had the sense to make bae happy, to think of her needs without her asking. He paid attention and cared. How will she complain? However, he also knows he has to hustle hard to be great so that bae will keep staying. Why else do you think he sang #Pick Up? But you, you are forming hard guy because you believe caring or loving is a sign of weakness. Be there o. The seizethebae gang are coming. They have plenty love and care to give on a platter.
All I’m saying is that let commonsense be your guiding force. Ladies, When you receive a gift, say “thank you”. Also #BoyfriendNotATM. Take care of you and your man. Earn your keep, no matter how small. It will earn you more respect.
Guys, man up. Take care of you and your ladies. Also, loving or caring are not weakness signs either. If anyone takes advantage of you because you are caring or loving, then they are the problem.
Have a happy Christmas people. Remember, let commonsense be your guiding force.