Lagos. It is push and pull, full of life, hair raising and frustrating, demanding and stands to attention for no one. Loud laughs from people just getting the hell on against all odds. It is moments of quiet amid hours of chaos. It is frenetic and you have to run almost a thousand miles to keep up or you get left behind. Lagos will test you in ways life shouldn’t but you’ll be better for it. It is nights of fun, days of chill vibes and good times. It is everything wrapped in one.
The Ìrìn Journal- Lagos issue gives you a taste of Lagos life in a way I have always wanted to see Lagos portrayed. We are more than the push and pull of everyday life, we are a people of history whose families were sold off to slavery, a people with traditions that stayed closed to us as our ancestors traversed the seas with memories of home for company. We are a city of weekends at the beach, agègè bread and ewa aganyin for breakfast, akara and ogi on the weekends and talking over each other with belly laughs even though we have spent the last three days without electricity. I say this about a few places but there really is no where on earth like Lagos. Eko for show. From the Island to the mainland one city and two realities like the gap between the rich and the poor.
The story of the slaves who took Akara to Brazil; acarajè reminds me of growing up as child, I hated and still hate akara by the way, I am an eternal sweet tooth so I prefer her sweeter cousin, puff-puff. But my mom would make akara for us on Saturday mornings to eat with ogi as we went about our chores. Our house was often an open house so our friends were in and out, gathered round the table eating and sharing stories. We did not know how good we had it with the small luxuries in a world of very little to nothing.
It tells you the story of owambe parties that blocked whole streets on Saturdays and our parents dressed in their very finest as musicians like King Sunny Ade performed on stage for them. The gëlë wars outdoing each other and shoes and bag was to match- Lagos parties are not for the timid, you show up and show all the way out.
From sinking cities to slave buildings that keep our history alive, Takwa bay beach, the celestial religion and what religion means for a people. I particularly love the format of interview with Abba T Makama the filmmaker.
A personal favourite for me was seeing Bank Olemoh present here! OMG! My primary school was close to the buka and I was that child who used her pocket money to buy food from here instead of the packed lunch my mother made for me, that child who would keep her siblings waiting because she is eating designer rice after school and wouldn’t mind the trouble it would often get me into. So to see this childhood memory of mine in the pages of this magazine brought back so many memories of growing up in Surulere – Mainland forever!
Add Irin to your roaster, its images are divine, I especially am enthralled with the flatness of the matte that does not render the images any less crisp than you would in a traditional glossy, rather this brings an extra charm to the images. The content… the content! Every story is a connection to something, every image captures life, you can feel the pulse of the city in the words used to describe it. This is a cultural journey that brings the sights and sounds of Lagos alive, the gives you both sides of the stories as much as it possibly can and invites you on a sensory journey where you need ALL your senses about you for it to even begin to make sense.