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"In Lagos, Everyone Is Trying To Hammer, And The Nail Is F*cking Bent"

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in Cities Politics & Society Stories & Long Reads 347 views

Lagos might be the most important and interesting world city I haven't yet visited, and this article by a Nigerian-American visitor might be the best travelogue of Lagos I've read, but it's much more than a travelogue  --  more than a travelogue often is, anyway.  (h/t @hofrench)

"If Nigeria were a walking, talking, human being, Lagos would be its heart, beating profusely to the ribcage-shattering pound of all the people living inside it, desperately trying to reach one aim- to hammer.

Hammer -- To make it - riches, money, cars, social status or influence. To Hammer is to gain anything tangible that will take you away from the gaping abyss that is poverty in Nigeria.

Example - “Did you hear she married that (insert rich family last name)’s son? She don hammer be that!

There isn’t one single person who isn’t trying to hammer in Lagos. If Nigeria’s national purpose were to continually remain unclear, the self-interest of its citizens will not. Man must chop. Not that it’s their fault or anything, a lot of things that should work in Nigeria, don't. The thing is, the nail that we keep hammering at, the actual goal, that life of wealth that we are all seeking might be bent from all that hammering. The question is who put that nail there? Why are we all hammering? Why does the system not work in the first place? Are we all committed to making it better?..."

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