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Beautiful Nubia, My Lagos, ‘I love the beaches in Badagry’

Since his first visit to Lagos in 1993, poet-performer, Beautiful Nubia, has been hooked on the cool ambience of Badagry beach. But Lagos traffic gives him so much headache that if he had his way, he’ll ride around the city on a bicycle.

Where do you live and why?

I am a wandering musician. I stay wherever the night meets me. I can say I live all over Lagos. I prefer to stay around Ikeja though, because of its accessibility to other places.

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Ibadan. My earliest years were spent around somewhere called Oke-Bola and later, Ring Road.

So, where do you shop?

I don’t shop! I but things as I need them. What do I buy? The things I wear, people give me as gifts. I can’t remember the last time I went to get anything for myself. People always pity me because I don’t think I’m a fashionable person.

What’s your earliest Lagos memory?

Coming here for the first time in 1979. I wrote a song about it. Just seeing people living around aimlessly, inside molue. Poverty. A man living in a room with a wife and eight, 12 children. I just didn’t understand why people lived like that. I was just about 12 years old then.

When did you start living permanently in Lagos?

When I got a job around Agege in 1993.

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

I don’t miss anything, I don’t see what is beautiful here.

What do you hate most about Lagos?

That’s the one thing I hate about Nigeria. Lack of organization.

What are your extravagances?

Hmm, not with money, but with time. I can’t just spend time that I regret. Sometimes, I talk with friends and I just talk for too long. And I shouldn’t for two reasons: I plan my day very tightly and in staying too long somewhere, I’ll hurt another appointment. And then, if I talk for too long, it affects my singing. Yet, when I’m with people, sometimes I over talk.

What’s your favourite Lagos hangout, club or pub?

I love going to Badagry, and I love the beaches in Badagry. I think the beaches are fantastic. I love going there in the off-season when people are not there and I could be the only person on the beach.

How do you get around in Lagos?

I drive sometimes, but that can be a lot of headache. Sometimes I go by taxi. Sometimes I take the buses. I don’t take molue. I can’t jump off a bus. You’ve got to stop for me. Even in Canada, I take buses. I don’t have a car in Canada. I ride a bicycle. If I had my way I’ll ride a bicycle in Lagos.

What new project are you working on?

Our main project for this New Year is to take our music further. We want to play everywhere possible in this country and we’re working hard on it.

What are your hobbies?

What I enjoy doing most is playing and singing. I read a lot too and Nigerians should read.
(First published in 2005)

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