Lagos via London: Loveless in Lagos


By Yemisi Adegoke

I’m not big on dating. Never have been. My relationship status is perpetually ‘out of love and not looking.’I was never the girl who dreamt about her wedding day. I never fantasized about meeting ‘the one.’ I abhor romcoms (although Iwatch one a year to prove to my bestie I’m not dead inside), I’ve sent one Valentine’s Day card in my life, I was 13 , it was anonymous and I regretted it instantly.

In Lagos, my nonchalant attitude on love is out of step and is usually greeted with a confused expression, a reminder that my uterus has a shelf life or put across as evidence of my ‘shakara.’

Forget what you’ve heard about Rome or Paris, Lagos is the city of love. Everyone’s in love, or talking about being in love, or looking for love, or talking about looking for love or bemoaning love or bemoaning looking for love. Lagosians love love. I’ve always thought of Valentine’s Day as a holiday brought to you by Clintons and film producers. In Lagos however, it’s an actual thing. A thing where girls get gifts like cars delivered to their offices. This happened, I saw the BBM display picture and that makes everything real.

Anyway, according to science and the Daily Mail after the age of thirty a woman’s eggs production rate slows down to some scary percentage, so I only have a few years to find a man, trick him into marrying me and then have babies. Yikes.

It’s quite bizarre that people express such vested interest in my romantic life, it’s odd having such conversations with people you barely know. Or even people you do know. Actually, especially with people you do know.

My cause hasn’t helped by the fact that my cousins are all selfishly deciding to get engaged/married/pregnant (happy married life, love you guys!), leading to the ‘you’re next’ discussion with different aunts and uncles and of course my beloved Nanna. As I try to stop my eyes from glazing over they start telling me that I have completed university so this is the next step.

Lagos men, however, are fascinating. They remind me of salesman. Lots of charisma and mindboggling tenacity. No isn’t so much, no, it’s more… ‘not right now,’ and ‘shakara’ is like a giant sign that reads ‘go forth.’ Married, unmarried, in a relationship, engaged, it doesn’t matter. If they’re interested they’re interested and they aren’t shy about letting you know.

I used the ‘boyfriend-who-doesn’t-like- me-talking-to-other-guys’ lie the other day thinking it was a perfectly neat way to get out of an unwanted attention situation, it wasn’t. After listening to a long talk on how my ‘boyfriend’ was stifling my progress, I almost considered giving the guy my number just to shut him up.Also, is it just me or are there just a lot of men in Lagos? Like an unprecedented amount? Take a minute and stretch out both your arms out, now, did you just hit a male? See!

Now, before you write me off as a stone hearted ice queen, I’m not totally adverse to meeting anyone, it’s just not that high up on my list. It’s somewhere between ‘do more exercise’ and ‘catch the Bayern game.’ There are more pressing matters, like who Arsenal should buy this summer. Plus ‘they’ always say you find the best things when you’re not looking.

And so for the foreseeable I remain, loveless in Lagos, sorry Nanna.

*Disclaimer: Views in this weeks column are subject to change if the following parties are made available: Thierry Henry, Idris Elba


Image: pinterest

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