The first time I passed through The Third Mainland Bridge, I remember seeing this community that was built on water and I was fascinated, I wanted to know how the houses got there, how they lived and kept in touch with other people. Years later, I saw a post on my friend’s Instagram page(@thattokelady) asking who was interested to join her on a trip to Makoko, I had always wanted to do this, so I sent her a text saying I’d like to join her. It was a movement called The Purpose Project.
Heading to Makoko
On Saturday, I got dressed and left for the Ozone Cinemas, we had all agreed to meet there and begin our journey to Makoko. I got to meet a lot of nice people on The Purpose Project and I also made new friends.
Makoko is located on the coast of mainland Lagos, Yaba. I attached the precise location below.
A large sign welcoming people into the community and people going about their daily activities is in sight. It is a very busy place, a lot of activities were going on so this gives you a glimpse into the lifestyle of the inhabitants, that they are hardworking and sedulous people.
Visiting the Baale of Apollo community, Makoko
Our tour guide took us to the Baale’s house (the chief’s house) requesting his permission to explore the village.
Makoko is a community of six villages spread across land and water. They are Apollo, Sagunro, Yanshiwe, Adogbo, Migbewhe, Oko Agbon, the first two villages are on land and the other four are on sea. It is interesting that over four different languages are spoken in the locale, the major four are Egun, Ijaw, Ilaje, and Yoruba.
Fishing is the predominant occupation of the inhabitants but you can also find traders moving from house to house in their canoes selling basic items and canoe-makers.
Sailing forward, you get a really great view of the Third Mainland Bridge.
We visited one of the Ijaw-speaking villages in Makoko, we had a little boy interpret from Yoruba to Ijaw for us. There we saw kids just having fun, playing football, they noticed us and later came to welcome us.
My Makoko Experience
I learnt a lot from my visit to Makoko, it taught me love, the way they work, communicate and relate with each other was so affable; I learnt that you don’t need a lot of money, flashy cars or an attractive house to thrive, you just need the zeal to. I learned selflessness, you might not have so much but what measures your wealth is what you give, it may even be something as simple as an advice. The most important thing I learnt was gratitude, when we were going to Makoko, we got some provisions and sweet treats for the kids, after we gave them they were thankful and even showing them off to their peers, it does not matter how small what you were given is, always be grateful. Grateful for life, grateful for food, grateful for good health and grateful for a roof over your head.
I went into the Makoko community, maybe with pity, but these people aren’t suffering, they are happy, helpful, altruistic and amazing people. From the kids smiling and waving at us as our speed boat sailed across the water to the women and elders who greeted us in Yoruba as we walked through their community, they made it a beautiful and memorable experience.
My friends @thattokelady @thewakaabout @quilozadventures1 @seun.carter @onyonyenwa @leemamvh @ijeyoma @_abisolaa made this trip possible and filled with fun, I’m grateful I got to spend time with intelligent mind for a good cause.