We travelled across the 3rd Mainland bridge which when we checked on the milometer in the car was over 10 km in length (I believe one of if not the largest bridge in Africa). On our right as we drove across (and driving is on the right here) is where the stilted houses are and the fishermen were out in there boats catching the local (fat) fish. Also we can see a University as we get to Lagos Island and a large saw mill can also be seen below.
As we pulled off the main road to go to Ikoyi we went through a market which was heaving with people all going about there business, in the usual hustle and bustle way. Every where you look are Okada, Tuk-tuks, taxis, buses and the average driver all juggling and aiming for what is their spot on the road. No rules of the road, you can under or over take, pull out at traffic to make them give way to you, pull over any where you fancy, turn any where, park anywhere, you have the right of way at all times. This is driving in Lagos.
We eventually arrive at Radio Nigeria, which has large premises, with several buildings. We are taken up to the office of Funke Treasure Durodola the broadcaster that we will be interviewed by. As we sit and chat she gets quite excited about the River State Medical Mission, that Femi organized in April this year. This was a project that Femi orchestrated to bring multi-skilled Nigerians (Doctors, Midwives, Nurses etc) working abroad to provide a week of free medical consultation, treatment and operations, in six medical centers in six days, Around 800 people were seen and over 100 operations were performed.
This program that we were doing unlike the others was not going to be live. It’s a program called Nigerian pride and it is aired across Nigeria on Tuesdays at 17.30. It will also be linked to their website http://www.radionigeria.net/. Funke decided to do the interview as two separate shows, the first meeting Femi and discussing River State and how Femi has come back to his home land. The second, was both of us, discussing my involvement with the charity and how things can be improved and to encourage others to give time, skills or money to help such a venture. We were interviewed for about an hour in total so it could be cut into the two shows.
Whilst there we were also asked if we could be interviewed by another broadcaster Fabian Anawo, who does a news type program and he wanted to speak to us. As he wasn’t quite ready we popped into the staff canteen to grab a drink and a bite to eat. This is when you think to yourself, I bet the canteen at Radio one isn’t as tatty and shabby as this. As Femi pointed out its about expectations, in England as in many countries we expect and demand certain standards, here they are used to the way things are and often know no different, so put up with things as they are.
While there we enjoyed Jollof rice with fish (mackerel I think) and sauce, with plantain (I say we, but I didn’t want anything but Femi who now appears to know me too well got enough for 2 and an extra spoon, so I tucked in to his dinner!). He also picked up Puff puff for me to try, this turned out to be like small donuts that are freshly made and not too sweet, I liked these too!
After lunch we went back into the studio and chatted with Fabian about the issues that could be improved about Nigerian health care. What I was doing specifically, how this small thing can help, what has been my approach and how will I enforce changes. This interviewer was much more interrogative then the others, but I feel we got our point and our passion across. Remaining positive that Nigeria has got potential and there is certainly hope for its future especially if enough people make these small drops eventually change will be made and seen.
By the time we had finished here it was getting on to about 16.00 and we new the traffic would soon start to increase. So we headed off home. We called into the medical centre to see if my top had been made for the wedding tomorrow. Before leaving I picked up some Piriton as I have been bitten a lot suddenly and my arms were driving me mad with itching. My top wasn’t ready so we headed back to my hotel via the money man at the airport, who now says he likes me (think he just likes my money!). This old man on his Vespa has become quite familiar to me now as I wave at him through the crowd to grab his attention. I returned to my hotel and later that evening Funmi (one of the staff at the center) came over on an Okada to bring my top that was finally finish and fitted perfectly.