If you don’t want to be inspired, please don’t scroll down. However if you really want to! Then this is the page for you to be! Amazing pictures await you on this post. Pictures that will show you that indeed you need to be grateful for life’s precious gifts.
After the Makoko trip, I saw a kind of beauty that only a photographer would see and also the need in the slums, so I decided to plan the second trip to Ilaje Community in Lagos State. I noticed how people around my area (which is not only limited to my area alone) argue day in and out about the dwindling economy and socio-political landscape. Fuel, Electricity and the price of Tomato. Now there is recession, I figured that the timing has never been better in dropping this post! Yaaay!
I wanted my readers to see what these people go through and then decided to embark on a trip that would not only be inspiring to you my readers but also charge us to look beyond our conditions and leverage our situations to survive.
Brief on Ilaje Community
Ilaje is a sprawling slum located along the Bariga axis in Lagos, situated by the Lagoon. As you move closer to the settlement , you would immediately begin to see wooden houses constructed on that brackish water of Lagos lagoon. You would also notice an environment so dirty that you would think it’s not fit for anyone to reside. But then, people live here even happily. As you move into the community, you would begin to see both the young and old wander about, some aimlessly, and some with intentions, work or business as the case is.
Apart from the various shanties that you would see on the bank of the lagoon, most of the people in the community live in huts made of planks, bamboo on the lagoon. I also noticed that many of the people were mainly Egun. Ilaje is an area in Lagos where the poorest poor reside; from an environment laden with filth and excreta to houses with open bathroom. The community is surely laden with poverty at the end; illiteracy, filth and other social ills.
The amazing part about Ilaje is that there has been no story of an pandemic/endemic and that the community boast of the best portable water which was said to have drawn out from the same brackish lagoon water. We also observed that a lot of Non-governmental organizations have come to impact the people positively in terms of food, education and health facilities. However, it seemed from my view and what you would see that these were never enough. They need more support, right.
The interview with in the soon to be released video has a lot of young minds that are very ready to work and are skilled one way or the other. Can you imagine, I met with producers, mobile phone engineers, fashion designers in Ilaje. On my discussion with them, I realized the need for these guys to be empowered! The video would be dropping soon! It is amazing!
It is very pertinent that the government should move its arm of support into these communities. Empowerment is very key and massive sanitary lectures should be given to these people, to incite them on the act of cleanliness in all ramifications. The earlier research I saw online showed that the government was looking at resettling the Ilaje people, which to me is even not feasible in the near time. To this end, it would be important to support the community in whatever capacity they can. Enough of the media hullabaloo of empowerment we see on TV.
I saw a couple of wastes here and there, which was predominantly dominated by top brands in Nigeria. Bottles of drinks, purewater, sanitary pads, and all sorts muddled together to form the terrible and stinking environment where they live. If the FMCG’s are looking for where to channel their Corporate Social Responsibility to, it is in the Ilaje Community. Away from all the fashion shows, beauty pageants and ‘show-off’ on TV. Ilaje is the real deal.
To my friends, we can support in our little way, A child/man/individual in these communities may lack what we snap our fingers to enjoy! Many thanks to BellAfricana, Mofolusade, SapientVendors, 100+ effects, WlilsonsJuiceCo, friends on Facebook who supported, and my blogger friend Coloursandgrey who supported this beautiful dream of mine. I appreciate you a lot.
Beyond a slum, I saw beauty, life, people living happily within their means, no argument on fuel, tomato and recession. They just want to live; to survive!
The Little we could do as support
The Beauty I saw
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