MY MAKOKO STORY

Makoko is a neighborhood across the 3rd mainland bridge located on the coast of mainland, Lagos. The neighborhood is built on stilts(popularly known as BAMBOO sticks in layman language). Most of the residents of this community are EGUN.

 

I was opportuned to visit the community on Friday, 7th of July 2018 and it wasn’t what I expected, have been hearing a lot of remarks

If you go there you will be robbed
The community is not accessible
You must with an elderly person to visit
You must see and pay the community head before doing anything
You will get there by water
You must settle the area boys before doing anything and so on.

 

 

As luck would have it, it wasn’t anything like that…in my own opinion I would say there are 2 parts to this community
* The nice(tush) part
* The slum(no hard feelings)

 

On getting to the community (mind you I got there by the means of a 3-legged transport popularly known as MARWA) and I went with the mentality of me going to a dangerous place, I was scared, naive,determined, psyched and I was prepared for the worst, once I entered the community I kept my phone in my bag(anything can happen) but the view that welcomed me was different from the one in my head, it was just a normal community like every other community, markets, schools, companies, nice buildings and so on.

The slum was on one side in the community, we were welcomed by the view of a dirty environment and a blackish water full of germs, I was like this is it, there’s no going back.. Aduni its now or never..I was saying this continuously in my head.

   

We entered the community and didn’t know what to do at first, so we walked to a nice and calm looking thug and he asked us to meet the community head( baale in Yoruba) before doing anything so we won’t be harassed, we walked up to the man and he gave us go ahead without taking a dime. We went back to the calm looking thug and he called a canoe guy for us, that one saw JJC and he said we have to pay #5000 for the canoe ride to and fro, we were like what happen and it was hard having a conversation with the guy cos he doesn’t understand Yoruba or English and I don’t understand his language or French, I only understood the price he was saying #5000

   

But as a ghetto breed(Omo mushin original) I told the guy not to worry cos the transport fare there is #50, another guy wanted to dupe us, so we waited for another canoe to come,the one that came a man asked us not to enter that he doesn’t pay transport charge(owo agbero) of #50 per day, I only know of transport charge on land but I witnessed the one on water that day.

 

The next canoe came and it was the one we boarded after agreeing to a price of #400 to and fro and the guy was able to communicate in English to some extent unlike the other canoe guy and we met a white man there only God knows how much the man was charged.

 

We finally embarked on our journey, was scared at first was praying within me and I got comfortable at a point, the community is just how I imagined it to be. They were all staring cos we were strangers, we were in another world entirely, the middle of nowhere. Some people wanted us to take their pictures while some abused us cos we were taking their pictures, a woman hawking on her canoe threatened to turn our canoe if we snapped her picture, some some of children abused us while some were happy to see us. I met 2 girls Hawking in their canoe and they weren’t happy at all, guess they are children of circumstances and my heart wept for them but there’s nothing I can do.

These set of children were abusing us

Back to my discussion, the place is just like any other place a normal community just that their life is on water.

Approaching the school we encountered a little traffic (who knew there was traffic on water) on our way to the school, getting to the school, The name of the school is WHANYINNA which means LOVE the children were on break and the kids were just staring like who are this strangers, we walked up to the man in charge cos their headmaster wasn’t around but we were allowed to take pictures and we went back.     

On our way going we saw a girl paddling herself in a bowl(creative right) and it was a nice journey.

I really enjoyed myself and it was an amazing journey, guess am not scared of water anymore #winks

The reason of me going on this trip is to conquer my fear of water and I guess I have….

Meet my canoe man, he’s nice, calm and understanding

And here’s their bathroom, literally everything is going back to the water..the dirt, their bathing water, even waters from their kitchen are poured inside the water more reason why the environment is dirty

Here’s the thing do that one thing you scared of and if you have a lot start somewhere just like I did cos am scared of quite a number of things, just take a calculated risk and have fun.

Real, free and enjoy

 

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