If you’re an active Instagram story user, there’s no way you could miss this name. Two swipes to the left and the name pops up. But this is not just a name for a filter on Instagram. This is the name of a city, and this city is Nigeria’s Lagos.
Lagos is by far the most populous city in Nigeria. And not only in Nigeria, even in entire Africa. Lagos is also known to be the major financial center of Africa. So when we’re talking about financial stuff within Africa, we’re talking about the city of Lagos. The megacity has the highest GDP and also houses one of the largest and busiest ports on the continent.
Lagos is also known to have one of the highest skylines in Nigeria. The city’s architecture is so diverse, basically a mixture of tropical, colonial European and even extremely modern styles of buildings.
To dive into the history of the city a bit, Lagos was originally inhabited by the Awori subgroup of the Yoruba people in the 15th century, who called it ‘Oko’. Under the leadership of the Oloye Olofin, the Awori moved to an island now called Iddo and then to the larger Lagos Island. In the 16th century, the Awori settlement was conquered by the Benin Empire and the island became a Benin war-camp called ‘Eko’ under Oba Orhogba, the Oba of Benin at the time. The Yoruba still use the name Eko to refer to Lagos. Lagos, which means ‘lakes’, was a name given to the settlement by the Portuguese. The present-day Lagos state has a high percentage of Awori, who migrated to the area from Isheri along the Ogun river. Throughout history, it was home to a number of warring ethnic groups who had settled in the area. Following its early settlement by the Awori nobility, and its conquest by the Bini warlords of Benin, the state first came to the attention of the Portuguese in the 15th century.
Now that this little bit of history brought more to a light of the city, this might become a potential vacay destination. To help you out when the tickets are booked, here are some Lagos hotspots you need to visit:
1. Arrived there mid day? Start your vacay with a good play at National Theatre.
2. Quite sure you’re longing to visit the beach. Go relax on Eleko Beach.
3. Never tried jollof? Find a local restaurant that makes good jollof rice.
4. Get your dose of art at the Nike Art Centre.
5. While you’re at it, might want to check out Tafawa Balewa Square.
6. This might be the right moment to explore Lekki Conservation Centre.
7. If you’re still in for some more art, check out the Terra Kulture gallery.
8. Party time! For those who love the Fela Anikulapo-Kuti era, The New Africa Shrine is the place to be.
9. You know some good food is always welcome after a party. Visit The Yellow Chilli.
10. Not a bad idea to spend your last day at the lighthouse beach.
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