“Nuptials in Nigeria” is a series of first accounts from an American photographer and inspiration/travel writer Travis Levius. This was his 1st time on the African continent to photograph an exciting 2-day destination wedding in Lagos, Nigeria.
via: Instagram, @misterlevius
I felt saved from my unnerving Lagos airport experience once I met my gracious host- the bride’s older brother- outside the terminal. For most, an hour-long ride from any airport doesn’t exactly elicit excitement…but oh my.
THE THRILL RIDE
Sleep was scarce on the 11-hour red-eye flight from New York City, but my 1st ride through mainland Lagos trumped all underlying bits of fatigue. Under the temperate morning sun, I remember passing by ripe coconut trees and dense shrubbery; roaming, lean chickens; dated and at times derelict low-rise homes and buildings; people walking without the presence of sidewalks (there were open-faced irrigation ditches along the side road, seen throughout the city, that people would simply walk alongside). Just 10 minutes into my ride, what I expected from this modern African megalopolis of 20+ million was quite different from reality.
The ride became more fascinating once we got on Lagos’s infamous highways. I’ve already heard about the bad traffic, which doesn’t mean much to me as I lived in Atlanta. What people did not tell me were the throngs of men and women who would walk/run across the busy highways as if they were city streets…meter-high cement partitions in their path and all. You should have seen the initial shock on my face, trying to imagine Atlanta pedestrians crossing six lanes of two-way traffic on I-85. Unfathomable. The irony: there’s plenty of well-placed pedestrian bridges along the highway that people could use to hop sides safely. I’m guessing the stairs and extra walk to the bridges proved too inconvenient for some?
Traffic jams proved advantageous for the on-foot entrepreneurs, selling anything from fruit to cell phone chargers. I also found the occasional clusters of beggars walking in between cars or sitting in the middle of the partitions. The city’s status as the land of the “haves and the have-nots” was quite clear just an hour into my visit.
The people who quip, “If you can drive in New York, you can drive anywhere” have clearly never been in Lagos. Going from Point A to B here is full of close-calls, abrupt lane changing and widely ignored driving rules. Pedestrian right-of-way in Lagos is an imaginary idea; walkers simply get out-the-way. What’s also worth a mention: people honk for everything here. Continue reading