Sunday 3 January 2021

‘Only in Lagos’ Stories


Everyone must have heard one or two unbelievable stories about Lagos; crazy stories that will leave you gasping in surprise and shock. If you’re a Lagosian, you must have experienced one of two events you’re certain can never happen anywhere in the world…except Lagos.

These ‘Only in Lagos’ stories are crazy and one-of-a-kind. Your eyes will widen with surprise and your heart will race with fear.

Several Lagosians share their ‘Only in Lagos’ stories. I also have my personal stories to share. Let’s have the time of our lives here!

“There are several crazy experiences in this crazy city. One that still beats my imagination was an incident that happened last year. A driver (an old man) and a motorcycle rider had engaged in a heated argument. I was in the old man’s car and till date, I still do not understand the main cause of the argument. Well, the okada rider opened the car door and pulled the old man by his shirt, threatening to punch him. I hadn’t experienced such an event in my entire life…until that morning!


Another unique aspect of Lagos is watching agberos (thugs) extort money from motorists. As I type this, I’m still furious that this has become a norm. Drivers of commercial vehicles will be bullied by these alcoholic thugs to drop some of their hard-earned money. And guess that? These thugs just stand by the roadside, collecting free money. Sigh!

Can we also talk about traffic? You’re meant to spend less than 30 minutes on a particular journey…but you’ll end up spending hours. Sweat will drip down your face as you watch the impatient faces of your fellow Lagosians, who are also eager to start the day’s work.

We should also talk about how people curse out loud. They practically curse the lives out of their mothers and grandmothers. This bizarre behavior propelled me to write this article: Epe.

Should we also talk about the reckless driving by danfo drivers…or the strange products marketed in white buses? Ah, the list is exhaustive.” –Maryam.


“I went to the bank. Suddenly, a man appeared from nowhere to charge his phone beside me. Later, he told me to give him my phone so that he could call someone. I gave him and focused on the business I was doing that day.

I don’t know if the guy was after the dollars with me. Unfortunately, he walked away with my lovely Nokia Lumia phone. He even left his phone charging. It was then I realized that it was scrap. Totally damaged! I didn’t set my eyes on the man again.” – Sufyan.


RELATED ARTICLE: Danfo in the Rain.

“Vehicles driving through one-way and even claiming that it is their right! They go to the extent of running you over without even apologizing. They even insult you in the process that you’re not watching where you’re going. Meanwhile, they are the ones going the wrong way because they are driving through one-way.

Another frustrating issue is the traffic in Lagos. A journey is meant to take you 20 minutes but you will spend 2-3 hours on the road. While you’ve planned that you will get to your destination at a specific time, you will be astonished by the fact that when you start your journey, you will not be able to arrive at the targeted time.

Another crazy experience is in terms of property ownership. When you buy land, you are expected to pay ‘Omo Onile’ fee. After they’ve sold the land to you and you want to start constructing, they will still collect money again. After you complete the construction and prepare to pack into the house, they will still collect money. Those fees are so frustrating and they are not even legal.

These stories are so abnormal and they shouldn’t be happening!” –Olayinka.

“When I was very young; I followed my mom to the market on a fateful day. She bought one seven and a half litres of groundnut oil in a gallon. She told me to sit down at a spot, of which I did.

I probably felt that she doesn’t want me to go through the stress of going around the market. So, after buying one or two stuff, she went ahead to buy the other provisions.

As she left, I had no idea that a man had been watching me. So, about ten minutes after she left, this man came around and played on my intelligence. He told me that my mom said he should bring the 71/2 gallon of groundnut oil that she bought. I felt that since he is an elderly man, he can be trusted.

I gave him the gallon of groundnut oil. When my mom returned, she asked for the groundnut oil. I informed her that the man she sent has collected it. She exclaimed in shock and disbelief. LOL. My mom started beating me right from the market. That beating didn’t stop for almost one week!
I knew what the money meant to her. Because after all her savings, she was likely not going to make any profit.” –Suleiman.

 RELATED ARTICLE: 9 Types of Personalities You'll Meet in Lagos Public Vehicles.

“There's absolutely no doubt that we all have that one particular experience that we would never forget; Lagos experiences are unique ones entirely. Just like most people have, I've also experienced a lot in Lagos: jostling through a crowd of passengers that are all rushing to secure a space in a bus, trekking to a long distance due to lack of buses, getting stuck in almost endless traffic for hours after spending the whole day at work, and a host of others. We always have one or more stories to tell whenever we're being asked to narrate our Lagos experience. My only in Lagos story is a very unique one.

The first time I went to withdraw money from the Automated Teller Machine (ATM) in Lagos, I witnessed what I had never seen anywhere before. First, the bank couldn't accommodate many people at a time due to its small surrounding. And second, some of the ATMs weren't working; in fact, one of the nonfunctional ATMs swallowed someone's card whilst the person was trying to withdraw money.


I walked into the bank that day and struggled to join the long queue. People were tightly lined up like a string of beads, and for a moment I wondered if the line was moving at all. I watched as some people cursed and insulted anyone that tried to occupy their space or someone else's without permission.


When it was almost my turn to withdraw, another strange thing occurred. A woman - who wasn't in any of the queues earlier - dashed to one of the ATMs, and tried to withdraw money. Everyone that saw the woman shouted before she could even withdraw any money. She claimed to have been in the queue before she left briefly to get something, but nobody listened to her or allowed her to go ahead.


It was a very hot afternoon, and no one was ready to sacrifice their turn for anyone. I shook my head and watched the whole scene that day in silence, and then a thought popped into my head after spending hours in the queue, I'll never come back here to withdraw money again. But that thought wasn't realistic because the following week, I found myself in another bank, under the hot scorching sun, looking for the shortest queue to join before I could finally withdraw money.” –Haneefah.

What are your 'Only in Lagos' stories? Share in the comment section!







  1. Smiles.... Lagos with wahala....
    We will be alright

  2. Lagos is synonymous to wahala but I just like the vibe. You are always on the edge.
    Nice write up ma.