The annual Lagos Carnival held on the 9th of May this year! Whoop! I decided to go. but it was going to be a full day for me. The parade was supposed to kick off at 10 am; and I had choir practice for that exact time. Rehearsals wouldn’t end till 2 pm and then I had Celebrate Recovery for 4 pm. So, I only had a 2-hour window to work with. But I went for it anyway!
I woke up that morning, and wasn’t feeling well at all. I didn’t leave my house till about 11.30, was super late for practice. Left practice at about 2:30 pm, still not feeling my best. I went by Surulere to pick up my good friend, Chisom (check out her blog here). Then we headed to Lagos Island (we went via Costain/Eko Bridge). Many thanks to God, there was no traffic! And we got there before 4 pm (maybe 3.30? can’t quite remember).
We parked at Outer Marina, a few metres from the UBA building and took 2 buses to TBS (Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos Island). The air was abuzz. There were people selling masks, and head dresses and the like. There were people calling out face painting service. There were people just generally being the way they can be in Lagos Island (if you know what I mean).
So we entered into the public seating area. It’s like 4 storeys up, gallery, tiered seating. Not a great view. And since we didn’t have much time to stay, we were there for just a few minutes. I really wanted to get closer to the action. So i went to the ‘VIP’ entrance and made my blogger case to one of the buff-est police men I’ve ever seen. Anyway, he let me in. I got some better pictures. But there was still a ‘VVIP’ section. So, I went to that entrance and made my blogger case, and another super-buff policeman let me in! Whoop! I guess it’s because I look totally harmless. 😀 Well, I got even better pictures. Yay!
In the urban sense, it was interesting to observe. Lagos is generally an auto mobile world (in the same way that song goes, “It’s a man’s, man’s world”). Pedestrians suffer the most when it comes to getting from point A to B in Lagos. Pavements and walkways are almost non-existent; and everyday is pretty much an episode of “Battle between the Driver and Pedestrian.” So, it was interesting to see the area around TBS transformed into a pedestrian-dominated zone, as vehicular traffic was restricted on the roads surrounding the square. I believe Lagos definitely needs more pedestrian-friendly zones. Now that would be in addition to sorting out pavements on all necessary streets and roads. I’m talking creating spaces that zone out vehicular movement and are pedestrian-only. They could be squares or mini-zone centres centered on cultural, culinary and entertainment activities (this is probably the Canterbury in me talking 😀 ). But I’m convinced it would make for a more relaxed, inclusive atmosphere within the city. Everything is frenzied enough as it is.
It really wasn’t as rowdy as one would have thought and it seemed pretty well set up. Although, I read an article the following day that the turnout was much lower than expected. I can’t imagine what it would’ve been like if there were more people.
Oh and check out the video blog I did above, if you haven’t already. More pictures below for your viewing pleasure.
If you weren’t there, you were square 😀 😉
Sadly, there was the worst traffic on the way back. Two trailers had broken down along Western Avenue. It was a nightmare, as traffic had backed up all the way to Eko Bridge. Unfortunately, I missed CR. But I guess it was all good.
Èkó ò ní bàjé!