The oddity Called Lekki
A pretty unusual phenomenon occurs in Lagos every day. When dusk covers the sky, the streets of Lekki , this new city at the tip of Nigeria economic hub, light up in a spectacular display of unified energy but as dawn breaks, the décor of this once picturesque city has its streets transformed into a never-ending glut of traffic jams drowning out the beauty of everything around it.
Originally called Leqoi, after a Portugese merchant from whose appellation the town was named, Lekki, while revered for it’s urban appeal dwells on the edge of irony for many.
This naturally forming peninsula, 80 km long, adjoins Victoria Island and Ikoyi districts of Lagos, with the Atlantic Ocean and the western edge of Refuge Island. Acclaimed as the home of ‘new money’ it is considered one of the most expensive places to live in Africa yet its street are cast in stone.
Visiting soon? Jovago.com, Africa’s largest hotel booking portal shows the complexities that makes this town called Lekki, such an oddity.
We exist on a beautiful planet with amazing landscapes, tropical paradises, misty volcanoes and Lekki’s claim to surrealism is its direct access to the Atlantic Ocean. Its virgin beaches raise a toast to the explorer within. Its people are jet-setters with an affinity for high-fashion and glamour, not a surprise as a bulk of Nigeria wealthy population call this evolving peninsula home.
Just like fashion, the most innovative ideas thrive in Lekki – where else in the world would you find an exact replica of the ‘Tomb of Jesus’ built right there in the street? And there’s an actual walkway of fame, which is really cool by the way, paying respect to the national hero’s like Dora Akunyili and Wole Soyinka.
For traveling foodies, local cuisine is as important as the destination itself when visiting a new place. A sprawling metropolis and Lagos’ third most popular city, Lekki is Victoria Island’s bolder, grittier little sister with an affinity for the junk food and fast cars. Famous for it’s foodie philosophy of “eat until you drop, young and old indulge in Lekki’s beloved snack bars as veteran chefs dish out steaming hot, ogufe-stuffed batter balls topped with sweet peas, suya and barbequed plantain. Try the delightful pancake coffee shops piled with a wild mix of condiments, or deep-fried asun in pepper-sauce (native name for goatmeat)…Lekki’s answer to the Phillipines, Kilawing Kambing.
The traffic jam along Lekki-Epe Expressway are notorious. Building from the traffic lights at on Ozumba Mbadiwe up until the exits at Ajah, a drive which should take less than 20mins often morphs into a 5 hour journey every weekday.
For many years, commuters plying this route groan under the stress of being caught in this gridlock but in true African fashion, Lagosians find creative ways to manage this time effectively – a quick stop at a friend’s house on the way home, a long drink with friends as the grotto or a sudden need to see a movie often keeps them off the road till the vehicular movement thins.