The Oriental Hotel, a skyscraper with the vague styling of a pagoda on the roof, looms large from the nose-to-bumper traffic on the Island-Lekki expressway, the carotid artery that connects the affluent Victoria Island with the new and rapidly developing free-trade zone of Lekki. An international five-star hotel, with a swimming pool, large conference centers, and a couple of hundred rooms, it is an imposing monument to the Chinese presence in Lagos, Africa’s largest city.
On the ground floor of the hotel is a Hong Kong-style hot pot restaurant, called, imaginatively, HotPot. Fang Kai is a regular. He sits in a seat by the window and orders us individual pots of clear broth and such an impressive spread of meats and vegetables that plates end … Read the rest
It’s all kicking off in Lagos right now. From fashion to food, film and hip hop, Africa’s creative renaissance is well and truly alive in the Nigerian capital.
Yet when it comes to skateboarding, there’s an palpable void. Home to a staggering 21 million people, and holding the title of Africa’s most populous city, Lagos – or Las Gidi, to locals in the know – might just be the biggest city in the world without a skate park.
But local crew Wafflesncream are in the process of changing that – and fighting to help Lagos punch its weight on the global skate scene. After dropping Jide, the very first homegrown Nigerian skate edit last year, the Wafflesncream family took things to new heights when they … Read the rest
Get ready to bake. It’s hot or humid in Lagos all year round. Not warm. Hot. Only from mid-December to January does the city cool off, when the Harmattan winds bring a plague of dust instead. When you arrive at the airport, have your sunglasses and hat ready. And skip the airport taxis: you’ll have to walk an unreasonable distance in the heat to get to their lot, sweating buckets. Plus, airport taxis are can be a little worse for wear, with unreliable air-conditioning. Get an Uber or Taxify, and ask your driver to crank the AC up to the max.
Pay tribute to a local legend. First-time visitors to Lagos must make a pilgrimage to the New Afrika Shrine, a monument to the … Read the rest