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Alariwo of Africa, My Lagos, ‘We were living in a one-room apartment’

Born in Lagos on September 4, 1969, this ‘Cross Over King’ is a true Lagosian who loves the city’s hustle and bustle and jumping bikes when his cars are bad.

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in a place called Fadeyi in Lagos. It’s an area where we had a lot of young guys that were trying to grow by any means necessary. When we were growing up, Fadeyi was more or less like Ajegunle.

So, where do you live now?

I live in Iju right now. But I also live in Sango because that’s my dad’s area.

Where do you usually shop?

I buy my clothes in Ghana but my cousin designs them in Lagos. I buy my perfumes when I travel abroad. Sometimes I buy them from various shops in Lagos.

What’s the earliest and fondest memory you have of Lagos?

Lagos! When we were young, we were living in a one-room apartment. Myself, my dad, my mum. We were like four then. It was interesting. Every Sunday my father would take us somewhere around Maryland, close to Jesu Oyingbo’s house where we’ll go and watch chimpanzees. It was really, really fun.

When did you start living permanently in Lagos?

Interestingly, I was born in Lagos on September 4, 1969. Can’t remember the clinic but I know it was somewhere around Fadeyi and the doctor was a white man. Na the doctor born almost all of us.

What do you miss most when you’re out of Lagos?

The hustle and bustle, the Okada, the noise, not obeying the traffic, jumping from one bike to the other, if my car is faulty. I am used to the stress of Lagos. I love it when the area boys hassle me.

What do you hate most about Lagos?

Maybe the robbery and the constant power failure.

What are your extravagances?

Clothes. I make about three of four clothes every week. I don’t repeat clothes because of the nature of my business. So, basically, clothes, perfumes, wrist watches. I lavish money on those.

Do you have any favourite Lagos hangout, club or pub?

That’ll be Niteshift forever. There’s no place like the Coliseum. I love to be in NIteshift. I can spend two to three days there without leaving.

How do you get around in Lagos?

I drive my cars. If my cars are faulty, I take a bike or cab.

What new project are you working on?

My new album. I’m still negotiating with some record companies, trying to get a very good marketer. But it should be out very soon. And people will know that the ‘noise maker’ is back.

(Published in Encomium Weekly in 2005)

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