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21 signs you live in a glorified slum

…what to look out for if you don’t reside in the better part of town

It is easy to tell if you live in the better parts of town, where the houses are bigger, roads are large and tarred, flowers bloom and lawns green and lush. With professionals rubbing shoulders and cleaner vehicles plying the roads, the better parts of town have distinct flavours. 
But knowing for sure that your house is in a high density area with hardly any government presence can be difficult. And if your dream is to climb your way out of slums, move up the social ladder, then you need to be certain about signs that distinguish posh from razz. 
Here are 21 unmistakeable signs of slums compiled…

1. More roads not motor-able, in bad shape
Getting to your house is difficult. Your street in not tarred, and many roads near your house are in bad shape. The roads that are tarred are narrow and filthy.

2. Okada and Keke napep ubiquitous 
The usual means of transportation are Okada and Keke Napep. They are so many that they have major parks and allied businesses near your residence. They struggle with cars and jeeps, and are feared.

3. Rain is not a welcome friend
No one prays for rain in these areas, as they are prone to flash floods, and puddles remain many days after torrents. Sometimes you have to jump and leap, and wear ‘rain boots’ to cope well

4. Cars of your neighbors are not mint
Those who own cars are not many, and their vehicles are not in mint condition. They are friends with mechanics because the roads are bad and the vehicles have enjoyed better times.

5. Petrol stations with funny names selling at higher rates
You can hardly find the majors here. The petrol stations have funny names, and products are sold higher than recommended retail prices.

6. All sorts of snacks her near by
There all sorts of local snacks for in-between meals, from egg rolls, roasted corn, boli, grilled yam and fish, dodo, Dundun, puff puff and more.

7. Clean taxis are uncommon

There are more rickety taxis, usually unpainted and ferrying more passengers than seats in your area. 

8.More than 6 people in a house
In many households, there are more than 6 people. And there are also many families sharing conveniences such as bathrooms, toilets and kitchens.

9. You don’t need a kitchen to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner

You can buy ready meals around the corner. From moin moin to akara, bread to beverage, amala, rice and pounded yam, with all sorts of soups and stew, beef to asserted and fish, noodles with eggs and more. You can live for months here without cooking.

10. Big rats are common sights
Huge rats scurry about, even in broad daylight. There are too many spots with food for the enjoyment of rodents. And the houses also parade smaller rats, jumping everywhere .

11. Drainages are littered with refuse
Refuse and waste are not properly disposed. And drainages and gutters are filthy and clogged. You see refuse collectors with their make-shift barrows parading the streets.

12. Children in scanty clothes are everywhere
Children happily play and roam in their underwear. And you cannot miss the unusual sight all day.

13. Hawkers and traders in essential commodities every where
If you just wait, you can buy almost anything as hawkers roar and scream their wares. From edibles to other essentials, a mobile groceries store is at your door step. And many times, the hawkers know you by name, and understand your preferences.

14.Barbers and hair dressers, chemists and kiosks are many, and you are spoilt for choice
You don’t need to travel far to look well groomed. Barbers and hair dressers litter your environ, and you can pick and choose for a small fee. Chemist selling drugs, kiosks exhibiting essentials and non-essentials line the streets.

15. Your neighbors are real Nigerians … artisans, drivers, traders,etc
You know a mechanic, painter, bricklayer, driver and all, around the corner. You know them by name.

16. You know for sure what ‘self contain’ mean
You are familiar with face me l face you, self contain, and many such inventions not having enough money throw on your laps.

17. Small generators are many in your compound
Those who have generators make do with ‘l better pass my Neighbour’ or small generators. The hum and cackles of the generators are so pervasive.

18. Your lexicon includes yard, bucket, pail, pure water, cooked noodles and eggs….
And all such words describing things and scenarios .

19. Churches and mosques holler all day, and the vigils are unbearable 
There are disturbing noises from religious houses in every nook and cranny. And on most days of the week you can hardly catch a nap. Songs and calls to prayer, chants and rowdiness difficult to comprehend assault residents.

20. Viewing centers are nearby
You can watch the best football around the globe for a token at viewing centres. The centres, usually run by a sharp guy with DSTV, sell drinks and seats during matches. And since many of the residents cannot afford flat screen television sets and subscription, they enjoy themselves at these centres.

21. Water is sold nearby

Potable water is so scarce that clever entrepreneurs sell water at a premium. Early in the day and at night, young lads and lasses position buckets and make several trips to the water spot to buy for the family’s use.



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