To try to approach the immensity of Lagos is to, perhaps, try to stand amidst numerous dreams colliding in an ever-growing space. It is the manner of Lagos to draw people from all climes unto itself—the promise of a future […]
To try to approach the immensity of Lagos is to, perhaps, try to stand amidst numerous dreams colliding in an ever-growing space. It is the manner of Lagos to draw people from all climes unto itself—the promise of a future and the allure of limitless prospects that encircle the city has made it irresistible to almost anyone in Nigeria wishing to set out in life.
Henry Okechukwu, born in 1980, moved to Lagos in 1997 to start a newspaper business in the heart of the boisterous city. Originally from Oru West Local Government in Imo state, Henry moved in the bid to find a better life, to earn a better living.
Lagos is one of the fastest growing cities in the world, and is perhaps one of the most visible windows to the future of Nigeria. This window, open to everyone to come and try to pursue happiness in the form of hustle, attracts thousands of people with dreams like Henry daily—and rightly so.
But even though Lagos is probably the most well-run city in Nigeria, it is not shielded from the upsets and upheavals that plague the country. When Henry first started his newspaper business, sales were easy, generous even. He sold up to 70% of his newspapers every day.
However, in recent times, the bad economy seems to be catching up with him as he now only sells below 50%. “There’s also the place of new media channels like the internet,” he says. But the major culprit for this downturn in sales is the economy.
This photo story follows a day in the life of Henry, documenting his work, his hustle and his hopes. This could easily be the story of the average Lagosian—taking life in little steps, weighing their progress since their arrival in the city every night before they go to sleep, knowing that tomorrow is another clean slate for a better attempt to reach for the reason they came to the city in the first place, and finally, that Eko o gba gbere—only the tenacious can win here.