Wish for Africa Foundation


Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Traffic jam Tuesday - 2nd June

A very early start this morning, Femi texted at 04.50 to make sure I was up (doesn’t he trust me!!). I was picked up by him at 06.00 and we headed for Lekki, Lagos Island to go to the Silverbird studios for another TV interview. This journey can normally be done in about 40 minutes or so, but the morning traffic is so bad with everyone heading for work on the island. We queued in the chaotic morning ‘rush hour’ to get onto the bridge and at every junction leading off the bridge until we met our exit.

Whilst driving along, Femi gave me my present from the wedding that we went to on Friday. Here it’s traditional to give the guests presents, it amazed me once more how generous people are. Their was a printed bag, a small printed hand towel and toothpick holder (everyone uses toothpicks all the time here due to the toughness of most meats they always get in between your teeth), all these had Angela and Damola’s names wedding date etc printed on them. Also in the bag was a gas ring lighter, a small flask and a bible. Certainly not something we would do or expect in England.

Eventually as we arrived at the Bar beach area of Lagos, we were thankfully going against the flow of traffic as we headed out of town towards Lekki. The journey took us over 2 hours, when we arrived at the studio we were taken up and introduced to Roli and Patrick Doyle. Then we were taken to the studio, we waited for the current presenter to finish her slot which over ran. When we did get on air we ended up with approximately 5 minutes, Femi managed to quickly get over his email, website and phone number (so I guess it wasn’t a complete waste of time?). Personally I’d have rather had a longer sleep!

When we returned to the car there were several missed calls from people that had been watching the show and interested in finding out more. Time as always will tell what will come from these. The first radio show we did, Femi received a call from a carpenter who said he had no money but could offer his trade for free. This was followed up and he lived in the area where the new clinic is being built, Alagbado and is potentially going to be offered work. Another call from a trained nurse, maybe leading to her coming into the centres and continuing with training, ensuring that issues that have been highlighted are addressed and improvements are continuous.

We headed for the Silverbird Galleria, where Femi had a couple of meetings. This also meant the opportunity to eat something non-Nigerian, sandwiches and chips and a double espresso which was enjoyable. Whilst Femi got on with his meetings, I sat and went through the guidelines I am in the process of producing. Whilst listening to Barry White repeatedly on a loop! About an hour or more passed, Femi then purchased me an hour’s internet, as I was obviously looking like I was losing the will to live. That helped, within 2 minutes of logging on the internet dropped and the frustration continued as well as the boredom!

Femi also had a meeting with Emilia, who works in media, production and broadcasting. She came across as a very intelligent young lady that certainly knew her trade. Listening to her she had her opinions and was very straight forward with getting them across. She has lots of contacts and was able to give help and advice on many of Femi’s ideas. Emilia spent the next couple of hours with us.

We then went to see another acquaintance of Femi’s Mark Eddo, someone he met in England that worked in the media (for ITN in the UK I believe) and had cut a DVD on Lagos and its potential future (Lagos Africa’s Modern Megacity), which featured Dr Olaleye and Baby Mohammed at the Mafoluku clinic. We watched it and the quality was excellent far more superior to anything that I have seen on the Tele since being here. Mark was a very well spoken and charming man and had a lovely clear English accent. After leaving here we proceeded to sit in more traffic and it was as difficult to get off the island as it was to get on it this morning.

Returning to my hotel Femi requested hot water for me so I was able to make a cup of coffee, as my last attempt to get some wasn’t very successful. David one of the staff brought it up for me, a nice young boy that aspires to one day come to England. He lost his Mother when he was young and like many here hasn’t had the best start in life. Minimal schooling and now minimal wages, but he is hopeful. I promised that I would keep in touch and when he comes to the UK I will show him around.

1 comment:

  1. Alrite mum :)

    The gifts are a good idea, your right we dont get that here! you say you were bored waiting lol id be worse lol
    Glad your ok... nearly home time now :) x x