For many years whilst driving through the “Third Mainland Bridge” in Lagos, I notice a community built on water. I always asked myself why people lived there and years later I ask why they chose never to leave. Recently, I had the opportunity to visit this community whose name is “MAKOKO” and had my questions answered.
Makoko is a community with over 100,000 people (85% Christians and 15% muslim). This community is a fishing community with men responsible for catching fish whilst women are responsible for smoking and selling fish. The people are mainly from the Ijaw tribe (hence the reason I couldn’t understand the language spoken in Makoko) with some from the Yoruba and Igbo tribe. Makoko consists of 11 communities (6 of which are built on water). The community operates self sufficiently with limited interference from the government with chief being the judicial system. Below is a visual diary of my trip to Makoko (see also my SHORT video diary):
Commerce. Tomatoes anyone? Canoeing is the mode of transport.
Kids learn to swim from the age of 3
Mother and child
The primary school in Makoko which educates 269 people a year
With the Chief’s youngest brother Noah Shamede who is also the Director of the school
How did I organise this trip: I am a member of the Nigerian Field Society, a national organisation made up of volunteers that organise trips across Nigeria. If you are interested in well organised trips, ensure to join the society.
How long was the trip: A 20-30min boat trip from Victoria Island to Makoko. Overall trip was 3 hours long.
What did I enjoy the most: The Q&A with Noah Shamede which gave interesting insights into the community. And seeing Makoko from inward instead from how I viewed it driving on the third mainland bridge.
- The heat can be intense so I suggest you take along drinks and snacks
- Wear a hat to protect you from the heat
- Wear comfortable shoes like trainers
- Wear trousers (makes getting in and out of the boat easy)
Hope you enjoyed the write up on Makoko. Share your most memorable site to visit in Nigeria.