Lagos, Nigeria’s largest city. The financial center of the metropolis is known for its seaside resorts. Also skyscrapers, and great parks. A national museum, once a colonial prison, and now a major concert venue. The most common jobs in Lagos are finance jobs, banking, health, education services, and sales jobs.
Working with the government is profitable and reliable, but some private companies are better off. While owning a business in Lagos is unreliable, it is no different from any other country. We may have our regular problems with infrastructure, electricity, etc., but there are many obstacles and competition. For example, two retailers selling the same item door to door.
Childhood in Lagos
Childhood focused on family, education, and religion. We have three types of families. Let me put it this way. The average, rich and poor family. My family is an average family. Father and mother are both government teachers. And from my own point of view, 60% of families in Lagos are average. The parents never spared the cane during their upbringing. We are taught the right values, dignity, discipline, integrity, and loyalty. The right attitude to work and commitment were also instilled into us and that formed the basis.
We believe in our parents’ religion without a doubt. The three main religions are the original religion, Islam and Christianity. There is no excuse for not being educated. We have many state schools for the less privileged, which are better than many private schools. Sometimes I wish I had attended one. We have six levels of education that we must go through before university, college, polytechnic, and so on.
Going through these levels is so tough in terms of reading, competition, good performance, and getting good grades. The levels are crèche, kindergarten, elementary school, junior secondary, and upper school, each of which is spent three years. An exception is an elementary school, which lasts six years, and crip, which lasts two to three years. The teachers didn’t spare us the rod either. We are told to kneel down and we are flogged. It is considered part of the training.
At the end of upper secondary education, a compulsory exam called WAEC is written for every student. It is known as the final exam and some students drop out after writing this because they cannot afford the next level of education. The next step in education is JAMB. Also compulsory, but only written in Nigeria, that’s the level I’m at now. I can’t say anything about the test yet.
From now on you are left to your own devices and take responsibility. Paying for your clothes and food. To be honest, there are few or no jobs for us at this age. We are confused, we hide a lot. No tattoos are allowed, no matter how old we are. We are expected to be able to cook and be willing to support our family with no source of income. You are frustrated. Every small or single mistake leads to lashes, a stick, or a series of insults and you don’t dare to say a word.
Talking about love at this age (smiles). It’s good in the beginning, but heartbreaking in the end. You cry at night and don’t let your parents know about it. They only care when you are sick and sometimes help financially. The Lagos I knew changed at this point.
Lagos has very beautiful places. We have vendors selling on the side of the road. Street vendors crossing the street chasing the vehicles to make sales.
Everything used to be nice, smooth and there was less crime in 2019. The way children are raised has changed and only the godly, competitive people have stayed the same. In short, we are asked to move on without making any arrangements for ourselves (emotionally). We are fighting to feed ourselves, we have become farmers. People cry and die from hunger, lack of money and food.
Prices exploded. The education system was in disarray. People have ventured on the internet. Cybercrime was one of the main crimes, along with kidnapping and fraud. Everything changed and then we got a message. We received foreign aid. But this was withheld from us and the government hid it for election as we heard. Then the looting began. Once people were given information about where the foreign aids are hidden. They attacked and looted it.
Crime goes up in Lagos
Suddenly, children between the ages of 15 and 18 were buying cars and many other children became interested in what they were doing, and cybercrime rose. It is destroying their futures. Students dropped out of school to do this type of business and it resulted in a bad reputation, especially in the USA. This is a serious crime in which both children and adults have been engaged until now. Lagos is now full of crime and unsecured.
The girls started to hook up ’. They sell their bodies for money. Some will be used as a ritual and soon cybercrime will be seen as a daily chore for some. And that really affects the growth of the country. Our parents taught us that anything illegally acquired does not last. Only honest work makes you happy.
Things are still expensive and the labor price is really low. We all struggle to survive. Cybercrime is seen as the shortcut to success. But only hard work leads to success, even if we are unsure. Our parents’ lessons are designed to help us become more sensible and responsible.
Written by my friend, a 16-year-old from Lagos.