Welcome to Lagos
Three-part series that observational documentary explores life at the tip of one of the most extreme urban environments in the world: Lagos, Nigeria.
Fifty years ago, Lagos, then capital of Nigeria, was a city the size of Bradford today, with a population of just under 300,000 people. Everyone said it was great. Now 16 million people live there: one of a new generation of mega-cities in a world that is abandoning the field. And it grows by 600,000 a year.
That’s like holding in Glasgow every 12 months. It’s a monster, fed by force morbid obesity, but with the structure of the bones of a baby. It can not function properly, there is only growing, moaning and threatening to explode. Nobody says that Lagos is a wonder more.
It is remarkable, though, as this documentary, Welcome to Lagos (BBC2), which brings the image of a handful of those 16 million. Bottom of the pile, literally, are the scavengers at the landfill Olusosun, human vultures pick through the detritus smelly with metal claws, looking for things that can be recycled and sold, cans, plastic wire, copper, rubber, clothing, anything.
In the dry season, fires often break out, the addition of toxic fumes and deadly danger for a day. And in the rainy season, the place becomes a viscous hell.
Welcome to Lagos,