Shopping in a Lagos market (e.g Balogun) is quite different from shopping in any other part of the world. To shop and survive a day in the Lagos market, it takes a lot of skill and expertise. If you doubt me, ‘experience’ they say is the best teacher. LOL!
You know in life, we have different types of training’s and life skills acquired for different activities and events… so I would be strictly sharing with you survival skills in a Lagos market to avoid stories that touch later in future… hahaha
Our focus for today is the very popular Balogun market, it has overtime become a one stop destination that most people patronize for their; wedding souvenirs, bridal/birthday/kiddies showers, bulk clothing or materials, and mostly where you can get almost anything you wish to get at a market place. Why Balogun you might ask? It is a central location for both the island and mainland inhabitants in Lagos, and also one of the busiest too. Just like they say, “if you can drive in Lagos, you can drive anywhere else in the world”… so also, if you can “survive in Balogun market, you can survive in any other market”.
Lets begin shall we.
Go with someone familiar with the market
This cannot be over emphasized enough, as the market in focus is quite large, with several entrances and exits and going alone could be quite intimidating. It is important to go with a friend or acquaintance conversant with the environs to enable you avoid meandering in circles, wasting your time, and ending up being swindled in the end. A friend familiar with the different sections would be to you what a tour guide is to tourist, and help you save time, cost and get quality.
Make sure to dress simple
The market is not a fashion or runway show, so please dress as light and as simple as you just taking an off day in your sitting room if possible. Yes, we love to look fashionable and our slogan is “Eko for show”, but not in the market place. Ever been to a grill spot? And seen how that big, juicy chicken is rolled around, makes you salivate and also attracts the attention of all the passersby? That’s the same way you’ll look like to the market boys and shop owners when you dress flashy. Dressing flashy unlike the malls, also automatically increases the price tag of all the items you would want to get at the market.
Leave your valuables at home, or wear a tight jean
Funny right, well the market place most especially in Lagos should be among one of the wonders of the world. Countless stories on how people have lost valuables from wallets, to money, smart phones, wrist watches, accessories and valuables. Honestly just leave your valuables at home, if you must take it along or if it’s important in your market hunt, then please wear a very tight jean and be in constant communication with it at intervals. LOL!
Beware of strangers running into you
Now you survived their antics so far, next up you have to be careful of random people running into you. Unnecessary taps at certain parts of your body, or the market boys holding your hands, because honestly not many have had reasons pleasant reasons to laugh after this experience. You immediately become a target, either for thieves or for the traders. But these thieves guise themselves at times like market traders and by the time they tap you, you realize after a while that you’re missing something. Now the trick is to rob you and disappear into the rowdy crowd. Go in like a secret operative and be watchful.
Most importantly, feel free to explore and have fun. It would be an experience you would come to master and relish.
Have you been to Balogun market? What was your experience like? Let me know in the comments below. Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram @bell_africana