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"Culture is the heritage of us all. some may be more interested than others in the treasures of the past, but no one can fail to take a pride in his country's participation in the story of mankind, as represented in carvings, sculpture, music, paintings and the other arts. And there is a personal commitment to this, for no man can really say he is alone: we are all joined through our identity, with the cultures which are part of the mainstream of life"
- Simon Kapwepwe, Zambian Independence Freedom Fighter

"Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm" - Winston Churchill

"Try to be the rainbow in someone else's cloud" - Maya Angelou

"Your time is limited so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinion drown out your inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition" - Steve Jobs

Friday, 30 July 2010

"Welcome To Lagos" Concluded

The last episode of the BBC's Welcome To Lagos looks to the future, while focusing on a slum under constant threat of demolition.  It is located on a beachy patch right across from Victoria Island, where everyone aspires to live in its big houses one day.  You can't help but like Esther, she had me at "Chelsea for Life"! Anyone who bleeds blue is good with me he he he...

As we watch Esther keep house at the beach, her hair changes from weave, to braids, to gelled with a hair piece to unkempt and in equal measure we witness the twists and turns in her tale.  She is there to dig a ditch to protect the homestead when the rains come and the sea swells up and takes up more of the slums space, destroying anything in its path.  She dreams of a better life without needing a man to help her get there.  She tries the best she can with the circumstances she has been dealt with the pride, dignity and resourcefulness of a strong African woman.  And with a little silliness too :). All with a smile and an unfazed optimism, even though she lives with constant uncertainty.

We also see a traffic cop turned beautification squad leader and traditional dance instructor (! ;}) romp through the streets tearing down any illegal construction.  He is a Lagos native whose pride in his roots has led him to clean up his city during the day and teach they young their culture in his free time.  Although his tactics may be a rather crude and rough, ultimately he is carrying out his orders.  However, one cannot help but wonder about how there is no care for people's belongings and goods as this "beautification" is being carried out, and where they are to go as the better places the Government are planning to build have not been created yet.  Progress is a double-edged sword.  While it is clear that chasing away the area boys to clean up the patches they trolled is creating Green spaces that both benefit the people and the environment, the guerrilla-style slum destruction seems a little too chaotic and callous.

Either way it is clear that Lagos is moving forward and there is nothing to stop the city from thriving and becoming a megacity rivaling any around the world.  We will have wait to see the social costs borne from all of Lagos' economic development.

All in all this was a well crafted docu-series that I felt gave me insight into a part of Lagos life.

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