Nothing To Do In Lagos? Are You Sure? 

Surprisingly, the chorus that "there is nothing to do in Lagos" is one Emeka Okocha has heard more often than not. In Nigeria's thriving metropolis -  the population in Lagos is an estimated 21 million - people can be heard complaining about the city’s dearth of activities and social events, but this wasn't the case for Okocha when he moved back to Lagos 5 years ago.

"I think it [Nothing To Do In Lagos] was just meant to happen.," said Okocha about the website he launched in 2014.

"There was a week I just kept hearing people say, "there's nothing to do in Lagos." and I was like if I hear this one more time, I'm going to have to do something about it."

And he did. On August 15th, 2014, the Depaul University graduate launched the website Nothing To Do In Lagos. The website lists daily, weekly and monthly social, cultural and physical events aimed at silencing and entertaining the detractors of the city's social scene. From kayaking and cycling to film screenings, art exhibitions and endless happy hours, Nothing To Do In Lagos collates the best things to do in Lagos and disseminates them widely. With over 7,000 Instagram followers, 1,000 + mobile app users and a rapidly forwarded newsletter, the response to Okocha’s platform has demonstrated how timely the website’s arrival was. 

Although Lagos is home to a host of cultural festivals (the defunct FESTAC 77 and the ongoing Lagos Book and Arts Festival to name a few) and public events, the emergence and ultimate success of Nothing To Do In Lagos are dependent on the use of social media as a tool for discovery. 

Image via @nothingtodoinLagos

According to Okocha, the goal is for users of the Nothing To Do In Lagos platform to find their own Lagos and share their experience on social media using the appropriate hashtags (#FindYourLagos and #ShareYourLagos). 

“Our whole thing is to encourage people to find and share their version of Lagos,” said Okocha.

“We want people to experience the city in their own way and share with others the kind of lifestyle that you can have in Lagos.” 

Both hashtags have been used over 3,000 times on Instagram alone by people interested in sharing photos and videos of how they interact in and with the city, but these tags have also been used as a call to action for Okocha and his team to highlight events that they might have overlooked. The collaborative nature of the Nothing To Do In Lagos community is something that has guided the evolution of the site from a Tumblr page to a growing community. Lagosians who feel like the site does not represent a holistic view of the city outside the Lagos Island have also urged Okocha and his team to list events and activities happening in other parts of the city. 

Image via @nothingtodoinLagos

“One of the critiques we've received is about finding more things to do on the mainland,” notes Okocha.

“And we’re listening. Our job is to let people know about events that have been happening, are currently happening and will be happening in their area.”

According to Wunika Mukan of the African Artists’ Foundation and the Lagos Photo Festival, Okocha is one of many emerging “social entrepreneurs who have organized Lagos social lives in ways that get the city excited, and allows the everyday Lagosian to step out of their comfort zone and truly engage with the cultural renaissance going on in the city.” 

While encouraging Lagosians to find their city and create their own experiences, Nothing To Do In Lagos also acts as an unintentional rebuttal to the myopic depictions of what life in Africa’s megacity is like for some. For Okocha, the plan is to grow the Nothing To Do movement beyond Lagos and ultimately Africa, while using social media as an agent to debunk the myth that there is nothing to do in these cities.

For Lagosians looking for something to do in Lagos. Nothing To Do In Lagos founder, Emeka Okocha has curated his top three activities. 

  1. Bikaholics of Lagos - Sanitation happens every last Saturday of the month and since no cars are allowed on the roads, a few people get together and bike the empty streets of Lagos. It's an amazing experience crossing the Falomo bridge on a bicycle.

Image via Emeka Okocha

 2. MovieNic - Any chance to get outdoors is a good one, especially since we don't have many public parks in Lagos. Once a month, grab your blanket, wine, and food and enjoy a movie.

Image via Medina Dugger

3. Foto Party - The next one is in November and it's going to be amazing. On the rooftop of City Hall, you will get a wonderful view of the Lagos Island skyline, while images from local photographers are projected , andDj Afrologic spins one of his funky mixes.  

Image via Medina Dugger

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