Everyday traffic in Lagos Nigeria
This is one small section in Africa’s most populous country’s, Nigeria, largest city, Lagos. Its a never ending sea of human and motorized traffic. Yes this photograph looks great in color too. But for me the black and white takes a little bit of the vibrancy from it and replaces it with reality. This is unorganised, polluted chaos. This is Lagos.
The story behind this photograph
If you’ve never been to Lagos or Nigeria then the above scene will not resonate well. Imagine high humid temperatures, badly refined petrol, noise from humans, animals, machines and music. The constant thud of the modern Nigerian beat mixed with the raucous blaring of car horns.
The verbal shouts for trade and passenger. The loudness of everyday Nigerian conversation. The hustle, the bustle the 419.
I emerge from by 28 person danfu (seriously overcrowded mini-van aka public bus) and am beset upon by every known hawker in the vicinity. I might want some red onions after my long bus trip, or a coke or another bus or a dead monkey, maybe a live one!
Ignoring the repeated “Oybo” (white man) shouts for attention. I am the lone foreigner in a sea of black faces. Yes, this is Nigeria where one is either black or white. There is no politically correct terminology here. Even a Chinese man is white here. Likewise an Indian. It’s a simple as that. No fuss.
I make way to the bridge above all this chaos. Two police cars blast by at the speed of a toddlers walk, sirens blazing. A horse is running wild between the cars. Three motorbikes try to navigate by it with little more than a wobble and a scrape of metal on metal.
I take my photographs. A new siren blasts out beside me. It is of course a man clutching a boom box wanting money. I point to the police cars and tell him I’ll pay them to beat him if he doesn’t go away. He lets lose a grin, mumbles “Oybo” something and grins. He knows I’ve been here long enough to know what it means to live in Lagos.
This is an additional photograph feature from my world travel photography gallery, documenting the story behind the picture
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